The world's biggest log cabin has hosted us for a day or two in summers past, en route home from PEI, but we'd never been there in winter. This year, inspired by a desire to reduce the amount of "stuff" in my life coupled with a few weeks of temporary homelessness while the kids visit their dad on a break from our year in Argentina, I negotiated a great deal well in advance, and gave Tats and the boys a few nights at the Montebello for Christmas.
Despite the fact that both Alex and I are sick as dogs, and have been hacking up a lung, the resort did not disappoint. Orignally a club for the wealthy, the Chateau Montebello is now a hotel owned by the Fairmont chain (okay, so it's still a club for the wealthy, hehe!) and offers a dizzying array of activities in all seasons: We've already participated in T'ai Ch'i, Sunday Brunch (YUM!), snow carving, dog sledding and tubing. Still on the list are snow shoeing, cross-country skiing and ice hockey.
The grand lobby, difficult to capture on a phone camera, is warm and inviting, a tall, tastefully decorated Christmas tree reaching up three stories to the enormous wooden beams spanning the third floor ceiling.
During the day, Monte, the hotel dog (a sweet golden retriever who was a little too social to successfully complete his guide dog training!) wanders the lobby, collecting pats and hugs from friendly strangers.
Here is a public gathering space of sorts, where one can sign out various board games to play or just sit in front of the five-sided fireplace in one of the comfy chairs or couches, enjoying a tea, hot chocolate or scotch in the evening... last night, the boys joined us out here, and fell asleep on the couch, snuggled together in a blanket in front of the warm fire. We carried them back to the room many hours later, after satiating our Internet cravings (we'd been offline for most of the previous week!), and transferred them into their comfortable bed there.
I know how lucky we are, and I feel very blessed to be able to count this experience among our few weeks home in Canada over the holidays.