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Restfulness at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, Quebec

PHOTO: An Indian Chief spins tales over vension stew and a campfire (c) Sery Kim

Yesterday, armed with Bailey's and hot chocolate, we drove the hour from Chateau Laurier to Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello in a scenic display of Canada's quiet beauty. Everyone was full of energy despite a monstrously large meal the previous evening -- and even more drinking -- but we were all quite looking forward to getting out there to the campfire luncheon by the frozen over lake at Montebello.

PHOTO: The frozen over lake at Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello with "toy" airplanes, which you can actually fly (c) Sery Kim

The campfire lunch did not disappoint. The resort is charmingly picturesque and set the ideal backdrop for story-telling by a real Indian Chief along with some truly delicious bean soup and heartily delicious venison stew. The weather was seasonable but not cold so the campfire really helped us stay toasty and take in the beautiful nature around us.

Montebello itself was built in February 1930, after a mere four months, and is the only lodge in the Fairmont portfolio (or so I was told) and stands as a testament to sheer determination. Craftsmen used 10,000 red-cedar logs to build the resort's three main buildings, all cut and set by hand! And the Canadian-Pacific rail tracks were nearby to help transport the material and men over.

PHOTO: The soaring ceiling of the foyer at Montebello (c) Sery Kim

I found, judging by the slew of families in the lobby nestling by the humungous fireplace, Montebello really is a place for families to get away and enjoy some winter sports like ice fishing, snow mobiling and the ever-popular dog-sledding. While skiing is not within walking distance, you can find trails a 60 minute drive away. Also readily available is a quite large indoor pool -- really packed -- as well as a spa offering scrubs, massages, facials, waxing services, as well as manicures and pedicures.

Since I was recently sick, I sadly skipped snow mobiling and dog-sledding for the spa. While the spa wasn't as good as the impeccable Fairmont Banff Springs spa, I got some R&R with a 30 minute maple sugar scrub. Honestly, part of the "averageness" of the spa was that I had signed up for a 60 minute scrub and the treatment person was clearly moving quicker than a 60 minute pace. When she was "done," I looked at the clock and I had barely been in the room for 25 minutes. NOT. GREAT. Additionally, she wasn't really scrubbing my skin but rather lathering the sugar on. This defeats the purpose of getting a scrub and I had to tell her, "Please scrub harder to slough off the dead cells."

Finally, she had me sit-up (!) to apply the scrub on my back. Nothing about sitting up during a spa treatment, while the treatment is in-effect, makes it relaxing so please note that when booking a spa appointment.

PHOTO: My corner bedroom suite at Montebello (c) Sery Kim

After the spa, I relaxed in my room a bit before heading to the first-ever "Heritage Dinner Series" at Montebello. This black-tie event was the first in a series of eight dinners across Canada in 2017 to help celebrate the culinary history of Canada. Our dinner showcased some dishes that would have been in vogue from the late 1800s to early 1900s. Stand-outs included the Truite En Croute, trou fillet crusted with puff pastry served with a fish consomme, as well as the Poultry Roast, which was chicken stuffed with mushrooms and fresh herbs with a poultry sauce.

PHOTO: Me and my PR buddy Erin of LFBmediagroup (c) Sery Kim

All the food was served family style at a long table big enough to seat 60 Fairmont VIPs. We had a lot of fun plowing through the copious amounts of food, a re-occurring theme for this Apres in the Air trip, and through four services of food managed to not fall out of our clothes! Basically, it felt like American Thanksgiving in all the best ways where you are surrounded with interesting conversation, fun friends and an endless supply of alcoholic beverages.

Today, we head off to the final leg of our trip before going home early tomorrow morning. Thank you Fairmont Chateau Montebello for a solid first visit. It really does seem like a good place to get away for some rest. I'm so thankful I got invited to come.

PHOTO: A sugary afternoon snack (c) Sery Kim

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