I know that my travel posts are typically on Thursdays, but I don’t want to “drag out” my Banff posts for a month or more to only post on Thursdays! So, here is a Travel Monday post that I hope you enjoy. While my Travel Thursday post was all about my afternoon tea experience at the Fairmont, I spent some time wandering about the hotel before and after. I decided to do a separate post to showcase the rest of the hotel and my time there, so I hope you enjoy!
Originally built in the 1880s to serve passengers on the Canadian railways, the hotel was designed by Bruce Price and led by the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway, William Cornelius Van Horne. The buildings you see today were built in the 1910s and the 1920s, with continual redesigns and additions throughout the years. In addition to the Rundle Lounge that hosts tea, there are 10+ dining options to choose from, spa treatments available at the Willow Stream Spa, golfing, and a conference centre. It’s also a short walk from the main strip in the town!
Thankfully it was a beautiful 23°C and it made for a beautiful walk. Because it was a Thursday afternoon in early May, it was not particularly busy. What I wouldn’t give to make my way through all of these buildings- I suppose it will have to wait for my next visit!
William Cornelius Van Horne himself- this statue dominates the roundabout. It was pretty entertaining to see several tourists take selfies with the statue- I overheard some saying that they thought it was a king or the Prime Minster of Canada. (If you know your Canadian history, you could make the argument that the President of the Canadian Pacific Railway is close to a PM, but that’s a discussion for another day…)
The hotel is a historian’s dream- a modern hotel with all the amenities you could imagine while maintaining the heritage of those who built it! I was really blown away by all of the details such as the flower arrangements throughout the lobby and the detailing on the light fixtures and chandeliers!
Semper Eadem is a fitting motto for a hotel like the Fairmont- “Ever the same” is the reason why people go out of their way to come to the Fairmont. As a historian who studied and used Latin, I loved seeing this throughout the hotel. Many hotels are quick to embrace the future and forget the past; displaying their motto is the perfect way to maintain those ties.
Of course I had to grab a quick selfie with the hotel and Mount Rundle in the background! Overall, this was a fantastic afternoon and I can’t wait for my next visit. Next trip I’ll be staying a night there!
What hidden piece of history have you discovered?