My boyfriend and I stayed at the hotel the Sunday night after the CSM. I have had many stays at the Chateau during the ski marathon, but this was stay was not what it used to be. The room was not as nice as previous stays, it was smaller, less updated and very warm. However, it was nice to have a window to open. The restaurant experience was lacking. As a vegan diner, in years past, the waiters and even chef would offer several options and the food was always incredible. This year the options were much more limited. There were no options at breakfast and the waitress was not helpful. After many questions, it turns out there was one option, however it was not on the a la carte menu and the waitress was unaware of it.
For the price of rooms and meals at the Chateau, I expected more... especially since it has always lived up to expectations in the past.
Stingy luxury: all the cost, much less hospitalilty
Feb 13, 2024
I've been staying at the Château Montebello for the Canada Ski Marathon on and off since I think about 2014 or so. It's always been a bit of an extravagance, but it was the best way to get my kid to come along and do something I wanted to do. And I just plain enjoyed it.
This was the first time I've been back since COVID and I must say, it's gotten stingy. The hotel is as lovely as ever. Staff are kind and friendly. The rooms were clean and well-presented, despite a clientele that is really hard on them (allowing dogs is a long-standing tradition that I expect poses more challenges than it brings in guests).
But the room rates are high as ever (higher even) and the CSM 'package' was not a deal at all.
I am pretty sure the dinner buffet used to be included in the room rate, but I discovered to my shock that it was $70 per person extra per night. The food was as good as ever. No problem there. But that's quite a bit of money for a buffet.
Breakfast was included in the room rate. Unless you're actually doing the whole marathon, which I was. Back before COVID, the dining room opened early enough so that those doing the whole thing could fill up on crêpes and coffee before heading off at 5:00am.
This year, breakfast opened at 5:30 and those who needed to leave earlier — like me — could pay $42 extra for a boîte de lunch.
The capstone in this pyramid of disappointment came when my daughter and I came back after 85km of skiing to try to eat dinner. I had not made a reservation because Friday night I had seen many empty tables and figured getting a spot wouldn't be a problem.
When we staggered up to the host's station on Saturday at 5:50pm I was told they were taking reservations for 8:45. I was aghast. The restaurant was for all intents and purposes empty. The staff explained our options politely and sympathetically and said people would be arriving soon to fill the space.
But the space was never filled. When we came back there were tables that looked untouched and the place was as empty as at 6pm. I get the feeling the hotel just didn't have the staff to cover any more tables and management preferred to turn people away.
The staff kindly took my phone number and called me when they had an available table (20 minutes ahead of schedule) but it was a pretty miserable experience, waiting in our room, exhausted and hungry for the privilege of paying $140 plus tax and tip to eat dinner, an hour before we had to go to bed in order to wake up early and ski again.
I hope the hotel's new owners are a little less austere and a little more hospitality-focussed.
CSM sooo much fun - staff and volunteers exceeded expectations!
Feb 12, 2024
I just got back from a FANTASTIC weekend for the Canadian Ski Marathon at the Montebello! What a great time. Way beyond what we’d hoped for. A special shout out to the staff at the Montebello and everyone with the CSM. Especially Maire-Ly and her family.
We were 1st time racers and felt welcomed and brought into the fold. We will be back again next year.
One night stay
Feb 07, 2024
Excellent service…every person we encountered was pleasant, helpful and seemed to genuinely enjoy serving/helping us. We enjoyed delicious food and appreciated the wonderful ambiance and relaxing environment. We experienced a fabulous get away.
Another excellent stay here
Feb 01, 2024
Excellent, spacious, quiet room. Breakfast buffet was very good. Dinners too!. Weather was not conducive to nordic skiing we were hoping to do. Took some patience to get some backgammon pieces for one of the game tables on the second floor overlooking the fireplace, but was a great place to hang out for a couple of hours after the day's activities were done. Staff friendly and courteous. We seem to stay here every few years and highly expect we will be back again.