Joining the elite ranks of 100-year-old iconic hotels such as The Savoy in London, The Plaza in New York, and The Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada is no small feat. But in 2012 Fairmont will be celebrating not one, but two centennial birthdays: Ottawa’s Fairmont Château Laurier on June 1 and Boston’s The Fairmont Copley Plaza on Aug. 19. Both grand dames will be offering special offers, events and activities to highlight the history and grandeur that have graced their halls over the past century.
Witness to History
Ottawa’s famed castle, Fairmont Château Laurier, opened its doors June 1, 1912 with building costs totaling $2 million and guestrooms priced at $2 per night. Originally slated to open on April 26, 1912, the opening was delayed when Charles Melville Hays, the visionary behind the hotel, perished on the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. The Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston is a landmark in Back Bay’s Copley Square. In 1912 Mayor of Boston John F. “Honey Fitz” Fitzgerald, President Kennedy’s grandfather, presided over a reception of more than 1,000 guests to open the hotel. The total cost to open the hotel was an extravagant sum of $5.5 million. Since the ‘Gilded Age’ of their opening through modern times, both hotels have hosted heads of state, celebrities, dignitaries and guests from around the world.
The hotels will host numerous activities all year, including complimentary historic tours and memorabilia searches for long lost treasures – with amnesty offered for items that may have gone astray. On June 2 and 3, Fairmont Château Laurier will welcome the public for special period costume tours, music and cake while at The Fairmont Copley Plaza, tours will be available throughout their 100 Days of Celebration, which kicks off on May 10. Guests at Fairmont Château Laurier can take a culinary journey through time, starting April 1 with an adaptation of the very last dinner served on the Titanic, followed by monthly table d’hôte menus featuring menus highlighting the best of different eras. Additionally, starting April 26, on what would have been the hotel’s original opening date, a special Centennial Tea menu will launch
Renovations & Restorations
Both Grande Dames are also getting facelifts for their celebrations. Scheduled for completion in spring 2012, The Fairmont Copley Plaza is undergoing a restoration that will include all guestrooms and suites, Fairmont Gold, and a new 3,000-square-foot rooftop health club. The project also includes the Lower Lobby meeting space and enhancements to hotel’s grand lobby and ballrooms. A new restaurant, in the space that formerly housed the legendary Merry-Go-Round Bar and Oak Bar will also debut. At Fairmont Château Laurier, the 1929 art deco pool has just recently been restored, along with additional refurbishments to the health club including a new fountain, two massage therapy rooms, and refreshed women’s and men’s change areas.