A year ago (even though some days it seems much longer) I had the opportunity to stay at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa for meetings. I’ve been to Ottawa many times (it’s a favourite place to visit) and stayed at some nice hotels in the downtown core. The Chateau has always been a class by itself in my eyes though. From its castle-like exterior to its carefully preserved history it has been on my bucket list of places to stay.

I arrived later in the evening and was charmed by the hallway and the old-fashioned doors and rooms. (You know it had to be nice if I wasn’t complaining about schlepping my luggage all the way down that hall.)

Over the next couple days, I loved exploring my “home” for the week. The days were long, but the backdrop made it all seem like a great adventure

Meanwhile, the view from my window overlooked the National War Memorial and Parliament Hill. The entire stay was like being steeped in Canadian history.

I even ventured outside a few times (have I mentioned Ottawa in January is really cold, especially since I almost lost my coat.

Oh, and the food was pretty good too. 🙂

As we near a year of travel restrictions, I find myself looking back at where I’ve been and longing for the days when I took travel for granted. I’m anxious for the days when we can safely return to visiting landmarks like this.

4 replies on “The Time I Stayed in a Castle

  1. I agree Bonnie, the Chateau Laurier and downtown Ottawa is a beautiful place to be. Ottawa is my home town, and I also spent many times in meeting rooms there back in my working days. I took it for granted for different reasons, mostly familiarity. I lived in Ottawa most of my life but only went on the Parliament Buildings tour once when I was a kid.

    But there’s something different and wonderful about most Grand Mananers we’ve met. They don’t take for granted they’re living in paradise. They acknowledge the breathtaking beauty and wonder of the island like they were a visitor.

    Now we live only an hour from Ottawa but have Stay At Home travel restrictions. When I do get to drive through Ottawa to see my grand kids on the Quebec side of the river, I will take in the beautiful view with an awakened perspective, thanks to you…and try not to take it for granted.

    Here’s to the safe lifting of travel restrictions within our own country. We can’t wait to get back.


    1. Thanks Pat. In the pre-Covid days I was occasionally whiny about the frequency of travel. I tried to remind myself how fortunate I was to be able to see places like this as part of my work. I hope that’s something I’m better at remembering when we can finally travel again.

      Hope to see you guys soon!


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