Half Day Activities
Cool Winter Fun
Indulge in magnificent Scandinavian baths at Le Nordik Nature Spa in Chelsea, about 15 minutes from Ottawa. First, you warm up your body with a steam bath or Finnish sauna, and then you quickly cool off under the Nordik waterfall or in one of the cold or temperate pools. Finally, complete the process with a relaxation period. You complete these steps 3 or 4 times, at your own pace, and you can top off the experience by relaxing your muscles in the outdoor hot tub. The Scandinavian baths are an amazing, healthy experience.
Measuring 363 square kilometers, Gatineau Park is located in the northwest area of Canada's Capital Region and is managed by the National Capital Commission. The park has hundreds of kilometers of pathways and trails, perfect for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Explore acres of breathtaking vistas and unspoiled wilderness, with just the calming sound of snow crunching beneath your feet.
Ottawa’s National Museums
Visit one of Ottawa’s National Museums, explore the newly renovated Museum of Nature, learn more about our Canadian coins at the Royal Canadian Mint or visit the new Canadian War Museum. All these options are just minutes away from the hotel.
Spring Has Sprung
Ottawa is also home to Rideau Hall, the official home and workplace of Canada’s Governor General. Located just minutes from the Fairmont Château Laurier, Rideau Hall is a 79 acre oasis of beautifully landscaped grounds. Tour the magnificent residence and gardens, wander through the peaceful grounds, have a picnic and watch the ceremonial guard every hour. Open year-round, it is a gracious and inviting place where Canada's history comes to life with vitality and warmth.
Explore The ByWard Market
Located just beside the Fairmont Château Laurier, the ByWard Market is always full of excitement! As the oldest continuously operated farmer’s market, this vibrant location is about more than just the outdoor vendors with their overflowing stands of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. Here you will find history, wonderful unique shops and a myriad of restaurants, coffee shops and pubs.
Canadian Spring Tulip Festival
Spring awakening in the National Capital begins with the opening of the Canadian Tulip Festival in May. More than one million tulips line Ottawa's scenic drive along the historic Rideau Canal to the Parliament buildings and across the Ottawa River to the Outaouais. As you take a stroll among the tulip beds and take in some tulip festivities you can also enjoy multicultural entertainment.
During your visit, why not enjoy the beauty of the Ottawa outdoors? An expanded view for many, the Rideau Canal is a familiar part of the Ottawa landscape, but the scenic waterway in the heart of the city is only part of the picture. Ottawa is the northern gateway to a long canal system, a route rich in heritage and recreational appeal. Enjoy it by boat, car, cycling or biking.
Tour The Capital of Canada
Discover Ottawa’s charm and distinctive beauty with a tour of the city. Climb aboard the Gray Line Sightseeing Bus for a narrated tour of Ottawa attractions. Learn about the history behind this great city and why Queen Victoria chose Ottawa over Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Quebec City in 1857 to be the National Capital and much more. This is a wonderful way to get an overview of Ottawa.
Take a hike on some of Gatineau Park's 165 kilometres of trails and you're sure to fall in love with its fall foliage. Discover the landscape of the Park via interpretation trails that give you chances to learn about its flora, fauna and history. Here you will see Canadian Nature at its finest.
Stores, Stores and More Stores
Why not get an early start on Christmas Shopping at the Rideau Centre, the region’s most popular shopping destination and neighbor to the Fairmont Château Laurier? It offers over 170 stores and services including movie theatres and restaurants. Afterwards, if you
haven’t had enough shopping, you can visit Bank Street, home to numerous boutiques, antiques and shops. The ByWard Market also offers wonderful gift giving ideas with its unique shops.
Ghostly Tours of The City
Haunted Walks are offered as a unique historical walking tour in Ottawa. These tours are best known for their local ghost stories and ‘darker’ history which are presented in the evening, when the lights are low and the atmosphere is just right for a good ghost story.