Fairmont Hotel Macdonald
What We Love
- On the Saskatchewan River’s north bank, within walking distance of downtown
- The fairytale castle vibe and plenty of history; Queen Elizabeth slept here in 1939
- Staff is particularly attentive
- Terrycloth robes in the bathrooms and feather duvets on the pillowtop mattresses
- The health club has an indoor pool and Olympic-size squash courts
What To Know
- This is an Old World–style hotel; not well suited to those looking for more modern design
- WiFi costs $14.95 per day and is free for members of the Fairmont President's Club
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is reminiscent of a 16th-century French chateau, with its intricate, gargoyle-covered limestone facade, copper roof and crystal chandelier–bedecked interior. The only thing more dramatic than the stately curb appeal may be the views from the opulent restored Victorian public areas. As Edmonton’s oldest and only four-diamond hotel, the “Mac” (as locals call it) has serious pedigree and a historic reputation to uphold. Named after Canada’s first prime minister, the 199-room hotel has been wining and dining some of the world’s power players (King George VI of England and his daughter, future Queen Elizabeth II, for example) since opening its doors in 1915.
Bed and Bath
Today, this fairytale gem still maintains an air of elegance. Look for signature elements from the original railway era hotel, like brass doorknobs on the closets, paneled doors and deep bathtubs. The guestrooms are spaciously (if simply) appointed with luxurious upholstery, original art and comfy feather duvets. Traveling with a pet? He’ll get the royal treatment too; a gift bag of treats and a map of pet-friendly perks await canine companions at check-in.
The hotel’s restaurant, the Harvest Room, serves fresh regional specialties like freshwater fish along with great views of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. More relaxed dining and unique cocktails can be found at the Confederation Lounge, a library-style space that stays open most nights until the nonbookwormy hour of 1 a.m. To burn off the food and wine, hit the full health club, Olympic-size squash courts or indoor pool. Or simply stroll through the palatial gardens and take in the full royal experience of the property.
In the Area
Hardware Grill is a longtime favorite fine dining establishment (try the signature cedar-plank-cooked salmon), with an outstanding wine list that includes more than 500 top-quality selections. Funky shops, hip bars, boutique hotels, theaters and nightclubs all give Old Strathcona a young, edgy vibe. If you’re into the bar scene, this strip is Edmonton’s hottest. Head to West Edmonton Mall for indoor fun. Snorkel and, believe it or not, scuba dive on the mall’s giant lake; the vast water park has 20 water slides and a wave pool. You can also bungee-jump from a height of 100 feet, walk with a camel in the petting zoo or ride the roller coaster in the amusement park. Edmonton is rich in Ukrainian heritage sites, most of which are found north of downtown; a small collection of costumes, dolls and fine tapestries can be found at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada. Don’t miss the gallery of aboriginal culture at the Royal Alberta Museum, which uses a multimedia display to document the lives of the Plains Indians. The museum also hosts frequent cultural shows, dance performances, films and special exhibits.
How to Get There
love the MacDonald Hotel, lots of old time charm, the rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the staff is so helpful. I stay here any time I'm in Edmonton. it's very central for me ,
Love to see the hotel dog in the lobby
5 Star Hotel...3 Star Rating unfortunately.
Meal was very disappointing. Expectations not met this time.
Will definitely be back but hoping the flavour and value next time exceed this experience.
Might just have been a one off night but both our main courses didn't hit the mark.
The service was as always 100% which definitely helps but given the price point pretty much expected.
Beautiful historic atmosphere which also makes for an intimate space.
We regularly stay at another Fairmont property but this was our first stay at the Macdonald downtown Edmonton
From the moment we arrived, the bus boys, valet and reception staff were so helpful, courteous and accommodating
Upon check in we had been told we had received a free upgrade (bigger room with river view).
We arrived at the room to find a tray of chocolate confectionery accompanied by a hand written card.... informing us we had been chosen as 'Guest of the Day' as it was our first stay.... the chocolates were fantastic.
The bar was well stocked and expertly staffed by Andy and Carlos, who were both attentive and genuinely interested in conversing with us.
Yes this property is a little more expensive the others in the area. But the saying 'You get what you pay for' applies here.
Thanks to all the team for making our stay special