Loren Christie: Where will royals stay on their 'free' night?
Published Tuesday, July 5, 2011 8:32AM EDT
With a "free" night on the royal agenda what could Will and Kate have planned in their favourite former colony? I am thinking it's got to be some quiet time somewhere in Western Canada, but where?
Kate's never been to Canada, but Will has. Often travellers go back to a place where they had a great experience; so could Whistler be in the cards? Despite being overwhelmed by adoring teenage girls back in 1998, Will did apparently enjoy his time in Canada's best known ski resort. He, Prince Charles and brother Harry stayed in a private home on Peak Drive organized by Whistler Home Holidays http://www.homeholidays.com/. But will a ski resort be their first choice?
Perhaps they will go to re-live one of Princess Diana's favourite private moments in Canada? In 1986 while staying with Prince Charles at Vancouver's Pan Pacific Hotel, Diana requested special permission to go for a swim in the outdoor rooftop pool at 3 a.m. That visit has become a favourite story among the hotel staff. The suite where Diana stayed offers fantastic views of Vancouver harbour and mountains. http://www2.panpacific.com/en/Vancouver/offers/rooms_and_suites.html
But my guess is that they will head to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge's Outlook Cabin. Will's great-grandmother, The Queen Mum, stayed there in the 1930's for one night and reputedly told her girls it was a place they must see. Princess Margaret eventually spent a relaxing 10 days there and Queen Elizabeth finally made it there herself in 2005. She and Prince Philip spent three nights enjoying the wildlife and spectacular views of Canada's famous Rocky Mountains. What better place for Will to take his new bride? Surely, he would have asked his Gran if she had some suggestions.
I had the opportunity to check out the cabin myself a couple of weeks ago. It's a beautiful rustic log cabin situated on a secluded corner of the hotel property. There's a lovely sitting room complete with stone fireplace, a grand dining room and six bedrooms. Each room is tastefully adorned with a mixture of Canadiana and mementos of the cabin's previous royal guests.
I asked Amanda Robinson, the general manager at Jasper Park Lodge, if Will and Kate might be popping by and there was a distinct twinkle in her eye as she avoided giving me a straight answer. At $5,000 a night, it certainly comes with a royal price tag, but I am thinking price may not be a concern for the Duke and Duchess.
If you commoners want to check it out sometime remember it comes with its own kitchen and sharing the six bedrooms among friends or family does make it more affordable. I am thinking you'll find it just how Queen Elizabeth and I remember it…with perhaps a few new royal photos on the wall? www.fairmont.com/jasper