History Chateau Lake Louise
The sumptuous setting of Chateau Lake Louise

Chateau Lake Louise

“As God is my judge, I never in all my explorations saw such a matchless scene.” Thomas Wilson on discovering what is today known as ‘Lake Louise’ in 1882. The Stoney Indians used to call it the ‘Lake of Little Fishes.’ ‘I first came to the Chateau Lake Louise in 1926 with my parents...The interior was spacious and charming with the great plate glass windows in the lounge which opened onto that marvellous vista of lake and mountains. It was a friendly place too. The lake and valley were still in deep shadow, but the surrounding peaks, all I had climbed, were bathed in golden, rosy light. I was seized by an indescribable ecstasy, filled with the joy of conquest. They were all mine - my beautiful, private world of mountains. Yet at the same time, I felt how infinitesimal I was. It was an unforgettable experience.’ From a letter written by Georgia Engelhard Cromwell, niece of famed photographer Arthur Stieglitz and artist Georgia O'Keefe.
How the Stage was Set HISTORY IN BRIEF 1890: The hotel was established. 1882: Young Thomas Wilson was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway, packing supplies and equipment for construction crews for Kicking Horse Pass. One night, while camped with a group of Stoney Indians, he heard the rumble of avalanches. Using his limited vocabulary of native words and some sign language, Wilson learned that the noise was coming from ''snow mountains above the lake of little fishes. The next day, two Stoney guides took Wilson to the lake on horseback. In awe of its natural beauty, he christened it Emerald Lake. 1890: “A hotel for outdoor adventurers and alpinists” was the vision Cornelius Van Horne, general manager of the Canadian Pacific Railway, had in mind for the one-story log cabin constructed on the shore of Lake Louise in 1890. It contained a central area that served as dining room, office, bar and gathering place, a kitchen and two small bedrooms, fronted by large windows facing the lake and a verandah. The original Chalet Lake Louise hosted visitors from different dining stations along the railway line as well as day visitors from its elegant sister, the Banff Springs Hotel. 50 guests registered at the chalet in 1890. 1896, August: During an expedition to Mount Lefroy, Phillip Abbot fell to his death just feet from the summit. His tragic death sent a shockwave through North America's climbing community and influenced Canadian Pacific to hire its first two professional Swiss mountain guides to lead guests safely to the summits. Between 1899 and 1954, generations of these Swiss mountaineers taught thousands of visitors and locals to climb and, later, to ski. Canadian Pacific Swiss guides were responsible for over 250 first ascents in these mountains, most of them in the company of hotel guests. 1909: Swiss and Austrian mountain guides began introducing skiing to the youth of Banff and Lake Louise. 1912: Some 50,000 guests had slept at the hotel since 1890. 1913: The Painter Wing, the oldest portion of the hotel still standing, was built. 1917: Establishment of Banff Ski Club. 1923: The hotel's wooden Rattenbury Wing burned down. Missing Image 1924: The Barrot Wing was built to replace the destroyed Rattenbury Wing. It was then that the Candian Pacific Railway decided to call the hotel Chateau Lake Louise. 1928: Canada has a reputation as ‘Hollywood North’ and early movies shot at Lake Louise included the 1928 production ‘Eternal Love’. Starring John Barrymore. 1930s: Full scale ski areas at Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise were all in operation 1931: Georgia Engelhard Cromwell ascended Mount Victoria at the back of Lake Louise seven times in nine days, while starring in the movie ‘She Climbs to Conquer.’ WW2: Due to gas rationing and patriotism, Chateau Lake Louise was closed to the public, but scientists from the Universities of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba used the lake and some surrounding facilities to develop ‘Pykrete’, a difficult to break and slow to melt mixture of wood pulp and ice that was part of plans for a potential Allied invasion through Northern Europe. ‘Project Habbakuk’ involved the creation of floating ice platforms for equipment transport. What 'Maclean's magazine termed '’the weirdest secret weapon of the war’ was seriously considered by Churchill and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but abandoned in favour of other, faster techniques. 1942: ‘Springtime in the Rockies'’ with Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda was shot at Lake Louise. 1943: During the historic Quebec Conference, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten dropped a chunk of special Lake Louise ice called ''Pykrete' in British Prime Minister Winston Chuchill's bathtub at sister hotel the Chateau Frontenac. 1944: ‘Son of Lassie’ was produced at Lake Louise. 1970s: Although they were conceived as summer-only resorts, the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise opened for skiers on a trial basis during the peak winter holiday seasons of that decade. 1988: The Calgary Winter Olympic showcased Banff National Park's ski resorts to the world. 1999: Canadian Pacific spun-off Canadian Pacific Hotels, along with all its properties. The new company was renamed Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in an effort to reflect its growing global presence and ambitions
From the World of Politics Winston Churchill Prince Rainier of Monaco Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan Queen Margrethe of Denmark From the World of Entertainment Mary Pickford Douglas Fairbanks Alfred Hitchcock Marilyn Monroe Christopher Reeve Angie Dickinson

Eternal Love (1928)
She Climbs to Conquer (1931)
Springtime in the Rockies (1942)
Son of Lassie (1944)

Managed by: Fairmont
515 Rooms
Alarm clock/radio Cable television with in-room pay movies and video games Video express check out Ceiling fan and windows that open for fresh air Coffee maker and kettle Hair dryer Iron and ironing board Refreshment center Telephone with voice-mail Data-line capability Safety deposit boxes available at the Front Desk
Royal Suite
Fairview Dining Room ----------------- Walliser Stube ----------------- Poppy Brasserie ----------------- Lobby Bar ----------------- Glacier Saloon ----------------- Chateau Deli ----------------- Victoria Room
The hotel offers access some of the best skiing, against a backdrop of stunning natural beauty showcased in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.
Outdoor activities include skiing, tobogganing, skating, hiking, riding, canoeing, rafting, dog-sledding and snow-shoeing. ------------ The hotel boasts a health club, complete with heated indoor pool, steam room and fitness centre.
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Chateau Lake Louise
Country: Canada
City: Lake Louise
Opening date: 1890

Note from the Host

General Manager David Bayne


111 Lake Louise Drive
Alberta TOL 1EO Canada, Lake Louise

Tel: +1-403 522-3511
Fax: +1-403-522-3834

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