On our way back from a summer sojourn to Nova Scotia a few weeks ago we had to seek refuge from Hurricane Bill, and wound up at a luxurious, historic seaside resort in New Brunswick that turned out to be the highlight of the trip. Built in the 1880s, the Tudor-style Fairmont Algonquin, in picturesque St. Andrews overlooking the Passamaquoddy Bay, is a veritable castle by the sea. A Canadian Maritime tradition in its second century of impeccable hospitality, the hotel has played host to many notable personages over the years including the first Prime Minister of Canada, Sir John A. Macdonald, President Theodore Roosevelt and Diana, the Princess of Wales.
The hotel was originally the enterprise of the St. Andrews Land Company, established in 1883 by wealthy American businessmen who found the town to be the ideal vacation spot; a 1902 brochure described it as '"an incomparable resting-place and retreat from the cares of business and the heat and dust and bustle of the city." During this period most guests arrived by train and so it was only fitting that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company took over ownership in 1903. The hotel was sold to local interests in 1970 and the Province of New Brunswick leased the property in 1973. The Province eventually purchased The Fairmont Algonquin along with two golf courses and a private beach in 1984, and it is now run by the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts luxury group.
The hotel now has 234 impeccably-appointed guest rooms and suites retaining the resort's classic style, updated with modern amenities. Many rooms have ocean views and look over the lush gardens, swimming pool and tennis courts. The public spaces are elegant and inviting, with fireplaces for cooler weather and plenty of spots to relax indoors and out, while the charming town of St. Andrews is only a few minutes walk. The nearby Bay of Fundy lays claim to the highest tides in the world with rising and falling water levels nearing 55 ft. in some areas twice daily. That provides the scenic backdrop for the award-winning seaside Algonquin Golf Course and Academy, home to two of the top ten golf tees in Canada, while others may choose to go on whale-watching excursions or explore the scenic surroundings.
Gallery: The Fairmont Algonquin