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Heading to Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada? If you want to stay where the superstars stay, check out (or into) the luxurious Fairmont Macdonald in Edmonton. To whet your appetite and to stoke those tabloid fires, here is all the celebrity gossip I could dig up.
Celebrity gossip at The Fairmont Macdonald in Edmonton
While Smudge, the resident yellow lab at the Fairmont Macdonald in Edmonton, Alberta, is probably the most endearing celebrity to
pad walk through the doors of Edmonton’s top luxury hotel, he’s certainly not the first star to make himself at home here. The Hotel Macdonald, an Edmonton landmark since 1915, is one of the original grand railway hotels built in Canada. Its turrets, towers and classic chateau-esque style make it – literally – fit for a queen.
I’m here for you, World. I know how much you need gossip
In the spirit of feeding the world’s insatiable craving for celebrity gossip (not to mention my own craving) I tried to collect plenty of tabloid secrets about ‘The Mac,’ most of it having to do with the hotel’s glamorous Queen Elizabeth II Suite. None of my scoop is substantiated because hotel staff are loathe to gossip, but I’ve done my best to ferret out the best celebrity gossip from The Fairmont Macdonald hotel, just for you.
Hockey celebrity at The Fairmont Macdonald
The Washington Capitals stayed at the Hotel Macdonald in 2014. Rumour has it that when superstar Alex Ovechkin was in the lobby he agreed to pose for a photo with a little girl but refused to pose with a well-dressed woman. (PS: The well-dressed woman wasn’t me. I’m never considered well dressed.)
Larger than life superstars
When the great opera singer Luciano Pavarotti stayed in the Elizabeth II Suite of ‘The Mac’ he was, ahem, fairly large. A platform-like seat had to be built next to the bathtub so he could get in. (And word has it he was at the hotel with his mistress rather than his wife.)
Don’t cry for me, I’m a celebrity
When Carol Burnett stayed in the Queen Elizabeth II Suite, which has a loft-like bedroom on the second level, she stood at the railing and sang Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.
Rugs for the rich and famous
When the Aga Kahn stayed in theQueen Elizabeth II Suite, genuine Persian rugs had to be purchased for the suite. They’re still there.
Listen to what the Man Said
While in Edmonton Paul McCartney also stayed in Macdonald’s swanky Queen Elizabeth II Suite. To accommodate him a baby grand piano had to be rented and brought up to the suite on the 8th floor. No easy task. And – you heard it here first, folks – Paul McCartney likes healthy wholegrain bread.
Edmonton’s first traffic jam
Blame the Hotel Macdonald. In 1939, when King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (later known as the Queen Mother) visited the much-loved ‘Mac,’ so many well-wishers and celebrity spotters crowded below the main balcony of the hotel that Edmonton’s first traffic jam was born.
Another royal visit to Edmonton’s ‘castle’ hotel
My source, He Who Shall Remain Nameless, told me that the current queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, was very nice when she stayed at The Fairmont Macdonald and never made outrageous demands. She does, however, travel with a 5-ton truckload full of perfectly coordinated outfits – and I’d be very nice and gracious if I had a wardrobe that size, too.
About The Fairmont Macdonald
The Fairmont Macdonald is a celebrity in itself – a heritage one. Closed in 1983 and threatened with demolition, the City of Edmonton managed to designate it a Municipal Heritage Resource, which saved its skin, or at least its Indiana limestone exterior. The Mac was the first Edmonton building to receive this designation and five heritage areas are included: the hotel exterior, the Confederation Lounge, the lobby, the Wedgwood Room and the Empire Ballroom.
Reopened in 1991, Hotel MacDonald is now a 5-star Fairmont Hotels & Resorts property.
Staying at the Hotel Macdonald
Feel like a celebrity yourself with a stay at the Hotel Macdonald. Splash out and opt for one of their signature rooms, restored in a historic style. Or go all out and stay in the splashy Queen Elizabeth II Suite, a 2-level suite with a large foyer, dining room, service pantry, 2 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, and living room. (Personally, I’d just be lost without a service pantry, wouldn’t you?)
Located downtown with panoramic views of the North Saskatchewan River, the Hotel Macdonald is Edmonton’s top hotel. To reserve a room call: 1 800 257 7544 or visit their website. (My room was about $250 CAD per night, but it’s always worth checking their packages and promotions online.)
More celebrities at The Fairmont Macdonald
Who else has stayed at the Hotel Macdonald, you ask? I hate to name drop (no, I don’t) but here are a few: Brad Pitt, Jessica Biel, Bill Clinton, Justin Timberlake, Oprah Winfrey, the Rolling Stones and Gene Simmons.
Who had never slept at the Hotel Macdonald? Cher. Apparently she was booked into the hotel but ended up sleeping in her tour bus instead. Is she crazy? Why didn’t she give her suite to me?
Read more about the Fairmont Macdonald, Edmonton, and travel to Canada
Read about Smudge! Dog Days at The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald or read about an Art Gallery trip to Edmonton.
Travelling to Canada? Read this Top destinations in Canada blog post
Me, too, Sherel! Fairmont is a great hotel brand.
Fun post, Carol! Who knew so many celebrities visited Edmonton?! The Persian carpet in the Queen Elizabeth II suite is gorgeous. Glad to hear the Fairmont invests in beautiful handmade things!
Buddy The Traveling Monkey
It certainly looks like a nice hotel! And yeah, I’d have to stay in the Queen Elizabeth II Suite. Because, you know, the pantry! lol
Dailey Adventurers (@daileyadventure)
What a beautiful hotel! I have never stayed at a Fairmont before, although I’d certainly love to. It sounds like this one has plenty of stories to tell. What a fun post!
RaW | Ramble and Wander
A Fairmont is a Fairmont, you can never go wrong with one. :) I’m curious though, particular about the heritage status of the 5 areas of the hotel? Does it mean that these 5 sections have to remain as they are and any planned changes, e.g. to the Ballroom, have to be approved by the authority first?
Love all the Fairmont properties!
Obviously I need to stay there! Looks wonderful!
Impressive hotel – and I bet there would be a hell of a lot more gossip if those walls could talk! Good for you in finding these gems though!
What a fun post. Love the celebrity dish/gossip. What a place with such a wide range of guests. That’s funny that Cher did not end up sleeping in her suite :) Would love to visit the hotel at some point.
Thanks, Carla – glad I’m not the only gossip girl.
Oh, lucky you, Carol. Fairmont Banff Springs is one of my favourite hotels in the world!
I gave Mick Jagger a tiny footnote. I’m sure he deserves more. Oh, I wish I could dig up the dirt on that visit, Wendy!
Loved this post! specially the gossips hahaha. I love going on lurk-mode when wandering around luxury hotels. I may never afford them but to set foot in theirs grand lobby is a tour itself.
We stayed at Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel last month and the Fairmont chain is now my favorite hotel! We dined at Fairmont Chjateau Lake Louise, too!
You forgot to mention Mick Jagger…I heard he stayed in the Queen Elizabeth Suite too!