The Queen Elizabeth Hotel (French: Le Reine Élizabeth; official English name Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth) is a grand hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. From June 17, 2016 to June 10, 2017, the hotel was closed for a series of year-long, 0M CAD renovations.
Completed in 1958, the hotel was built by the Canadian National Railway and managed for many years by Hilton Hotels. CN Hotels were later sold to Canadian Pacific Hotels, which is now known as Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. With 1039 rooms and 21 floors it is the largest hotel in the province of Quebec, and the second largest Fairmont hotel in Canada after the Royal York in Toronto, which has 1365 rooms. Located at 900 René Lévesque Boulevard West, in the heart of Downtown Montreal, it is connected to Central Station and to the underground city.
Canadian National Railway selected leading architects and designers to give the interior decoration a "New France" theme, using Quebec handicrafts. The artists included Albert Edward Cloutier (carved wooden panels), Jean Dallaire (wall hanging), Marius Plamondon (stained glass mural), Claude Vermette (ceramic tiles) and Julien Hébert (bronze elevator doors). Cloutier painted a mural for the main dining room of the Salle Bonaventure in the hotel.
There was controversy over naming the hotel: Quebec nationalists wanted it called Château Maisonneuve in honour of Montreal's founder, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve. CN's president, Donald Gordon, insisted it be named for the queen, who had unexpectedly come to the throne in 1952 while the hotel was still on the drawing board. The French name, Le Reine Élizabeth, may appear startling because of the use of the masculine article le. The article does not apply to the feminine noun Reine but to the understood masculine noun Hôtel (as in Le Ritz).
Many famous guests have stayed there, including Queen Elizabeth II (four times) and the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Prince Charles, Fidel Castro, who was the first head of state to visit the hotel, Charles de Gaulle, and Princess Grace of Monaco, during Expo '67, Indira Gandhi, Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Sadiq Raji, Mikhail Gorbachev, Jimmy Carter, Henry Kissinger, Perry Como, Joan Crawford, John Travolta, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and George W. Bush.
The hotel reached worldwide fame when John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who had been refused entry into the United States, conducted their Bed-In in Room 1742 at the hotel between May 26 and June 2, 1969. "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded in this room on June 1 by André Perry. This song is the first solo single issued by Lennon, and became an anthem of the American anti-war movement during the 1970s. It peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the British singles chart.
The NHL Entry Draft was also held at the hotel ten times between 1963 and 1979.
In 1970, the Quebec government moved its centre of operations into the Queen Elizabeth in the midst of the October Crisis.
In 2016, the hotel closed its doors for renovations and reopened on July 10, 2017.
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