It is best known for the Chateau Montebello, a resort which is the largest log structure ever built and often serves as a conference center for the Canadian government and its guests. Among other things, it has hosted several NATO conferences, a Canada/US/Mexico summit, and a G7 Summit.
The town also hosts Canada's largest rock festival, the annual Amnesia Rockfest.
Montebello is about 1.5 hours west of Montreal, and about an hour east of Ottawa. Whether you drive form Ottawa or Montreal, you can be sure that you are going to take a beautiful drive. The countryside is a mixture of farmland and forest, fairly flat along the Ottawa River but with the Gatineau Hills nearby. It is pretty anytime and sensational in autumn when the trees change colour.
The town is small enough to be easily walkable.
- Manoir Papineau National Historic Site. A manor house built by a prominent Quebec family in the early 19th century, on the estate where the Chateau Montebello was later built.
The hotel has a golf course. It also rents out Land Rovers for off-road adventures.
Like any 5-star hotel, the Chateau has several fine restaurants. Sunday brunch ($47+tax, reservation required) in the main restaurant is reportedly excellent.
- Chateau Montebello, toll-free: +1-800-257-7544. Built in the 1930s by a Swiss-American using a Finnish builder. Now part of the Fairmont chain.