Reason #41 of '101 Reasons Why I Heart Edmonton'

Hotel Macdonald

By Emil Tiedemann

When a monarch, a world leader, or an international rock star happens to stroll through town, it’s usually a safe bet that they’ll be put up at the 11-storey, 199-room Fairmont Hotel Macdonald in the downtown. 

And when they do, you can be sure that they’ll be lodging in the $3000 a night Queen Elizabeth II “Royal” Suite, the grandest of them all. It is built on two levels, and includes a spacious living room and foyer, a dining room and kitchen, two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and the “royal” treatment. 

The Mac, as it has become known to locals, is as extravagant as it gets in Edmonton, a four diamond, ch√Ęteau-style luxury hotel overlooking the breathtaking river valley, along the buzzing Jasper Avenue. Named after our first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, this iconic landmark took four years to construct, opening for the first time on July 5, 1915 as “the centre of Edmonton’s social life.” 

In 1985, Hotel Macdonald became the first building in town to be designated a Municipal Heritage Resource by the City of Edmonton, saving the aging hotel from the wrecking ball. It took years and $28 million to restore the Mac, which had closed in 1983, following the Universiade Games, and finally reopened in the Spring of ‘91 with all the modern conveniences. 

If you’re ever able to save up enough cash to spend a special occasion at the Mac, do it! You’d be in some pretty esteemed company that includes Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, U2, Bill Clinton, the Rolling Stones, Justin Bieber, Cher, Justin Timberlake, KISS, and the King & Queen of England! #yegmac


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