Travel Photo Thursday: Classic Railroad Hotels

Travel Photo Thursday: Classic Railroad Hotels

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Many hotels today are simply boxes made of concrete, glass and steel. There’s nothing eye-catching or memorable about their architecture.

(Elliott Brown Flickr Photo)

But a few classic hotels built by railroads still welcome guests seeking lodgings with an enduring style.

Prince of Wales Exterior

The Princes of Wales Hotel sits on a high bluff overlooking Upper Waterton Lake in Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada’s province of Alberta. Like other hotels in adjacent Glacier National Park in Montana it was built by the American-owned Great Northern Railway.

Winds can blow ferociously along the mountains west of the hotel, particularly in winter when Waterton Village is only lightly populated. The hotel might fly off its foundations if it were not tied down by cables that run from the loft through the building and into the ground.

Le Chateau Frontenac 2

Le Château Frontenac, which opened its doors to guests in 1893, is no doubt the most photographed building in Quebec City, Canada. It is just one of several hotels constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is now part of the Fairmont group of hotels located around the world.

The hotel was one of the Quebec City locations where Alfred Hitchcock’s 1953 movie, I Confess, starring Montgomery Clift, Anne Baxter, and Karl Malden was filmed.

Like the Prince of Wales, Le Château Frontenac sits on a height, providing its guest with a sweeping view across the Saint Lawrence River. This year it is undergoing a “grand makeover.” It you are visiting Quebec City, but not staying at the hotel, check to see if you can take a guided tour of it. In the meantime, this video will take you on a “virtual tour” of Le Château Frontenac.

While its exterior is remarkable, it’s the inside of the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park that makes visitors stop in its lobby and stare upward, opened mouthed.

Above the Lobby - Old Faithful Inn

Its four stories of balconies made of timbers might lead you to believe that it was erected from a giant-sized version of the Lincoln Logs toy kits. It was built from 1903-1904 by the Northern Pacific Railroad’s Yellowstone Park Association company, and then “remodeled” over the years.

(Click on an image to enlarge to full-size. Visit Budget Travelers Sandbox for more of this week’s Travel Photo Thursday shots.)

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8 Replies to “Travel Photo Thursday: Classic Railroad Hotels”

  1. Last year I enjoyed a meal with a view at the Prince of Wales Hotel. I love it’s location but I keep hearing that the rooms need updating. I’m just back from Quebec City too and admired the Chateau Frontenac from a distance.

  2. These hotels are so gorgeous. I was lucky enough to be a regular guest the Chateau Frontenac when I worked in corporate Canada. I loved everything about the hotel! Thanks for linking up this week!

  3. These are the most beautiful hotels. I have seen the one in Quebec and read recently about the cost of replacing it’s copper roofs. I love the turrets of the Prince of Wales.

  4. I didn’t realize that the Frontenac and the Old Faithful Inn were railroad hotels. Both of these have been on my To Stay list for a long time. I actually made reservations at the Old Faithful Inn a year in advance but had to cancel them when we moved to Malaysia. I’ve got it on my To Do list to make reservations this summer for a 2015 visit.

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