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Famous Couples Past & Present Find Amour at Fairmont

Fairmont is “the” place for special occasions, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. Whether it’s for a full blown wedding, secluded honeymoon or simple romantic getaway, Fairmont offers a distinctive mix of experiences that promise to be memorable, and we’re not the only ones who think so! Well-known celebrities, actors, musicians, and more have been wining and dining at Fairmont hotels for decades, making Fairmont the preferred locale for a romantic rendezvous.

Star Struck

Wedding and honeymoons are classic at Fairmont. Elizabeth Taylor spent part of her first honeymoon at The Savoy with bridegroom Nicky Hilton, while Liz and Richard Burton chose Boston’s The Fairmont Copley Plaza for their second honeymoon. Lana Turner and Lex Barker were married at The Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, and returned to spend their fifth anniversary in a tenth floor suite. Jeffrey Hayden and Oscar-winning actress Eva Marie Saint celebrated their 50th anniversary at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, where they visited wineries and relaxed in the spa.

Of course, Fairmont properties are also known to provide engaging backdrops for all sorts of romantic encounters. Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks "held hands everywhere they went" according to a letter home from one of the summer staff at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Story also has it that they had a special table reserved in a corner of the Lakeview Lounge. Vivien Leigh was first introduced to Laurence Olivier in the Savoy Grill, which is also where composer Ivor Novello saw dancer Isadora Duncan before he immediately ran to a nearby flower seller and bought armfuls of blooms to scatter at her feet. It was in The Savoy's beautiful Lancaster Ballroom that Hugh Grant proposed to Julia Roberts in the film Notting Hill, while John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famous “Bed-In for Peace” on May 26 – June 2, 1969 took place at Montreal’s beloved “Queen E” – Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. In Hamburg, opera siren Maria Callas chose the luxurious Fairmont Vier Jahreszeiten, for her visits with glamorous beau Aristotle Onassis.

Marilyn Monroe has had a few brushes with Fairmont, and in August 1953 she stayed at The Fairmont Banff Springs to film the movie – The River of No Return. During her visit, her love interest Joe DiMaggio, who had since retired from his New York Yankees fame, stayed with her in the hotel. DiMaggio was notorious for not wanting to be photographed, but it was during their sojourn that some of the only “official” photographs of the couple together were taken in one of the hotel’s suites with the Bow River and Fairholme Mountain range as a backdrop.

The Plaza in New York is famous for attracting decades of Hollywood royalty, but one of its more glamorous moments came when it hosted the wedding of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones. In 2004, Fairmont Chateau Whistler was witness to an impromptu concert from Seal after he had proposed to the beautiful Heidi Klum on a nearby glacier. At The Fairmont Banff Springs, figure skating champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier, famous for receiving gold medals at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, wed in the resort's grand Mount Stephen Hall, while fellow ice skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi said 'I Do' to hockey player husband Brett Hedican at Hawaii’s The Fairmont Orchid.

A Royal Match

Fairmont has long been a favorite of royal couples as well as Hollywood celebrities. The British Royal family in particular has a storied history with the brand’s hotels. In 1939, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, toured Canada, stopping by The Fairmont Palliser, Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Empress and The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Before becoming Queen, the couple’s daughter, then Princess Elizabeth, was first seen with future husband Lt. Philip Mountbatten in public at a reception at The Savoy in London. In Toronto, The Fairmont Royal York is the official residence of Queen Elizabeth II and husband Prince Philip when they’re in town. The luxurious Outlook Cabin at Alberta’s Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge hosted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in 2005, as well as her parents King George VI & Queen Elizabeth on their visit in 1939. More recently, Kate Middleton, the current Duchess of Cambridge, first caught Prince William’s eye during a 2001 fashion show at Fairmont St Andrews in Scotland.

But, Fairmont hosts more than just British royalty. The landmark Fairmont Royal York has hosted several royal couples since it opened in 1929, including King Juan Carlos & Queen Sofia of Spain. During their stay at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan left behind most of their extensive security detail when they took an early morning stroll around the lake. The couple stayed out longer than anticipated, enjoying the relative privacy, chatting to each other, enjoying the view and taking photos. Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco stayed at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac during their presidency of the Queen's Ball at the Quebec Winter Carnival in February 1969, and were also special guests of the Seigneury Club at Fairmont Le Château Montebello in 1967.

Speaking of glamorous Monegasque royalty, the destiny of the Grimaldi family and the Fairmont Monte Carlo has often met. The Princes’ family has chosen the Fairmont Monte Carlo’s Private Dining for multiple important historical receptions: in 1997, for the celebration of 700 years of the Grimaldi reign; in 1999 to celebrate Prince Rainier III’s 50 years of reign; and in 2005 for the accession of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco. In 2011, the hotel, along with chefs from Fairmont Zimbali Resort in South Africa, catered the cocktail reception for the royal wedding of Prince Albert and Miss Charlene Wittstock to honor the home countries of the bride & groom.
Future brides and grooms interested in more information on weddings at Fairmont can visit Fairmont Weddings online. For a look at real Fairmont weddings as well as tips, tricks and ideas from Fairmont’s wedding experts, visit the brand’s social media site Everyone’s An Original.

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