With an incredible number of hotels set in parks, preserves and on lakes, rivers and oceans around the world, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is uniquely positioned to offer travellers the opportunity to track bears of every colour and stripe. Whether it’s spotting a grizzly on a golf course in Whistler or seeking out black bears in the woods of Quebec, Fairmont hotels in Canada offer guests a unique look at these loveable creatures.
Fairmont’s three properties in the Canadian Rockies are in the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site , two Canadian National Parks and offer some of the best wildlife viewing in North America. The trip from The Fairmont Banff Springs and Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to The Fairmont Jasper Park along the legendary Icefields Parkway is known as one of the greatest drives on Earth. It also allows for plenty of wildlife viewing, with the possibility of spying grizzly and black bears.
For guests who want a closer look, the hotels can arrange a visit to the Grizzly Bear refuge at Kicking Horse Resort, home to resident orphaned grizzly, Boo.
In British Columbia, bear sightings are a daily occurrence in the summer and Autumn seasons at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Guests enjoying an afternoon at the Golf Club are often pleasantly surprised to see bears come right onto the green and “join” in their game (while keeping a safe distance of course!). Nature-loving guests can try a Bear Viewing Tour with local black bear researchers on a 4X4 tour through the Whistler & Blackcomb Mountains.
In the woods of Quebec, Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello guest can visit Parc Omega to look for the animals that populate the forest, including the elusive black bear. From May to September guests at neighbouring Fairmont Kenauk can go on a bear watching excursion through Souvenirs Sauvages, while visitors to Fairmont Tremblant can wander through Mont-Tremblant Park looking for the shy animals. Further north, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu offers paddling through a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which houses black bears and more. Domaine Le Pic Bois is located 30 km from the resort and offers black bear observation excursions where guests are invited to learn about the bear’s natural habitat and its behavioural patterns. From an observation tower guests have the opportunity to observe and take pictures of the animals from a 20-metre distance.
Manitoba is well known for its polar bear population and Fairmont Winnipeg is supporting efforts to save this threatened species with a unique initiative. Through the group Polar Bears International, the hotel has sponsored a polar bear, lovingly named Atka, who guests can track online at www.polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears/maps-and-trackers/bear-tracker. Periodically the hotel will setup a TV in the lobby that will have the bear tracker website loaded for guests to check in on Atka and her two cubs.
Contributor: Alexandra Pinhorn
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