“Mrs. Maxfield, I received word that you wanted to speak with me!”
I spun around to see Mr. Robert Famjoy, the front desk manager of the renowned Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, at the screen door to my cabin, after I what I surmise was his brisk, ten minute, cross-resort jaunt from the Fairmont Front Desk.
Nonplussed, I expected a call back, not a personal visit. His congeniality, his ever-present smile, his determination that whatever I wanted would soon be at my command, made my 15-day visit to the Canadian Rockies, and specifically, the sumptuous four days at Jasper Park Lodge, all the more, one for the made-in-heaven memory books.
Perchance, if this is what he does for me, can one only image what he and his well-trained staff, in the art of pluperfect service, will do over the course of a wedding weekend for the bride, the groom, the parent’s, in-laws, relatives, bridal party, and friends?
Now that Mr. Famjoy is at my door step, I enlist his encyclopedic knowledge of the history of this world class Canadian Rockies resort. My queries were focused on the bridal who, what, when where, and the possible role this immensely popular international destination could play in an out-of-this world destination wedding.
As I write this blog, I found I am not alone in my exuberance. Today, the storied editors of the New York Times Travel section gives a thumbs-up to JPL’s home, Alberta, Canada, and its unique winter event. In its NY Times Style Magazine, readers are further persuaded to capture the pleasures of the Canadian Rockies with a visit to Baniff National Park, home of Jasper’ sister cities, Lake Louise and Baniff.
Who’s Who at JPL?
Celebs?! Who all has graced these hollowed grounds since the 1922? A social media mogul and friends from Silicon valley flew in for the nearly week-long wedding festivities in early autumn. Networking, personal and corporate, was constantly in the air. The identities of the couple, their ceremony and reception at Jasper Park Lodge were, naturally, a well-kept secret. However, it was divined from a young waitress on the terrace who mentioned in very hushed tones “the big wedding & Silicon Valley.”
Hmm. Who else? Like Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part I, Mr. Famjoy realizes that Discretion is the better part of valor and his lips are sealed for a litany of recent high profile personalities that have married, honeymooned, skied, snowboarded, golfed, relaxed and entertained themselves and others at this pristine resort.
He offers memorable Americans of the past: the Kennedys, Rockerfellers, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, Bing Crosby and famed others.
Could this be the “Happy ever-aftering” from the famous Broadway play, Camelot? Jackie O was quoted as saying this was Jack’s favorite song, which started the Camelot-era.
Jasper Park Lodge, a book on the resort that I picked up in the gift shop, further chronicles its visitors as famous film stars, heads of state, politicians, sports stars as well as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who penned the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and whose photo graces the wall next to Mr. Famjoy, who has begun to answer my next question. Tell me about those two magnificent cabins… He leads the way.
Within googling distance is Point Cabin, a 5,000 square foot, five bedroom luxurious retreat with private views of Windex-blue Lac Beauvert, towering pines, foot paths, and an occasional meandering Elk.
A stand-out in a series of stand-out accommodations, Point Cabin’s decor is in the high-style of an English Hunting Lodge with a Great Room and stone fireplace. Holiday Inn it is not! Vintage exterior, circa 1925. Charming in the autumn; dazzling in the white winter!
On the far side of this splendid cabin, is Outlook Cabin, known in Sovereign circles and bridal parties as, The Royalty Retreat.
With a conservatory, enclosed verandah, two fireplaces, two dining rooms, a Great Room, and a grand terrace with midnight light shows of the Milky Way and a possible sighting of the Aurora Borealis. It is fit for a Queen and King. Bride and Groom. More? Modern conveniences, at every turn. One of the remaining original nine buildings, it is continually updated and reflects a Tribeca or Beverly Hill sensibility of a modern kitchen, bath etc. Balmoral (the Queen’s Summer Home in Scotland) eat your heart out! You get my drift.
The JPL guest registry would also reveal that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip of England prefer to stay there at Outlook Cabin. Her majesty’s travel planners understand that Jasper Park Lodge is a must-stay. What’s on your itinerary?
Having gotten the formalities aside, I ask Mr. Fomjoy, Now, that we have a Royal Honeymoon Cabin for the bride and groom, is there ample availability of Signature Luxury Cabins for the entire wedding party. I am driving the question because I can immediately imagine a splendid wedding weekend set-up: Outlook Cabin for the bride and groom; Point Cabin for their immediate wedding party; and…
Mr. Famjoy interrupts my train of thought to say, “We have smaller cabins for the in-laws, close family, as well as well-appointed guest rooms for all the friends and family.”
EEK! Two Elks stand within a few yards of us. Big-bodied Elk are grazing along there path through the pines with splendid vistas of sparking lake waters and geese landing and taking off in magnificent formation. I’ve seen some big white tail deer in south Texas; however, the Elks are big, beautiful and, alas, formidable.
Mr. Famjoy now has a twinkle in his eye; he advises on what to do if I run into an Elk unexpectedly while playing golf on Jasper Park’s course, rated #1 in Canada: Raise two clubs high in the air like you have antlers, and the Elk will think you are bigger and will go away!”
I immediately extrapolate and visualize the many JPL guests of honor: Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth, Sir Doyle and that illusive Silicon Valley Mogul lifting high their clubs to let their intruder-guest Elk on a little secret: they may appear bigger, they may be known by millions on sight, but they all have the incredible good luck to spend one enchanting evening, or possibly a honeymoon at a place that we romantically call, Camelot.
Next stop: A mountain high wedding above Lake Louise Canadian Rockies!