John Lennon and Yoko Ono 'Bed In' for Peace Montreal 1969
It is rare indeed, for a hotel to be celebrated internationally, but even rarer for it to attain a world-class reputation right from the beginning. From the moment this luxury hotel in Montreal opened its doors in 1958, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has welcomed queens, princes and princesses, heads of state and international business leaders.
Political dignitaries include the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Charles, General Charles de Gaulle, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India, Zhao Ziyang of China, His Highness Felipe of Spain, Jacques Chirac, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Mikhail Gorbachev, President Jimmy Carter and Henry Kissinger. The celebrity guest list covers Perry Como, Harry Belafonte, Joan Crawford, John Travolta, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Louis Malle and, perhaps most famous of all, John Lennon, who held his famous 'bed-in' in 1969 in Suite 1742, where the song Give Peace a Chance was written and recorded.
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal was chosen as the headquarters for the 1976 International Olympic Games, and, during Expo '67, fifty of the sixty visiting heads of state stayed in its luxurious suites.
This is the suite that gives a whole new meaning to the phrase lie-in. After they'd been in the Amsterdam Hilton staying in bed for a week (to misquote Lennon) John and Yoko moved to this room in Montreal and had all the furniture moved out into the hall apart from the bed in which they set up camp. The management would prefer you left the furniture alone these days although they pay homage with framed black and white prints of John and Yoko above suite 1742's new four poster bed. The hotel still has the couple's original room service order so if you want to eat like The Lennons, order poached fillet of sole, salad and scrambled eggs. They also asked for a cage big enough for a white rat, although nobody seems quite sure why. The hotel offers a 'Give Peace a Chance' package which includes a CD of Lennon lyrics, pyjamas and white flowers - at a celebrity price of course.