Royal followers book up Ottawa hotels

Ottawa hotels are filling up quickly in anticipation of the Canada Day visit of Prince William and Katherine Middleton.

Ottawa hotels are filling up quickly in anticipation of the Canada Day visit of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

David Smythe, general manager of Ottawa's Lord Elgin Hotel, said the hotel is fully booked much sooner than it normally would be for the July 1 weekend, with a visit scheduled from the royal couple. (CBC)
The royal couple, who will marry at the end of April, are coming to Canada  on their first official visit.

The Lord Elgin Hotel, located a few minutes' walk from Parliament Hill, is fully booked for the July 1 weekend.

"We've sold out much sooner than we normally would, months in advance," said hotel general manager David Smythe.

Smythe said Royal Family followers are making sure they have a reservation.

"We've had some interesting groups contact us," Smythe said. "One in particular is the Monarchist League of Canada out of Oakville, and they're sending 114 people here."

Tourism Ottawa is marketing the event. President Noel Buckley said campaigns are being launched south of the border.

"We're going to be working with the Canadian Tourism Commission to create a real digital media buzz to include Boston, from our perspective, and it will include New York City and the New England states," Buckley said. "The royals still have a pretty significant following throughout North America."

Ottawa hotels like the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and the Westin said they haven't sold out yet, but business is up 10 to 20 per cent for the royal visit.

The Fairmont Chateau Laurier, like the Westin Ottawa, hasn't sold out of rooms for the royal visit. But both report an uptick in business for that weekend. (CBC)
"In our reservations department, we saw an immediate spike," said Westin Ottawa hotel manager John Jarvis.

He said it's not only tourists who need a place to stay.

"Last year, we had the Queen here for Canada Day, and we were fortunate here to be dealing with most of the Queen's handlers and the ladies in waiting and all that staff. They had over 60 rooms here with us," Jarvis said.

Smythe said the Lord Elgin hotel would unveil a giant wedding cake on Elgin Street, and they hope the fairytale couple will drop by for a slice.

"Now I know they're busy, but you never know. Maybe they'll stop by and help us celebrate."