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Fairmont Hotels in Canada are putting a spin on the classic tradition.

By Alison Fox
December 17, 2020
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Few things are as synonymous with the holiday season as a Yule Log video, a cracking virtual fireplace perfect for bringing festive ambiance to even the smallest apartments. 

And this year, Canada’s Fairmont Hotels are putting a modern spin on it, welcoming viewers into three spaces decked out for the holidays — with the addition of some fun guests.

The Yule Log Fireside video series, an initiative by Destination Canada, posted to YouTube, brings travelers into the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, the Fairmont Le Château Montebello in Quebec, and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montréal in three-hour videos.

In Montreal, the calming fire is spiced up when Canada’s Drag Race star Rita Baga begins sprucing up the Christmas tree decorations and dancing to an instrumental rendition of Jingle Bells. The (masked) star delights with some air guitar to finish off the song before the crackling sound of the fire against the logs replaces the tune.

Fairmont Montreal
Credit: Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels

In Vancouver, a pair of trees decked out in blue and gold flank the fireplace, exquisitely wrapped packages piled neatly underneath, before a chef comes out and serves up a cup of mulled wine with cinnamon sticks and star anise.

Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver
Credit: Courtesy of Fairmont Hotels

And in Montebello, Quebec, someone stokes the enormous multi-sided fireplace while hotel guests stroll around before a yoga instructor unfurls a mat and starts to stretch, posing in downward dog and warrior, before rolling her mat back up.

While Americans can’t exactly travel to Canada right now (the land border remains closed through at least Jan. 21), they can experience the best of Canadian cities like Montreal right from their computers. In addition to the cozy fireside video, get a taste of the French Canadian city through its music with live streams from the Montreal Symphonic Orchestra, or browse collections at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with free virtual tours.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.