It used to be that visitors curious about the interior of Québec City’s most iconic building could take guided tours of the hotel. No longer. But you can still take in the icon’s thoroughly modern update, with major renovations wrapping in 2014, or dine at the freshly made-over Le Champlain or two sparkling new additions, the bistro Le Sam and the wine and cheese bar, 1608. Designed as a version of a Loire Valley palace, the hotel opened in 1893 to house railroad passengers and encourage tourism. It’s visible from almost every quarter of the city, commanding its majestic position atop Cap Diamant, the rock bluff that once provided military defense.