Travel

Old Quebec

Establishment neighborhood
Hotel 71
71 Rue Saint-Pierre, Old Quebec
Just minutes from the Old Port, Hotel 71 makes a great base for those looking to explore both the Upper Town and Lower Town of Old Quebec. Once the headquarters for the National Bank of Canada, the nineteenth-century Neoclassical building takes a fast-forward inside to the twenty-first century, with ultrasleek design elements and a socially conscious art collection. Each of the sixty neutral-toned rooms features soaring ceilings and big windows that capture views of the St. Lawrence River and Cap Diamant.
Le Monastère des Augustines
77 Rue des Remparts, Old Quebec
A boutique hotel in a restored cloister, Monastère des Augustines is operated by the Augustinian nuns, who run hospitals throughout the Quebec region. Accented with Hudson Bay blankets and antiques such as racks for nun’s habits, the sixty-four rooms are a tribute to the order’s legacy, offering placid views of an herbal garden and a hushed simplicity that cultivates contemplation. Meditation, concerts, and yoga and qigong classes make up the programming, and an intriguing museum exhibits medical tools and artifacts.
Auberge Saint-Antoine
8 Rue Saint Antoine, Old Quebec
Once a wharf and artillery battery, the Auberge Saint-Antoine—a trio of stone-and-brick buildings with copper roofs—has a way of being simultaneously regal and down-to-earth. Swathed in soft velvet fabrics and with goose-down duvets on the beds, each of the ninety-nine rooms has its own character, resembling something of an art gallery or an archaeological museum due to a treasure trove of restored artifacts displayed everywhere. The hotel’s bar is a haven for Quebec City’s sophisticated former hipsters and is known for its signature gin and tonic, done with herbs, juniper berries, grapefruit, and cucumber.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
1 rue des Carrières, Old Quebec
The fabled château—perched atop a rocky promontory above the St. Lawrence River—is just as much a symbol of Quebec City as a landmark of distinction. Built in the 1900s for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the 611-room hotel has retained and restored many of its original features (crown moldings, wooden paneling, and stenciled ceilings), while a recent $75 million renovation added an up-to-date edge in a seamless blend of old-meets-new.
Bistro Le Sam
1 Rue des Carrières, Old Quebec
Within the historic hotel Château Frontenac, Le Sam is named for Samuel de Champlain, who founded Quebec City in 1608. At a place where the views over the St. Lawrence river are this good, the food might as well be an afterthought, but the hearty, simply-prepared seafood-focused dishes here are spot-on. Go for the classics, like the Atlantic halibut fish and chips or the lobster salad, served with crunchy veggies and a blackcurrant vinaigrette.
Unusual Passages
Old Quebec
From June to October every year, one of the city’s largest public art events takes place in Old Quebec. It’s a series of self-guided pathways that are flanked by various weird and wonderful installations like the eye-catching Happy Castaways by Demers-Mesnard—a replica of an island inhabited by a band of dancing, turquoise sculptures of deer, bears, kangaroo, and other wild critters (we told you it was weird). Installations change every year, so there’s reason to return, even if you’ve seen it before.
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