Entries in ‘Canada’ Journal

Hotel in La Malbaie, Charlevoix Quebec

Friday December 12, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

Looking for relaxation and good food in the Charlevoix region of Quebec? I recently discovered Auberge des 3 Canards in La Malbaie, Canada. The inn has a unique history, dating back to 1892, with a United States connection.

Auberge des 3 Canards, Quebec, Canada

Auberge des 3 Canards photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

In 1892, Madam Lucy Connnely, the widow of a Maryland industrialist, bought land in Murray Bay with plans to build a summer home. After her passing, the Baltimore architect who designed the home bought it. Upon his death and after his daughter’s ownership, three doctors purchase the inn, thus the three ducks (or 3 Docs) reference.

Today, the inn continues operation with 40 rooms, eight suites and one guest cottage. As is the case with older properties, there are pluses and minuses at the Auberge. If you are a light sleeper, you might prefer the third floor, as upstairs neighbors movements on the wood floor boards is apparent. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that the Auberge does not have an elevator on site. You’ll be lugging your baggage upstairs.

Auberge des 3 Canards, La Malbaie, hotel

Fireplace room. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

Fireplace room

I stayed in room #130, a gas fireplace queen room with a St. Lawrence River view and a firm mattress ($155 Canadian dollars). The four star property offers rooms with private balconies or patios, a seasonal swimming pool and lovely golf course nearby. For those who enjoy horseback riding on the beach, or sleigh rides in the snow, Les Ecuries Entre Monts et Marees is minutes away.

Auberge des 3 Canards, scallops, restaurant

Scallops and regional specialties. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

Auberge des 3 Canards

The Auberge connection to quality food and regional cuisine is apparent at first glance on the five course menu. With fresh fish, scallops, grilled Quebec red deer and goat sweet breads on the menu, I was over-whelmed with choices – in a good way! The soupe aux gourganes, a regional specialty of Quebec, was a treat, as was the sugar pie with frozen yogurt and milk jam. You won’t be hungry after this meal, but if you are in need of a snack, I highly recommend the Quebec and Charlevoix cheese plate featuring regional cheeses sourced from Flavor Trail producers.

Auberge des 3 Canards, fireplace, Quebec, Canada

Toast bread in the hearth. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

Insider tip

Breakfast is not included with the price of a room, but is available for a reasonable $17. Canadian and includes coffee, fresh juice and six hot breakfast items from goat cheese omelette to maple butter crepes and a selection of meats, cheeses and yogurt.

The toast buffet caught my attention. The chef offers three different home-baked breads, in addition to three house made butters. Guests slice their bread selection to a desired thickness and then set the bread over the fireplace grill. Try and wait until the butter melts to enjoy this yeasty goodness!

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown.

Auberge des 3 Canards, hotel, Quebec, Canada

Fireplace lobby. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 

If You Go:

Auberge des 3 Canards 418 665-3761 or 800 461-3761
115, Côte Bellevue
La Malbaie ( Pointe-au-Pic ) Quebec, Canada
G5A 1Y2
Article written by and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Tourism Quebec. All opinions are my own.
You might also like Things to Do in the Charlevoix region of Canada

Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Canada

Wednesday December 3, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 0 Comments

Winter, spring, summer, fall, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu has it all. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. My visit to this castle on the cliff was timed to coincide with the leaves changing color in the Charlevoix region of Québec. I would have been just as happy to explore this grand hotel in the winter.
 

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, hotel, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

Hotel Review: Fairmont le Manoir Richelieu. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 


 
 

spa, Fairmont le Manoir Richelieu, Quebec, Canada

Spa Suite with St. Lawrence River view. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
Imagine climbing into your in-suite hot tub after a day of skiing or snowmobiling – there’s also an Amerispa on property, as well as a health club. Le Manoir Richelieu is the only Canadian luxury resort hotel that I know of offering indoor, heated underground parking to snowmobiles! Additionally, the chateau offers a free ski shuttle and 110 miles of trails for snowshoeing, making the Fairmont Richelieu one of Conde Nast Travelers top 20 picks for best ski resorts.
 
Fairmont le Manoir Richelieu, Quebec, Canada

Jacuzzi suite with water view. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown

 
My room, a king bed, with St. Lawrence River view Jacuzzi suite, rented for $299. Canadian – check the website for current pricing and package deals. There is a $13.95 daily resort fee that covers high speed internet and access to indoor and outdoor swimming pools and such. Amenities include air-conditioning, free wifi (if you are a Fairmont President’s Club member -free to sign up) bathrobes, cable tv & coffee maker.
 

Fairmont le Manoir Richelieu, pool, Quebec, Canada

Outdoor swimming pool. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
pool, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Quebec, Canada

Indoor swimming pool. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is also ecoconscious, earning green keys awarded by the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, a system recognizing the hotel’s commitment to energy, water and waste conservation, while participating in community outreach and environmental stewardship.

Unlike properties that are LEED certified and built from the ground up with strict adherence to eco-friendly regulations, it’s not easy being green when you opened as a Manor in 1899. The historic property, originally built for Americans traveling by sea, was completely destroyed by fire in 1928, yet like the phoenix rising from the ashes, the hotel was rebuilt and re-opened in 1929. Since then, the 405 room luxury resort has added on with an eye toward conservation, while maintaining the charming elegance of a countryside manor house.

And what countryside manor would be complete without a dog to welcome guests to the property? The Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is pet-friendly. Whether you are traveling with your own dog or you simply like pets, stop by and say bonjour to Jordy, Richelieu’s canine ambassador. The other ambassador at Le Manoir Richelieu is the Beluga whale mascot. Perle is available, with advance notice, to tuck your little one into bed at night.
 

Chef's Table, Fairmont le Manoir Richelieu, Quebec, Canada

Reserve an evening at the Chef’s Table. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

Insider tip

Foodies will love exploring Charlevoix’s Flavor Trail, as well as the hotel’s many restaurants with seasonally changing menus. My insider tip, reserve an evening at the Chef’s Table. Seventy five percent of products used on the menu come from local producers within a 50k radius. Priced at $85. Canadian for a four-course meal ($135. when paired with wine) guests are treated to dinner with Fairmont Chef Patrick Turcot. Or select the Farm to Table 2-night package. For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer @NancyDBrown on Twitter and @FairmontManoir @FairmontHotels.
 

cannon, Fairmont Manoir Richelieu, Quebec, Canada

Enjoy this castle on the cliff. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 
If You Go:

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu 1 418 665 3703 or (866) 540-4464
181, rue Richelieu
La Malbaie Québec, Canada G5A 1X7
 

You might also like
Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, Québec, Canada
 

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Thanks to Québec Tourism and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu for arranging my accomomdations. All opinions are my own.

Charlevoix, Canada: Things to Do

Friday November 21, 2014 at 7:07 AM | 1 Comment

Are you visiting Charlevoix for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in the Charlevoix region of Quebec, Canada. Situated within a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, the Charlevoix region is a unique nature area including parts of the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River and the Laurentian Mountains region of the Canadian Shield.
 

"Baie Saint Paul", Quebec, Canada

Charming town of Baie-Saint-Paul. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown


 

When I have a visitor from out of the region, the first place they want to see is the town of Baie-Saint-Paul, but I also take them to Isle-aux-Coudres – for a more local, authentic experience. With only 7,500 people, Baie-Saint-Paul is the cultural capital of Charlevoix.
 

When I want to escape the crowds and tourists, my favorite place to visit is the little village of Port-au-Persil.

If this is a romantic trip, I recommend the Bay of Baie-Saint-Paul for kissing with a view.
 

"Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu", Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

Take a walk along Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu’s trail. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 

The best place to walk the dog is the solar system 3Km trail by the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.

Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit the Alpaga farm or the maritime museum where kids can climb on boats.
 

 
Charlevoix regional cuisine

If you are looking for typical Quebec cuisine in the region of Charlevoix, I recommend Le Mouton Noir. For an authentic farm to table experience, be sure to tour the Baie-Saint-Paul Flavor Trail. With over 40 local growers, producers and restaurateurs opening their doors to visitors, you will have your fill of breads, ciders, beers, cheeses, foie gras and chocolate!

The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Le Pain d’exclamation in La Malbaie.

Looking for affordable food in Baie-Saint-Paul? Go to the restaurant within the microbrewery, le Saint-Pub.

Les Labours in the hotel La Ferme (Baie-Saint-Paul) is the spot for late night dining.
 

veal "Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu"

Prosciutto wrapped veal, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. If you truly want a one-of-a-kind experience, try the Chef’s Table for a day with the Chef on the Flavor Trail and a private dinner in the Castle on the Cliff!

Seeing a lot of beluga whales? Baie-Sainte-Catherine is best known for whale watching.

When you come to Charlevoix, get your picture taken on a boat with AML or Dufour during a whale watching excursion.

The best vantage points are taken by walking to the top of Acropole des Draveurs in the National Park Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie.

Le Massif de Charlevoix offers great views and the “Chalet” at the summit of the ski hills is the best place to watch or experience music shows and competitions in the winter time.

In the Charlevoix region, outdoor lovers will want to hike the Acropole des Draveurs, bike on Isle-aux-Coudres (23 km island) or in the big hills of the region. Travelers may also horseback ride on the beach of Saint-Irénée or walk in Les Grands-Jardins.

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the trails of the Les Palissades de Charlevoix.

After a day of adventure, Hôtel La Ferme is the best place to go for a spa treatment.
 

"Hotel La Ferme" spa

I could have spent my entire day in Baie-Saint-Paul here. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
If you are a museum lover, the best museums are Musée de Charlevoix or the Contemporary Art Museum in Baie-Saint-Paul.

Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at l’hôtel La Ferme during the weekends for live music.

The Hebdo Charlevoisien will keep you posted on what’s happening in Charlevoix, but unless you read French you are out of luck!
 

"Le Train Massif de Charlevoix"

Le Train Massif de Charlevoix. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.

 
Charlevoix seasonal activities

In the spring you should attend Les Grands prix cyclistes de Charlevoix  – bike competitions for the non-French speakers.

In the summer or fall, take a two hour trip with Le Massif train  – meals are served on board and it’s a great way to explore the scenery.

Did you know that Baie-Saint-Paul is known for the arts? Plan a visit to watch the painting Festival called Rêves d’automne (Dreams of Fall) in the fall.

Come to Le Massif in the winter for skiing or sledding.

 

"Jacques Boisvert ", "Baie Saint Paul"

Jacques Boisvert paints Baie Saint Paul. Photo © 2014 Nancy D. Brown.


 
Insider Tip: Check out the often over-looked beach of Saint-Irénée.

Just outside of La Malbaie you can visit La Maison du Bootlegger and have lunch there, too.

Have you traveled to Quebec, Canada? What are your favorite things to do in the region of Charlevoix?

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @Nancydbrown, follow @tourismQuebec on Twitter and if you speak French @gocharlevoix.

If You Go:

Charlevoix Tourism

495, de Comporté Boulevard
La Malbaie (Québec) Canada G5A 3G3
 

Article written by, video and photos courtesy of Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Quebec Tourism. All opinions from my visit to Charlevoix are my own.