Auberge Saint-Antoine – Québec City
When we choose destinations for our travel, we are inspired by what they offer in terms of culture, natural beauty, activities, and of course, the food. The decision on the choice of hotel or inn where we stay is as important as deciding where we go. A central location, attentive service, professional staff, and excellent dining options are the criteria we look for in a hotel, inn, or resort. Also important is the uniqueness of the property and its history; what would the walls tell us if they could talk, especially if the hotel is hundreds of years old. Many of these historic properties with their remarkable stories have been our favorites.
The stylish and intimate Auberge Saint-Antoine, nestled along the shores of the St. Lawrence River and next to Québec City’s Old Port, was the ideal location to explore Québec City, the historic Old City, and the outlying areas of town, such as Île d’Orléans, Montmorency Falls, and the Canyon Sainte-Anne. A four-diamond Relais & Chateaux property, which was beautifully restored and is privately owned by a well-known Quebec family, has received numerous awards and accolades from Travel & Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, Trip Advisor, U.S. News & World Report, Robb Report, and other publications and websites. Both the hotel and the hotel’s signature restaurant Panache are recipients of the CAA-AAA Four Diamond Award.
The property is built on one of the richest archaeological sites in Québec City and its 95 rooms and suites are housed in original structures that have been conjoined under one roof. The multi-structure facility is comprised of four original structures; three historical buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries and the wharf and battery structure from the end of the 17th century. The history of this property goes back almost 400 years to Québec’s roots and many of the artifacts from the French and British colonial regimes are on display throughout the hotel.
Our room and terrace overlooked the Old Port area where centuries ago wooden cargo ships docked as they unloaded imported goods from Europe and Asia and onloaded local furs for export that were prized throughout the world. My, how times have changed since those days. This very busy International port is now the number one destination for cruise ships and tourists clamoring to visit Québec City, so the port area is ever bustling with modern ships, visitors, and locals wanting to stroll along the waterfront. The port area is also home to the Old Port Market, which sells fresh produce in season, flowers, regional products, crafts, and of course, maple syrup from Québec.
Auberge Sainte-Antoine offers a choice in room décor as well as single rooms to luxurious suites. You may chose traditional or contemporary accommodations or step back in time with rooms that evoke a historical motif with their exposed stone walls. All rooms are beautifully appointed with luxury linens and bath towels, an exclusive line of toiletries, and my favorite, the heated bathroom floors. During your stay, don’t miss the weekly cocktail party for guests of the hotel and experience Quebecer hospitality.
We enjoyed our breakfast each morning seated by the large windows overlooking the St. Lawrence River and Old Port in Panache, the hotel’s restaurant. The rustic, yet elegant interior design of Panache, with its stone walls and wooden beams, was at one time a riverside warehouse in the 19th century. Lovingly restored, as was the rest of the hotel, Panache opened in 2004 and was named the best new restaurant in Canada.
Cozy and intimate seating creates the perfect ambiance for a special dining experience, no matter what time of day. There is bright natural light coming in from the windows, even on a rainy day. And in the evenings, as the sun sets, the glass and hanging light fixtures create a warm and inviting mood for dinner.
Our breakfast entrees were beautifully plated and presented and lunch at Panache was a real treat as we met Executive Chef Louis Pacquelin and enjoyed several seasonal specialties. His fresh interpretation of classic French Canadian Cuisine is inspired by all the wonderful local products, seafood and meats, and producers in the region, including fresh organic produce from the hotel’s own garden on Île d’Orléans.
Our stay at Auberge Saint-Antoine and in Québec City went by far too quickly. There is so much to do and see in the city and more to linger over at the hotel, such as sitting on the terrace enjoying the view of the St. Lawrence River with a glass of wine or booking a massage therapy session to relax after walking up and down the hills in the Old City. It’s the perfect location to see the city and is within walking distance to almost everything within the walled city. It is also close to the funiculaire, if you prefer to ride to the top of the hill. The oldest street in North America, Rue Petit-Champlain, filled with boutiques, art galleries, bistros, and restaurants is just minutes away.
After a full day of sightseeing, museums, and dining, returning to the hotel is a welcome retreat. Regardless of how long you plan to stay, add a day or two, there’s always more to see in this beautiful European style city.
8 rue Saint-Antoine
Québec City, Québec, Canada
For more information on Québec City, please visit this article, 72 Hours in Québec City.
Disclosure – Auberge Saint-Antoine provided a media package for our stay. We have not been compensated for this article and the opinions expressed regarding our experience are our own.
* Note – The top image and these photographs are courtesy of Auberge Saint-Antoine.
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