Itching to get up and go somewhere? Try hopping a flight to la belle province for a weekend at Auberge Saint-Antoine. Nestled among—and on top of—centuries of Canadian history, Saint-Antoine, in Quebec City’s Old Port, blurs lines between museum and hotel; with artifacts throughout the property, which is itself a historical treasure. Besides, in a city where architecture is the main attraction, it is fun to marvel just as much from your bed as you will in the street.
Home to the charming Café-Bar Artefact, where live musicians lull along as guests sip cocktails next to a 300-year-old armory, the rustic-luxe Panache, a staple in the city’s culinary scene, and a theatre you can rent out to watch films while munching on specially-made popcorn—Auberge Saint-Antoine, which is built on one of Quebec City’s richest archaeological sites, offers an experience not found elsewhere in Quebec.
The hotel is located just below the fortified city, at the foot of the hill, and offers easy access to the riverfront, ferry, charming Petit Saint-Jean, upscale furriers, galleries, artisanal shops and even the Museum of Civilisation. Vieux Quebec is accessible from the Port on-foot or by the renowned Ferniculaire, a lift that originally sent shipping contents up the cliff. Built on what was formerly part of the St. Lawrence River, Antoine’s neighbourhood was once one of the poorest in the city, with apartments renting for the price of dinner at Red Lobster; today, the Old Port is one of the most attractive areas.
Auberge Saint-Antoine consists of 83 rooms and 12 suites spread throughout three historical buildings that were erected in the late 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Situated in the heart of French Canada’s capital, a plenitude of cultural activities can be found right outside your door. Try heading for an afternoon at the Governor General’s Citadel, touring the historic Plains of Abraham, enjoying a carriage ride around the Old City, taking a day trip (in the winter) to experience the seasonal Ice Hotel after watching bold rowers canoe the icy St. Lawrence, or simply peruse the quaint shops set on narrow roads with quarter addresses.
Hailed by travel publications (too many to name) for its old world charm that blends perfectly with the new world influence—think gas fireplaces, bedside tables containing museum-quality artifacts, flat screens, arched doors that open up to private terraces—five star ratings aren’t easily achieved, with only a handful of worthy establishments in the world, but if was fit for Sir Paul McCartney, Auberge Saint-Antoine is more than fine for us.
Want to complete your French experience? After Auberge, head south and spend a night at Ritz-Carlton Montreal before boarding a flight to Saint Pierre and Miquelon, the tiny French islands, mere kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland, where you’ll pay for dinner with Euros.