Guest Author - Rachel Rome
Le Chateau Bonne Entente, A Luxury Resort Hotel & Spa, delighted me during a winter visit to Quebec City. You don’t have to travel to Baden-Baden or Biarritz for a luxury resort hotel with a world-class spa. Just head to Quebec City, Canada to pamper you with a spa treat at the exclusive Le Chateau Bonne Entente, a five-star resort hotel and spa.
Amerispa, the Canadian leader in the luxury spa industry, pampers guests at the elegant, contemporary 5,800 square-foot Le Chateau Bonne Entente spa. Twenty-two rooms are available for massage—including relaxation, aromatherapy, sports and four hands. My favorite massage is the four hands option. Other popular treatments include the maple-sugar body scrub and algae, mud or clay wrap. Facials, manicures and pedicures are offered, too. Maple-leaf exfoliation restores smoothness and elasticity to the skin. Basalt stones, from streams lining volcanic areas in California, are used for another signature treatment. End a spa treatment by relaxing in the outdoor hot tub or swimming pool.
Kudos to award-winning chef Marie-Chantel Lepage whose the kitchen staff turns out culinary masterpieces for both hotel restaurants. If the weather is nice, the outdoor Napa Grill, featuring California-type cuisine, is a good choice. You’ll feel more like you’re in Tahiti than Canada while sitting beneath an umbrella table next to the swimming pool, surrounded by lush exotic greenery. The indoor Monte Cristo Resto Lounge, where guests enjoy nouvelle cuisine with a French accent and an international wine list, has a trendy continental ambience. On the desert menu, try vanilla crème Brule, the best I’ve ever tasted.
It’s only 15 minutes from the Quebec airport and 20 minutes from downtown Quebec City and eighter a hotel shuttle or taxi can take you there. A recent $10,000,000 renovation and expansion increased rooms 120 guest rooms, 45 suites and 15 meeting rooms. Another $6,000,000 project in 2005 added Urbania, 28 luxury suites with private VIP lounge. Guests staying in this glamorous new wing receive a glass of champagne while registering.
A modern fitness center and sauna, spa and year-round hot tub (plus Fun Club playground for children) make Le Chateau Bonne Entente a relaxing destination.
Quebec City, at 401 years of age, began as a fur-trading post. Now, it's a world-class city and Quebec’s provincial capital, easy and fun to learn about on a bus tour or on-your-own walking expedition. Although French is the official language, most of the locals speak English.
Other nearby activities include kayaking, horseback riding, downhill and cross-country skiing and skydiving. Golf is a major attraction at the nearby 18-hole La Tempete course, with exclusive access for hotel guests.
The most famous landmark in Vieux Quebec (Old Quebec) is the Chateau Frontenac, built in 1893 in the French medieval style. Autocar Dupont/Grayline sightseeing buses depart regularly from Place d’Armes, across the street. Walking tour information is available at the nearby Visitors Information Building. Even though the Lower Town section can be reached by a stairway, locals and tourists love taking the Funicular up the steep slope. Rides are $1.50. Panoramic view included! The lower-level entrance is in the Louis-Jolliet House in the Quartier Petit Champlain. A pedestrian-only lane is lined with a colorful array of 50 upscale boutiques, galleries and cafes, many in original 17th- and 18th-century stone buildings. A shopping bonus: the exchange rate usually favors the American dollar over the Canadian dollar.
Just a short walk away, heading north along the St. Lawrence River, turn left to Rue Saint-Paul, the main antiques shopping street. Then check out the adjacent art-gallery district along Rue Saint-Pierre. If you aren’t too tired at this point, continue for a few more blocks along to river to the Gare du Palais, the recently renovated 19th-century train station, and an architectural treasure.
Although any time of year is a good time to visit Quebec City, three annual events add extra festivities. Carnaval de Quebec, a 17-day winter celebration with parades, ice-skating shows and fireworks, begins the last Friday of January. Quebec’s International Summer Festival—concerts, theatrical presentations, and songfests —begins the second Thursday in July and continues for 10 days. Expo City, an agricultural, industrial and commercial fair, is a 10-day event beginning in late August.
For more information, visit www.chateaubonneentente.com. For reservations, call 1-800-463-4390.
For more information on Quebec Region and City,and the upcoming 400th anniversary celebrations visit www.quebecregion.com.