Guest Author - Rachel Rome
For an international spa experience in Canada, visit Quebec City. The city with a French flavor is preparing for it’s 400th anniversary, recalling its founding by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, celebrated July 3, 2008. Exciting events are being planned. Spa enthusiasts can enjoy city history and sample two unique area spas – one a day spa in the woods, the other, an upscale destination spa in the ‘burbs.
I recommend two exceptional spas – Le Chateau Bonne Entente, a destination spa, and the Siberia Station Spa, a day spa. For a spa vacation, I spent a few days at renowned destination spa, a total spa experience. Then, after spent a few days sightseeing in the city, I relaxed at the Siberia Station Spa. This delightful Scandinavian-style full- service day spa is set in the ”great outdoors”, with a burbling stream rushing through it. I put on my bathing suit and quickly discovered the healthy benefits of alternating hot and
cold treatments. The Siberian Station Spa is in a bucolic area
close to the city center and boasts hot spas, cold-water baths, a yurt massage area, saunas, steam baths, thermal falls and massages and a super-friendly staff. I enjoyed an hour-and-a-half Californian massage and jumped back in the hot tub after lunch. One day there and I felt as if I’d been away for a week.
For a luxury destination spa, try exclusive Le Chateau Bonne Entente, a five-star resort hotel and spa in nearby St. Foye. I luxuriated in a one-hour hydrating facial and hot, lava stone massage there during my three-day stay.
The Chateau Bonne Entenete's Amerispa aestheticians and massage professionals pampered me during a relaxing, marvelous vacation at the 5,800 square-foot facility. Twenty-two rooms allow plenty of space for massage, including relaxation, aromatherapy, sports and four hands choices. Treatments include the maple-sugar body scrub and algae, mud or clay wrap. Facials, manicures and pedicures are offered, too. Maple-leaf exfoliation left me glowing, while a basalt stone massage was restful and restorative. I ended one spa treatment in the outdoor hot tub and swimming pool.
Le Chateau is only 15 minutes from the Quebec airport and 20 minutes from downtown Quebec City. For more information, visit www.chateaubonneentente.com; for reservations, call 1-800-463-4390.
Sightseeing highlights in Quebec City include visiting and dining at the regal Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, which is 310 steps up from the river. An enclosed funicular chugs up the steep slope for $1.50 per ride. The lower-level entrance is in the Louis-Jolliet House in the Quartier Petit Champlain. This historic pedestrian-only lane is lined with boutiques, galleries and cafes in 17th- and 18th-century stone buildings.
My first morning in Quebec City, I met my delightful city guide, Michelle Demers (418) 580-6662, from Québec City Tourism, at my Hotel 71 for a half-day sightseeing tour. We strolled Old Québec's narrow streets and historic houses by the St. Lawrence River.
We drove to Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, where the falls are one and a half time higher than Niagara Falls. Riding the cable car to the top, we looked out over the St. Lawrence River and strolled to the belvedere and bridge over the falls.
Back in town, I used the Quebec City Passport to tour 20 local museums and attractions including the Old Port of Quebec Interpretation Center, the National Historic Site, the Citadel, the Quebec Experience Multi Media, the Musee du Fort, the Observatory de La Capital, and the Museum of Civilization, just across the narrow lane from Hotel 71.
Later, we stepped out the back door of my hotel and walked across the pedestrian lane to Restaurant Toast for dinner. At the Toast, we at in the outdoor terrace in the back of the restaurant, enjoying a warm and trendy décor.
I stayed at the new Hotel 71, at 71 Rue Saint-Pierre,in a renovated XIX century building, www.hotel71.ca,(418) 692-1171 or 1 888 692-1171. It's located in an antique and art gallery area near the Place Royale, and a block from the St. Lawrence River and the Marché du Vieux-Port. The Marche, the farmer’s market.
Breakfast at Le Cochon Dingue, an authentic Quebec institution is a treat. I also enjoyed dinner in Les Voutes du Cavour, a historical home typical of New France architecture. This restaurant features food and entertainment of that era.
For more information visit www.quebecregion.com, or call Quebec City and Area Tourism -- 418-522-3511. Air Canada and Delta fly to Quebec City.