Le Germain Hotel Québec: one of Canada’s original boutique hotels | FAJO Magazine
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Le Germain Hotel Québec: one of Canada’s original boutique hotels

November 9, 2017
By Hannah Yakobi
Photography by Hannah Yakobi and courtesy of Le Germain Hotel Québec

Québec City is undoubtedly the most romantic place in Canada. Couples flock to this location gem all year long for special getaways, romantic surprise trips and anniversary celebrations.

Canada’s seventh-largest metropolitan area and Québec’s second-largest city after Montréal, this is an attractive spot due to the sheer abundance of art, music, incredible restaurants and stunning architecture.

The narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River proximate to the city’s promontory, Cap-Diamant (Cape Diamond), and Lévis, on the opposite bank, resulted in the name given to the city: Kébec. This stems from the Algonquin word, meaning “where the river narrows”.

Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Québec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only fortified city walls remaining north of Mexico, and were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985.

The city’s landmarks include La Citadelle, an intact, massive fortress that forms the centrepiece of the ramparts surrounding the old city and is a fantastic place to go for long walks; the National Assembly of Quebec (provincial legislature); the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Québec), which is an absolute must-see and a fun place to have lunch after exploring all the art; and the Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization).

It’s no wonder then that the to-do list in this city is as long and diverse as its history, and finding a stylish and easily accessible hotel is an essential component to fully experiencing it all.

Our hands-down winner is Le Germain Hotel Québec—a multi award-winning property that is bound to win over even the pickiest traveler. This hotel is perfect for any couple’s getaway. A 60-room property located in the Old Port area, it officially opened its doors back in 1997.

 

Nestled in the neighbourhood that is filled with magnificent art galleries and some of the best restaurants in Canada (for example, the upscale Restaurant Initiale is just a two-minute walk away), the property offers exquisite Saint Lawrence River views, exceptional service (including valet for all guests) and spacious rooms. Hotel’s team is led by its General Manager Sarah Coté, who is exceptionally knowledgeable about the city and will make you feel immediately welcome upon meeting her.

 

 

In 2012, Le Germain Hotel Québec was on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold list, chosen as one of The Best Places to Stay in the World. In 2016, Trivago chose it as one of the top 25 hotels in the country. And the list of awards goes on.

Le Germain series of hotels state that they were the original boutique hotels in Canada, pioneering the concept in the country. They take this to heart and believe in the value of making their properties small and intimate. It is no wonder then that entering Le Germain Hotel Québec feels like entering a large home of an architect or interior designer, whose surroundings were made to be elegant and trendy, yet highly welcoming and cozy.

 

 

This is a heritage building that used to be split between a bank and a large grocery store. Completely renovated and redone, it still carries the charm of a heritage property. Yet, décor is very modern and features plenty of contrasting red and black combinations. This is a full boutique experience, so expect to hear upbeat tunes of Spanish flamenco music or Manu Chao as you enter your room.

The property caters to people on the go, who frequent it for business trips, which makes it highly convenient for any traveler who arrives with a variety of mobile devices—highlights include a stylish office space in each room, and the abundance of outlets for any tech device.

 

 

 

For fashion or art aficionados this is also the place to be and be seen. Makeup mirror is easily accessible in the bathroom, cone-like futuristic light fixtures are a joy for the eyes, and designer pillows are both striking and incredibly comfortable (bed linens, duvets and pillows seen at the property can also be purchased online at Simons.ca, in case the guest would like to have these in their own home).

Hotel’s staff wear local designer clothes by Montréal-based Marie Saint Pierre and Toronto-based Bustle. Artwork on the walls is created by Canadian artists and the property supports local hospitality schools by offering internships to students. The focus on celebrating “local” is very strong here.

Every guest can enjoy complimentary breakfast during their stay. This isn’t your predictable or boring selection, but a wonderfully filling buffet that features local cheeses and hams, an assortment of egg dishes and freshly baked croissants. A large Nespresso machine is also available to make a variety of caffeinated beverages—not just in the morning, but all-day long.

 

 

The main-floor lounge that surrounds the reception area is a happening place. You will find a mixed crowd here—businessmen, families with young children, artists and tourists from other countries—all lounging while reading a newspaper or a book, or chatting with other guests. There are always people here, all day long.

It’s this memorable combination of art, design and social happenings that will make your stay pass in the blink of an eye. And as you check out, grab a latte, head outside and look back with a smile at the stunning property behind you—you will fondly remember this spot and this city, as one of the best experiences of your life.

 


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