We are continuing our travels this week in Canada and have been in Quebec for two days now. It is truly glorious and I will be posting some pictures on Wednesday. Ironically, however, the highlight so far has not been the incredible buildings, food, and tours that we have experienced. Those have been amazing. However, the problem is that the kids do not want to leave the hotel. We are staying at the Auberge Saint-Antoine, one of the most beautiful hotels in the country.
For those who are interested in luxury hotels, the imposing Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is often the choice. The Frontenac however often handles conventions and can be a bit dreary inside. It does have great antiques and great views, however. It is under some construction currently.
This trip I decided to go to the Auberge Saint-Antoine and I have never happier with a hotel choice. The Auberge Saint-Antoine is smaller (95 rooms) than the Frontenac. It is located in the heart of Québec City’s Old Port and across from the majestic St. Lawrence River in the Petit Champlain district. The hotel is located on the Îlot Hunt property which was one of the wharfs in old Quebec. The three buildings are all historical sites. Hundreds of artifacts were uncovered during the extensive archaeological dig on the property. In a brilliant concept, the hotel displayed the artifacts around the hotel, including small artifacts at each door and in every hallway. You can literally walk around the hotel and experience unexpected pleasures around every corner. Even the kids loved reading the explanations (in both French and English) of the artifacts.
The hotel is a four star member of the prestigious Relais & Châteaux association. While it is more expensive than many hotels, it is worth the experience of unmatched service and beautiful rooms. We are staying in connecting rooms that have a combined four rooms and two huge bathrooms with every amenity. The kids love the place, particularly the full-sized movie theater downstairs where kids can simply ask for a movie to be put on for a private cinema. The staff is amazing and works every detail to make the stay perfect for the family. I fear that we have ruined these kids for good. I am attempting to find some arranged marriages for the kids since they have said that they want to live here.
The hotel is next to the Museum of Civilization. On one of the old buildings next door to the hotel there is an incredible image of a moving waterfall on its side wall and a flaming tower at night. It is really striking. We went up to the heights this morning and climbed on the canons over looking the river. Our attempts to load the canons and take the city, however, were unsuccessful to the disappointment of the children. Quebec will not fall to U.S. hands on this trip, it appears.
We loved the shops in this quarter and the cafes. We eat a couple of times at the Cafe Du Monde on the river. It is pricey but quite good. There are also a ton of pastry shops and great cafes in the area. This is a great time to visit. No crowds, no wait. Everyone is incredibly nice, though I have found that to be true everywhere I have traveled in Canada.
Today we are going to the highlight of this trip for me. As a military history buff, I cannot wait to visit the Plains of Abraham — the site of the Battle of Quebec in the Seven Years’ War in 1759. One thrill today is that we walked along the fortification and esplanade. We suddenly found ourselves along the street where American General Richard Montgomery died in the failed 1775 invasion of Canada. I loved it.