Hôtel de Glace
It’s a well-known Canadian fact that when life gives you ice and snow, you’d better make a luxury igloo. The Hôtel de Glace is a seasonal hotel that’s redesigned and rebuilt every year (it’ll next be open in January 2020). It’s entirely built of snow and ice (we swear) and it takes 50 people six weeks to build the hotel, which uses 500 tons of ice and 30,000 tons of snow. If you plan to stay in this stunning structure, bring your parka — the temperature inside is between minus three and five celsius (but don’t worry, they have some warming alcoholic shots in, of course, shot glasses made of ice). It’s the only hotel of its kind in North America.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
If you’re into a warmer sleeping experience — one with five stars — give the historic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac a try. There’s no secret as to why this is the world’s most photographed hotel — it’s absolutely gorgeous and a definite Instagram hitmaker to boot. We stayed here and it was indulgent and luxurious. If you have the time, a spa day at the Frontenac is a great way to warm up after some winter activities.
We would be remiss if we didn’t tell you about the amazing food that Québec City has to offer. Chez Muffy is great if you’re looking for something upscale and genuinely tasty. The farm-to-table approach is definitely a plus, but it’s the delicious food that makes it worth your while to splash out at this restaurant situated inside the Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel.
Organic local flavourful food in a to-die-for decor situation? Sign us up! This gorgeously appointed restaurant has something for everyone, including vegetarian (and vegan) options aplenty. It also accommodates for gluten free foodies.
Monastère des Augustines
A hidden treasure in Québec City, this fascinating former monastery turned hotel is full of history. Not only was the Monastère des Augustines the first hospital in North America founded by the Augustine sisters, it was the first hospital on the continent north of Mexico. Close to the Old Town and within walking distance to the Plains of Abraham and Château Frontenac, it’s a great place to stay overnight. If you don’t want to stay at the hotel, the restaurant is a great place for a healthy meal and you can always visit the museum while you’re there. With a focus on holistic health, there are lots of great services to take advantage of (obviously we did chair yoga).
Quartier Petit Champlain
The Petit Champlain quarter might just be the romantic capital of Québec City. Reminiscent of an old European city, it has tons of quaint little shops and cafes. There are lots of great restaurants where you can spend a quiet cozy evening getting to know someone (or reigniting an old flame).
If you’re exploring Québec City in the winter months, could you seriously pass up a giant tobogganing hill? (Seriously!?) Open from mid-December to mid-March, Au 1884 is a toboggan slide located on the Dufferin Terrace. We triple dog dare you to take the plunge and sail down the hill at 70 kilometres an hour. It’s a long climb to the top, but it’s completely worth it, believe us.
If a winter weekend getaway is just what the doctor ordered, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place to relax than Québec City. Culture, food, and a gorgeous backdrop all make Québec City special, but after our visit, we think that it’s all about that je ne sais quois.
Plan your trip today by visiting Québec cité!