Last Updated on December 1, 2021 by Pamela
A teardrop-shaped wood lattice chandelier hangs over the king-sized bed, with a tall brown leather headboard and crisp white linens. A brown fur throw is scrunched at the foot of the bed, and above the headboard sits a wooden rocking horse.
I’m staying in the Hermès room, one of sixteen at Hôtel Nomad in Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec). An orange wall, very close in hue to Hermès orange, stretches across the room behind the bed, and vintage scarves adorn the walls.
This is not a cookie-cutter-style hotel where every room has the same design concept. Nor is it a hotel featuring antique/traditional aesthetics, like most of the small hotels in this quiet nook of Old Quebec.
Hôtel Nomad is unique.
A Brief History
Perched on a corner of avenue Sainte-Geneviève, across from Parc des gouverneurs (Governor’s Garden), and a short walk from Château Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace, Hôtel Nomad is one of thirteen small hotels and bed and breakfasts in this part of Old Quebec.
Its 19th-century Victorian mansion façade blends in with the rest of the British/English architecture in this part of the city; the inside, however, is where most of the similarities stop.
Hôtel Nomad was originally a private home built by Florence Adelaide Allan – a daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the world, a Scottish-Canadian shipping magnate named Sir Hugh Allan.
Serving briefly as a boarding house in the 1920s, the property was converted into a hotel in the 1950s, and by 2013, Château Fleur de Lys, as it was then known, was long past its prime.
Enter Olivier Donzelot and his partner, Romuald, who came to Canada on vacation and decided to buy a hotel. Romauld worked in hotel management in France, and while they originally thought of buying a hotel in Europe, a vacation to Canada quickly changed their mind.
They looked near Mont Tremblant, and Montreal, but in the end, Château Fleur des Lys captured their hearts and they made an offer within days of seeing it. Things progressed quickly, and soon they were back in Europe settling their affairs and getting ready to move to Québec City.
Château Fleur de Lys re-opened with Olivier and Romuald at the helm, in January 2014, just in time for Carnaval de Québec.
Every room at Hôtel Nomad is different, and you never know which room you’ll walk into, which is part of the fun. The hotel’s sixteen rooms are divided into thematic and suites, which are a little larger. The largest of all being the gorgeous Florence A White suite (who built the house) with its stunning $8,000 chandelier and views of the Saint-Lawrence River and Château Frontenac.
The Florence A White suite is the hotel’s crowing jewel, but the junior suites are equally impressive. The family friendly (two Queen beds) suites in the lower level have a 60s vibe to them. One, a tad masculine and a littleJames Bond-ish, the other mod and crisp and fresh.
Whether your room is thematic or a suite, Olivier and Romuald want every guest to experience a slice of luxury during their stay in Old Québec. Textiles and furniture are originals, nothing is a knock off. Its not just the quality of the décor that sets them apart, it is also their eye (and passion) for detail. From matching classic branded paint colours (Hermès room), and finding a chandelier inspired by a vintage Dior hat (Dior room) to vintage glass mugs in the 60s Mod room.
Honestly, they could probably have a “Did you know” type card in each room with hints on the details hidden in plain sight to see if guests can find them.
Perhaps I’m the only nerd that loves the fine details.
Stay at Hôtel Nomad in Old Québec City
I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels over the years, and I will stay in quite a few more. That being said, there are not many that I actively plan to return to before I’ve checked out of my current stay.
Hôtel Nomad is a treat, one of those hidden in plain sight type of places. It’s boutique and luxury, and not pretentious. Rather, it is warm and inviting. It’s a hotel where the owners are often milling around, taking care of those little details that make an ordinary hotel stay into a fabulous hotel experience.
Honestly, the level of service, aesthetics, and comfort is similar to big luxury hotels like Château Frontenac and Augerge Saint-Antoine.
If you have mobility issues, however, this may not be the hotel for you. If you can manage the steps outside though, ask for a room on the main floor when you book.
You can book a room directly on the hotel’s website or by calling 418.694.1884.
Disclaimer: My stay was courtesy of the hotel, however all opinions are my own. When I say I will definitely be staying with this hotel again, I mean it. It’s a lovely little staycation spot, I will be more than happy to pay for my future stays.