Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by Pamela MacNaughtan
Golden light pours through the floor-to-ceiling windows of my room at Le Capitole Hôtel and for a moment it feels like a dream. The black marble floor shimmers, and I’m tempted to leave my warm bed and slip into the tub for a hot soak while admiring the view of Old Quebec. When Le Capitole Hôtel invited me to spend the night, this is not what I expected ?.
The newest 5-star hotel in Quebec City, Le Capitole Hôtel is in the heart of Carré des spectacles, a square (also known as Place D’Youville) filled with performing arts venues. It’s steps away from the fortification walls of the old city, and a short walk from the vibrant neighbourhood of Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
it started as a small theatre in 1902
For around 80 years, Le Capitole was known as Audotorium de Quebec, a theatre that started out with variety shows and opera performances. It was home to a radio station at one point and hosted royal and other high-profile events. A cultural haven featuring both French and English programs.
In 1981, it closed its doors, having lost most of its popularity. While closed down, the building was declared a Canadian National Historic Site. In 1992, the building reopened with a new name, Le Capitole, and inside was an 1100-seat theatre, restaurant, and 40 hotel rooms.
After a $44 million renovation, Le Capitole Hôtel opened its doors in 2019 with 108 rooms, an indoor heated pool, a gym, a bar, and restaurants. It’s a beautiful property with art deco, art nouveau, and mid-century vibes.
a sparkling new luxury hotel
I arrived early, eager to experience the hotel, and ignore everything outside. As someone who resides in Quebec City (and once lived a 5-minute walk from Place D’Youville), there was no need for me to go out and see the city. IMO, It’s staycation goals – hunkering down in a nice hotel and shutting out the world.
The elevator door opens onto the 7th floor, revealing a lobby bathed in sunlight with comfy seating vignettes and panoramic views of Quebec City. It’s understated and welcoming, and I was delighted to learn that my room was ready so early in the day.
Several hotels in Quebec City offer concierge service, but there are three whom I consider being the cream of the crop. I was beyond thrilled when I learned that Francine Asselin is the concierge at Le Capitole Hôtel. I’ve known Francine for a few years, back when she worked for. a different hotel in the city.
Francine wears the Clefs d’Or keys on her lapels, signifying her excellence as a concierge. There are wonderful concierges without keys, but those with keys are truly the best of the best.
Witnessing Francine’s passion for her job, and for Le Capitole Hôtel, was a wonderful way to kick off my stay, and I left her desk with promises of getting together for dinner after the rush of Carnaval de Quebec and Valentine’s Day.
surprise, it’s a penthouse suite!
I was expecting to walk into a Citadine suite. Riding the elevator to the 9th floor, and then using my key to access the hallway leading to my room didn’t register as being out of the ordinary. Not even the sign saying Suites Executives clued me in. Opening the door and seeing a black grand piano, however, smacked my brain awake.
The suite is ridiculously beautiful, with floor-to-ceiling windows spanning the entire suite. A dining table with seating for 8 rested left of the piano, to the right, a long room with a small seating area, bar, kitchen area with an ice maker and full-size fridge, in-wall fireplace, and entrance to a private balcony with incredible views of the city. In the bedroom, another sitting area, a white soaking tub, and a king-sized bed.
I’m not going to lie, it was trippy to stay in a suite that has been enjoyed by celebrities; knowing famous fingers have tickled the piano’s ivories. It’s not every day that I walk into a hotel and feel like a princess, and when I woke up the next morning and watched the sun slowly stretch across the room, I was sad about returning to my everyday life. The only downside, for me, is the firm pillows; this is something I encounter in pretty much every hotel.
a raised indoor pool + outdoor patio
Located on the 9th floor, the indoor pool is a heated paradise in winter. I love that the pool is raised, allowing one to enjoy the city views – even during summery months when the patio is open and filled with cozy chairs and people lounging in the sun.
On the 6th floor, curved sofas, and intimate seating areas welcome guests and whoever else wants to relax and enjoy a beer, cocktail, wine, or champagne. Weekends are the busiest time during the low season, but during events like Carnaval de Quebec, and in the summer months, the bar is hopping.
I stayed at Le Capitole Hôtel at their invitation, and I’m grateful for a ridiculously gorgeous suite. It was definitely a unique experience, and while I am not likely to book the suite myself, I will book myself into one of their other rooms later in the year for another staycation.
I found the staff to be quite friendly, from the front desk and bar staff to the housekeepers – and of course Francine.