Last Updated on July 20, 2022 by Pamela
In desperate need of a break, away from the beautiful confines of my apartment in Old Quebec, I woke up and decided I needed to leave the city for a night away. Grabbing my cell phone, I checked to see if Le Germain Hotel Charlevoix still had rooms available for $199/night, then got dressed and ventured out to the airport to see if I could rent a car.
It’s a gorgeous Sunday, and with 10-25 cm of snow expected on Monday, I want out of the city before another round of snowmageddon hits – I hope this is the last one of the season.
Located 75-minutes from Quebec City, Le Germain Hotel Charlevoix is a sprawling 145-room boutique hotel with rustic modern charm. A stop on the Charlevoix train route (which runs from Quebec City to La Malbaie in summer and autumn), the hotel is situated on the edge of Baie-Saint-Paul with views of the mountains and the hotel’s vast organic garden, a hiking trail and paddocks with alpacas and highland cows. A country escape, minutes away from the shops and charm of Baie-Saint-Paul.
While I was tempted to book a loft for $199, I was drawn to the images of the hotel’s superior rooms with country views. While some are modern-contemporary in style, there are a few with a rustic modern décor that made my heart skip a beat.
Resisting the urge to dive-bomb the bed upon arrival (it was not quite mid-afternoon), I took a moment to explore the room and soak in the sunlight pouring through the windows. Exposed wood walls painted white line the bathroom and back wall, with an oval tub resting in the corner, encircled with a black iron shower rod and white curtains cascading to the floor. Spotting a rainfall showerhead, I make mental notes to enjoy a steaming hot shower later in the evening.
When it came time to finally dive-bomb later in the evening, it did not disappoint. A cozy mattress with semi-firm pillows and a perfectly heavy duvet. With the wind whistling quietly outside my room, I fell asleep feeling relaxed for the first time in weeks.
From quick and scrumptious snacks to exquisite French-inspired cuisine, the food at Le Germain Hotel Charlevoix highlights the best of Charlevoix’s terroir. The hotel’s large organic garden, tended by gardeners André and Philippe, grows most of the fruit, vegetables and herbs which are used in the hotel’s two restaurants, Les Labours and Le Bercail.
While the Charlevoix-inspired menu at Les Labours was incredibly tempting, I chose to continue my relaxing Sunday vibe with drinks and tapas at Le Bercail, the hotel’s bistro bar. A little sad that the kitchen was closed during my visit (goodbye dreams of woodfire pizza), I settled into a sofa with a view of the restaurant and bar, and ordered a Moscow Mule and a trio of tapas.
Le Bercail has a modern contemporary vibe with occasional rustic accents like old wooden planks over the bar, rusty prongs of a pitchfork, and charming silver stars dangling over the bar. My trio of tapas – mixed dried spiced nuts, bruschetta with homemade basil pesto and shrimps with spicy mayonnaise – arrived on a wooden plank. Feeling slightly peckish, it was a perfect size.
A compliment to the chocolat chaud and sugar tart I ate at the Pastry Shop earlier in the afternoon.
The extras are what set Le Germain Hotel Charlevoix apart from the rest in the Charlevoix region. In summer, guests can enjoy the hotel’s food truck, outdoor pool, the trail to the Saint-Lawrence River, visits to Highland cows and alpacas in the pastures or the organic garden. In winter, the outdoor skating rink and Nordic spa are superb ways to add in some extra fun and luxury.