Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by Pamela
The moment I walked into my room at Auberge Saint-Antoine I wanted to drop my bags, fall into the bed, and never get up. The sun streamed through an arched window, which opened up to a large terrace overlooking the Saint-Lawrence River, and the green armchair in the corner looked like the perfect place to relax and read.
The king-sized bed was lush and white with a curved fabric headboard and rust-coloured toss pillows.
I’m loving the Mid-Century Modern colour palettes found throughout Auberge Saint-Antoine. The hotel has been decorated by Mrs Price (known to her family and friends as Muffy), who owns the hotel along with her children, and her sense of style is enviable
In a table beside my bed, illuminated under a piece of thick glass, is a small historical artefact found during the construction of the hotel.
A Little History
This is not the first historical artefact to catch my eye, there are glass cases throughout the hotel’s public spaces (lobby, Bar Artefact, corridors) which display historical artefacts, some of which date back to the 17th-Century.
There was a time when this part of Québec City was known as Îlot Hunt (link en français), a wharf area with quays built for receiving ships easily, sometime in the late 17th-century and early 18th-century. Over the years, warehouses, hotels, saloons, and homes were built on rue Saint-Antoine and the surrounding area, and in 1836 Hunt House was built by Thomas Hunt.
By the mid-19th-century the area was in decline, an industrial slum of sorts. While the remnants of Hunt House remained, it had deteriorated considerably. As had the rest of the buildings in the neighbourhood.
In 1990, however, Hunt House, along with other properties on rue Saint-Antoine, was purchased by the Price family, and after an extensive archaeological dig, which resulted in the discovery of hundreds of artefacts, Auberge Saint-Antoine was built.
Dining at Auberge Saint-Antoine
Forcing myself to leave the room, I wandered downstairs for dinner, opting to relax in Bar Artefact instead of dining at the hotel’s farm-to-fork style restaurant, in Chez Muffy.
Sometimes, a light relaxing meal, with a cocktail, is the perfect way to begin an evening.
Sitting at a table in the corner, where I often see Mrs Price enjoying lunch, Ordering a ‘Pear Pressure’, (a light and delicious cocktail made with Quartz vodka, Gaia, Belle de Brillet and pear purée) I glanced through the menu, settling on the Québec Gratin.
A simple choice, given the menu also features salmon, steak, vegetable pasta, and a juicy burger. Served in a small square ceramic dish, topped with Le Festin, a soft raw cow’s milk cheese made by Fromagerie des Grondines, the gratin was comprised of large pieces of potatoes, onion, and bacon in a creamy cheese sauce.
Tasty, and just enough food to satisfy my meagre appetite after a long day of moving. Of course, I couldn’t leave until I tried their apple tart topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
The dining experience at Chez Muffy is entirely different. Located in what was once the Hunt House, Chez Muffy has a sophisticated rustic charm, with stone walls and exposed wooden beams running across the ceiling.
There is a fireplace in the centre of the main dining room, and views of the Saint-Lawrence River. The menu changes often and features farm-to-fork dishes using locally grown ingredients whenever possible (Auberge Saint-Antoine has a farm on Île d’Orléans).
Dinners are a gourmet delight, with intimate seating and warm lighting. An ideal restaurant for a romantic dinner.
Breakfasts at Chez Muffy are refreshing as sunlight spills through the windows and side tables are filled with an array of hot and cold dishes, breads, and an impressive display of Québec cheeses. The à la carte breakfast menu offers eggs benedict with duck confit, and healthy egg white omelets. Sunday brunch is a gourmet feast that begins at 10 am.
While the décor has changed since my first stay in 2013, the rooms at Auberge Saint-Antoine have always been warm and inviting. At times, the only thing I want to do is curl up in the hotel bed, watch movies, and nap.
The beds are soft and inviting with heavy white duvets and pillows I want to “permanently borrow”. In winter, the heated floors in the bathroom are a sheer delight, and while this may be too much information, I enjoyed the bidet a little too much.
I’ve slept in hotels all over the world, well over 100 in fact, and there are four things that will make or break my stay.
- The Bed – must be comfortable, with good pillows
- The Shower – good water pressure, a rain shower head is a bonus
- Wifi – free and fast
- Staff – warm, helpful, knowledgeable
Auberge Saint-Antoine, as you may have guessed, has all of the above.
The Auberge Saint-Antoine Vibe
The hotel has a soothing vibe, from the music to the warm colour palettes, comfortable public seating, and soft music. The hotel’s gym and spa are small but well equipped, and the staff are always helpful, warm, and a pleasure to speak with – whether you’re speaking French or English (and I believe other languages are available too).
One of the best luxury hotels in Québec City, Auberge Saint-Antoine is a hotel-musée worth visiting, whether you’re spending the night, or looking for a place to relax during your day of exploration.
If you’re looking for luxury on a more intimate level, Auberge Saint-Antoine would be my suggestion.