My first visit to Quebec City was over spring break with my high school French class. We stayed at the iconic Château Frontenac, which was by far the most glamorous hotel I’d ever visited. Today, it’s been rebranded as the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and is even more impressive with its inviting Spa du Château. I recently had the opportunity to visit while I was in town to enjoy the city’s Summer Festival, an annual 11-day music event. With my dad along for company, we enjoyed an eclectic mix of music from such notables as IAM; Zappa Plays Zappa; Interpol; French favorite Patrick Watson; and even Megadeth. Unfortunately, we arrived too late to catch The Doobie Brothers or The Rolling Stones. However, we had a great time exploring the charming city. Although it was evident my French hadn’t improved any since I was last there, I was excited to discover some new spa gems.
Spa du Château: An iconic landmark to all who visit Quebec City, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac was originally conceived as a convenient stopover for Canadian Pacific Railway travelers. Over the years, it has welcomed a host of celebrated personalities, such as Charles de Gaulle, Alfred Hitchcock, Chiang Kai-Shek, Charles Lindbergh, Ronald Reagan, and Princess Grace of Monaco. Undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation, the beloved hotel is now home to the Spa du Château, which made its debut in 2014. The long-awaited spa features five treatment rooms and a mani-pedi room with three pedicure chairs and two manicure stations. Relying on products from Sothys Paris and Valmont, the spa works to distinguish itself by lending a personal touch to each treatment. “We are located in one of the most beautiful hotels in North America,” says spa director Maude Sanscartier. “Our team is passionate about their work and likes to take care of our guests.”
LeGym: Located in the Old Port, Auberge Saint-Antoine is built upon one of Quebec City’s richest archaeological sites. Made up of three historical buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries and a wharf and battery structure dating back to the latter part of the 17th century, the inviting boutique hotel features numerous artifacts, some of which go back to the 1600s, that reveal the city’s transformative history. More recently, the hotel introduced LeGym, which provides guests with a state-of-the-art fitness facility with 24-hour access, a yoga studio, three tranquil treatment rooms, Finnish saunas, and men’s and women’s dressing rooms. Guests can enjoy a variety of treatments relying on G.M. Collin and massages that are the result of a partnership between the hotel and L’Attitude Massothérapie, a local massage therapy center and school. Paying tribute to the past and present, LeGym maintains the structure’s original walls, adding energy-reducing light fixtures and water-saving systems. It also displays photos of the building’s original construction, sharing the hotel’s storied past. One thing is certain, guests will won’t soon forget a visit to this historic and healthy harbor.
Le Monastère des Augustines: Spa-goers looking for an authentic wellness experience unlike any other need look no further thanks the recent debut of Le Monastère des Augustines. Introduced 376 years to the day after the Augustinian Sisters of Dieppe arrived in Quebec to establish the first hospital in New France, the relaxing retreat is set in the ancient wings of the former Hotel-Dieu de Quebec monastery, which served as North America’s first hospital north of Mexico. The foundational site, which has been completely restored and renovated, now features a hotel, a museum that reflects the heritage of the Augustinian Sisters, and a full wellness program. Focused on holistic health, the multidisciplinary team at Le Monastère guides guests on a revitalizing journey with personal consultations; massage; yoga; and workshops on nutrition, mindfulness, medicinal plants, and more. “This is a historic moment, and the opening of Le Monastère des Augustines marks a new page in the history of this unique heritage site,” says Evan Price, chair of the board. “We invite the population to come visit our museum, try some of the activities in our program, or stay in one of our 65 rooms in order to learn more about our common history while experiencing the benefits of revitalization.”