Cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafés, history in tangible forms – it's no wonder that Québec City markets itself to Canadians as "so Europe, so close." It's romantic, it's storybook-beautiful, it's a delight to all senses, and while I expected as much on my first visit there, I don't think I was prepared for just how amazing it is.
Bringing the beauty of the outside in is Hotel 71, a perfectly situated, immaculately appointed property, where I recently had the opportunity to stay.
Here are a few reasons to love this beautiful property in the heart of the Old Port:
First of all, just look at this place...
Lobby, Hotel 71
Located in a building that, once upon a time, was head office for the National Bank of Canada, the beauty of Hotel71 is not just skin deep. Its 19th-century neo-classic architecture extends through the front doors and into the lobby, though there’s nothing out of date about its modern and inviting design. Tres chic.
The rooms are spacious and well-appointed
Depending on the company you keep while in QC, you’ll be happy to know there are different room styles (from classic rooms, to mini-suites, to the penthouse), so you can book a space with either a King bed or two Queen beds. The simple and elegant design glows in the sunlight that beams through the massive windows found in each room – some situated perfectly to offer views of the St. Lawrence and the city’s Old Port. Exceedingly high ceilings throughout the property add to the trendy, upscale vibe, and did we mention that bathroom amenities are L’Occitane en Provence brand? C’est magnifique!
Unique features allow you to settle in comfortably
Whether the option to help yourself to a latte or a glass of wine, Hotel 71 is set-up in a way that allows guests to make it their home away from home. A buffet breakfast with croissants that will eat your heart out starts the day off right, and you can kick-off an evening out on the town with a pour from the lobby wine bar (don’t fuss too much over which of the selections to commit to; if it doesn’t work out the way you hope, just go for another).
The best of Quebec City cuisine is only steps away
Let’s just say it’s a good thing that Quebec City is walkable because, with all the eating I was doing, I had to work it off somehow. The food in this city is world-class – and that’s no overstatement. Be sure to make time for amazing Italian cuisine at Il Matto, conveniently located just off the Hotel 71 lobby. Just steps away is Toast, where I can confidently say I enjoyed the best meal of my life to date. You’ll be overjoyed with whatever choices you make for appetizers, main course or dessert, and bear no shame should you opt for a side of foie gras with each course.
The location is perfect
Stephane Audet / Quebec City Tourism
Quebec City was founded in 1608 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage City – Hotel 71 is in the heart of it all. Next door to the property, you’ll find Musée de la Civilization, which hosts beautiful exhibits about Quebec culture and history. Rue Saint-Paul and the Old Port are around the corner, where you can spend hours enjoying the galleries and cafés along the water. Make your way to Place Royale, a beautiful plaza that marks the main square of the city when it was first founded, and take a tour of the Plains of Abraham. It is worth investing in a professional guide to walk you through this historic city. If you’re willing to venture a bit further, make time to visit the wineries and artisans on Île d'Orléans and soak in the natural beauty of Parc de la Chute-Montmorency.
Hotel 71 supports the local community
Just when you think Hotel 71 couldn’t get any better, it appeals to the heart. Its on-site art gallery titled “Vincent et moi” is an example of its commitment to the community. The local Vincent et moi program “works to increase recognition and awareness of the artistic and cultural contributions of artists living with mental illness, while promoting the development of their individual artistic practices and de-mystifying mental illnesses within the community.” 2016 marked the programs 15th anniversary, and to celebrate, the Vincent et moi gallery was opened at Hotel 71. The name of the program refers to none other than Vincent Van Gogh, who also lived with mental illness but found meaning in life through art.
Watch our on-location Facebook LIVE interview here: