When looking for a place to stay in Quebec City, location is everything. It’s a surprisingly big place and there are so many different neighbourhoods to choose from. For first-time visitors or anyone who loves history, dining and beautiful architecture, you should stay in the Old Town of Quebec City. The best place for sight-seeing and photo purposes.
Luckily, I found the Auberge Saint-Antoine during my trip to Quebec City and it’s safe to say that I won’t be going anywhere else from now on!
The Auberge Saint-Antoine is nestled in the lower old town of the city and it was undeniably the most unique and historic hotel that I’ve been to in my travels. Walking in, you’re met with ancient artifacts, contemporary designs and plenty of seating.
Let me tell you why you should choose the Auberge Saint-Antoine for your next trip to Quebec City. And keep reading for more information on places to eat and things to do near the hotel in the Old Town Quebec City!
Why Choose the Auberge Saint-Antoine?
- It’s family-owned. The hotel is run by the Price family, who have been an integral part of Quebec’s history and logging industry for over 200 years. In an attempt to preserve and share the history of the city, the family opened up the Musée du Fort in the 60’s. Some years later, they decided to open a luxury hotel in a set of old buildings, including a dockside warehouse. During construction of the hotel, they conducted a large archaeological dig and found that not only is the property built on top of one of the city’s hidden cannon batteries, but they also discovered a plethora of ancient artifacts.
- It’s a museum. Most of these artifacts are now on display throughout the hotel. They have organized them based on time period, so you can walk through the years and see how tools and accessories developed over the centuries. Any history-lover will appreciate a night at the Auberge Saint-Antoine. Or at the very least, come for a drink at the Bar Artefact, where you can enjoy the ambiance and sit within the battery walls.
- It’s luxurious. The property is a member of the Relais & Chateaux association of luxury hotels, which has very strict admission standards. Members must have special features and most are historic landmarks offering fine dining experiences. With a historic location and haute cuisine, this designation could not be more fitting for the Auberge Saint-Antoine.
Our Room: The Terrace Foyer (best view in Quebec City!)
The Auberge Saint-Antoine has many different rooms & suites that fit a variety of budgets and needs. We stayed in one of the Luxe Terrace Foyer rooms, which is perfect for anyone who wants a view of old Quebec and the Chateau Frontenac. The room was very contemporary with light wood finishes and bright white linens. We had a King size bed (which was perfect for lounging in their fluffy robes), a sofa area, a big working desk and the most beautiful bathroom. It had heated flooring, a deep soaking tub and a separate rainfall shower. We even had one of the hotel’s historic artifacts displayed within the nightstand, a very interesting touch.
But of course, the best part about this room is the terrace itself. This was quite a spacious area, with a full dining table and two Muskoka chairs for relaxing. We had our breakfast brought up to the room one morning and ate it outside in our robes and slippers. Talk about living in luxury! In the afternoon, we brought our laptops outside and got a bit of work done in the sun. The terrace is the perfect little oasis where you can enjoy a private view of the old town. One of the highlights our stay for sure.
What are the amenities like?
The Auberge Saint-Antoine offers guests of the hotel a private 20-minute archaeological tour. This was one of the most unique amenities I’ve ever experienced at a hotel. You can book your slot right at the front desk and be whisked around the property by an expert who will explain the history of the hotel, many of the different artifacts, the different buildings that the rooms are housed in and will even take you outside to show you the significance of the hotel’s location in the city. Such a cool experience.
They also offer valet parking with charging stations and car washing services. We had to go down to get something out of the car at one point and also found more remains of the old city cannon battery – the owners had everything preserved!
Just as a luxury hotel should, the Auberge Saint-Antoine also has a top-notch spa called the “Health Club” that offers a wide range of massages, treatments and beauty services. Along with a high-tech fitness centre called “LeGYM” where you can enjoy a finish sauna, admire the birch trees while getting your cardio on or even take part in one of the hotel’s private yoga classes every Saturday morning.
And finally, they have a private movie theatre called the Cinema Saint-Antoine. The hotel sometimes uses this room to hold meetings or private events, but guests can reserve the room to watch a movie.. in a private movie theatre! Talk about the perfect activity for a rainy day.
Where to Eat in Old Quebec City?
Quebec City is a food-lovers paradise. There is an endless supply of delicious restaurants and cafes. Here are the top five best places to eat in Quebec City that are within a 5-minute walk of the Auberge Saint-Antoine.
Café La Maison Smith ($)
Smith is the best café in Quebec City. They have 6 locations throughout the city, but my favourite is the one in Place Royale. It’s the photogenic old town square and founding site of Quebec City. Plus, it’s only steps away from the Auberge Saint-Antoine. They have a great outdoor patio where you can sit back and admire the beautiful architecture while sipping on a Maple Latte and enjoying a fresh macaroon. Who needs Starbucks in Quebec City?
L’Antiquaire Buffet ($)
The Buffet de l’Antiquaire is a classic French-Canadian diner that has been around for over 40 years. They serve up delicious Québec cuisine with dishes like toutiere (meat pie), creton (a spread made of pork and spices) and tarte au sucre (sugar pie that tastes like a butter tart, but better). You can also find classic breakfast dishes and sandwiches all at fantastic prices.
Bar Artefact ($$)
Bar Artefact is the bar at the Auberge Saint-Antoine that features a creative seasonal menu. It’s much more contemporary than Chez Muffy, but equally as historic. You can literally sit beside the Dauphine cannon battery and enjoy displays of some of the artifacts that were found beneath the hotel. We ordered a charcuterie board, lobster rolls and s’mores. So decadent & delicious! Plus, the servers know how to make some creative cocktails.
Cochon Dingue ($$)
Cochon Dingue is a little slice of Paris in Quebec City. You can find this French bistro in the heart of the Old Town, just steps away from the St. Lawrence River. They are known for their unique local flavours and delicious deserts. You can come for a glass of wine and Parisian-vibes, or check out their Menu of the Day for some dishes inspired by the season. We enjoyed dinner on their big outdoor terrace. Don’t miss out on their famous Onion Soup. It’s just like how they make it in France!
Chez Muffy ($$$)
Chez Muffy is the main restaurant at the Auberge Saint-Antoine and it’s housed in an old maritime warehouse with beautiful wooden beams and stone walls. We ate here for breakfast, getting both the Benedictine Eggs and House Pancakes (complete with organic strawberries from Ile d’Orleans). I suggest coming for dinner though so that you can experience their French-Canadian farm-inspired menu. It’s full of local products and an impressive wine selection. They have over 12,000 bottles in their private cellar!
What to Do in Old Quebec City?
The Auberge Saint-Antoine is in the lower town of Quebec City. This is the most historic district and arguably, the best part of the city. There are endless photo-ops, beautiful buildings, interesting museums and delicious restaurants. Here are the top 5 things to do in Quebec City that are within a 5-minute walk of the Auberge Saint-Antoine.
Admire the Old Buildings in Place Royale
This charming old town square is the birthplace of New France. It’s where Samuel de Champlain founded the city back in the early 1600s. You can see the outline of his house on the ground. It’s also home to the oldest stone church in North America, the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. Pull up a chair at Café Smith to enjoy the history and beautiful historic buildings that surround you.
Learn about the City’s History at the Museum of Civilization
There is a reason why the Museum of Civilization is the most popular museum in Quebec City. It features interactive exhibits bout the culture and history of Quebec. If you enjoy the historic artifacts displayed around the Auberge Saint-Antoine, then you should definitely visit the museum too.
Walk through the Old Port
The Old Port is the perfect place to find a quiet escape in the city and enjoy the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Just out front of the Auberge Saint-Antoine, you can find the Place des Canotiers, an urban park with a beautiful fountain display. You can follow the walking trail all the way to the end of the port. At night, the grain silos in the distance are illuminated with the colours of the Aurora Borealis. It’s a beautiful sight!
Take a River Cruise
What better way to experience Quebec City then from a guided river cruise. You can enjoy a beautiful view of the Quebec City skyline and Chateau Frontenac before sailing down the St. Lawrence all the way to Montmorency Falls and Ile d’Orleans. Along with the sightseeing cruise, AML Cruises also offers a dinner cruise and a variety of “passport” packages where you get access to a number of other attractions in Quebec City.
Undoubtedly the best thing to do in Quebec City is aimlessly wandering around the Old Town streets. Starting from the Auberge Saint-Antoine, walk towards Place Royale and continue down Rue du Petit Champlain. If you see an interesting side street, take it! You never know where it might lead. There are shops and restaurants all over the place, but not all of them are worth your time. Keep your phone handy and check the ratings on Google before you visit. Visit my other post with a list of 25+ more things to do in Quebec City if you need more inspiration.
Planning Your Trip to Quebec City
When you’re planning your trip to Quebec City, look no further than the Auberge Saint-Antoine. A hotel for those who love history, dining, luxury and a great location. It’s worth checking out their promotions & packages because you can often get better value for your stay. Depending on the time of year, you might even be able to get an almost all-inclusive stay from the hotel, which was the case this past summer.
We stayed under the “Auberge Experience” package, which comes with a dinner for two, breakfast for two, a welcome cocktail and an indoor parking space. It took all of the hassles out of planning our trip and left us with plenty of time to just relax and take in the sights of the city.
The Auberge Saint-Antoine was one of the highlights of our trip to Quebec. Immerse yourself in Quebec’s history by spending a night at this luxury hotel in the city. To plan your trip even further, check out my upcoming Ultimate Guide on 3 Days in Quebec City.