Le Saint Pierre Quebec: A Better-than-Home Away from Home
Le 29 August 2013
A funny thing happened on my first visit to Quebec City–in the span of a leisurely dinner, the season seemingly changed from mid-summer to late fall. Having spent the day in the sunshine, sweating and smiling, I walked into a waterfront restaurant. Ninety minutes later I emerged into a cold, stiff wind, swiftly followed by drenching rain. You’d think this would have put a damper on my visit. But you would be wrong.
The sudden soggy weather gave me a great excuse to return to my gorgeous room at Le Saint Pierre, curl up with a book, and enjoy the sound of rain on the windowpane. I’ve never stayed in a place that felt so much like home.
If I described Le Saint Pierre as ‘a boutique hotel housed in an old insurance office building’, unless you are familiar with Old Quebec’s financial district, you’re not going to have the right mental picture. Le Saint Pierre is a masterpiece of restoration, blending seamlessly into the cobblestone of Vieux Quebec. And the inside features huge windows, soaring ceilings, and lovingly-restored woodwork. And that’s just the public areas.
The entryway and reception area.
The entryway and reception area.
The den area--this is off the lobby.
The den area–this is off the lobby.
The dining area, where complimentary breakfast is served. A hotel breakfast buffet this is not!
Have you ever opened a hotel room door and said, out loud, to yourself, ‘no way’? Followed immediately by ‘nuh-UH!’ and then happy laughter? That’s how I reacted to my room at Le Saint Pierre. Because it was more than a room–it was somewhere I’d be happy to live 365 days a year. Observe the view from the front door:
And then there was the bed. Oh the bed. Here’s the thing about thread count–it matters. I never knew that. I just thought it was an advertising ploy invented by sheet-sellers. But I was wrong. It’s totally a thing. Man I miss that bed.
Everything about my room–well, really, I’d call it a suite–at Le Saint Pierre was comfortable. From the fluffy white robes (and slippers) to the ample workspace (possibly the most important factor to me in any room, sheets included) I felt practically snuggled by the space. Have you ever been snuggled by a space? No? That’s because you’ve never stayed at Le Saint Pierre.
If you accidentally oversleep (really, that bed, it is comfortable) and almost miss breakfast, they will deliver it to your room. Not saying I did that or anything...
If you accidentally oversleep (really, that bed, it is comfortable) and almost miss breakfast, they will deliver it to your room. Not saying I did that or anything…
Of course, there comes a time when one has to leave one’s hotel room and, you know, go out into the world. Doing so could not have been more convenient. Le Saint Pierre was located literal steps from dozens of cafes and restaurants and bars. Place Royale–the ‘birthplace of Quebec City’–was two tiny blocks away. The waterfront was a few blocks north (or a few blocks east, depending upon the waterfront you are looking for) and you could easily walk (or take the funnicular) up to Upper Town in mere minutes. And the absolutely fabulous Musee de la Civilization (blog post coming soon) was literally across the street; had it been raining, I would not have even needed an umbrella.
My biggest challenge when selecting a hotel is trying to determine if it is well-located. Well–Le Saint Pierre is well-located. The photos below were taken within a less-than-five minute walk from Le Saint Pierre; the captions include directions.
Walk out the front door, turn left. Walk one block. Turn around and look back toward where you just came from.
Walk out the door, turn right. Walk two blocks. Turn around and look back at where you just came from.
Walk out the door, turn left. Make your second left. Sit at cafe and sip wine.
Walk out the door, turn right. Walk one block over and one block up. Check out the birthplace of Quebec City.
And speaking of Upper Town vs. Lower Town–I, like many others, struggled with the decision of which to choose as a home base. And I have to say, I was extremely happy with my choice. It seemed cozier somehow. Slightly less touristy–or, perhaps, touristy in a way that I appreciated more. It seemed less hustle-and-bustle and more quaint and charming–perhaps because tour busses simply would not fit down the tiny, winding, sometimes impossibly steep streets.
But I saved the best part for last. Ok–maybe it’s not the best part. That would be the gorgeous rooms and great location. But my favorite, somewhat quirky part about Le Saint Pierre was this: the keys. They were actual metal keys. Like with a brass Le Saint Pierre keychain. I know it’s a tiny thing, but it was a very tactile reminder that Le Saint Pierre, if only for a brief time, was my home. However, it should be noted that due to some sort of regulation, they are ‘upgrading’ the door locks to key card entry at some point in the future. So my advice to you is–go now, while they still have the old fashioned keys! And go now because, well, Quebec City is amazing. And so is Le Saint Pierre.
Le Saint Pierre is located on 79 Rue Saint Pierre, Lower Town, Quebec City. When your GPS directs you to drive down what looks like a pedestrian-only street, I assure you–it’s an actual street down which cars drive. You park out front and the lovely valet will whisk your car away to some magical location that is entirely invisible. He will re-whisk it back for you whenever you want it though, so do not despair.
Additionally, there is a sister property next door, the Hotel 71. If you are looking for something less cozy and more modern, be sure to check it out. I was given a tour, and it was stunning. Photo-filled blog post to come!
Disclosure: I was hosted by Le Saint Pierre for the duration of my visit. However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. I would be hard-pressed to stay anywhere else when visiting Quebec City, simply because the combination of comfort, class, and location can not be beat. And the prices aren’t bad, either, comparatively. A room like the one I enjoyed is around $250/night in high season, which in Quebec City is a virtual steal.Download document View website