Hotel Review: Le Saint-Pierre Auberge Distinctive in Quebec City

Le 28 juillet 2014

During our recent travels to Quebec City, we stayed for two nights at Le Saint-Pierre Auberge Distinctive, situated in the heart of the Lower Town (Basse-Ville). We were very excited to stay at this enchanting boutique hotel located inside a historic building. While visiting a city that felt straight out of Europe, it appeared as though this intimate hotel was equally as charming as Old Quebec itself.

As per its namesake, Le Saint-Pierre is located on Rue Saint-Pierre in the Lower Town of Old Quebec. The location could not get any better than this as we were in the centre of everything. We were directly across the street from one of the best museums in the city, the Musée de la Civilisation (Museum of Civilization). In one direction, a short walk would take us to Place Royale, Quartier Petit Champlain, and the Funicular to the Upper Town. If we walked in another direction, we found a district of art galleries and shops, fine dining restaurants, and cafes with lovely outdoor patios. With another short walk, we were in Old Port along the St. Lawrence River, and we could take the ferry to Lévis. We were incredibly pleased with the location of this hotel and we don’t think it could get any better than this!

Before Le Saint-Pierre Hotel existed, the building was the home of Canada’s first insurance company, the Quebec Fire Insurance Company. The structure was erected in 1821 originally having just two floors, later expanding to include a third and fourth floor. When we arrived at the hotel, the first thing we noticed was the beautiful original facade of the building, fully maintained from the early 19th century.

Surrounded by other historic buildings and a cobblestone road, we truly felt as though we were somewhere in Europe, not Canada! We understand why Old Quebec City was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as much of the city has been preserved in its colonial splendor.

Our hotel room was a “Classic Room” on the fourth floor – room 408. The room faced towards the back of the building overlooking Rue du Sault au Matelot and the Séminaire de Quebec up on the hill. When we both walked in the room, we both uttered, “Wow!”

We adored the brick walls and stone throughout our room and bathroom that were kept from the original Insurance building. The room was tastefully decorated with plenty of storage space for clothes and personal items.

The bed and pillows were very comfortable at night, perfect for getting a good night’s rest before heading out on the town to explore. The air conditioning kept the room at the perfect temperature, especially during these hot summer days.

There was a Keurig machine in the room for coffee and tea, and an additional Keurig machine down in the lobby for more hot beverages if we required them. In the cupboard, we found two robes and an umbrella to borrow, which we definitely would have used had we not brought our own!

The room had a wall-mounted flat screen HD television with plenty of channels, though we didn’t end up watching any TV. There was a desk that could function as a great work area. Plus, the hotel came with free Wifi, which we used on our smartphones without any problems. The walls were decorated with old photographs of the heritage buildings and Old Quebec, very fitting for the style and history of the hotel.

The view from our room’s window was lovely – we could see other historic buildings along the street behind our hotel, as well as a view of the Séminaire de Quebec.

There were three chocolate truffles on our bed upon our arrival, along with a personalized note from the staff welcoming us to the hotel. Although we weren’t able to eat the chocolates as we follow a vegan diet, the thought was much appreciated and these personal touches did not go unnoticed.

The layout of the bathroom was incredibly unique. When we first entered, we could see the toilet to our left, and a sink in front of us with a long shelf for storing personal items. Then, there was an archway leading to a separate space with the bathtub and shower. We later discovered that the reason behind this design was to maintain the original structure of the historic building as much as possible: this bathroom was originally a part of the safe room of the insurance company! We loved that the hotel was designed by integrating these original components of the building. Again, we really liked the brickwork and the shelf above the sink was fantastic; between the two of us, we had a lot of bottles of styling and cleansing products, so we thoroughly appreciated the extra storage space! The bathtub had jets, which was standard to all of the rooms in the hotel.

Le Saint-Pierre is a family-friendly hotel, also catering to business needs and personal travel. There was a full staff of concierge, bellhops and valets that provided us with excellent service. Valet parking was $21/day with full in/out privileges. The members of staff were extremely helpful and knowledgeable of the area, and they were willing to answer any questions that we had. In a room adjacent to the lobby, there was a library with a fireplace and complimentary coffee that would be a great place to meet with family or friends. Same-day laundry service was also available, although we did not use this amenity.

When we reached the hotel around 6:30pm, we parked in front of the building and were greeted by a friendly staff member who carried our suitcase up the steps. We handed over our car key to the valet so our car could be parked in a safe area until we needed it. The lady at the front desk welcomed us to the hotel and told us some small details, such as the time for breakfast the following morning. Overall, we were very pleased with the staff at the hotel and the traditional vibe of the front lobby. Local artists were commissioned to create the lighting in the library and the stained glass windows in the breakfast room. These small details contributed to the elegance, authenticity, and beauty of the hotel.

The elevator never took a long time to arrive and moved us quickly up to the fourth floor. Quiet jazz music played softly in the background as we walked down the hallway to our room, adding to the warm atmosphere of the hotel.

A la carte breakfast was included in the price of our hotel room and was offered in a separate dining area between 7am and 10am. There was a full page of menu options listed for breakfast. Unfortunately for us as vegans, these meals consisted mostly of meat, eggs, and dairy. We do not fault the hotel at all as these are breakfast meals that would be served at any fine establishment. However, our server was incredibly accommodating when we explained our dietary restrictions and we requested some bagels and fruit. The bagels were served with fresh fruit jam, and the fruit was artfully arranged on the plate. We also enjoyed orange juice and coffee to drink.

The breakfast was delicious and provided us with the energy we needed to start our day of sightseeing! One recommendation that we would have for the future is to have more options on the menu for those with dietary restrictions or allergies, such as those with allergies to dairy or wheat. We’d love to see some roasted potatoes or hash browns, as well as oatmeal and cereals available with the option of non-dairy milks like soy or almond milk. We were very happy that the staff was able to work with our vegan diet as this is often not the case at other establishments!

Summary

We fell in love with Le Saint-Pierre Auberge Distinctive. This hotel was charming, comfortable, and felt like our home away from home. The hotel merged effortlessly with the historic sights of Old Quebec as the building is a part of the history. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again and would book in an instant upon our return to Quebec City!

Check-in time was at 4:00pm; check-out time was at 12:00pm. The hotel has 31 rooms and 10 suites. For all booking inquiries and other information about the hotel, please visit their official website.

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