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French Finds

French Finds

Travel
By Susan Reifer
posted: 11/17/2005

We admit it: This cosmopolitan riverfront city and its 397-year-old historic center is not the most obvious ski destination in North America. But three resorts (Stoneham, Mont-Sainte-Anne and Le Massif) offer 2,000 acres of alpine action less than an hour from the city's cobblestone streets and Old World feel. With a thriving shopping and gourmet scene, off-slope diversions (especially during Winter Carnival, Jan. 27—Feb. 12) and nightlife on the Grande-Allée, the only mystery about a ski trip to Quebec City is finding time to sleep. Here are our picks for the best beds in the city's historic heart.

Family
Fairmont Le Chateau FrontenacThis famed castle-style hotel, which opened in 1893 on its perch high over the St. Lawrence River, features 618 rooms, common areas that are one part Renaissance and one part roaring '20s, and a roster of illustrious guests that rivals the White House. So this is a family joint? While popular for both weddings and honeymoons, it's arguably better for a ski weekend with the dog and the kids. Children stay free and, depending on their age, eat for free or half-price. And there's a kiddie pool, on-site babysitters, and Les Glissades, the city's famous tobogganing chutes, out the back door. $170—$1,680; 866-540-4460; fairmont.com

Hip
Hotel Dominion 1912Boutique hotels are Old Quebec's strength, and the Dominion sets the standard. Unpretentious yet sophisticated, its 60 rooms occupy an old bank building amidst the antique shops and bistros of vibrant Vieux Ville (Old Town). Inside, the Dominion is fresh and muted in a palette of black and gray, marble and glass. Guests sink into shabby-chic sofas in the lounge or linger over martinis by the black marble fireplace in the lobby. And the rooms, with goose down comforters, ergonomic chairs, Bose stereos and WiFi, are hard to leave. $170—$275; 888-833-5253; hoteldominion.com

Luxury
Auberge Saint-AntoineArchaeology meets the high life in this 94-room hotel crafted from three 18th- and 19th-century port buildings and an even older wharf and battery in the heart of lower Old Town. During construction, archaeologists unearthed artifacts dating from the 1630s, and each floor of the Saint-Antoine displays bits and shards from a different era. Otherwise this property is all 21st-century swank, with bright colors, sleek textures, heated floors and soaking tubs. Most rooms are one of a kind; be sure to ask for a river view. $125—$380; 888-692-2211; saint-antoine.com

Old French Flavor
Hotel Manoir d'AuteuilThis cozy manor house, built in 1835, is tucked into Upper Old Town and faces the stone wall that encircles the city. Its French Art Deco interior (think mahogany paneling and Doric columns) was constructed after a fire in the 1930s. Converted from a private residence in the 1950s, the d'Auteuil's 16 rooms have private baths, phones and TVs. Recently purchased by an American couple from Colorado, the d'Auteuil also has a friendly feel, down comforters and rates that include breakfast. $75—$120; 418-694-1173; quebecweb.com/dauteuil

November 2005

Also Consider

Hip L'Hotel du Capitole; $110—$200; 800-363-4040; lecapitole.com

Luxury Loews Le Concorde; $85—$190; 800-463-5256;loewshotels.com

Budget Hotel Au Jardin du Gouverneur; $60—$120; 877-692-1704;quebecweb.com/hjg

Condo Hotel Manoir-Sur-le-Cap; $70—$155; 866-694-1987;manoir-sur-le-cap.com

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