Quebec’s Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is Summertime Gold
Go Play in Quebec’s Stunning Charlevoix Region
By Chris Duthie
Eastern Canada is among my most favored summer travel destinations. The resorts and golf courses, by and large, are world class; the dollar-to-loonie exchange rate remains generous; its English-speaking residents are famously engaging and welcoming; and underscoring it all, it’s simply hard to beat the eye-candy scenery and blissfully cool weather.
One prime example is found 88 miles east of Quebec City at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, a guest-pampering property gorgeously nestled among the foothills of the Laurentian Mountains and on the shores of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec province’s historically rich Charlevoix region.
Dating back to 1899, the French stone castle hotel is celebrated for a dazzling array of five-star amenities, including 405 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, four award-winning restaurants, health club, spa, multi-sports center, expansive conference facilities and stylish casino gambling.
Golf is equally enticing. Originally opened in 1925 with 18 holes crafted by Herbert Strong, Le Manoir Richelieu Golf Club was seamlessly updated and expanded to 27 holes in 2002 by golf architect Darrell Huxham. Much of the invested $15 million went into building the newer St-Laurent nine, a visually stunning marvel that, for much of its 3,178-yard par-36 routing, tumbles sharply downhill into breathtaking river backdrops and forest-framed greensites.
The steep terrain mandates carts are restricted to paths, making even a single 18-hole loop a grueling, ankle-threatening, heart-thumping ordeal.
Even so, decide that great challenges deserve great rewards. That’s an appreciated mantra at Le Manoir Richelieu’s four-diamond-awarded restaurants, where Executive Chef Patrick Turcot treats guests to mouth-watering seductions enhanced with locally sourced delicacies like cheese, chocolate, cider, wine, handcrafted beer and organic meats and vegetables — all ancestrally linked to the Charlevoix region.
Speaking of Epicurean delicacies, there are few better ways to enjoy a Charlevoix stay-and-play vacation than sampling the region’s internationally renowned Flavour Trail. For a snack or sumptuous feasts, touring foodies are steeped in an 89-mile treasure terroir of workshops, small-kitchen bistros, fine-dining restaurants, aromatic bakeries, fresh-daily factories and family run farms.
Insider’s tip: Brunch at the Microbrasserie Charlevoix in charming Baie-Saint-Paul for an unforgettable suds-and-grub experience.
Even more memories can be had whale watching on the St. Lawrence River; stargazing at the Astronomical Observatory of Charlevoix; listening to live music and trying your luck at the on-site Casino de Charlevoix; becoming exhilarated during an Elixir Ice Cider Body Wrap at Le Manoir Richelieu’s Moment Spa; or enjoying a coffee-and-scones St. Lawrence River sunrise on the hotel’s verdant Pointe-au-Pic backyard.
For more about Quebec’s Charlevoix region, go online here.
What are your favorite memories of Charlevoix? Share your comments below.
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer. Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.