a VirtualTourist member from Orlando asked on Jun 12, 2006
We are planning a trip to Montreal but can,t find a suitable hotel in Montreal for the first week of the vacation as the Grand Prix is in town. So we are looking at splitting the vacation and spending 4 days in some town and then 4 days in montreal. I heard about La Malbaie and thought that might be a good offset to the faster pace of Montreal. Does anyone have any ideas about La Malbaie or any other town in which to split the vacation. Anyone ever been to the Fairmont Richelieu in La Malbaie? It is really expensive. Wonder if it worth the price. Appreciate yor comments.
La Malbaie is a very nice little town in the Charlevoix area, one of the most beautiful region of the Province of Quebec (about 5 hours from Montreal, 2 hours from Quebec City). It is definitely more quiet than Montreal, however there is a lot of fun activities to do. You can go whale watching out of Tadoussac (1 - 1.5 hr)(if you do so, take the zodiac cruise-you won't regret it as half of the fun is riding the boat-note that you will get wet, very wet even though they will lend you the full raincoat equipment) (http://www.tadoussac.com/), explore some of the beautifal provincial park such as Le Parc des Hautes Gorges (http://www.sepaq.com/pq/hgo/en/) where you can hike and canoe on the River La Malbaie. You can also do an excursion to Quebec City and its lower town full of historical buildings and houses, nice little shops and restaurants.
As for lodging, no doubt that the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu (http://www.fairmont.com/richelieu/)is "the Hotel" in the area. You can check the price on their website. Very luxurious, and probably the best situated with an incomparable view of the St-Lawrence River. There is also a very nice casino on the site. Being a deluxe hotel makes it more expensive, but it's worth it if you are going to pamper yourself. However, you should check the following site http://www.quebecweb.com/introang.html and look for accomodations in Charlevoix as there is other nice little hotels or bed and breakfast that have quite a high rating such as "Le petit manoir du Casino" which is literally beside the Manoir Richelieu and offer good accomodation for less than you will pay at the Manoir. The "Auberge des Peupliers" (aubergedespeupliers.com/char... also recommended.
Other than La Malbaie, you can spend the 4 days in Quebec City (ville.quebec.qc.ca/en/explor... which is about 2.5 to 3 hours from Montreal. Very nice city to explore for its architecture, especially in the lower town area. There is plenty to do around Quebec City, and you can easily take a one day excursion to go to La Malbaie and see the beautiful Charlevoix scenery. There is excellent restaurants to discover, nice shopping and a good nightlife if that is what you are looking for. There is also many hotels of different prices, including the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, one of the landmark hotel of the province.
Hope this is helpful.
Thank you for that. It was very nice of you to respond. Perhaps Quebec City would be a better stay with a side trip, as you suggest to La Malbaie. Will check out the Quebec City things to do. Thanks again!