Hotel Champlain Vieux Quebec: The Heart of Old Quebec

by | Mar 12, 2024 | Canada, Family Adventures

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After a very long day (18 hours!) on a train, my son, George, and I were so happy to land at the very stationary Hotel Champlain.

Upon arrival, the boutique hotel’s charm was immediately apparent.

A wood stove, or poêle à bois, as the Quebecers say, resides in the cozy foyer. Its warmth was only matched by a smiling front desk staff, setting the stage for a stay enhanced by friendly, personalized care.

 

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Hotel Champlain Quebec City

Nestled in the heart of Old Quebec, Hôtel Champlain provids the perfect location from which to explore Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec).

The hotel’s proximity to major attractions like the Naval Museum of Quebec and the summer-time hot spot, Fontaine de Tourny Fountain, is a testament to its unrivaled location. It truly is an ideal place for those seeking to explore Quebec City on foot, as every significant site is just a few minutes’ walk away. 

Keep in mind that some sites, like the adorable Quartier Petit Champlain, one of the city’s most vibrant spots, are a longer walk. This means that it is nice to have a car and a parking space if traveling with very young children or others with mobility issues. 

With the hotel’s central location, a short walk was all it took to put ourselves in the Place Royale, the small but mighty historical square said to be the birthplace of what the French explorers initially called New France and what is today Old Quebec City.

The vibrant life of public squares, even in the middle of winter, is a testament to the Quebecois’ joie de vivre. Buskers, artists, and food vendors can all be found in these joy-filled cobblestone gathering places.

 

room -hotel champlain

This cozy setting at the hotel is the perfect home away from home. @Hotel Champlain

 

Public Transportation in Quebec

Public transportation is available but limited in Old Quebec. Truthfully, in the heart of Old Quebec City, most everything is within walking distance.

When one does need a ride, we have a tip! We learned the hard way that there are way more taxi drivers than Uber drivers in Quebec City. After waiting for 20 minutes for an Uber one night, we gave up. We called a taxi, and it was there to pick us up in minutes. After waiting in the freezing cold, we were super happy to hop in that taxi!

The location of Hotel Champlain in relation to the train station and Place D’youville Bus Station (both are found in the same spot) is a bit of a hike on foot. Luckily, there are plenty of taxis at the station. 

 

snowy taxi scene -quebec city hotel

When the weather is like this, then a taxi is my favorite way to get around this city. @Shutterstock

 

Breakfast at Hotel Champlain

There is a trendy-feeling, brightly lit breakfast cafe open every morning until around 10 am on the first floor of the hotel.

Every morning, George and I would stumble down to the breakfast cafe, sleep still in our eyes, to be welcomed by our cheery breakfast attendant. Smiling, he would lead us to an open table.

The continental breakfast buffet included croissants, toast, yogurt, scrambled eggs, waffles, and Canadian sausages. 

The chocolate-filled croissants and the mini-packets of Nutella smothered on the waffles were a daily delight that my chocoholic son and I took immense pleasure in. 

Free coffee every morning in darling little mugs made a delicious breakfast even better.

 

chocolate croissant with coffee -hotel champlain

Our daily breakfast. @Shutterstock

 

Evenings at This Quebec City Hotel

Each evening, as we returned from exploring the nearby cultural venues, fine dining, or after a stroll along the charming walkways, the hotel’s comfortable foyer was a welcome respite for our weary feet. 

Hotel Champlain’s foyer is home to a collection of books, board games, an espresso bar (with hot chocolate), and a wine bar. 

Because of the hotel’s size, we quickly got to know the front desk staff and the other guests, along with their four-legged friends. This made it feel cozy, like home. This is something that was truly special as it made this big, foreign city feel a bit smaller. 

 

wine bar -hotel champlain

This wine bar in the lobby was so much fun! @Hotel Champlain

 

Hotel Champlain’s Rooms

Hotel Champlain’s spacious rooms feature thoughtful design choices (like the electric or stone fireplace found in most rooms). Since every room is slightly different, it’s a good idea to ask the desk staff for the type of room that will be most comfortable. 

The pillowtop queen beds helped us enjoy restful nights. Charging docks near the bed allowed us to have goodnight phone calls with our family back home before slipping off to sleep.

 

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Guest rooms with LCD televisions and DVD players provided entertainment after long days of discovery. In addition, the complimentary wireless internet access kept us connected to loved ones back home. A pair of wing-backed chairs near the fireplace and television was a perfect, quiet spot to begin and end our days. (Don’t worry; there is also an air conditioner, which I may have flipped on after spending too much time near the fire.)

A writing table tucked into a corner of the room became the birthplace of journal entries filled with the day’s adventures. 

All rooms have private bathrooms, and one even has a hot tub. (Just ask for the junior suite with the two-person jacuzzi!) 

Our room had a large bathroom. Showering in the spacious, updated bathrooms was terrific. The water pressure was perfection, and the extra fluffy towels were a lovely, cozy touch. 

 

bathroom -hotel champlain

After a day of exploring Quebec’s icy tundra, there is nothing better than a warm shower. @Shutterstock

 

Hotel Champlain’s People

From the ease of express check-in and the convenience of a flexible check-out time to the on-site parking – a rare thing in such a prime location! The staff at Hôtel Champlain, ever helpful and kind, made our time away from home feel comfortable. 

The people here began to feel like family after only a few days. 

The breakfast attendant would greet us every morning, point out the freshly stocked chocolate croissants, and inquire about our daily adventures.

 

 

The front desk staff would happily make phone calls for us, show us how to make the perfect hot chocolate with the espresso machine (pro tip: select the milk option instead of the water), and even came to my rescue when the parking spot I was trying to back out of turned out to be suddenly a bit more tight than when I first parked. 

Having a parking garage at the hotel was awesome because many hotels do not have them, but it was small. There were a couple of times when I couldn’t get out of my spot, so I ran into the hotel to get help. The desk staff was always willing to come to my aid and didn’t make me feel bad for asking. In fact, each time, they cheered for me when I got out without a scratch. 

Beyond that, we were greeted every morning and evening with warm smiles, and above any amenity, this is what made our stay the most special.

 

Nighttime street scene-Old Quebec City

This gorgeously glowing street in the heart of Old Quebec City is only a few minutes walk from Hotel Champlain. @Shutterstock

 

Upon reflection, from the quiet of home, it is clear that this Quebec City hotel was not just a place to sleep but a glimpse into the secret of Quebec City’s warmth – its people. In addition, George and I enjoyed an experience that exceeded its incredible price of only around $100 per night. 

 

After exploring the heart of one of Canada’s most beloved cities, Hotel Champlain was the perfect spot to lay our heads. 

 

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-Hotel Champlain Quebec City

 

Steffy McCourt is a mom to three active and awesome boys, two budgies, one cockatiel, and a mischievous corgi. Currently an ELA Teacher in Plymouth, Michigan, she also writes for parenting magazines and education websites. She just recently launched her own travel website, www.mifamilytravel.com; a tribute to the state of Michigan. She has an MS in Educational Leadership from Butler University and a BA in English from Indiana University.