Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Originally a favourite summer destination for wealthy Americans and Montreal’s elite, the Charlevoix region is now a popular four season holiday destination, anchored by the historic Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Le Manoir Richelieu has a rich history beginning in 1899: interrupted for a year when the resort was rebuilt in 1929 with steel and stone after the original wood structure burned in 1928. In 1998 the new owners brought the resort into the Fairmont collection, following an extensive $140 million renovation that included: the addition of more guest rooms in a new building that matched the original classic stone building, the addition of a Multi-Sport Centre with indoor and outdoor pools, and more meeting rooms to accommodate corporate and social functions. Today the resort has 405 elegant guest rooms and suites; five restaurants, a scenic 27-hole golf course, and a wide variety of outdoor activities. If you still have some energy left over after a full day of activities, there is a Casino on the grounds, with access from the resort a few steps from main entrance or via a tunnel. Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is a family-friendly resort operating year round.

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Le Manoir Richelieu’s two exterior swimming pools are open year-round

The Charlevoix Region is one of Canada’s most picturesque, with its rolling hills meeting the mountains of the Canadian Shield. The undulating hills were formed 350 million years ago when a meteor slammed into planet Earth, causing the earth’s surface to ripple. The St. Lawrence River is much wider here, and forms a backdrop to much of the scenery; in addition to playing an ongoing role in the region’s economy. There are many fascinating artisans to visit in Charlevoix, and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is an ideal base for your explorations.

We’re going to tell you about the resort and it’s amenities in addition to our visits to the local artisans.

We noticed a variety of demographic groups amongst the resort guests; boomer couples, young couples, families with children and multi-generational families. The wide variety of on-site activities and nearby sightseeing and artisanal operations contributes to the allure of Le Manoir Richelieu. Fairmont is one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, which leads to the logical conclusion that a happy staff will result with happy guests enjoying their holiday experience.

First impressions are important, and the moment you walk up to the Grand Hall, you are impressed with the rustic grandeur of the main lobby, reminiscent of your rich uncle’s chateau in France.  To the left is Les Verrières, a floor to ceiling glassed-in sitting area and bar that overlooks the gardens and river beyond.

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A Fairmont Deluxe room

The accommodation floors have the spacious wide hallways of a bygone era, with contemporary decor in soft yellows and white trim. Our superior room was equipped with king bed and a Jacuzzi overlooking the river. The views are fabulous! The comfortable rooms have all the features that you’d expect in a 5 Star luxury resort, including the Wi-Fi, Nespresso machines, cozy terrycloth robes, and a fully stocked mini-bar.

Guests may access the Multi-Sports Centre via a second floor enclosed walkway, where you’ll find the 24-hour fitness centre, the indoor and two heated outdoor pools (one for families and a second lap pool). There is also a children’s play area. Moments Spa has 13 treatment rooms, 3 duo treatment rooms and a large relaxation lounge. Beverley’s Relaxation Massage was just that; “a gentle and truly relaxing massage without pressure to purchase additional services or products.”  The full service spa also offers Warm Pebble, Aromatic Oil, Remineralizing Clay, and Therapeutic massages. You can select from seven body wrap or exfoliation treatments. Guests can also pamper themselves with facials, manicures and pedicures. All of these are available in packaged combinations at competitive prices.

Dining at Le Manoir Richelieu

Guests have a five dining options during their stay, and all restaurants have outstanding views of the St. Lawrence River and the passing ships.

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Overlooking the St-Lawrence, Restaurant Table & Terroir offers a farm-to-table dining experience,
using local produce

The chefs are active supporters and purchasers of local produce, meat, poultry and fish; visiting with suppliers on a regular basis within a 50 km radius. It’s not only a way of contributing to the local economy; the farm-to-table concept ensures fresh ingredients. Le Manoir Richelieu is a member of the Route des Saveurs (Flavour Trail) that is a major attraction in Charlevoix, whereby you can meet with the farmers and artisans who produce the food being prepared by the chefs in the region. The Charlevoix Flavour Trail is reflected in the table d’hôte menu of the Table & Terroir restaurant; mussels are in season in April, and lobster is featured in May. T&T serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can dine al fresco during the summer.

Le Saint Laurent is a comfortably elegant room offering buffet-style dining in the evenings and is also open for Sunday Brunch. This is an ideal dining option for families.

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Wine Spectator has again awarded Le Charlevoix a Four Star Award of Excellence

Our hands-down favourite is Le Charlevoix, a Four Diamond restaurant that has again earned a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. The quality of food and service are outstanding; complemented by the post card quality views, to make an evening at le Charlevoix a special gourmet event. The experienced servers are knowledgeable about the menu, and the sommelier can help you select wines from the extensive cellar, and recommend wine pairings. Once again, local products are featured. If you have a good appetite, consider the “tasting” menu with wine pairings. The staff had as much fun explaining the menu as we did in consuming their recommendations.

Other dining options include Le Point Cardinal, the golf clubhouse restaurant. It’s open for breakfast and lunch and you don’t have to be a golfer to enjoy the views of the course, mountains and the river. There is a complementary shuttle service available for resort guests. Poolside snacks and drinks are available for Bar Le Zephyr, and Bar La Brise in the Grand Hall is a popular meeting place, serving local microbrewery beers, wines and cocktails.

We enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the huge kitchen. The main kitchen prepares food for all the restaurants, and it is then sent to satellite kitchens for final preparation before being served. All the breads are baked on site and all the soups are prepared from scratch. There is a private dining room in the chef’s office, located right in the kitchens. It’s available for private parties – a foodie’s delight! High-efficiency ovens that can heat serve 100 plates in seven minutes enable the staff and serve 600 people in 20 minutes – as fast as the servers can deliver to each diner. Once again, we were impressed by that Fairmont employee spirit. Their enthusiasm is infectious.

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Whale watching excursions can be booked by the concierge

Joggers and walkers will be happy to know that there are on-property trails. Amateur astronomers can check out the on-site telescope and observatory. The Concierge can assist in making reservations for whale watching, and make suggestions for interesting nearby sight-seeing destinations and artisans to visit.

For guests travelling with young children, it’s easy to book a visit with Le Manoir’s own mascot, Perle the Beluga. Perle will come to your room to tuck-in the children at bedtime.

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu offers golfers what may be Canada’s most scenic 27 holes. The three nine-hole segments allow golfers to play a new 18-hole configuration over a three day period. You’ll find more information about the golf course in the companion article on a following page.

We can recommend Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu for a rejuvenating and romantic getaway, a family holiday and even business meetings. The Fairmont credo is: “To create special moments and memories for our guests”. This is a unique and historic resort that will gain worldwide notoriety when Canada hosts the G7 Summit at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in 2018.

Travel Planner
Travelling from Montreal by car, we stopped in the picturesque artistic community of Baie St-Paul and explored the art galleries, and local producers. It’s a great way to break up the drive that is approximately three hours from Montreal and another 90 minutes from Quebec City. For information about Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu: www.fairmont.com/richelieu or call 418-665-3701. Bon Voyage and enjoy!

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Sunrise at the historic Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu