Québec’s quirkiest lodgings

From treehouses to lighthouses, domes to tepees and floating yurts to an ice hotel Québec has the weirdest places to stay

Americas, Luxury Travel, Sustainable / Eco, Travel Destinations

From treehouses to lighthouses, domes to tepees and floating yurts to an ice hotel Québec has the weirdest places to stay.

Those pining for an adventure ‘into the wild’ need look no further than Québec in Eastern Canada. Covering a territory three times the size of France and home to over 8,000 lakes, Québec gives new meaning to the term the ‘Great Outdoors’. This natural backdrop combined with a rich history and its aboriginal roots all contribute to Québec’s quirky accommodation options where visitors can relax in a woodland dome, chill out in a quinzee or head to bed on a floating yurt, all in one province!

So why not swap a hotel room ceiling for a forest canopy or the night sky and discover the real Québec in these lodgings with a difference…

Get forty winks in The Dome in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

The Cap Jaseux Adventure Park on the banks of the Fjord du Saguenay offers guests a cosy, fully-equipped glass Dome, 20 feet in diameter which sleeps up to four people. Set in the forest in the heart of the park this private Dome offers views of the Saguenay Fjord by day and the stars overhead by night as guests relax to nature’s soundtrack. Visitors can enjoy day or night sea kayaking excursions, via ferrata, zip lining and hiking or can simply relax on the park’s beautiful beach.  Other accommodation options on offer in the park include suspended fibreglass bubbles, treehouses and rustic log cabins. Prices for the Dome start from CAD$215 based on four sharing. www.capjaseux.com/en/accommodation/dome-2/

Drift off in a floating yurt in Gaspésie

The Gaspesie region in Eastern Québec is one of the province’s year-round highlights with ocean, forest and mountain landscapes converging in one region. Aventure Aux Quatre Vents offers guests the chance to stay overnight in one of its floating yurts in the bay of Carleton-sur-Mer. Prices start from CAD$130 per night based on two sharing and the floating yurts are available for rent in the summer months from June to September. www.tourisme-gaspesie.com/en/visiter/aventure-aux-quatre-vents/3643885.html

Hit the hay in a Hobbit House, a native Indian Tepee or a Quinzee in the Laurentians

The World’s Rooftops (‘Toits du Monde’) resort is located in the Laurentians region near the great Nominingue Lake. The resort’s accommodation offering ranges from a Hobbit House to a Native Indian Tepee to a Mongolian Yurt with a traditional ‘Quinzee’, or snow shelter, due to open this winter. Each lodging is eco-friendly and designed to take guests back to ancient cultures’ traditional ways of living. Set within the resorts’ woodland grounds, guests can enjoy a range of activities in the area in all seasons including cycling, hiking, roller skating, golf, rafting, windsurfing and canoeing.  Prices start from CAD$105 per night. www.lestoitsdumonde.ca/_en

Experience lights out in a Lighthouse in Bas-Saint-Laurent

The Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie archipelago comprises of three small islands located in the Saint Lawrence River in Bas-Saint-Laurent. The Pot à l’Eau-de-Vie lighthouse was fully operational until 1964 when it closed after 102 years of service then in 1989, the building was renovated and transformed into a charming guest house. The features of the lighthouse are typical of the architecture found in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region and the interior is furnished in the spirit of the 19th century, paying homage to the old navigators of the St Lawrence. This unique guest house is a great option for groups staying in the region with three double bedrooms and a large communal dining table. Guests are invited to bring a bottle of their choice to accompany the five star gourmet meals made from local ingredients served up by the chef. The area is rich in history and full of wildlife and there is a telescope in the lighthouse for guests to observe marine birds. Rooms are available during the summer months from the end of June to the beginning of September and each stay includes return boat transfers with wildlife spotting from Riviere du Loup to the island, accommodation on a half-board basis and access to the Pot du Phare walking trails. duvetnor.com/en/

Recline in a luxury wood cabin in Lanaudière

In addition to the traditional cottages and ‘yourtes d’ici’ yurts introduced in 2015, Chalets Lanaudière is expanding its village of unique rooms with the launch of ‘cabanes d’ici’, four secluded wooden cabins which sleep four to six people. These charming one and two-floor mini cabins are nestled in the forest just one hour from Montréal in the Lanaudière region and are available to rent year-round. Outdoor activities on offer encourage guests to explore the region’s lakes and mountains with dedicated trails for keen ramblers. Each cabin was designed with the forest setting in mind and is equipped with bedding, a full kitchen, a wood stove and an electricity supply. chaletslanaudiere.ca/en

‘Chillax’ in the Ice hotel just outside Québec City

Just 10 minutes’ drive from downtown Québec City lies the Ice Hotel (‘Hotel de Glace’) which is the only ice hotel in America entirely made of ice and snow. The structure takes 50 workers, including fifteen sculptors, six weeks to build and requires over 30,000 tons of snow. Guests can choose between a standard room, themed suite, premium themed suite with a fireplace or upgrade to the Premium Deluxe Arctic Spas suite with fireplace and its own private spa. A range of winter activities for guests in the area include skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling. In its 16th season, the hotel will be open from 4th January to 26th March 2017 and next season’s theme is Rivers which will be the inspiration behind the design for the Hôtel de Glace and its suites. An overnight stay starts from CAD$199 per person and includes a welcome cocktail, nordic sleep equipment for the night, access to the hotel’s spa and sauna, and breakfast. www.hoteldeglace-canada.com/

Catch some z’s in a Mongolian yurt in the Eastern Townships

The Five Senses Accommodation group (Hébergement aux Cinq Sens) combine modern amenities with ancient traditions in its Mongolian yurt lodging. Located in the forests of Piopolis in the Eastern Townships region of Québec, this unique destination has five yurts offering visitors of today a taste of native life and culture. As a member of the Quebec Aboriginal Tourism alliance, the yurts are inspired by the Mongolian nomads who slept in a traditional round tent called a ger meaning ‘house’, and the structural design dates back around 2,000 years. Prices start from CAD$115 per night and from June this year, visitors will also be able to enjoy activities themed around the culture of the First Nations such as storytelling around a campfire, learning traditional cooking methods and building a fire. The group is also introducing a 16-foot inflatable cocoon, or ‘Cosy Bubble’, with clear outer panels for guests to sleep in under the starry skies of the region.  auxcinqsens.ca

Get some shut-eye in a Treehouse in the Laurentians

Well-known as a ski resort in the winter, and blooming into lush mountain forests in the summer, Mont Tremblant in the Laurentians can be enjoyed year round. The Les Refuges Perches’ unique treehouses are the perfect woodland escape for guests looking to get up close to nature. Each treehouse is insulated, fully equipped for cooking and features comfortable beds, a bathroom with shower, a sun terrace, a fire pit and a picnic table. Located 15 feet above the ground between the trees under the shade of the forest canopy, the treehouses’ wood cabin design fits in with the natural surroundings offering a calm retreat for guests looking to escape the hustle and bustle. There are 10 treehouses available for rent year round which sleep between four and six people and can only be reached by water via a small dock. Prices start from CAD$99 per night. www.refugesperches.com/en/our-treehouses/

Unwind in a 400 year old Monastery in Québec City

Located in the heart of Old Québec, Le Monastère des Augustines occupies the historic wings of the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery which dates back to 1639 and once housed the first hospital on the continent north of Mexico. Originally founded by the Augustinian Sisters, an order of nuns sent from France by Louis XIII, the building has been sensitively restored and redesigned into a not-for-profit wellness hotel which opened last summer. The hotel offers a unique wellness experience which pays homage to the Augustinian Sisters’ rich heritage and also houses a museum displaying artefacts whose origins span across four centuries. In keeping with the Augustinian Sisters’ mission, Le Monastère des Augustines offers a wide range of activities and services in holistic health, all either with accommodation or on a à la carte basis. Prices start from CAD$84 per person per night based on two sharing. monastere.ca/en

With new flight routes from WOW air, Icelandair and Air Transat this summer and the British pound strong against the Canadian dollar, there’s no better time to explore Québec and experience its alternative accommodation offering first hand.

For more information on Québec’s unique accommodation visit www.quebecoriginal.com/en-gb/accommodation/unusual-accommodations



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Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

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