thinking about Quebec City for a long weekend late summer..any suggestions on hotels, restaurants, dos or don'ts?
The Marriott there was an old courtyard and is quite central to everything. It has been updated I understand but it was good as a courtyard when I was there.... Summertime in QC is busy but you must do all the walking around the old town. For the best view, hate to have to say this, head to the grand daddy of them all, Fairmont Chateau Frontenac and sit in that bar by the window and look at the St Lawrence for ever...shop at Simons - truly french Canadian and first store started in QC.
thanks for the info---looks like its the delta in midAugust
We went last year to Canada in August for 5 days. Stayed in Montreal and then took the bus to Quebec City. Stayed both cities at the Delta Hotels. The Delta in Quebec was very nice and I felt the staff was really wonderful. Reserved 2 deluxe queen rooms - when we arrived one was ready and the other not quite. About an hour later I got a phone call that the 2nd room was ready and was handed a key card. Went upstairs to put my things in the room and (whoops) it was occupied by another guest. Really a "whoops" moment which was rectified by front desk and so we were upgraded to a junior suite with jacuzzi bath tub. Sweet!
Quebec City is easy to get familiar with and the Delta is pretty close proximity to the main (walled) city. We are a walking family so we do get in plenty of steps when on vacation. Brief things of some of what we did:
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac - walked through the hotel (what a beauty)
From Fairmont we walked to the lower part of the city and walked among the shops and restaurants. I did not make reservations in advance (BIG mistake). August seemed to be a very busy time and without reservations it was not easy finding ("great" - recommended by Trip Advisor) restaurants without a 1-2 hour wait. Took the funicular from the lower area to upper - which was nice coming back one night.
Citadel - went on tour and then watched the changing of the guard and the shooting of the cannon.
Notre Dame church
Rented a car (Enterprise) which conveniently located at the Delta Hotel and went to Montmorency Falls and then to Ile d'Orleans. The falls were beautiful and the Ile was a lot of fun; small island where we visited shops, wineries, cider house and just spent the day stopping where ever we felt. Went back to hotel that evening and parked the car - real easy and didn't have to pay parking since it was just for over night return.
One evening watched firework celebration (was August 16th last year) but I have forgotten what it was for (oops).
Went to the two larger museums - also very interesting and fun.
Took the Quebec-Levis ferry round trip ride.
Took a tour inside the Parliament building.
Took a tour inside Morrin’s prison & college and incredible library room. Tour was fantastic!
We had a lot of good meals (outside of the first night since I did not have reservations and we ate at some chain restaurant). That said 2 of the 5 nights we ate at an Italian restaurant just 10 minutes away from the Delta Hotel.
Ciccio Cafe 875 Rue De Claire-Fontaine, Quebec City, Quebec G1R 3A8, Canada (Downtown Quebec City)
As for your hotel options: there isn't a Marriott hotel that is super touristy, all properties are textbook examples from their respective portfolio.
I've personally stayed at the Courtyard, the Delta, the Marriott, the Four Points by Sheraton Levis and visited the PUR (Tribute Portfolio). Also, I've lived nearly 2 years in Quebec City (2010-2011).
The Courtyard: nice property, but really out of the way. The Commissaire Restaurant on site is decent, but nothing else around. From there, you'll need a highway drive to get to downtown. Unless downtown properties are full or I don't need to be downtown, I wouldn't really stay here.
The Four Points by Sheraton Levis is even further away and only an option if you need to be on the south shore.
So downtown, it's basically between the Delta, the PUR and the Marriott. The PUR is too hipster for my taste and, although downtown, it's in the lower town, while most people will prioritize visiting the fortified city, which is in the upper town. Even for the seasoned hikers, those cliffs may still be somewhat challenging.
Narrowing it down to Delta and Marriott. Location-wise they are basically next to each other. My personal favourite is the Delta. For a few very simple reasons:1) Has a lounge, 7 days a week. Even when there is no service, it will remain accessible 24h/day for the mini fridge, espresso machine, etc. The breakfast is a very basic continental breakfast, nothing fancy. (Where as the Marriott has no lounge and will only offer breakfast vouchers for the week, since they have the impression that nobody ever has access to any lounge anyways during weekends. And you'll need to pay extra for the hot buffet.)
2) Views. Try to specify it in advance, but you will want a view on the lower town. Ideally a corner room (I'm trying to scratch my head, it might be room 1112/1212, I need to search in my archives to see.) I feel in the last years it got harder to request a desirable room, more so as a somewhat-more-or-less regular guest. Just make sure you don't get the corner room that is staring at a blind wall of the Convention Centre. Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and ask for another room. Because there are some amazing views at night! (Where as the Marriott has no real views. If you're lucky, only view on Youville Square.)
3) Rooms are larger. (I got upgraded at Marriott to a larger room, which was still claustrophobicly small.)
4) Parking is ever so slightly cheaper. The Marriott self-parking garage next door charges PER DAY and not per 24h, so you'll get screwed. Get valet parking for a short-term stay. In both cases, only valet parking can be charged to the room and have unlimited in/out privileges.
/edit: I've also stayed at the Hilton and Le Concorde, but no reason to privilege them over the Delta. There's a local chain called Les Hotel Jaro that are doing a lot of advertisement, but they are all in the other side of town, so a huge commute to downtown and had some mediocre to bad experiences there in the past.
Late summer, most of the festivities should be over. So it should be a little less touristic.
Do take a long hike through Old Québec (both the upper town and Petit Champlain). You can find so many of the highlights elsewhere on the internet.
For restaurants inside the city walls, there are good options, but nothing really stands out. If you're finding yourself wanting to eat there anyway: Sapristi (Frenchy-French cuisine), L'Entrecôte Saint-Jean (Parisian-style steakhouse), Pub St-Patrick (no need for explanation), or if you want decent paninis in Petit Champlain: head to Pape Georges. Many people will also send you to Grande-Allée, but I find the establishments there to be over-rated, overly touristic and overly posh. Instead, get to Saint-Jean Street, and find more local places, such as Fou-Bar (intimate jazz bar regularly booking live musicians), Ninkasi (check out the roof terrace), Chez Victor (best gourmet burgers EVER, a few restaurants across town each with their own particularities), Le Projet (combining good beers with good food).
Best coffee at the Brûlerie mini chain (Brûlerie St-Jean, Brûlerie Limoilou, Brûlerie St-Roch, etc.).
The Montmorency Falls make for a nice natural visit. Either go their by car and park at the bottom (although paid parking during the summer) or take one of the Metro Bus lines and get off at the top station / chalet. There's a nice walk-way bridge across and you can go up/down with a cable car ($$) or dare to take the stairs, you'll visit the site where the British were camping out while besieging the then-French settlement at Quebec City.
Don't discard the lower town of Québec! Plenty of nice restaurants and going-out places on St-Joseph Street. One that really stands out is L'Affaire est Ketchup, which is no regular restaurant experience: everyone gets in, orders and eats at the same time (so pick your time slot), it's a communal experience in a place where the kitchen completely runs on regular household stoves. Reservations are a necessity! If you like sea food, the same owners are also behind the Albacore restaurant. Haven't tried it out yet.
There are some nice brewpubs, notably La Barberie (one of the oldest Quebec-province microbreweries still running, very nice terrace, pretty much only locals, bring your own food) and Korrigan.
If you want good comfort food to bring to the first brewpub, get a pizza at Café Napoli / Boîte à Pain bakery (even beats any Italian pizza place), too bad they don't deliver. The provincial liquor store is SAQ: they are somewhat expensive, but the stores on St-Jean Street and Charest Boulevard have a nice amount of local spirits (Ungave Gin is a success story, there are some famed maple-flavoured whiskies, and Quebec is famous for ice wines and ice ciders.) You may even find some local spirits directly from the producers in the Old Port Market (Marché du Vieux-Port). In the adjacent park there might be some activities during summer time too.
Retrieving data ...