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Highly praised La Malbaie luxury resort hotel with year-round outdoor pools & stunning views

Pros
  • Free amenities: outdoor parking
  • Guests loved the romantic and peaceful setting with stunning views of the river
  • Rooms were clean with comfortable beds
  • The outdoor pools provided a memorable experience said many guests
  • Location offered excellent hiking, the pretty town of La Malbaie and its fromageries and lots to do in the area
  • Staff in all areas were excellent said guests
  • Several guests enjoyed breakfast on the terrace with views of the river and other meals on site
  • Golf, whale watching, birding and scenic walks along paths were popular activities on site
Cons
  • Wi-Fi costs $13.95 per day for non-President's Club members (guests can join for free)
  • Valet parking is indoors and $25 per night
  • The free parking lots were a long walk away
  • Some thought the hotel and restaurant were expensive
  • Poor and paid Wi-Fi a disappointment to some guests
  • Some complained of small and dated rooms
Freebies
Free Parking
Editor's Analysis
Updated Feb 16, 2016
Overview
This historic luxury resort is located 2 hours northeast of Quebec City in the Charlevoix region. Situated on a hill overlooking the St. Lawrence River, it offers close access to the resort town of La Malbaie. The area offers a host of activities including: golfing, whale watching cruises, kite surfing, wind surfing, canoeing, kayaking, beach and swimming, hiking and biking trails, dog sledding, cross-country and downhill skiing and snowmobiling.

The hotel offers both smoking and non-smoking rooms. All 405 rooms include Wi-Fi ($13.95 plus tax/day), cable TV with in-room pay movies, video-game consoles, a coffeemaker, a mini-bar, a desk, bathrobes, an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer, windows that open and climate control. Rooms are furnished with 1 king, 1 queen or 2 double beds. Room extras include a sofabed, a living room, a baby grand piano, a decorative fireplace, a dining room, a separate bedroom, a second bathroom, a double jacuzzi, and a seating area. Accessible rooms are available. 

Free outdoor parking is available on site. Indoor valet parking is available for $25 per night with in/out privileges and the parkade offers electric vehicle charging stations. Pets are welcome for $25 per pet, per day

Le Bellerive features a seasonal outdoor terrace and is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Le Charlevoix restaurant is open daily for dinner. Le Saint-Laurent restaurant offers buffet-style dinners nightly. La Brise Lobby Bar serves lunch and dinner with views of the St Lawrence and live music. Le Phare serves coffee and pastries in the morning. Guests will also find restaurants within a 9-minute walk, or 5-minute drive in the town of La Malbaie.

Hotel amenities include an indoor pool, an indoor hot tub, 2 year-round outdoor pools, a year-round outdoor hot tub, a steam room, a day spa, a fitness centre, a 24-hour business centre, a 27-hole championship golf course, and meeting/banquet space. 

Many activities are available at the hotel including horse-drawn sleigh rides, skating, ice-fishing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling in the winter and horse-drawn carriage rides, golfing, tennis, mini-golf, fishing, and biking in the summer.

Hwy 362 is a 3-minute drive away. Mont Grand-Fonds offers downhill and cross-country skiing a 26-minute drive north. Casino de Charlevoix is located next door to the hotel, right on the property. Musée de Charlevoix is about a 9-minute drive north. Centre Commercial Place Charlevoix provides shopping 5 minutes away by car, and Charlevoix Airport (YML) is a 19-minute drive without traffic. (All travel times: Google Maps)

Confirmed with the front desk on February 12, 2016: some smoking rooms available, there are rooms available with a separate bedroom, pet and Wi-Fi costs; guests can join President's Club for free and obtain free Wi-Fi plus other perks
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The Good
This regal and historic hotel was very well liked by its guests who found relaxing stays. Guests were most impressed with the beautiful views of the St. Lawrence River, the ambiance of the stately hotel and its gardens, and the scenic walking paths and trails nearby.

The hotel offered many activities on site and nearby, but the most impressive activity for many of the guests was the heated outdoor pools. In the winter and colder months, guests could enjoy a dip or swim in large pools that were heated to 97 degrees, which made for a unique and memorable experience.

The hotel's world-class golf course offered magnificent views of the river and great dining on site. The free horse-drawn carriage ride, the outdoor skating rink, whale and bird watching, the spa treatments and the fitness centre and steam room were all very much appreciated by recent reviewers.

Guests often praised the staff. Guests called them super-friendly, terrific, helpful and said they offered extraordinary hospitality and excellent service. 

The highlight of the rooms was the remarkable view of the river, but guests also found the rooms, although older, well cleaned with comfortable beds. Some mentioned AC units that worked well and good showers.

Of the location, guests spoke of the spectacular drive from Quebec City, the pretty town of La Malbaie and its fromageries, and the hiking trails nearby comparing well with those in the Rockies. Some guests spotted cavorting beluga whales in the river right from their room!

Many enjoyed delicious meals on site and the highlight seemed to be the buffet breakfast, enjoyed on the terrace with stunning views of the St. Lawrence River.
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The Bad
The hotel did receive some negative feedback from guests online, although they typically provided high scores.

Some of the guests felt the hotel was overpriced. This sentiment usually accompanied comments about the rooms that had failed to impress or meet guests' expectations when compared to similar properties--the Fairmont Laurier in Ottawa and the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. Specific issues regarding the rooms included: room was a bit small, dark, outdated, paid extra for river view but the room was cramped by the window preventing the enjoyment of the view, jiggly mattress, room was a bit run down, bathroom was tiny, the room was very small with no drawer space and relatively banal.

This sentiment carried over to the restaurant where guests also complained of high prices. Some went to town to eat as it was just too expensive in the dining room for them, and guests often became critical of the food quality.

Parking received some negative attention. Guests had a choice: they could pay for valet parking or walk a fair distance to park for free. One guest put it like this, "Free parking is plentiful but be prepared to walk far and possibly up and down some very steep stairs."

Guests were also displeased to be charged for Wi-Fi and complained about difficulties accessing it. It received very low ratings in online surveys.
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Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.com guest reviews ranked the hotel #1 out of 13 La Malbaie hotels from 1,442 reviews.

Booking.com guest reviews rated the hotel 8.9 out of 10 from 882 reviews.

Expedia.com guest reviews rated the hotel 4.5 out of 5 from 602 reviews.


Editor's Analysis by Erin H.
Analyzed by Erin H.
Erin loves to travel, and considers it her personal mission to help fellow travellers get the inside scoop, both good and bad, on Canadian Hotels.
Guest Reviews
8.9
Very Good
#
1 / out of 11
hotels in La Malbaie

Rated 8.9/10 based on 3250 reviews

Ranked #1 out of 11 hotels in La Malbaie

3250
Map Marker Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu
181 rue Richelieu, La Malbaie, QC