Head out on a great Canadian road trip Part II: Charlevoix and Quebec City

Toronto and Montreal are definitely two must-see cities for a great Canadian road trip. With memories of Mont Royale and the CN Tower behind us, we set off on the next leg of our week-long travel adventure, planned by the Amex Platinum Concierge and Travel teams.

Now this was where we found some of the most breathtaking scenery that photographers only dream of.

Day 4: Charlevoix

Our next stop on the road trip was Charlevoix!  We had never heard of this area and we were in for a treat, it was AMAZING!!!  This countryside region of Quebec is located east of Quebec City on the St Lawrence River.  It was quaint and lush with beautiful green rolling hills, adorable country homes and plenty of gorgeous churches.  Our American Express Concierge booked us in at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, a hotel built in 1928, and yet again another one of Amex’s FINE HOTELS AND RESORTS properties.  The service at Fairmont hotels never disappoints and Le Manoir Richelieu was no exception. 

While our Buick Encore’s GPS system had us en route from Montreal to Charlevoix we simultaneously took advantage of our car’s hands-free call feature and called our American Express Platinum Concierge from the vehicle.  Our Platinum Concierge booked us dinner reservations for both evenings that we would be in Charlevoix, along with babysitting services.  For our family travel, road tripping comfortably is always key! What we enjoyed the most from our Buick was the 4G LTE with WiFi that allowed us to stay connected on the go without using precious data.

Upon arriving at the hotel, we received a complimentary room upgrade (those #AmexLife perks just don’t stop!) with a great view of the hotel and the St. Lawrence River.  Shortly after unpacking and freshening up, the babysitter arrived along with room service for Sydney - which was free because kids under 5 eat for free at this Fairmont - and we were off to enjoy a relaxing dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Day 5: Charlevoix

The next morning we enjoyed our complimentary breakfast via room service and then decided to head off to the Fjord Du Saguenay after hearing rave reviews from hotel staff.   After a Google maps entry mishap, we ended up in a different part of the Fjord than expected but the landscape was a complete photographer’s dream, it literally had me laughing in delight!   We went for a walk together and the vibrancy and richness of the greenery and forest was incredible. And the smell! The smell of the forest was intoxicating, so clean and fresh. The region has so much to offer with hiking, beaches to picnic on, helicopter tours and whale watching excursions; our only problem was that we just didn’t have enough time to explore the area as much as we would have liked so it’s on the list of places we want to visit again! 

After our excursion to the Fjord, we enjoyed dinner at the hotel again while Sydney was happily colouring with her babysitter and enjoying free room service. Before dinner we had noticed a fire pit in the front of the hotel, along the boardwalk facing the St. Lawrence River, so when dinner was done we sat by the fire and relaxed. We then decided it was a perfect place for a nightcap and some dessert (… we were right, it was the perfect place for this!!!). Thinking back to this relaxing space by the fire, it is still one of the highlights of our stay at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.

The next morning, Jessica was off to the spa for a facial while I was on daddy duty and headed to the outdoor pool with Sydney.  It was a rainy morning but the pool was very warm and we had a blast playing in the water.   We all met back in the room and enjoyed coffee in our robes before packing up for our next destination, not worrying about the time, thanks to our late check-out benefit for booking at a FINE HOTELS & RESORT property.  We were a little sad to leave Charlevoix, but after this visit, I can definitely say we will be back!

Day 6: Quebec City

Our next stop on the road trip was Quebec City!  Like our previous reservations, we also had our American Express Platinum Concierge book us dinner reservations for both evenings we would spend in this city along with the ever loved babysitting service! We checked into the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac and yep you guessed it, we were upgraded once again to a renovated room with a city view, as this was another FINE HOTELS AND RESORTS property. Once Sydney was fed and ready to be tucked into bed by the hotel babysitter, we headed off to dinner.

 

We quickly learned if you ask any local in old Quebec City and tell them you are dining at Le Saint-Amour, they will nod with appreciation and tell you it’s the best in the city!  And they are right, it was perfection!  Since the restaurant is one of Amex’s Fine Dining partners , we were offered a complimentary appetizer. We ended our meal with an incredible dessert. The presentation was so perfect. True food artistry!

Dessert at Le- Saint Amour in Quebec.

Dessert at Le- Saint Amour in Quebec.

The next morning we enjoyed a complimentary buffet breakfast as part of our never ending Platinum Cardmember benefits before enjoying the day wandering around the streets of Old Town Quebec. The history and culture in this city is so rich, it is a meaningful place to visit.  The Chateau Frontenac itself is pretty impressive.  Built in 1893, as one of a series of ‘chateau’ style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway, it holds a designation as a National Historic Site of Canada and is one of the most famous hotels in the country.    

After sightseeing, Jessica and Sydney enjoyed the hotel pool while I caught up on some work.  On our second evening in Quebec City, we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks at 1608 Wine & Cheese bar in the hotel.   1608 recently won best mixologist in Quebec and it was fun to enjoy one of their mixes. Following this, we enjoyed dinner in the hotel restaurant, Bistro Le Sam; reservations were compliments of our American Express Platinum Concierge, while you guessed it… Sydney enjoyed room service and cartoons in our room under supervision of the hotel babysitter. 

As mentioned, the babysitting service was something we had never used before this trip but it was such a great option to have our Platinum Concierge book for us.  We were happy enjoying adult time on our dinner dates and Sydney was happy because she was completely doted on by the babysitters, who were so sweet and great with her.

The next morning we spent a couple hours enjoying breakfast and wandering around before heading on the road to the airport in Montreal. Before that we were given a tip from our Calèches driver that a donkey lived tucked away in the yard of an old church. You wouldn’t have guessed a donkey lived there had it not been for the tip, but much to Sydney’s delight we found it! 

The Resident Donkey of Quebec City.

The Resident Donkey of Quebec City.

Before we knew it, we were back on the road to Montreal to catch our flight home, thankful for the most incredible family road trip!  Seeing more of Canada and travelling in our own backyard was exactly what we needed!  With our Platinum Concierge and Travel teams taking care of the plans, they made travelling easy and convenient so we had more time to focus on quality family time together. We are still reminiscing about what an incredible trip we had and how much we love the #AmexLife!    

To learn more about all the wonderful perks of being an Amex Platinum Cardmember, click HERE.

Feeling inspired to start your own road trip? Start planning your travel with American Express now!

This post was sponsored by Amex Canada.  The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

 

 

 

 

An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.