Marvellously located on rue Saint-Pierre in the heart of historic Québec City’s lower, old town, the Hotel 71 – also known as the Soixante & Onze – is utterly charming and ideally situated across from the cruise port. The hotel is actually two side-by-side hotel buildings with a mutual reception area in the middle – something that wasn’t immediately obvious at check-in. The other building is named the Saint-Pierre Auberge. One was an insurance building and the other, the Head Office of Québec’s National bank. The exterior façade is a fabulous example of a 19th century neo-classic edifice but once inside, it’s remarkable how modern the 60 rooms are. While enjoying your view of the St Lawrence River you can also keep an eye on the rich architecture. Exploring the quaint, charming cobble stone streets is a must – there’s a bevy of wonderful galleries, antique stores, artists’ workshops and fi ne restaurants. Québec City is so inviting that before or after a cruise it really is a must-stay for a night or two.
Also close to the Musée de la Civilization, the Petit Champlain and Place Royale, the Hotel 71, a member of Preferred Hotels, is perfectly situated. The staff are helpful and friendly and there’s a wonderful afternoon ritual of enjoying a glass of wine with the hotel management in an area off the lobby. Bicycles are offered on a complimentary basis for three hours; the concierge, a member of Clefs d’or will assist with ideas for exploring and shopping as well as helping with restaurant choices. There are so many within an easy stroll.
Those modern, spacious rooms with 14 foot ceilings offer a minimal, neutral décor, as well as Nespresso machines and L’Occitane products. There’s a blissful rain shower, a makeup mirror and a mini fridge. The bed is comfortable and they still do a turn-down service here.Back in the mutual lobby area, between the two distinct hotels, guests will find a complimentary 24-hour Espresso lounge with coffee, tea and water and a small Italian restaurant, Il Matto for authentic cuisine. There’s a fitness centre too but I recommend you get your exercise by walking and enjoying this marvellous old city, even more fascinating now than when it was originally settled in the 1600s.
Written by Vanessa Lee. Originally published in Cruise & Travel Lifestyles Winter/Spring 2019 issue. Photos courtesy of Hotel 71.