Hôtel La Ferme is the latest creation of businessman Daniel Gauthier, who co-founded the Cirque du Soleil in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town in the heart of the Charlevoix region, over 30 years ago. The hotel is part of a massive project that first started when he bought Le Massif, a ski mountain 70 km east of Quebec City 10 years ago. He wished to transform the low-key mountain into a world-class four-season destination and his project was to unfurl in three phases: the mountain would get a major overhaul, a train would link Quebec City, the ski resort and Baie-Saint-Paul, and a hotel would be built, providing quality accommodation and dining options to visitors.
Hôtel La Ferme (literally, The Farm) is located in Baie-Saint-Paul, in a region renowned for the beauty of its scenery, the diversity of its outdoor activities and attractions, and its outstanding food producers. The hotel was built on a huge piece of land on which there used to be a farm, an impressively large 100-year-old building that was recognized as one of the largest wooden structures in Canada. The century-old farm was supposed to be part of the hotel project before it was lost to a fire in 2007. The project was then reinvented as a five-pavilion complex inspired by the land’s history.
Lobby and Common Areas
The first thing that strikes visitors that first arrive at Hôtel La Ferme is the building’s modern but understated appearance. The 145-room hotel is in the heart of Baie-Saint-Paul, which is a small 7,000-soul village, but one wouldn’t suspect it. The wooden and glass structures seem to blend into the scenery, and the low buildings don’t clash with the surrounding historic homes. In the main pavilion, the fireplace, repurposed vintage wooden crates, light fixtures made with recycled glass milk bottles and natural materials (felt, leather, wool and wood) give a very natural, cozy and unpretentious feel to the place. Local designers created most of the hotel’s furniture and accessories, and this “local philosophy” is a common thread appearing throughout La Ferme’s concept—from the décor to the food.
Guest rooms range from dormitories to luxurious suites, and they are scattered among five different pavilions, each with their own personality and design.
In the train station pavilion, clever dormitory rooms provide inexpensive but luxurious accommodations to younger guests, back-packers or budget-conscious travelers. Each room has four single beds, locking chests and a private bathroom with two sinks. Beds are fitted with the same comfortable bedding used throughout the hotel, and guests also benefit from the same quality amenities. A guest can share a room with strangers for about CAD$ 49/night or a group or family can rent a whole room for a reduced rate.
In the main pavilion, guest rooms are nicely sized and adorned in a timeless palette of birch, whites, and grays with warming bright red accents. The beds are exceptionally comfortable, the heated flooring in the bathrooms is a plus (especially in winter) the desks are good sized, and business travelers will appreciate the connectivity hub, which allows guests to easily plug in a computer and connect it to the TV.
- Down duvet and feather pillows
- 300 thread-count bed linens and 100% cotton bath towels
- Free Wi-Fi hi-speed internet access throughout the hotel
- Nespresso coffeemakers in all rooms (including the dormitories) with complimentary coffee capsules
- Flat-screen TV and à la carte cinema
- Alarm clock radio and iPod/iPhone dock
- Cordless phone and voicemail
- Local artisan bath products
There are three dining options at Hôtel La Ferme:
- Le Café du Marché: Located inside the train station pavilion, this laid-back café offers soups, sandwiches and pastries, as well as a gourmet grocery section where visitors can stock up on locally-made terroir products such as jams and pâtés.
- Le Bercail: Located in the heart of the hotel’s lobby, Le Bercail allows visitors to enjoy a casual lunch or have drinks by the crackling fireplace. A simple but comforting menu offers gratins, tartars, pizzas, charcuteries, salads and cheeses.
- Les Labours: The hotel’s signature restaurant is located on the second floor, and it offers beautiful views of the surrounding scenery. The décor is modern and elegant, and the spectacular central open kitchen allows diners to watch chef David Forbes and his team hard at work assembling dishes made from only the best local and seasonal vegetables, fish, and meats. The menu is diverse but short—ensuring that everything’s always fresh and made specifically to order. The restaurant’s approximately 2,000 wine-bottle cellar is guaranteed to please even the most demanding wine aficionados, and the outdoor terrace is a charming spot from which to enjoy dinner on a warm summer night. Weekend brunches are quite popular, delicious, and creative; reservations are required.
Services and Activities
- Central Public Square: Features a weekly farmers’ market in the summer and a planned ice skating rink in the winter.
- Multifunctional Venue: Accommodates up to 480 guests for music shows, movies, special events and conventions.
- Meeting Rooms: Six rooms are available to host conferences, business meetings and corporate presentations.
- Spa du Verger and Gym: Opening planned in mid-December. Features a yoga room, full-service spa, dry sauna, steam bath, hot tubs and gym with top-of-the-line fitness equipment and personal trainers.
- Guided Tours: A selection of discovery tours and circuits are offered to visitors with themes like local food, history and art.
- In the main pavilion, rooms with even numbers offer the best views, facing the vast, unspoiled land and the St. Lawrence River in the distance.
- Dinner at the bar at Les Labours is a fun and friendly experience, offering the opportunity to chat with the chef and his team and other diners.
- Brunch is an absolute must, and if Le Bûcheron is on the menu, do order it: it’s a to-die-for grilled cheese French toast sandwich filled with one of the region’s best local cheeses (Le Migneron de Charlevoix) and top-quality local ham. The sandwich is topped with eggs done your way and a drizzle of maple syrup, and it is served with fried potatoes and a crisp, lightly dressed salad.
Hôtel La Ferme
50, rue de la ferme
Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec QC G3Z 0G2