Canada – Vast and Vibrant

With all the talk of William and Kate’s recent visit to Canada, I thought I would write about my experiences of this vast and vibrant country. I visited the region of Quebec in winter and absolutely loved it so here are some of the highlights during my Canadian Amaze Me Days.


Husky safari across the frozen lake towards Hotel Sacacomie on the hillside.
Lakeside Luxury
One of the most welcoming receptions awaits you when you walk through the doors of this hotel. The roaring fire and oversized comfy chairs set the scene and you just know you are going to be well looked after in this beautiful wooden lodge which feels more like you are entering a friends’ home than a hotel. The rooms are comfortable with amazing views over the frozen lake and many have whirlpool baths by the fireplace – perfect.
Luxurious lounge at Hotel Sacacomie
The thing I liked most about this destination was the combination of luxury, relaxation in the amazing spa and the most exhilarating activities such as snowmobiles or husky safaris in the vast grounds. Why not take to the skies in a sea plane to get a birds eye view of the stunning scenery then land on the frozen lake in front of the lodge? You can try your hand at ice fishing and If you catch a fish, the guide will cook it on an open fire for you – it tastes fantastic!

The spa was impressive – even for someone like me who gets bored with spas quite quickly, it was a very difficult place to leave! I think it was because there was so much to do – the very large outdoor jacuzzis, the two different saunas – one with a picture window overlooking the frozen lake and snowy forests, the indoor pool, the ice cold plunge pool and of course the many treatments available. I left this place wanting to book straight back in – I will definitely be back for more.

Chill Out in the Ice Bar

If you ever get the chance to visit a hotel made of ice and snow – take it, as these places are amazing in the way they are constructed each Winter then allowed to melt away in the Spring to make way for another design the following year.


Hotel de Glace outside Quebec City


The Hotel de Glace is situated on the outskirts of Quebec City and you can either stay there for the night or just go for a visit where you can look at all the rooms, have a go on the interior ice slide (where there are more adults clambering for a go than children) then finish up in the ice bar for a drink. I have been fortunate enough to visit several ice bars in several countries but for me, this was the best as it actually felt like a bar and had a really good atmosphere.


The bar at the Hotel de Glace

They even have real fires encased in toughened glass which look really bizarre in a place made completely of ice and snow – they do make you feel warmer (psycologically of course). I recommend the ice cider as it is a local tipple which tastes lovely when chilled which is just as well as it is served in a glass made of ice.


A real fire in a hotel made of ice!

Down the Tubes…..

This was my first time tubing where you sit in a tyre and slide down the many runs of the snow park. Each run is graded as a ski run would be so easy blue, challenging red and leave your brains at the top black. This was a fantastic day out and great fun in the snow for everyone.


Snow tubing near Quebec City


This is me at the top of one of the black runs called Himalaya – I did scream on the way down as you start to spin and you can’t see where you are going but I loved it and it did give you a buzz similar to when you are skiing.


Snow Tubing in Canada
The Best Reservation in Town
Again this hotel was on the outskirts of Quebec City and is very unique in both it’s concept and design. Situated in an Indian Reservation, it is not only a wonderful place to stay but the hotel is also a museum charting the history of these charismatic people. When you walk through the door, you enter a very modern building but with a soul – it was tasteful yet spiritual – quite a combination.
The food in the restaurant is created from local produce combining new ideas with ancient methods – very inspiring. I tried the home smoked salmon which was delicious. The salmon fillet was perfectly cooked and the smoked flavour and maple created a stunning combination.

The hotel is also a very large shop where all the items on display within the hotel are for sale. So whether you see an ornament in the foyer, a picture on the wall of the restaurant or a chair in your bedroom, you just need to contact reception for a price and you could be walking away with a piece of the hotel as a souvenir!

Want to know more?

Stay at the Sacacomie Lodge – click here

Chill Out in the Ice Bar – click here

Down the Tubes at Valcartier – click here