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Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie

Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

In 1608 Samuel de Champlain’s ship was stranded after an overnight stay because he did not know that the bay ran dry at low tide. Legend has it he screamed “Ah, La Malle Baye!” (Oh, the bad bay!) giving La Malbaie in Canada’s Quebec province its name. It was renamed Murray Bay for a Canadian governor, but the former name lives on.

Sportsmen came to the area for hunting and fishing in the 1700s. At first, rooms were rented out in homes or small hotels. During the Belle Epoque and Gilded Age, La Malbaie became a fashionable resort community that welcomed steamships known as floating palaces. High society Americans and Canadians came for salt water and sea air, hunting and fishing at private clubs, and fine dining and accommodations.

The crown jewel was the magnificent  ‘Castle on the Cliff’, the Manoir Richelieu, then owned by the Canada Steamship Lines. The first Manoir opened in 1900 with two hundred and fifty beautiful decorated rooms. Adjacent bathrooms had running fresh and salt water. When the golf course opened in 1925 former President William Howard Taft presided over the opening ceremonies.

The original Manoir Richelieu was completely destroyed by fire in 1928. A new luxury hotel was opened in 1929.

People like Taft built grand summer estates overlooking the sea and cliffs, most notably on the prestigious Chemin des Falaises. Some are now luxurious and romantic inns. Many serve outstanding regional cuisine.

Nearly two centuries later, the beauty of the region and savoir-faire of the hospitality industry continue to flourish. La Malbaie was awarded 3 fleurons in Les Fleurons du Québec program to beautify gardens.

Today’s clear choice for 5-star luxury is Le Manoir Richelieu, now part of the Fairmont hotel chain. Perched majestically atop the cliff of Pointe-au-Pic and overlooking the St. Lawrence, it continues the resort tradition with its spa,  pools, four restaurants, and a 27-hole golf course with a seaside landscape.  (June 2015 rates from $179 CAD, non-refundable special from $144 CAD)

view of the St. Lawrence from the Manoir Richelieu,La Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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view of the St. Lawrence from the Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie,

whirlpool tub in suite at Fairmont Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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whirlpool tub in suite at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

breakfast setting, Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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breakfast setting, Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

breakfast at the Fairmont Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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Eggs Benedict at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

There is an active nightlife in the adjacent Casino de Charlevoix.

caleche and casino at Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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caleche and casino at Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

sunrise, Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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sunrise, Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

plates painted by local artists to depict local scenery, Fairmont's Le Manor Richelieu, La Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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plates painted by local artists to depict local scenery, Fairmont’s Le Manor Richelieu, La Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

Tasting menu, Manoir Richelieu, Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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Tasting menu, Manoir Richelieu, Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

There are many fine dining opportunities in Charlevoix, but the crown jewel is Chef Patrick Turcot’s La Table du Chef,  the Chef’s Table, at the renowned four-diamond Le Charlevoix Restaurant.

Table du Chef, Fairmont Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec
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Table du Chef, Fairmont Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec

Reserve early for Charlevoix’s ultimate dining experience.

Chef Patrick Turcot , Table du Chef, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada
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Chef Patrick Turcot , Table du Chef, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada

fois gras from La Ferme Basque, chef's table, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada
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fois gras from La Ferme Basque, Chef’s Table, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada

Table du Chef,

salad of regional greens, cheese, and bacon, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada
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salad of regional greens, cheese, and bacon,Table du Chef, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada

regional vegetables and beef tenderloin, chef's table, Fairmont Le Manoir Richeliey, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada
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regional vegetables and beef tenderloin,Table du Chef, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Quebec, Canada

fruit plate at the Chef's Table, Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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fruit plate, Table du Chef, Manoir Richelieu, La Malbaie, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

And to burn a few calories after all this indulgence, there are swimming pools and championship golf.

golf course, Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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rainbow spotted when passing by Le Manoir Richelieu Golf Club, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

golf at Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada
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golf at Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada

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