This article won a Gold prize at the 2010 North American Travel Journalism Awards in Category 143: Resorts
Colonel Charles Hugh le Pailleur Jones made his fortune with the Mersey Pulp and Paper Co. near Liverpool, Nova Scotia in the early 1900s. But, while the southern shore of Nova Scotia boasts its share of gorgeous ocean vistas and pristine beaches, when it came time to retire, the French side of Jones’ character won out. He purchased a rustic tract of land near Quebec City and constructed a lovely period home. It was quickly christened the Chateau Bonne Entente because of Jones’ habit of hailing friends and neighbors with the greeting a la bonne entente, meaning “to harmony and good feelings”.
Now a Five Star, Four Diamond Gastronomic Spa and Golf Resort, Chateau Bonne Entente still epitomizes Colonel Jones’s concept of “harmony and good feelings” as it caters to a guest’s every whim. My wife Krista and I found last year’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec a perfect excuse to indulge ourselves in a weekend at Chateau Bonne Entente. Reserving a spa suite in the Urbania executive section of the hotel as our base of operations, we sallied forth on series of self-indulgent forays to enjoy various aspects of the resort.
For gourmet dining we didn’t need to look any further than the resort’s Four Diamond Monte Cristo Resto Lounge. For dinner our first evening I supped on a 20 ounce Black Angus steak, done medium rare and washed down with a full bodied Shiraz.
The Monte Cristo’s cellar is recognized by the prestigious Wine Spectator so it’s not hard to find a suitable wine to go with any meal. Krista chowed down on succulent ribs and we shared a Chocolate Symphony for dessert. Fittingly divided into four separate delicious “movements” the Symphony would prove a match for even the most dedicated “chocoholic”.
After supper we headed to the Urbania guests’ private lounge for complimentary iced French champagne. Taking our champagne flutes with us we retired to our suite.
The huge whirlpool tub is a great venue for a couple to share a romantic glass of champagne. If a sauna is more to your taste the bathroom’s shower doubles as one.
The next morning Krista and I had booked two services each at the resort’s Amerispa.
My wife chose a facial and an aroma therapy massage while I chose a hot stone massage followed by a “four-handed” massage. The latter, availing the services of two masseuses, was an exercise in total decadence; the number of possible permutations is remarkable.
After our treatments Krista and I enjoyed the spa’s outdoor hot tub, and then took a tour of Chateau Bonne Entente’s manicured gardens. If golf is your passion, the Chateau is partnered with the international calibre La Tempete course which is ten minutes from the hotel.
Old Quebec with its four centuries of history gives visitors a taste of Europe without having to leave North America.
Rustic Isle d’Orleans is a great spot to visit local vineyards and sample their produce, drop in on a Sugar Bush to find out how maple syrup is produced or browse through local art galleries. Nearby Montmorency Park sports a waterfall higher than Niagara’s!
If You Go…
Website: Chateau Bonne Entente
“Complimenatary French champagne and hors-c’oeuvres” © George Burden
“Bonne Entente’s interior” © George Burden