This province’s Francophone heritage sets it apart from the vast majority of the continent on which it’s found. Indeed, French is the primary language here, with much of the population bilingual. Known for strong connections to the arts, this is the region that brought us Cirque du Soleil and Céline Dion. Québec City, first founded in 1608 on the Saint Lawrence River, holds much of its French-colonial history. With a fortified core, it’s the only walled city in North America and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Now it’s augmented by chic boutiques, lively cafes and restaurants, making it an even bigger draw for tourists soaking up the European ambience.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Stay in a grand chateau overlooking the river in the heart of Old Quebec. The heritage urban resort has welcomed US and French presidents, Hollywood A-listers including Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and Angelina Jolie and international royalty since its inception in the late 1800s. 611 bedrooms blend old-world elegance with the latest tech and first-rate service. Guests can dine in its Bistro Le Sam, Champlain Restaurant and Place Dufferin, as well as ordering snacks and coffees at the in-house Starbucks. The five-star property also has a wellness area with a heated indoor pool, a jacuzzi, treatment rooms and a gym.
Le Capitole Hôtel
Located just outside the St-Jean Gate, the building is a certified historic monument, with Beaux-Arts architecture and plenty of theatrical flair. The decor has a strong Art Deco leaning, not least in its main event; a fully-restored 1920s cabaret dinner theatre. Bedrooms and suites have features like exposed brick walls, roll-top tubs, Hollywood-style bathroom mirrors surrounded by bulbs, stars on the doors and mezzanine floors for sleeping. Executive chef Serge Gagné is at the helm of the Italian-themed Ristorante Il Teatro and there’s a charming rooftop garden, perfect for sundowners.