There’s a lot to love about Canada’s “la belle Province” of Quebec. It has great cycling, an exciting wine scene, food options galore and more than a little European panache.
But as far as Chiclet is concerned, the best reason to hop over the border is to spend a night or two at Le Bonne Entente in Quebec City.
The five-star boutique hotel in the middle of a residential area just outside the city has quickly become her favorite place to cool her paws. I mean, how much more dog-friendly does a place get than the friendly staff at the pool asking if your tiny dog wants sliced lemon in her dish of water? (Shout-out to Bonne Entente poolside bartender Etienne for making the offer after we joked with him about the dogs liking our fruit-infused water better than the plain water we had for them. And he seriously would have done it.)
That was during our most recent stay when Chiclet and I were joined by her tiny buddy Lil Bean — a rescue Chihuahua — and her person and my longtime friend Julie for a complete gals’ weekend. It was heaven. With room service.
As dog-friendly lodgings go, canines pretty much have the run of the place. They are not allowed in the hotel’s restaurant or right at the pool, must be leashed at all times but that’s about it. Julie and I had no issue with Chiclet and Lil Bean accompanying us to the bar for an afternoon appetizer nosh (for us). There is a lovely lawn area right next to the pool for dogs and their people where the dogs, Julie and I were able to lounge adjacent to the pool area and while one of us watched the dogs, the other could take a dip in the pool or relax in the hot tub. Drinks — for both humans and canines — can be ordered at the poolside bar and are delivered right to your lounge chair.
Chiclet and I have stayed there enough that we are recognized on sight by the staff – who have dubbed her “Moustachey” thanks to her whiskers — and she is the life of the party each time we are there. Once the entire Laval University football team and alumni were holding their annual get-together at Le Bonne Entente and let me just say, you have not lived until you have seen a room full of large current and ex-football players fawn all over a dog that weighs the same as the pigskin. She has delighted the staff with her antics leaping from bed to bed in the room and “carpet slithering” through the lobby on her belly.
Lil Bean, with her extensive tiny dog wardrobe, quickly became a hit in her own right, charming everyone she met. At one point Julie and I were enjoying evening cocktails and munchies in the special Urbania Lounge when another patron came in with his Goldendoodle. Julie quickly went back to our room, collected our two little dogs and we finished out the evening the company of dogs and dog-friendly folks.
According to Stephanie Poitras, Le Bonne Entente sales development director, opening the doors to dogs is an important part of the hotel’s package.
“It’s important for us to welcome every member of the family,” Poitras said. “It definately makes a big difference to our guests because they do not have to stress about [their pets] when they travel and they know we are going to welcome them with pleasure.”
They even offer access to a pet-walking service if your plans take you away from your dog for the day. And forget your special “poo” bags? Fear not, the reception staff has specially customized bags and containers for doggies on the go.
During our gals’ weekend, Julie and I rarely left the dogs alone. We did take an hour or so to indulge in pedicures at the hotel’s spa and for a couple of meals — most notably Sunday Brunch and the unending crepe bar with sweet and savory offerings from fresh veggies to the chocolate fountain. We also ate at the property’s MC Lounge and outdoor Napa Grill.
We also took advantage of a shuttle to go into Old Quebec for an afternoon of walking cobblestones, drinking coffee outside a cafe, shopping and soaking up the city’s very Parisian atmosphere.
The hotel’s location in the suburb of St. Foy is not super handy if one wants to explore the Old City, but Le Bonne Entente does offer those shuttles for the 20-minute drive into the heart of Old Quebec. Concierge Christine Gingras will take all the time you need to organize a customized day trip. It is, however, very handy if you’re flying in or out of the city as it’s about 10 minutes from the airport. It’s not the most inexpensive option in the area. Rooms start at $189.00/night and can go as high as $389/night in the signature “Urbania” suite (which does offer access to a private lounge stocked with an open bar and gourmet quality munchies) but the current exchange rate favoring the US dollar does soften the blow.
Chiclet could care less, but there is free wi-fi throughout the hotel and probably the comfiest beds outside my own I have ever slept upon — something she does care about.
The hotel also charges a cleaning fee if there are pets in the room.
The bottom line, the only reason Chiclet does not give Le Bonne Entente five paws up is she only has four paws to give.
Lil Bean Concurs, adding the only thing that could have made it better would be tiny dog robes. Hmmmm…. maybe next time?