Le Monastère des Augustines is a hotel unlike any other I’ve stayed at. Once an Augustinian monastery in the 17th century, the classified heritage site has been masterfully converted into a wellness-oriented retreat in the centre of one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Canada.

Le Monastère des Augustines Quebec City entrance
Nicola Brown

The design seamlessly meshes old and new. Preserved heritage details like old beams, wooden doors and delightfully wonky staircases look even more stunning with bright white walls and spectacular glass addition to letting light flood into the lobby and reception area.

Le Monastère des Augustines Quebec City design
Le Monastère des Augustines

This unique hotel in the heart of Quebec City abuts the hospital, just steps from the old ramparts and the warren of historic streets by the St. Lawrence River. A powerful sense of calm washes over you as you explore the hotel’s long hallways, coming across quiet rooms to sit and meditate, larger spaces for wellness classes, and little bits of history captured in a living museum of artifacts throughout.

Le Monastère des Augustines Quebec City artifacts
Le Monastère des Augustines

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Why Le Monastère des Augustines is a perfect wellness retreat in Quebec City

1. Breakfast in silence

In the morning, guests are treated to a healthy breakfast with ingredients sourced from the monastery’s gorgeous courtyard gardens as well as from local suppliers in Quebec. Fresh fruit and veggies include unexpected and delicious creations like a date and chickpea stew.

Le Monastère des Augustines Quebec City restaurant
Le Monastère des Augustines

The best part about this healthy breakfast is it’s taken in silence. This gave me time to slow down and enjoy every bite much more than I would have had I been nattering away to my partner. It strikes the ideal reflective mood for a day exploring Quebec City.

2. Qigong, yoga and meditation walks

The hotel offers a rotating selection of wellness classes to choose from each day. Every morning at 9:15 am, head out on a guided meditation walk along the hotel’s beautiful outdoor paths to cultivate introspection. At noon, participate in the vitality series with various forms of yoga or power shaking. At 5:30 pm, the revitalize series offers classes like Qigong, Tai Chi, Pilates or yoga.

Le Monastère des Augustines Quebec City yoga
Le Monastère des Augustines

I joined a Qigong class for the first time and found a new practice I’d like to try again. Similar to Tai Chi, Qigong emphasizes slow, controlled movements, balance and mental focus. The class had only 5 people, which meant the instructor could offer more personalized one-on-one time. I left feeling calmly energized and lighter on my feet.

3. Massages in a cloister

Let’s face it; no wellness retreat would be complete without a spa component. Le Monastère’s practitioners take massages to a new level, incorporating breathing and mental elements into a holistic treatment that deepens the benefits of a physical massage.

My therapist took the time to ask me what brought me to Quebec City and how I was feeling. He also explained the ethos of their wellness approach and how it’s woven through everything we do.

Le Monastere des Augustines Quebec City room hallway
Le Monastère des Augustines

4. Contemporary rooms with old-world charm

Rooms are light and bright in a modern shade of white, outfitted with extremely comfortable bedding. Authentic rooms have a more traditional style while contemporary rooms have details like a classic Hudson’s Bay striped blanket on the bed. What you don’t get in size is more than made up for in charm. Our room had a sunny window seat overlooking the courtyard, perfect for relaxing in the thick, soft robes provided after a shower.

Le Monastere des Augustines Quebec City authentic room
Authentique room Le Monastère des Augustines

There’s an environmental consciousness here too. Rooms are heated and cooled geothermally, lighted with low-energy LEDs, and the Oneka bath amenities are made from natural ingredients and organic plant extracts.

On the bed, a little black and white note with an illustration of a key reads: Ask yourself what is more important: accomplishing great projects, or seeing our own greatness in everything we do? —Imane Lahlou

Le Monastere des Augustines Quebec CIty, motivational note
Nicola Brown

5. Living museum

The hotel is dotted with antiques and artifacts that bring the history of the monastery to life as you walk through the hallways and discover new areas. On the main level, visit the portion of the museum dedicated to old medical equipment to marvel at just how far modern medicine has come.

Le Monastère des Augustines Quebec City museum
Le Monastère des Augustines

They offer various wellness retreat packages to bundle accommodation, restaurant, wellness workshops, treatments and special events. They also offer personalized consultations for holistic health and nutrition and private movement and relaxation sessions so you can tailor your experience.

Le Monastère des Augustines in Quebec City has always been a place of quiet contemplation, reflection, and holistic healing, and that wellness-oriented approach to life lives on today. The way the hotel brings history and wellness together is brilliantly done, making for an authentic experience I’d happily repeat.

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Nicola Brown

Senior Editor at Vane Magazine

Nicola is an international award-winning writer, editor and communication consultant based in Toronto. She has traveled to 32 countries so far and is always poised to head out the door again. She loves both the visceral and intellectual dimensions of travel, and will passionately argue for its psychological paybacks, especially after a few glasses of wine. Having spent many years on the road and in the air, she's interested in how travelers can maintain a healthy mind and body through it all.

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