The cost to stay at the Manoir Hovey is not an inexpensive affair. Standard rooms on weekends and in high season can routinely be over $500/night. There is a substantial jump in price for premium and luxury rooms, with suites often going for over $1,000/night. More expensive stand-alone cottages are also available. The hotel is one of only two 5-star properties east of Montreal, as awarded by Tourism Quebec.
The hotel is part of Relais & Châteaux, an association of hundreds of independent landmark hotels and restaurants. It has its origins in Europe but has now spread around the globe. What all the properties have in common is a strong feeling of warm and professional hospitality with fine dining at the heart of the experience. At this property for example, the backgrounds of the senior staff mostly include Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris.
Without a meaningful way to collect points with them, the best way to book at this property is through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts for holders of the American Express Platinum® Card. Our room rate came to $525 with taxes for one night in a standard room, but came with very tangible benefits such as early check-in and late check-out, room upgrade, free breakfast, and $100USD property credit.
We increased the value of our stay by using our credit card’s $200 hotel credit, combined with the American Express Platinum travel promotion going on at the time of “Spend $500, get $150 back”. So starting from the original $525 room rate, if we subtract the annual hotel credit, the promotional travel credit, the $100USD property credit, and the breakfast credit (worth $100 here) then the room worked out to actually being free!
The hotel is located on the picturesque shores of Lake Massawippi near the town of North Hatley. The location is opposite Quebec’s other 5-star property in this area, the Ripplecove Hotel & Spa.
Arrival & Check-In
As we arrived at the hotel we parked a short distance from the main door and a man from the valet booth came to greet us at our car. After we gave our name and it was confirmed that our room was ready, we got out out of our vehicle and the valet said he would drive it himself to where our room would be and take all our luggage to our room for us. With that we walked to the main door and went to check in at reception.
The reception area is located right after you walk in the front door. Within this building is also a library, the main restaurant, and some of the standard rooms on the upper floor. The feeling of old-world luxury hits you as soon as you walk in the door with the smell of old, rich mahogany wood in the air.
We were given the keys to our room, informed that we were indeed upgraded to a superior room, and then were escorted there while simultaneously being given a small tour of the grounds by the friendly reception staff member. It was a very warm welcome and a great start to our stay.
In addition to the main building there are others on the property which house additional rooms and suites. We were in room #36 of the Lemoyne building.
Our premium room just oozed charm and it was perfect for a one-night romantic getaway. It featured a queen-sized bed, chaise lounge, day bed, sitting area, a patio overlooking the water, a mini-fridge, and a coffee/bar table. Inside were three welcome amenities waiting for us comprising of a bottle of wine and two sweets.
The washroom styling was a mix of marble and tiles, and featured a rainfall shower, two robes, and plenty of L’Occitane personal products and vanity kit items.
The property features expansive outside areas and has an incredibly relaxing feel to it. The property was originally called The Birches, and was built as a summer home in 1900 by Henry Atkinson, owner of Georgia Power in Atlanta. The property was inspired by George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, Virginia. In those days it was common for southern aristocrats and captains of industry to make luxurious summer homes in this part of Canada.
The only negative thing about our stay unfortunately was the weather. It was mostly cloudy with some rain, but that didn’t stop us from appreciating this magnificent property.
As I mentioned before, fine dining is at the core of the experience at Relais & Chateaux, and this property is no exception. Chef Alexandre Vachon delivers fine cuisine while emphasizing local products, growing food on the property, and building long-term relationships with quality local producers.
Our first stop was to the pub called The Tap Room. Featured here is a full bar menu including unique cocktails, along with a bistro-style food menu. A stop here is essential, at least to have a drink beside the fireplace before supper.
The main restaurant is called The Hatley where we had an exquisite 10-course tasting menu with wine pairing served by the sommelier.
The next morning we had breakfast in the restaurant. This is normally $40/person, but was included for us in our room package. It comes with a serving platter to share which features cheese, paté, local root veggies, and smoked salmon. We were also offered coffee, tea, juice, and their locally-created “greens” smoothie which is made with spinach, kale, and various other superfoods to help your day get off to a good start. For the main course I ordered eggs benedict and my wife had a granola and fruit platter. Needless to say it was all absolutely delicious. We didn’t have huge appetites due to our large meal the night before, so the staff were happy to box up our cold leftovers for us to snack on later which we kept in our fridge in our room.
Facilities & Service
The grounds feature many activities for anyone, regardless if you want to relax or have a more active vacation. There is an organized activity list which you can consult. Our time was short so we didn’t participate, but we did see people doing a group yoga class in the morning on one of the balconies. There are trails for hiking and bikes are available to borrow for free. Around the property is a swimming pool, tennis court, and a dock where boats can be taken out for no charge. We used both the paddle boats and the kayaks. At the time of writing the hotel had an interior spa which gave massages and is working on a brand new pool & spa pavilion which will be open in 2023.
On the service side, our stay was short but a warm feeling of hospitality was felt everywhere we went. From the excellent valet and reception staff, to the top-notch pub and restaurant servers, you could tell that they would try very hard to accommodate any request a guest may have and that our well-being was important to all of them.
Hotel Fact Sheet
|Parking||Free||Breakfast included with room||No|
|Pool||Yes (exterior)||Rooms with balconies||Yes|
|Spa||Yes||Rooms with kitchenette||No|
|Gym||No||USB plugs in room||Yes|
|Accepts animals||Yes with certain conditions, you must call the hotel to confirm with them||Shower/Bath||Depends on room type|
Manoir Hovey is a very special property which I would highly recommend. It is expensive, but using a package such as Fine Hotels & Resorts can unlock extra value for your stay, particularly alongside any ongoing travel promotions. The old-world luxury feeling combined with amazing dining, beautiful grounds, and top-notch service makes this a great place to unwind in style.