I spent five weeks road-tripping around Quebec this spring, and especially on an extended trip like this one, I’m always excited to find accommodations where I feel at home. As I traveled through the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region north of Quebec City, the Gîte du Marquis, a four-room bed-and-breakfast in the borough of Jonquière, was the homiest place I stayed.
Here’s the scoop:
Guest Rooms and Amenities
Owner Christine Rouleau and her husband Yoan Vaillancourt operate the good-value Gîte du Marquis in their family home. The four guest rooms, all on the second floor, are simply furnished, but Rouleau has clearly thought about — and provided — the things that visitors need for a comfortable stay.
There are reading lamps and electrical outlets by the bed, flat-screen TVs with cable service, speedy Wi-Fi, and full-length mirrors in each room. There’s a hallway nook with brochures and maps about the region, as well as a refrigerator for guest use, and Rouleau will loan you a tea kettle (or bring you a cup of tea, if you prefer).
Rouleau cooks delicious full breakfasts to order and serves them in her sunny dining room on the home’s the main level. I opted for eggs and bacon one day, and an omelet the next. Both came with potatoes, sliced cheese, fresh fruit, and a choice of juice, as well as coffee or tea.
She’s provided bathrobes for guests, too, since (unfortunately) the only bathroom is a shared one. But that’s kind of like home as well.
And unlike many B&Bs, Gîte du Marquis welcomes families with kids.
The city of Saguenay, and the centrally-located borough of Jonquière in particular, is a good base for exploring this Quebec region, where there’s plenty to do, both indoors and out. I particularly enjoyed my visit to La Pulperie, a well-designed regional history museum in the building that was once the area’s largest paper mill.
The region’s highlight, though, is outside — the Saguenay Fjord. The southernmost fjord in the world, this clear, cliff-lined body of water is beautiful in any season, but it would be especially lovely in summer and fall, when you can kayak or cruise across the water, or head out on a whale-watching trip. The whole region is protected as the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, one of Canada’s top spots for spotting both beluga and blue whales.
And fortunately, if you stay at Gîte du Marquis, you have a homey base to return to, when you’ve wrapped up your days outdoors.
Double room rates at Gîte du Marquis start at just CAD$78 per night, while singles are available from $60/night. Rates include Wi-Fi, parking, and a full breakfast. You can compare rates and book through Trip Advisor.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller.