I’m sitting in the dining room at Auberge Chateau Lamontagne, looking out the window as the sun begins to drop closer to the river. As I’m debating whether to leave my dinner to snap a photo from the outdoor terrace, I notice that, one by one, other diners are quietly getting up, cameras in hand. Within a minute, nearly everyone has abandoned their plates to capture the flaming orange sun setting over the St Lawrence River.
On a road trip around La Gaspésie (the Gaspé Peninsula), which juts into the bay in eastern Quebec, I’ve stopped for the night at this comfortable inn and restaurant in the small riverside town of Sainte-Anne-des-Monts. And fortunately, I’ve arrived in time to catch the late-spring sunset.
Here’s the scoop:
Facilities and Services
In an 1874 brick manor overlooking the St Lawrence River, Auberge Chateau Lamontagne has a restaurant and lounge on the main floor with seven guest rooms upstairs. The property also has three stand-alone chalets for guests, adjacent to the main building.
The restaurant, with large upholstered chairs and polished wood floors, feels slightly formal, while the adjacent lounge has a more casual, beachy style. In both dining areas, windows look out to a large terrace and across the water.
The Quebec-by-the-sea menu starts with chowders, burgers, and moules frites (mussels with French fries), and moves on to more substantial plates like grilled scallops or filet mignon.
I ordered a bowl of seafood chowder that came brimming with shrimp, scallops, and pancetta, topped with a thick layer of rich gooey cheese. If you think that cheese doesn’t belong in fish chowder, get yourself to Quebec and try this excellent dish!
Guest Rooms and Amenities
Upstairs, the guest rooms at Auberge Chateau Lamontagne are traditionally furnished, with dark woods and matlassé bedding. Most have either one queen or one double bed. A “family room” has two doubles, and there’s one larger suite with a king bed and an in-room whirlpool tub.
My room, #6, was small, but it was a corner unit, which meant that it had windows on both sides — a dormer window under the eaves that looked out to the water, and a window on the adjacent wall that faced toward the mountains.
Bathrooms are modern, and the Wi-Fi, included in the rates, worked well.
My only complaint about my stay was the uninspired self-service breakfast, which included store-bought bread served with little packets of peanut butter, jam, and Cheese Whiz, along with out-of-season fruit, yogurt, and boiled eggs. Perhaps the quality of my dinner had led me to expect something a little more. My visit was in the quiet off-season, though, so they might do better during the busy summer.
But no matter. Sainte-Anne-des-Monts has a good bakery-patisserie, MARIE 4 Poches, nearby, and a combination fish shop/gourmet store/cafe, Les Délices De La Mer , where you can have a light meal or pick up food for the road.
And at Auberge Chateau Lamontagne, I have no complaints at all about the riverfront views or those stellar Gaspé Peninsula sunsets.
Double room rates at Auberge Chateau Lamontagne, which include continental breakfast, start at CAD$99 per night. Rates for the suite and for the chalets start at CAD$175 per night. The inn is open year-round; rates are highest from mid-June through September.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller.