Hôtel La Ferme, Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, Canada – Review
As the train pulled into Hôtel La Ferme’s private train station, I sensed a brief Polar Express moment, as if something exciting was about to happen. The train that delivered me here, formally known as Le Train du Massif de Charlevoix, consists of a luxury dining car that serves multicourse meals, accompanied by wine, on the four hour journey from Quebec City, while offering spectacular vistas of the countryside and banks of the Saint Lawrence River.
Topping the train ride would be a challenge, but the hotel seemed up to it. Intended to be secluded and one with nature, it’s the perfect getaway for frenetic business types who need some peace and quiet along with gourmet pampering. Most unusual, however, is its architecture, which is comprised of massive glass walls, letting in natural light, and swaths of local wood that help it to blend into the landscape. Inside, staffers flit about with agility and all look as if they have been plucked from advertisements in magazines such as Details or Vogue.
Divided into five separate pavilions and comprising 145 rooms, accommodations at La Ferme (literally, the farm) are like nothing I had seen before. Wood plank canopies (some draped with linens, others barren in stark modernity) sit above the pillow top beds that are covered by snowy white duvets. A chaise longue positioned by the window was a feature that appealed to me for its possibilities: snowy days could have me debating between work on my laptop while curled up in a blanket or napping to the light taps of sleet on the glass pane. In a corner stands a deep soaking tub, with drenching showerhead, separated from the bedroom by only a thin, yet opaque, veil. The vast open space extends to a sink with natural aromatherapy toiletries and handmade soaps, which were sure to find their way into my suitcase at some point.
Each pavilion was vastly different in style and personality, and I found it especially interesting that the hotel had a series of rooms with four single beds that could be utilized as a luxury hostel where ski bums could rent a bed (not the whole room) for $50. The beds are furnished with the same luxurious linens as those found in private rooms. While this is great for budget-conscious travelers, I prefer privacy.
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