Itinerary: A Winter in Quebec City

Early in the year, we wanted to go on a mini-vacation in-between extremely busy work periods. With not too many vacation days to spare, we wanted to stay within Canada to keep the itinerary manageable. This is our Quebec City itinerary.

Shot of Chateau Frontenac with a road sign in front

Both of us have been to Quebec before but only to Montreal. This time, Quebec City took our fancy as we expected it to be exceptionally quaint in the winter with many of its historic buildings and streets adorned with white powdery snow. It’s one of the oldest cities in Canada and has been the site of many landmark events within Canadian history.


We wanted to spend a few vacation days while keeping in mind that we have a big 2 week trip to Japan later on in the year. Plus, it was right around Valentine’s Day and in the middle of Quebec City’s annual Winter Carnaval, so it’s as good a time as any to go.

Our goal in Quebec City was to visit and stay at the ice hotel (Hotel de Glace), see the Carnaval, get a picture with Bonhomme, and then spend the rest of the time in Old Quebec City where we can aimlessly wander through its twisty streets and ride the funicular.

Night time in Quebec City of a historic building

Along the way, we couldn’t wait to indulge in poutine, maple syrup and other Quebecois cuisine.


The flights are nothing special. On the way there, we would fly from Calgary (YYC) to Toronto (YYZ) on Air Canada, have a quick layover and then connect onwards to Quebec City (YQB) on Air Canada Rouge.

Air Canada A220 engine and wing view with sunrise

AC130 YYC–YYZ on 11 February

RV1952 YYZ–YQB on 11 February

On the way back, it’ll mostly be a mirrored version of the flights there, AC Rouge from YQB-YYZ and then AC from YYZ-YYC.

RV1955 YQB–YYZ on 15 February

AC159 YYZ–YYC on 15 February

A caveat to the flights back is that AC159 happens to be a a 787-9 which features Air Canada business class. We decided that we’ll attempt a Bid Upgrade to see if we can fly back home in Signature Class for a reasonable price.

For these flights, we paid cash for them as the cash fares weren’t too expensive. Excluding the Bid Upgrade, it worked out to around $330 (CAD) per person per direction.


The hotels were the main focus of this trip. We wanted to finally experience the ice hotel (Hotel de Glace) since it’s the only ice hotel in North America. We planned on staying two nights there.

Hotel de Glace entrance logo

The Hotel de Glace is actually a special section of the Hotel Valcartier, which is a regular hotel. The Hotel de Glace is anything but. It’s constructed entirely out of snow and you end up sleeping in an insulated sleeping bag atop a big block of ice.

Needless to say, this was a pretty daring move as it’s highly recommended to sleep almost nude in the sleeping bags in order to not perspire and get even more cold. The individual rooms were intricately hand-carved and each had its own special theme. Kelly was looking forward to this the most, while I wasn’t particularly excited.

Keep in mind that if you’re too cold or don’t want to sleep inside an igloo, each night at the Hotel de Glace comes with a free room at the Hotel Valcartier. You can go back to your regular room in the Valcartier at any point throughout the night.

Next, upon the recommendation of many friends, we decided to spend a night at Auberge Saint-Antoine. This was the hotel that I was looking forward to the most. I’d heard so many good things about this hotel that I had to stay here. We booked through the preferred partner program, Virtuoso, which offered us daily breakfast for two, a $100 USD property credit, and a room upgrade (subject to availability).

Auberge Saint Antoine suite living room

After a night at the Auberge Saint-Antoine, it wouldn’t be a trip to Quebec City’s old town if we didn’t stay at the historic Chateau Fairmont Frontenac. The Fairmont Frontenac is famous for a variety of reasons, from hosting world leaders during the First Quebec Conference during WWII, to being the world’s most photographed hotel, it’s an icon of Canada.

Chateau Fairmont Frontenac lobby


That rounds out our winter trip to Quebec City, we very much look forward to experience the ice hotel, the food, and the two luxury accommodations that we have planned. While the flights aren’t anything special, it’ll be our first time in business class if our Bid Upgrade goes through.

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