A heritage building in Old Quebec, Le Monastère des Augustines began life nearly 400 years ago as a hospital. Today, it’s been converted into a holistic hotel.
Quebec’s Augustinian Monastery
Founded all the way back in the 17th century by three Augustinian Sisters, the Hôtel-Dieu de Quebec was the very first hospital built north of Mexico on the continent. The hospital grew in stature over the following decades and by the 1800s brought in patients from all over the east coast.
Designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1936, the Augustinian Sisters continued to operate the Hôtel-Dieu until 1962. Today, the building is used as a teaching hospital and works with the medical school of Laval University.
Around the turn of the century, the Sisters decided that they wanted to make sure the history of the site and their own heritage did not disappear in the future. So, they began work on converting their monastery into what is now both a wellness hotel and museum.
Opened in 2015, Le Monastère (located at 77 Rue des Remparts) is connected to the hospital but is its own entity. Operated by the Augustinian Sisters, the hotel looks to provide guests with an oasis of tranquility and a place to learn and revitalize themselves both mentally and physically.
Le Monastère Hotel
Staying at Le Monastère is meant to be a holistic experience. More than just a hotel, the accommodations at the monastery are designed to stimulate personal wellness.
There are two types of rooms available for guests. There are the “contemporary” rooms, which have all modern touches, as well as the “authentic” rooms, which are styled like those the Sisters have always slept in.
That doesn’t mean that the authentic rooms look like they’re centuries old, as they’re modern enough themselves and just have their own touches. This includes more solid wood frames and structures as well as shared bathrooms rather than private ones in each room.
The cost of an authentic room is around $100 a night per person (each room can fit two people) or around $150 if you’re staying in a room solo. The contemporary rooms are a little more expensive.
The fees above include free access to the on-site museum and the rest of the heritage site. As well, the monastery’s restaurant offers a “vitality breakfast” which must be eaten in silence in accordance to the practices of the Augustinian Sisters.
There are plenty of booking options for the hotel that go past just the basic one night stay. This ranges from the “discovery and balance” package (around $175-$215 a night) up to the “nature and renewal” package (around $390 a night and a minimum three-day stay).
Available Programs and Activities
There are a range of activities to do at Le Monastère, such as a holistic health consultation which provides you with specific advice and directions to improve your physical well-being. As well, this consultation comes with some supervision over what you do during your stay to help incorporate new healthy habits into your life.
There are also a wide variety of massages available which focus on relaxation often with different oils and herbs. As well, private movement and meditation sessions are on offer. These individualized programs provide exercises to reduce stress, relieve muscle tension and help lead to better sleep.
The grounds of the monastery provide the opportunity for quiet reflection. If you want a guide to take you through a meditation walk there are staff on hand to do so.
Le Monastère at home
For those who aren’t able to go to the monastery in-person there are still different programs available. These include yoga lessons as well as videos on aromatherapy, artistic expression, spiritual philosophies and more.
To learn more about these online programs visit the Le Monastère chez soi website.
The Museum and Archives
In addition to the hotel and hospital, there is also a museum on-site. This museum focuses on the history and impact of the Augustinian Sisters in Quebec. There are tens of thousands of artifacts on display from both the Hôtel-Dieu and the eleven other hospitals the Sisters founded in the area.
A wide range of items are on display from various medical equipment to religious ornaments, pieces of art and archival written material. There are also sometimes temporary art exhibitions on display.
As mentioned above, those who stay overnight at the monastery get free access to the museum. The museum is open to the general public as well with hours from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm every day. Below are the admission prices as of January, 2022.
- Adults (17-64): $11.50
- Seniors (65+) and Students: $9.50
- Children (12-16): $5.50
Children ages 11 and under are free. There is also the option to add a guided tour to your ticket. These tours are an hour long and give you a very detailed walkthrough of the museum. They cost an extra $4.50 per person.
For more information visit the Le Monastère des Augustines website.
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