I’m a city gal through and through. From a young age, I loathed camping, and even to this day I shudder at the mention of cottaging. Mosquitoes are in love with me and the washroom situation can be dicey in the wilderness. Normally, there’s no way I would agree to camping, but when an opportunity to test out luxurious cottages and lodges in the Quebec countryside arises a girl can be swayed.
Hotel Saccacomie: For the City Girl Looking for an Instagram-Worthy Canadian Experience.
This hotel is situated next to the Mastigouche wildlife preserve and looks out onto a lake. My room did not disappoint: it had a real fireplace, a spacious bathroom, a tub in the living area and a balcony that overlooked the water. Before hiking into the forest to get up close and personal with the wildlife, I sprayed myself with Life Brand Insect Repellent. I was surprised that the scent wasn’t too pungent, and I came out of the forest without any mosquito bites! On our guided tour, we saw a beaver, a porcupine and a raccoon (that ate the food that was purposely left out for a local bear). Alas, the bear decided not to show up. The next day, I daringly drove a quad into the forest, and I felt fearless going up rocky hills. To avoid helmet hair after the excursion, I flipped my hair over and sprayed Batiste Dry Shampoo onto my roots and rubbed it in. After all the outdoor activities, the city girl in me was dying to check out the spa. On-site is the GEOS Spa Saccacomie where there are three outdoor pools of varying temperatures overlooking the lake and forest as well as saunas and steam rooms. I was in pure bliss mode.
Auberge du Lac Tarreau: For the City Girl Who Loves a Posh Resort.
The hotel looks out on to a lake and has a private beach equipped with pedal boats, kayaks, canoes, life jackets and hammocks (snag one for your afternoon snooze). Book a private pontoon boat tour to experience the vastness of the lake and its surroundings. There’s something very relaxing about being on a boat in the middle of a lake with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face. I packed my Smashbox L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colour to get colour back on my cheeks after getting off the boat. I love that it has a smudger on one end, so I didn’t have to touch my face with my dirty hands. Don’t forget to get a massage in a teepee overlooking the lake—a girl can still indulge while in the wilderness!
Auberge du Vieux Moulin: For the City Girl Who Wants a Family-Style Experience.
The inn has a variety of lodgings to choose from: there are chalets, suites, rooms and even teepees. It’s a family run business, and the father and son built everything from the inn itself to the teepees and the sugar shack—talk about #lifegoals! They also cook all the meals while the mother runs the dining room. The lodge has a wide range of lake activities to choose from, from peddle boats to kayaks. My favourite was getting up close and personal with deer and caribou. I brought along Cetaphil wipes that easily remove makeup and dirt, which makes them perfect for travelling (or animal-watching!). At the end of another long day, I headed for one of the hot tubs back at the main lodge.
Domaine Bazinet: For the City Girl Who Wants a Quiet Getaway.
The Domaine Bazinet boasts charming hosts, plus a selection of cute rooms located in the inn and cozy cabins. The lodge overlooks a lake where I went fishing for the very first time. Just don’t forget the sunscreen beforehand! I applied my trusty Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Oil-Free Sunscreen in SPF30 half an hour before getting onto the lake. I usually find it difficult to sit still, so I was worried about spending the next two hours in a boat, holding onto a rod while waiting for a fish to bite. In the end, I didn’t catch a fish, but I did bait a worm with my bare hands—while screaming bloody murder (that probably scared all the fish away). If you do catch a fish, there’s a shack on the beach equipped with the tools you need to clean and prepare the fish.