History of your hotel in Quebec
Quebec has its own history and the Hotel Manoir Victoria is one. Find out how your hotel in Quebec has written a few pages of this story since 1830 and has contributed to the lives of residents and visitors to the Quebec City region.
The popularity of the Hotel Manoir Victoria began in the early 1830’s. Named Hotel Albion at the time, it was located on the East side of Côte du Palais across the street from the actual hotel. At the time, the Albion hotel, owned by Thomas Payne, was the best in town and a room was charged $1.50 per night. Later, the hotel name changed for Stadacona. Benjamin Trudel, owner of another hotel in Québec, bought the Stadacona in 1895, refurbished the hotel and named it “Hotel Victoria”.
In 1897, the owner proceeded to the construction, on the actual site of Hotel Manoir Victoria, of a Turkish baths and pool establishment, very popular in the United States at the time. An overpass of 40 feet long was built to connect the two buildings and allow the hotel guests to accede to the Turkish baths without having to exit the building. Unfortunately for him, the construction of the overpass had been realized without a previous authorization and permit from the city hall. This caused anger and indignation from merchants of the area who lodged complaints against the new structure and finally forced the demolition of the overpass, despite all Mr. Trudel’s attempts and his going to Supreme Court to save his new venture.
In 1902, the hotel was completely destroyed by fire and was reconstructed on the site of the Turkish baths establishment by Mr. Aurèle Resther, nephew of Mr. Trudel and new owner of the establishment further to the death of Mr. Trudel, apparently caused by exhaustion due to his efforts to protect his promotional dream. The construction of the new Hotel Victoria was finished by spring of 1904, at the evaluated cost of $150,000. In 1910, proud of the success in his new location, Mr. Resther undertook important renovations and enlarged the hotel by adding 3 stories to the existing building.
At the beginning of the 20’s, the Hotel Victoria is at the summit of its glory. It has become a fashionable place for the upper-class from all over the province visiting Québec, for business or for pleasure. It was then renowned for its comfort, good food and personalized service. Now property of Henry Fontaine, the building is extended and furbished with all that may provide better comfort to a hotel stay. It is equipped with 90 aired and brightened rooms, a prompt and efficient service, the finest cuisine, luxuriously furnished lounges and special rooms for correspondence. The Victoria of 1920’s is unequalled in Québec for comfort and gastronomy and Mr. Fontaine then takes advantage of the momentum to sell it to Mr. Napoléon Bédard and Mr. Joseph Byrne in 1924.
In 1927 the owners of the Victoria buy and demolish the ruins of the Hotel Malhiot on Saint-Jean Street to build an extension of 66 rooms to the famous Victoria Hotel located on Côte du Palais. Once the work is completed, in 1929, the new Hotel Victoria has 250 rooms of which 150 have complete bathrooms, grand luxury for this time!
Aimed mostly to the business clientele, it is then considered as the most modern and secure in town and the only hotel in Québec to be supplied daily with products from its own farm.
The ultra-modern hotel has a main dining room, a grill equipped with a ventilation system to eliminate not only odors of cooking but mainly for that of the cigars which are very popular. All the rooms are provided with a reading lamp and a telephone.
In 1942, a major fire burns down the hotel and the building is severely damaged. Considerable sums of money were invested for its restoration but its rooms’ capacity was drastically reduced compared to before the fire. Major modifications are made in 1951 when 4 stories are added to the building for an extra 44 rooms with toilets and baths.
In the middle 50’s, the hotel is a meeting place for the young local crowd who goes there to dance and eat. Renowned for its good cuisine, the quality of its lodging gradually deteriorates.
In the early 70’s, the construction of many new American-style hotels in Québec city is more than the Victoria can take and its owners have to close down in 1978 after having unsuccessfully tried to sell to the government and to the city administration.
In 1988, having been through 10 years of inoccupation, Hotel Manoir Victoria is re-born after undergoing extensive renovations of for more than $12 millions, thus becoming the pearl in lodging in Québec City. Hotel operation resumes then with 85 rooms, a dining room, a grill and 2 meeting rooms. The following year, the new owners buy the adjacent building known then as Galeries Saint-Jean and add 60 rooms and an indoor pool to the establishment. On Côte du Palais, a 4‑story indoor parking is built on a vacant lot adjacent to the hotel.
In 1991, the resto-bistro “Le Saint-James” is inaugurated in replacement to commercial space, offering a sympathetic alternative to the hotel dining room as well as access to Saint-Jean Street to its distinguished clientele. Since its re-opening, rooms and public areas have been redecorated twice. These renovations have required an investment of $2.5 M.
An important upgrade and expansion program of $4 million has been realized in 2004 involving a complete redecoration of all our rooms and public areas. In addition of a full service spa with eight treatment rooms, thirteen new bedrooms and two additional meeting rooms were then added on an additional floor that permits to showcase a typical Old Québec architecture with its copper skylight roofing. In addition, a new and imposing canopy in wrought iron covering the main entrance and a high-class illumination improves dramatically the hotel visibility at night.
In 2007, the main dining room « La Table du Manoir » was rejuvenated giving current taste and character with its beautiful pale woodwork and a heightened ceiling. With its new lighting and modern atmosphere, the dining room offers a comfortable area to enjoy breakfast or to live a gastronomic experience at dinner while it is also a place appreciated by meeting planners to take their meals in a place exclusively reserved for their groups.
2012 a year of changes
In January 2012, a new team headed by the owners of the renowned restaurant ”Le Saint-Amour” has taken over the management of all the hotel’s food and beverages operations, including its two restaurants, catering services to groups and meetings as well as room service.
The resto-bistro “Le Saint-James” which occupied the 1110 Saint-Jean Street, located in the hotel, during the last 20 years closed its doors on December 31, 2011 to accommodate our new restaurant « Chez Boulay – Bistro-Boréal » which opened its doors in May 2012. This new challenge enables the world-renowned Chef Jean-Luc Boulay and his new associate, Chef Arnaud Marchand, to offer to a large public a Nordic-inspired bistro cuisine featuring regional products and adapted to the different seasons. More specifically, a healthy and tasty cuisine where sous-vide cooking and cocotte-style presentation are in the spotlight.
Also, the main lobby as well as the corridor of the pool and Spa level were completely redecorated giving a more purified and modern sight while preserving a warm welcome in a distinctive environment and décor. The renovations of the lobby and the addition of the new bistro had required an investment of $1.75 M.
2013- An other year of major investments
After the complete renovation of its lobby and meeting rooms as well as the opening of the restaurant Chez Boulay-bistro boréal in the spring/summer 2012, the Hotel Manoir Victoria has continued its major investment program with the completion of the renovations, in February 2013, of its suites and all other publics areas including the total overhaul of La Table du Manoir. This convivial area,opened up on the lobby,is bonified with an eye-catching bar, an ambiance fireplace, solid elm tabletops and comfortable chairs so hotel's guests can now have a sunny breakfast in a trendy decor, while it is offered to groups afterwards for functions of all kinds. These renovations were completed at the cost of $3M.
The hotel's three suites have also benefit, in January 2013, of an investment of 300,000$ in order to offer its leisure and business clientele an upscale decor and distinctive services in addition of those already offered in the other rooms: Room section with one <<King>> bed,lounge area with sofa bed and ambiance fireplace, trendy bathroom with heated floor, large glass-enclosed rain shower and towel warmer, two 40-inch flat screen televisions, Nespresso coffee maker and two wireless direct dial telephones. These suites have been designed by the renowned firm Lemay Michaud and will be the inspiration for the renovations in the fall winter of 2013-14-15 of the remaining bedrooms pf the hotel at an additionnal cost of $5M.
The management is proud to inform his distinguished clientele that all the renovations have been planned and undertake with the main priority of giving its guests a peaceful experience while staying at the hotel throughout the 2 year-long program.
Besides its 156 rooms and suites, among which certain “Grand Luxe” units with ambiance fireplace and whirlpool bath, the 4-Star hotel with its unique European style now offers two restaurants including the trendy atmosphere and inventive menu of Chez Boulay-bistro boréal, eight meeting rooms and banquets which can accommodate up to 175 persons, free wireless high speed Internet access, an indoor pool, a sauna, a fitness center, an Internet lounge, an indoor car parking with valet service as well as La Boutique et Spa signé Pevonia offering expert body and esthetic care in one of its eight treatment rooms.