In today’s modern-day lives, we are bound to get grumbled within the spirals of attaining a work-life balance. No matter how determined we are, we tend to fail to achieve it. The reasons could be different, but all we want to achieve is leisure and peace while striking a balance.
Being stuck with the schedules brings us back to the question, how could we attain the taste of luxury while having time for wellness? Well, it definitely does! And the answer to that lies in the sociocultural wellness venture that goes by the name Le Monastère des Augustines.
This propitious paradise situated in Quebec offers an abundance of cultural and spiritual horizons to the visitors towards their journey of experiencing social and spiritual accompanied by the inspiration of fervor and compassion.
Comes with a dash of warm and hearty hospitality that aids with rest and renewal for their acquaintances. With a sheer commitment to abiding by its historic heart that lies in the heritage and beautiful memory of Augustinian Sisters, they believed in the ancestorial and spiritual history associated with definitions of wellness that decades back, and they still shine brightly upon their origin.
The premises of Le Monastère are strongly bound to its origins. The visitors have experienced and tend to embrace them into their spiritual existence. It embarks with enhanced accommodation, museum, and archive centers along with programs, boutiques, and specialized services as need be. They also have heritage event rooms for several event planning and much more. Without further ado, let’s dive in:
“Le Monastère des Augustines is a haven of peace, culture, and wellness.”
Mentioning the historical connection, Isabelle shares the various aspects of Le Monastère and the way it connects with its generic history. She states, “Nearly four centuries, the Augustinian Sisters devoted themselves to caring for bodies and souls while laying the foundation of the North American healthcare system.”
Confronted by their community’s decline, they passed on their precious heritage within their lifetime. To do so, they entrusted their founding monastery, as well as the collection and archives housed within their 12 monastery hospitals, to the public.
Ever since its official opening in 2015, Le Monastère offers its guests an unprecedented journey toward well-being and a privileged connection with the unique and touching story of a community of nurses with Universal values.
Adding to that, she adds, “Le Monastère offers visitors of all cultures and beliefs a unique pathway to wellness in the heart of history.”
The non-profit organization also offers support and respite to caregivers through its social mission. Each visit makes a difference as it gives back to the community.
Luxury Experiences at Le Monastère
Isabelle proudly states, “As soon as you set foot in Le Monastère des Augustines, the experience begins. The historical character of the building, combined with a modern touch, offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere to the guest.”
Being more specific about the welcome gestures and the way visitors are welcomed, she exceeds saying, “The visitor notices a smell that is unique to Le Monastère, its signature scent of the essential oil 1639. This unique atmosphere is known as the “spirit of the place.”
With the special treatments given at their facility, she shares, “Le Monastère welcomes individual guests, group retreats, and business events. Each visitor lives a unique experience as we customize the stays to respect the needs of everyone.”
What also sets us apart is the coherence and integration where culture, wellness and the quest for purpose come together.
The infrastructure stays true to the antiqueness while serving all types of guests, and the setting of Le Monastère is unique in its way. Mentioning the infrastructure, she says, “The hotel is in a restored former cloister, whose rooms and hallways are dotted with pieces from the Augustinian collection, giving the impression of sleeping in a museum. There are two different types of rooms to choose from.” Describing the rooms and their senses, Isabelle adds, “The authentic rooms are in restored former nuns’ cells. The contemporary rooms offer all the modern comforts in a refined décor in harmony with the heritage character of the place.”
The features of Le Monastère include the treatments, describing that she says, “The group invites guests to slow down and disconnect from their busy lives to connect with their inner selves. Although Wi-Fi is provided, there are no televisions or telephones in the rooms.”
The additional features include the disconnect and reconnecting with themselves, stating the same she says, “Le Monastère offers visitors several ways to connect with the Augustinian heritage like experiential accommodation, a museum, a program of activities around holistic health and culture, mindful & healthy cuisine, and spa treatments.”
Special Attributes Le Monastère
While talking about the ambiance at Le Monastère, Isabelle states, “The first thing that comes to mind is the authenticity and the history of Le Monastère, which is more relevant than ever.” While mentioning the simplicity, she says, “We underestimate the importance of simply getting back to basics.”
The experience comes accompanied by the touch of an immensely rich variety of delicacies. The experience offered comes in a variety of packages that all have one thing in common, that is, “Helping our guests achieve balance and wellness whilst keeping alive the material and also the immaterial legacy of the Augustinian Sisters.”
Elaborating on the above-mentioned legacies, she clarifies, stating, “The material legacy refers to the building and the collections. While the immaterial legacy refers to the know-how and the values of the Augustinians.”
Further describing the culture, she says, “Le Monastère has been cultivating a legacy of care for almost 4 centuries. We are dedicated to helping people become more conscious of how important it is to care for themselves first, to care for others, and to care for our planet.”
An excellent example of immaterial heritage is “The silent breakfast.” Further elaborating, “Just like the Augustinian Sisters devoted mealtimes to silence because this allowed them to be present with themselves and others, ponder, and experience a moment of inwardness.”
The enthusiastic staff warmly welcomes their guests; talking about the welcome gestures, she says, “Le Monastère invites its guests to live a similar experience, to be present, to experience mindful eating, and to start the day in a calm setting with a precious moment for themselves.”
This is only one of the many examples in which Le Monastère provides an exceptional hotel experience empowered by the impact of the culture and people who are passionate about history are enlightened by their wellness activities.
Isabelle’s Touch Into the Making Depicting her expertise in the industry and innovations that came along the way. She opens up about her experience till now, saying, “My 37 years of management experience in the tourism field and passion for holistic health led me to join the wonderful adventure of Le Monastère des Augustines in 2012, three years before its opening.”
Isabelle, the founding director, narrates her journey mentioning the beginning, “I built the business model of the non-profit organization and later led its creation, implementation, start-up, and development until the beginning of 2022.”
Stating the current scenarios whilst being in her view, “I continue to help Le Monastère in its strategic development in addition to acting as a Strategic Advisor for organizations and companies interested in sustainable tourism and wellness.”
Tokens of Luxury at Le Monastère
The history goes back to the Augustian Sisters; while adding to it, she says, “The Augustinian Sisters devoted their lives to caring with benevolence and compassion for the sick and the poor.”
Similarly, today Le Monastère pursues its values of hospitality, respect, commitment, compassion, and benevolence.
Describing the culture of hospitality at Le Monastère, she shares, “Every guest is welcomed as any family member would be welcomed. Listening and being present to our guests are crucial as we wish to accompany them according to their needs.”
Talking about their staff, she states, “Our staff chooses to work with us mainly because the values rooted in our management philosophy around sustainable development and our corporate culture correspond to theirs. It gives meaning to their work as they are involved in collaborative project bigger than any of us.”
Enriching Services While embracing the changes in the hospitality industry has witnessed a fast-paced change in the last few decades, and organizations need to use a variety of new technology tools today to ensure business success and customer satisfaction. Stating the scenarios at Le Monastère, she mentions, “We are constantly seeking the valuable balance between the use and update of many essential technological tools and the need for human contact and personalized service for our guests’ profiles in connection with the nature of our unique product.”
Viable Developmental Advances
The need to instill advancements into all the arenas of development still needs to entrail the originality whilst fleeting to advancing ventures. Thereby, describing the basis of Le Monastère and its reputed legacy, she states, “The very nature of Le Monastère is pursuing the Augustinian heritage full of traditions, values, and know-how.”
The ones in already a part of the industry, like owners and managers, stand by a few hacks, stating those she says, “As owners & managers of many hospitals, apothecaries, and caregivers, circular economy and responsible use of all resources were very important and part of their DNA. As sustainability, today is an important and integral part of our management philosophy at all levels of the organization.”
For instance, if we consider looking at the way many have taken various actions in sustainable development during the renovation of the historic building. They have carried integrated practices that were implemented, the use of renewable natural gas heating, broad wellness programs for guests as well as for employees, urban beekeeping, local and eco-responsible purchasing policy and installation of charging stations for electric vehicles too.
Furthermore, speaking of their personalized missions, she shares, “Our cultural and social missions include a multilevel pricing policy to provide access to all. Our cultural and educational programming highlights ancestral know-how.”
Adding more to it, she says, “Including special programs dedicated to a family caregiver, respite and renewal for healthcare workers, and partnerships accompanied with community-based organizations including food surplus, work integration of people with disabilities, and much more.”
Facing the Challenges of the Hotel Buzz
Into the hotel buzz, whilst providing exclusive luxury-oriented experiences, requires dealing with numerous barriers too. Be it any industry; it is just an obvious part of it.
Describing the adversities, she states, “There are many challenges faced by our industry, especially since the pandemic, such as the rise of costs, labor shortages, operational issues, and changes in traveler’s behavior.”
Specifically mentioning, Isabelle says, “Here at Le Monastère, creativity (thinking outside the box), authenticity, resilience, flexibility, constant questioning ourselves, proactivity, and adaptation to change are at the heart of our management philosophy to navigate through these many challenges.”
Stating the current scenarios, she further states, “We are focused on building our corporate culture around the sense of purpose and well-being of our employees, refining our unique positioning by staying on top of global trends, and delivering an authentic wellness experience to our guests.”
Word of Advice for Aspirants
While advising aspirants, she states that in a field like the hotel industry, authenticity is extremely essential; she further adds, “Stay authentic to yourself and take care of yourself so you may better care for others such as your employees, your guests, and your family.”
Isabelle mentions, “Make sure you get to know yourself better so you may surround yourself with competent people who can compliment you. Lastly, think of integrating sustainable development and individual and collective well-being into your management philosophy.”
Continuing to Exclusive Luxury-oriented Future
Sharing the major peculiarities of Le Monastère, she states, “The particularity of Le Monastère is that we must consider the balance between the development of both economic and social aspects to ensure the viability of its mission for future generations as well as the financial health of the organization.”
Creating a vision for the future requires futuristic plans that would define the visions for the future; Isabelle mentions, “Before making important decisions on the development of new products and services, in 2023, we will launch a research project. Which would be in collaboration with experienced researchers to assess the benefits of our current programs on the health and wellness of our guests, to better refine our approach, products, and services for the future.”
What a wonderful, unique hotel! Surrounded by lush, inviting gardens and beautiful 17th Century European architecture. Rich in history and tradition and brimming with historical artifacts. Our room was so cozy and clean and the beds were very comfortable. We certainly did not miss having a TV in the room– it provided a very pleasurable and relaxing break. So many places to stroll and see and explore within the stone walls of the Monastery. Such a welcome retreat located in the heart of the city. Friendly staff, delicious meals, quiet and revitalizing… The perfect spot to unwind after a full day of walking and sightseeing.
Just can’t say enough good things about this hotel! Couldn’t have asked for a better, more enjoyable memorable experience!
My deepest gratitude & thanks to the staff. This Monastery is a jewel! A wonderful place to stay for rest & respite from life in a busy, chaotic world. Merci beaucoup
-Anna-Maria – Melbourne Australia
Thank you for a most lovely stay! We love this hotel very much and will be back! You do a wonderful job providing a most relaxing and beautiful stay. I highly recommend this hotel to everyone traveling to Québec City. Thank you for the delicious food and calm atmosphere.
-Victor Washington DC
Thank You! We came here two weeks after losing our brother/son, and it was a very healing experience. My mother, sister and I are very grateful to Jeanne for her kindness. We are looking forward to coming back soon. With our whole heart, thank you.
-Anne, Janet & Irene, New Mexico
What a refreshing, meaningful experience. Your staff is helpful and very kind. We have had a lovely stay; it was great to be amongst so much history and beauty!
-Julie, Brooklyn NY
Our stay here was exceptional. Far exceeded my expectations. The food was extremely flavorful, appealing, and healthy. We have never stayed in a facility that was so peaceful and calm. It was clean, comfortable, and beautiful. We are very grateful that we had the opportunity to stay here. Merci beaucoup.
-Kenny and Nancy, Dublin Ireland
The program for caregivers was a great way for me to take care of my body, mind and soul. It allowed me to take time to refocus on myself, to rest, relax and recharge. What a wonderful place filled with peace, humanity, professionalism and exceptional service. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your welcome, your generosity and your support for the caregivers.
-Linda, caregiver, Montreal
“I experienced a range of emotions from the time I arrived until I left… arriving, with immense stress and fatigue and always ready to intervene, I had to get used to slowly letting go… passing through the silent corridors, sitting here and there, walking down the 1757 staircase, chatting with the staff and the guests… all these steps towards a calmer presence when I left.”
What can I say about a stay that exceeded my expectations? Rejuvenating and of great human value! I extended my stay by 3 nights. The experience was introspective, rejuvenating, full of gratitude and encounters that nourishes you. The place succeeds in bringing to life the values of the Augustinians in the welcome, the activities offered, the staff, and the local and quality food of the restaurant Le Vivoir. The rooms are an invitation to calm and introspection, as are the museum and the temporary exhibition Re-connect, as well as the silent and conscious eating at breakfast. Thanks to Sébastien, Adriana, Layla, Marion, Isabelle, Marjolaine, David, etc.
I arrived here physically and mentally exhausted. As soon as I entered, the soul of the monastery took charge of me. Already I felt less heavy. The staff is dedicated and caring in absolutely every department. The care is of high quality and meets our specific needs.
The team adjusts to the purpose of our stay and strives to do everything possible to support us on a daily basis. I am impressed to have such a heritage just a few steps from my home. I will take care of myself and invest time and money to come here regularly. It will be an investment on myself. A way to stay balanced. One day when I retire, I hope to be able to come and give back to this exceptional place that is Le Monastère des Augustines. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
The many small personalized attention and the willingness of everyone to meet all our needs with kindness warms our hearts. We feel important! It’s good for the morale of a caregiver who forgets so much, to be recognized as a human being too! Thank you for thinking of us caregivers and for spoiling us with this wonderful stay! Every caregiver should have this unique opportunity! Thank you for continuing the Augustinian Mission!
Awards and Distinctions
TRAVEL & HOSPITALITY AWARDS 2022
2022 North, South & Central Americas Travel Awards programme.
FIDÉIDES OF THE QUEBEC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY 2021
Fidéides finalist – Cultural Company of the Year.
CANADIAN SPA & WELLNESS AWARDS 2018-2019-2021
Top 25 Spas in Canada (2018,2019), Honorable Mention (2021)
UNESCO MEMORY OF THE WORLD REGISTER IN CANADA.
Inscription of the archives of the Augustines du Québec 30September 2020
HEALTHY BUSINESS GROUP 2017
Distinction Award – Service Provider category
QUEBEC CITY HERITAGE AWARDS 2017
Winner Interpretation and Dissemination and Special MentionConservation and Preservation
GRAND PRIZE OF THE QUEBEC ENGINEERING COUNCIL 2017
THE 2016 QUEBEC CITY ARCHITECTURE AWARDS
Universal accessibility Heritage in a heritage site People’s Choice Award
SOCIÉTÉ DES MUSÉES DU QUÉBEC 2016
Excellence Award for the permanent exhibition
ASSOCIATION QUÉBÉCOISE DES INTERPRÈTES DU PATRIMOINE 2015-2016
Award of Excellence in Heritage Interpretation
QUEBEC ASSOCIATION OF HERITAGE INTERPRETERS 2016
Award of Excellence