Getaway to 4-Star Riverside Hotel amid Gatineau Park with Renowned Restaurant
The 4-star Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa in Quebec may draw visitors for its proximity to the gorgeous forests and lakes of nearby Gatineau Park, but the culinary treats in the hotel’s fine dining room make the hotel a destination all its own. Here, French-trained chef Romain Riva prepares grilled venison, chili-pepper gnocchi, rainbow trout tartar, and other Québécois specialties. The restaurant’s sommeliers stock the wine cellar with small-batch wines from around the world, and they are always on hand to recommend pairings. But the restaurant’s crowning achievement is the Discovery Menu, a chef’s tasting menu that changes nightly and is recommended for adventurous diners. Those choosing a stay in a River Grand Room receive a daily Discovery Menu dinner for two.
Most of the hotel is contained inside a historic mill, and many guest rooms feature exposed stone walls and original mill flooring. Others, located inside the newer Eco River Lodge, have large windows overlooking La Pêche River.
Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa sits on the outskirts of Gatineau Park, a sprawling conservation area a few miles north of Ottawa. You’ll have easy access to all of the park’s outdoor activities during your stay, including more than 100 miles of hiking trails and five public beaches. At the end of the day, unwind at the hotel’s spa with a hot-stone massage or seaweed body wrap in a treatment room with floor-to-ceiling views of a nearby waterfall.
Wakefield, Quebec: Outdoorsy Town Along the Gatineau River
Even though it’s just a half-hour north of Ottawa, Wakefield couldn’t be further removed from the bustling Canadian capital. Set along the banks of the Gatineau River, the town is surrounded by the quiet beauty of Gatineau Park, an extensive conservation park with lots of outdoor recreation. In the summer, you can hike densely wooded trails leading to stunning lookouts, or pack a lunch and head to the park’s free picnic areas, which open in mid-May. Swimming, fishing, mountain biking, and horseback riding are all popular as well. When it starts to snow, skiiers can explore more than 50 cross-country skiing trails. Alpine skiing is also available at the Vorlage Ski Center just outside of town.
Located along the riverfront, Wakefield’s main drag is lined with independent shops selling local crafts and handmade chocolates. There’s also a thriving arts community, with numerous art galleries and an annual art tour that showcases local artists each fall. For a night of live music, head to the Black Sheep Inn, where bands take the stage every weekend.