Just a few minute’s bus ride (or a 45-minute walk) from Vieux Quebec (the fortress) and downtown Quebec City is the small hotel Auberge Michel Doyon, located in the quiet neighbourhoods along Chemin Saint-Foy. To give you a sense of how homey this place is, the room keys are actual metal keys.
Rooms range from suites with private baths and kitchenette to smaller rooms with shared bathrooms. My friend and I each stayed in a suite that was large only in the comparative sense. The rooms are not exactly spacious—the only sitting space aside from the bed was a folding chair—but they are clean and well-maintained.
The bathrooms are small, with only room for a shower stall, and in the case of my friend’s room, the bathroom sink was in the bedroom, her bathroom limited to shower and toilet. I was lucky enough to get a full kitchenette that included a microwave, bar fridge and kettle, while my friend only managed the fridge and microwave without cupboards. Unfortunately, the only available dishes were a couple of plastic glasses, so I’m not sure how you were supposed to eat anything you might have cooked.
WiFi is available for $5/day and was reliable and fast. One challenge, however, was the paucity of convenient outlets that weren’t already filled with plugs from lamps, television or air conditioner. For example, I had to unplug the TV to plug in my laptop.
The staff are friendly and helpful, assisting with directions or in getting a taxi to the airport. The hotel offers a 99-cent continental breakfast, which we did not try. And there was no problem getting a late check-out, which was given at no charge.
Although the hotel may at first seem off the beaten path, the location is perfect for those looking to explore more than Vieux Quebec. There are several nearby convenience stores and small diners for breakfast or supplies, and if you have a car (ample parking behind the hotel), you have quick access to nearby highways, putting you within minutes of destinations like the Quebec Aquarium or Montmorency Falls. A weekend pass for the local bus system, meanwhile, is only $15.
While it may seem an odd place to stay while visiting town, Auberge Michel Doyon is a decently priced alternative to the fancier and often cramped B&Bs within the fortress walls.