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Sep 29, 2004 03:49 PM

Auberge Hatley........Near Magog............

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I'm interested in flying into Montreal and visiting Auberge Hatley. I would like to rent a car at the airport and drive to Les Trois Tilleuls & Spa the day of arrival. I think it's about an hour and a half...have dinner and spend the night then drive to Auberge Hatley for several days touring the countryside. Can anyone offer some advice. Is this an easy trip in a car for a poor fellow from Mississippi. I just returned from a week in Quebec City. I love Canada. Great place. Any advice about these two hotels and their restaurants is greatly appreciated.

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  1. Ike, We have been going annually (and, occasionally, more than once a year) to the Auberge Hatley since 1991. We drive up from the US and cross into Canada at the Vermont border. To say that we are fans is putting it mildly.

    The food created by Chef Alain Labrie is exquisite, equal to, and even surpassing, some of the best restaurants in the world. Obviously, you will be eating breakfast and dinner there since they are included in the package rate. However, I urge you not to miss lunch (additional cost) since the menu is an entirely different one from dinner and every bit as delicious. During the summer, we almost always have lunch on the terrace which overlooks the gorgeous pool area with its exceptional landscaping and the beautiful Lake Massawippi and mountains beyond. But even in the fall, when the fabulous flowers are pretty much gone, the view is still lovely, and the dining room faces it.

    Speaking of the view, when you reserve your room, you must ask for one with a lakeside view. Room 11 is the largest and nicest, but all the others are very pleasant. (Beds are super comfortable!!) They all have working fireplaces, which is particularly enjoyable during this time of year. One of the staff members will make sure that there is plenty of wood kept stacked, and the logs are set up, so all you will have to do is light the match.

    Needless to say, the entire staff is the best: very friendly, helpful and professional. And, if you think you will be treated any differently from us because they know us so well while you are a first time visitor, you couldn't be more wrong.

    Have you been on the Hatley's web site? You can see a sample menu there.

    From the Hatley, we sometimes drive up to Montreal to spend the weekend. It is an easy highway drive, taking from between one hour and fifteen minutes to one hour and a half, depending on traffic.

    As for Les Trois Tilleuls, we stayed there in 1991 and drove from there to the Hatley. I don't remember how long the drive was, but it's certainly doable. We were not impressed with LTT. Our room was nothing special, and the food couldn't hold the proverbial candle to the Hatley's cuisine. Of course, this was many years ago, there was no spa then, and they might have refurbished the rooms. But even now, nobody I know ever raves about the food.

    Here's a suggestion. Instead of going to LTT, consider heading only 45 minutes north of Montreal to L'Eau a la Bouche, in Ste. Adele, for your one night. The cuisine is fabulous -- every bit as fine as the Hatley's. Rooms are attractive and comfortable. Packages are quite reasonable (particularly with the rate of exchange) and include breakfast and dinner. They don't serve lunch. You can see the current menus on their web site. (Note: The drive south to the Hatley will be about 2 hours.

    Any other questions, just ask. :-)

    7 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      Thanks RGR.......what part of the US did you drive up from to Hatley. Sounds like this is the place. I did lool at the LTT website and wasn't impressed that much but it's R&C and that says something. I'm undecided about flying into Montreal and driving from there to Hatley or flying into Burlington or another US airport and driving to Hatley across the border. What do you think? Have you heard of Twin Farms in VT. It's an hour or so south of Burlington and I could drive to Hatley the next day but I would probably have to spend the last night around Burlington close to airport to catch flight home the last night. That's no fun. Probably check out the place you mentioned and fly into Montreal, stay at your place one night, drive to Hatley for 3/4 nights then back to Montreal and stay at Ritz Carlton the last night before flying home. I have been impressed with Auberge Hatley for several years after meeting a gentleman from Montreal at The Point and hearing his comments about AH. Thanks for any help. Good luck.

      1. re: Ike!

        I don't have input on either of these places (not rich enough !), but if the point of flying to Burlington is to save time on the drive, forget it - your drive is actually going to be longer. The drive from Dorval to Auberge Hatley is almost highway all the way; the only difficulty would be if you get to Dorval at rush hour time (especially around 4-6 PM, when people leave the island for the burbs).

        1. re: Johnnyboy

          Thanks Johnnyboy. My plane would arrive at Dorval about 3 PM and I would be leaving in a rental car around 4 PM (Rush Hour I Guess) so what about driving to St-Marc-sur-Richelieu JOL 2EO. This is one of the places I mentioned above about staying the first night. I think it's an hour and a half from Dorval but I don't know about rush hour time. Do you think I could reach this place in rush hour say in 2 hours or so. Merci........thank you very much.............

          1. re: Ike!

            Ike, I agree with Johnnyboy abour Burlington not being a good idea. We come up from NJ and cross into Canada at the northern point of Interstate 91 in Derby, VT., which becomes 55 in Canada. From there, it is about a 20-minute ride to North Hatley.

            Although Les Trois Tilleuls is a Relais & Chateaux member, all members are definitely *not* equal in quality and, we have found, especially when it comes to cuisine. We have stayed at many R&C properties where the rooms have been spectacular, but the food has been quite disappointing.

            L'Eau a la Bouche is also a R&C member, and its restaurant, like the Hatley's, has been named a Relaid Gourmand. If you are landing at Dorval, you are actually much closer to LALB than if you were in central Montreal because the airport is about 20 minutes away from center city on Route 15, which goes directly to Ste. Adele. So, without traffic, it's about 15-20 minutes further north. Even if you have to buck a little bit of rush hour traffic, it would still be way, way closer than going to St.-Marc-sur-Richelieu. (To get to St. Marc, you'd have to go south at least 20 minutes to Montreal, cross over to the other side of the St. Lawrence and then continue traveling north -- or maybe it's west -- for about another 30 miles.)

            So, I strongly urge you to drop any thought of going to LTT and head for LALB. Trust me when I say that you will have a meal there that you will not soon forget. The next morning, after a nice breakfast, leave between 10 and 11 a.m. and, barring unforeseen circumstance, you should have a smooth 2-hour ride to the Hatley.

            P.S. I just took a peek at LALB's web site, and they are offering a $50 reduction per night Sunday through Thursday. Yet more great news for those of us from "south of the border." :-)

            1. re: RGR

              Merci RGR. You just helped me make up my mind. You are very right. It would be an easier trip from Dorval arriving at 3 PM to drive up to LALB than going to LTT in the 4/6 PM rush traffic. I will save the trip to Burlington for Twin Farms. I can arrive at LALB in time for dinner and then breakfast the next day before heading to Eastern Quebec and AH for 4/5 days. Thank you very much for your very kind help. I agree with you about R&C properties. I have been to 30 or so in the US and Canada. They are not all the same. If you ever get a chance try Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN which is rated # 1 small resort in America by a recent travel publication. It's not far from my home and we go quite often. Much like you and AH. Blackberry is an old estate north of the Smoky Mountains with a main lodge, guest lodge, two guest houses and newer cottages close by along with a spa, horseback riding, trout fishing, great food, et al. www.blackberryfarm. com. AH looks divine and a gentleman from YUL told me it was divine. I went to La Pinsonniere two weeks ago when I was in QC. Great place overlooking St. Lawrence River. I live near Mississipi River south of Memphis so I like rivers.

              I saw your posts on Manhattan Chowhound Board and posted a request about Balthazar for lunch and some info on a walking tour of Soho/Tribeca soon. We may go in November/December and I was getting ready to make reservations for lunch/dinner. I have been in the area and had dinner at Balthazar but there may be a better lunch spot and I would like your input on what streets the ladies may enjoy touring in that area.

              Chowhound may get upset over the discussion......if so email me please. Thanks.

              1. re: Ike!

                Just a note - there will be rush hour traffic going north as well, possibly even worse then going south. But if you leave Dorval no later than 4PM and head north on highway 13, you should avoid the worst of it (unless it's on a friday, when all bets are off). But in any case you should be able to make it to Ste-Adele for dinner. Enjoy, and don't forget to tell us how it was.

                1. re: Johnnyboy

                  Thanks Johnny Boy..........I won't forget to leave a report here..........good luck.........

    2. I would skip Les Trois Tilleuls. We had a reservation there in 2002 that we ended up canceling. We drove by it early in the day to check it out, and it was very disappointing. Eau de Holiday Inn, to our impression. Conversely, if you are near Magog, for a superb meal go to La Table Tourigny on the Magog/Georgeville line. We enjoyed a top-notch meal here a couple months ago. It is BYO. Scroll down to a post from me in July or August re: the specifics of the meal. Have fun!

      1. I would skip Les Trois Tilleuls. We had a reservation there in 2002 that we ended up canceling. We drove by it early in the day to check it out, and it was very disappointing. Eau de Holiday Inn, to our impression. Conversely, if you are near Magog, for a superb meal go to La Table Tourigny on the Magog/Georgeville line. We enjoyed a top-notch meal here a couple months ago. It is BYO. Scroll down to a post from me in July or August re: the specifics of the meal. Have fun!