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Relais & Châteaux has added 27 new members to its list of unique hotels and restaurants for 2023 and two of them are Canadian: pioneering Fogo Island Inn (Newfoundland), and Restaurant La Tanière3 (Rue Saint-Pierre, Old Quebec).

Established in 1954, the R&C consists of 580 establishments in 65 countries that are owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs (most often families) “who are passionate about their craft and deeply committed to forging warm, lasting relationships with their guests.”

Moreover R&C espouses a mandate “to protect and promote the wealth and diversity of the world’s culinary and hospitality traditions, to ensure they continue to thrive. They are equally dedicated to preserving local heritage and the environment.

It adds, “We believe the most meaningful sense of hospitality invites guests to discover the world in profoundly beautiful ways. As such, the standards we set for the association are subtle, sophisticated, and based on emotion. This approach enables guests to truly savor their stay and to treasure its memory.”

Here’s R&C’s (lightly edited) assessment of its newest Canadian members, which bring the number of members in this country to 21 (10 hotels, 11 restaurants):

Relais & Châteaux Fogo Island Inn

• 29 rooms (including 6 suites)
• Full Board rates starting at CDN$2,989 per night
• Gourmet restaurant seats: 30

Fogo Island is the type of place you can’t believe but always hoped existed. The island sits off the northeast coast of Newfoundland and welcomes travellers seeking to reconnect with wild nature and themselves. During full board stays of a minimum of three nights guests can discover the riches of a unique and unspoiled environment through unforgettable adventure activities and cultural experiences. The Inn is a global example of a true regenerative model. Built on the principles of sustainability, it also returns 100% of its operating surpluses to Shorefast, a Canadian charity whose work focuses on community economic development on Fogo Island.

Everything at the Inn has been carefully considered, from the architecture of the building, designed by Newfoundland-born, Norway-based Todd Saunders, to the furniture and colourful furnishings which combine to create a refined oasis of comfort and contemporary style. Overlooking the powerful Atlantic Ocean, the rooms’ floor to ceiling windows allow you to enjoy the magical scenery offered by each of the seven seasons that punctuate the year on the island.

All guests can discover more about the island’s history and culture, as well as visit art and artisan spaces through an orientation with a local Community Host. Chef Timothy Charles’ menu is an expression of the local seasonal foodways, with 80 percent of the ingredients locally sourced. Guests can savour refined dishes in the elegant dining room, as whales breach the surface of the waves, or icebergs drift past. Fogo Island Inn is a destination at the end of the world that you’ll find difficult to leave.”

La Tanière3

La Tanière3

• Seats 50
• Tasting menu (CDN$235) + wine pairings (from 115)

In the centre of Old Quebec City, between the Saint Lawrence River and Place Royale, a destination steeped in history awaits. Built in 1686, the vaulted cellars of the Leber and Charest buildings, among the oldest in the city, now house a gastronomic restaurant which has put la Belle Province on the map for journeying gourmets. Welcome to Relais & Châteaux La Tanière3, the experimental and sensory retreat of chef François-Emmanuel Nicol. Dedicated to promoting local terroir, he works exclusively with local, seasonal ingredients. No imported products, except wine, are on the menu–only the finest Quebecois and Canadian produce are served.

The chef enjoys highlighting little-known products from the region, such as caviar from Lake Saint-Pierre, small cherry tree bark, native plants from Quebec and even Paw Paw, a little-known fruit native to North America with a taste reminiscent of mango. Fans of classic cooking should prepare themselves: surprises are the order of the day.

Two dining experiences are on offer: the first in the elegant dining room with its captivating decor, the second at the Comptoir-Chef (Chef’s Counter), where diners get a front-row seat to watch the kitchen at full swing. In both cases, a tasting menu accompanied by wine – all designed around a rich and aromatic palette–transports guests to the heart of Quebec. With such cuisine dedicated to the preservation of local culinary heritage, it may feel difficult to leave this special ‘lair’ (the translation of ‘tanière).

Laurent Gardinier, President of Relais & Châteaux, stated, “The new members that have joined us in 2023 demonstrate the dynamism of our network as well as our ongoing effort to consolidate the quality and diversity of the guest experience within our properties,” says. “We all share the same vision: to make the world a better place through food and hospitality.”

First published at Travel Industry Today

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