We decided to make the most of the final week of Michael’s three month sabbatical by spending some time in Canada earlier this fall. Though Michael has been to Montreal, Toronto, and Whistler for work, neither Orvis nor myself had ever made the easy drive up to Canada from Maine before. Armed with our passports and Orvis’s vet records, we eagerly crossed the border in Vermont and made our way to the beautiful lakeside Manoir Hovey in the Quebec town of North Hatley.
Perched above the deep, glacial Lake Massawippi, Manoir Hovey is a stately Relais & Chateaux lakeside retreat. The manor was originally built in 1900 as a private summer residence, inspired by George Washington’s Mount Vernon home, and most of Manoir Hovey’s 37 rooms and suites have a view of the water. Around the property, Adirondack chairs are in no short supply – placed in pairs every few meters – encouraging guests to relax and enjoy the panoramic views of the lake below.
Our pet-friendly cottage with its private side porch proved to be the perfect setup for anyone visiting with a water-loving dog, and since it was still rather warm when we visited, we were able to make the most of the good weather by spending plenty of time – even taking a few breakfasts – outside on the porch while Orvis dried after his swims. Inside, the large fireplace and classic furnishings only added to the luxurious feel of the property, and I took full advantage of the large soaking tub to warm up after morning swims with Orvis (the 70 degree water was easily 10 degrees warmer than the water of Casco Bay at home).
During our relaxing stay – we had little reason to leave the expansive 30 acre property. We read in the sun in the chairs on the lawn, took in the beautiful English gardens, and even (very briefly!) kayaked with Orvis in between us. If we’d stayed longer, we could’ve explored the lake more, relaxed at the pool, or even tried an afternoon tea… maybe next time.
While we chose to take the continental breakfasts in our room rather than in the restaurant, we had a chance to dine at the more casual Tap Room for lunch, and we enjoyed both of our dinners at the fine Le Hatley Restaurant in the evenings.
Manoir Hovey is a place we can easily see ourselves returning to in the future. Although we visited just as the leaves were beginning to change in October, the temperature was warm enough to give us a peek as to what life is like on Lake Massawippi during the summer months. As much as I love the thought of spending even more time in and on the water, the idea of a winter trip to Manoir Hovey is of particular interest to me. Ice skating on the lake and exploring the surrounding woods on snowshoes sounds like a magical way to spend a winter weekend.