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“Excellent trip” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Le Train du Massif de Charlevoix - CLOSED

Le Train du Massif de Charlevoix
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Travelling between mountains and seashore, along 140 km of breathtaking riverside scenery between Québec City and La Malbaie, the Train of Le Massif de Charlevoix conveys passengers on a singular rail cruise experience focused on Charlevoix gastronomy, and the region’s countless hidden treasures.
Toronto
Level Contributor
128 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Excellent trip”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2013

We took the train to Baie Saint Paul, then on to La Malbaie, stayed the night at the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu and took the train back to Quebec City the next day.
Had a lovely breakfast on the way up and a tapas snack on the way back.
You can do the trip in one day up and back but I thought it would be rushed, we enjoyed the 2 days.
All of the train staff were wonderful, those that worked at the station as well as those on the train.
If you require a taxi at the end of the trip from the station be sure to have the staff call for one, it is not a regular train station with constant taxis

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
12 Thank Sharon C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

70 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    39
    14
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Peterborough, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Le Massif getting really classy”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2013

About 15 years ago, my wife and I, who have skied every decent-sized resort in North America, learned of the sport's best kept secret. Until that year Le Massif de Charlevoix had to bus skiers to the top, but they had now built a couple of high-speed quads, and one of the finest base lodges on the Continent - certainly, it offered the best food in ski land. Sitting right on the shore of the St Lawrence, it offers breathtaking panoramic views at every turn. One could be sure of a win by betting anyone around the country that they couldn't name the highest vertical rise ski resort in Eastern Canada. We rated it as an also-ran resort which shouldn't be missed.
This year we just couldn't resist the pairing of skiing, staying, and taking the spectacular train cut into the St Lawrence shoreline, and which delivers skiers right to the base of the new top to bottom 8-passenger gondola. After two days of the most enjoyable skiing we seniors can remember, we enthusiastically join the professional raters who have raised Le Massif to the number one ski resort in Eastern North America, and second only to Killimgton in vertical. We never thought any resort could approach Mount Mansfield at Stowe, but visit Le Massif and judge for yourself. We loved the many scenic top to bottom intermediate runs, leaving the recently - developed far western side to the more advanced skiers looking for gladed steep and deep.
Le Massif offered something new this year which surprisingly, they didn't seem to promote much, but which caught my eye and sense of nostalgia, although I failed ro realize what I was getting in for. My wife, whose senior body is less forgiving of abuse than mine, wisely stayed by the fire.
It seems, they conceived and built a 7 1/2 km Luge run skirting the eastern side of the property while dropping about 3000 feet. You can ride it luge-style, but in a sitting position, or take an old fashioned kid's sleigh on which you ride on your belly, steer by rhe front cross-bar, and try to raise your head enough to see upcoming turns and wonder how you are going to slow down enough to negotiate it. I had a real blast till I switched to the luge and kept getting dumped into snow banks.
I should make clear that if you ride out on the train with its gorgeous views and free breakfast, by the time you arrive, ride the gondola to the Summit Lodge, get tickets, rentals and clothed, you're looking at 11am at a resort where in midwinter, the sun is off the hill by early afternoon. I guess that is why, on the recommended package, your first day is mostly spent exploring the charming village of Baie St Paul. Free transfers from town take a half hour and aren't always available just when you want to go.
I haven't made reference to accommodation. There are several excellent B&B-style places in Baie St Paul, and there is a helpful visitors' centre as you drive into town about an hour after leaving Quebec City. By the way, the train leaves from Montmorency Falls just east of town on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays only (in winter).
There are also some very rewarding eating establishments in Baie St Paul, but the train-stay-ski package they put together includes a night at Hotel La Ferme, and the train brings you right to the door. I don't feel adequately qualified to describe rooms and amenities except that it has received awards from all over the world and been mostly praised and sometimes ridiculed by self-styled experts. The whole operation was founded by the founder of Cirque du Soleil, and the rooms appear to have been designed by some of their weirder trapeze artists. You just have to see them. But since they don't expect you to stay long, don't look for drawers and closets. And that was the reason the founding manager gave me.
Room rates are pretty modestly priced, but most are in different buildings from the main one. The dining Room, kind of Japanese style, is also acclaimed for its food quality, but they have some weird habits. We wanted a bottle of wine with dinner, but the prices were so outlandish that we settled for a glass each at a reasonable price. When we asked if we could buy a bottle of the wine being poured, we were informed that it was The House Wine, and therefore not available for sale. I love the French!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank punch80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Exquisite experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

We took the train from Quebec City to Le Massif on Friday, January 18, 2013. The food was exquisite, the service was five-star, and the view was amazing. The train follows a track right beside the St. Lawrence river. For much of it, you have a rock wall on one side and the river on the other. The ice flows and river movement are framed in early morning sun on the way there, and sunset on the way back. A tasteful audio and video track is played on your table from an iPad, all coordinated to reflect what you are seeing. Just gorgeous. Your $100 fare covers a lovely breakfast and tapas dinner, in the style of French cuisine. The food is sourced locally, beautifully presented, and served with care. There is a ski car with a place to put your skis and a bench to change on. From the train, you step onto a gondola, which takes you to the bottom of the hill. At the end of the day, the gondola is fired up at 4 pm to take you back to the train. Well worth it.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Dressage01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Shores, Florida
Level Contributor
66 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Well run train to quaint artists town”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 16, 2013 via mobile

We took a taxi to the train station, no problems. The train is new with appropriately chic furnishings. Nice gourmet breakfast and tapas with local ingredients. Baie St Paul was a nice diversion, enjoyed gourmet lunch and cider tasting. The scenery was a little different than I expected, it is not through mountains but is instead along the St Lawrence River. It is still beautiful though. The Hotel where you pick up the train has a nice lobby and fireplace with great coffee and hot chocolate. Overall I highly recommend, but would see better scenery in the spring, summer or fall.

Helpful?
3 Thank szetka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
75 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Never been on anything like it in North America”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2013

Absolutely stunning setting... tracks the river to The base of Le Massif (or if you want to go into town, it's the next stop 10 min away) You get off and a gondola whisks you to the top of the mountain. The hr or so train ride includes impeccably mannered staff, white glove breakfast service (the dinner was tapas on the way back that were not quite as good as bfast was in the morning) You are dropped off and have about 6 hrs to shop. If we were doing this again, we would stay overnight in the town before coming back. But that's just being picky. Fantastic way to experience the river, skiing, train rides... LOVE LOVE LOVED it. Our best day here!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Aaron A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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