On the Farm with Hôtel La Ferme
Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
Photos by André-Olivier Lyra
Nestled in the heart of Quebec’s Charlevoix region, this 145-room hotel highlights the area’s rich history and culture. Inspired by farm buildings of a bygone era, Hôtel La Ferme is a sprawling complex that stretches across five structures, true to the traditional architectural style of the Charlevoix region. Such fragmentation allows for unobstructed views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding landscape, which happens to be so breathtaking that it feels as if a Canadian Sound of Music could be filmed on the lush, rolling hills.
“The area is renowned for its hospitality and landscapes that have enchanted painters, poets, writers, and artists,” says Katrine Beaurdy, partner and designer at LemayMichaud, the Montreal-based design firm that spearheaded the project. “In keeping with the history, the hotel features barn-inspired wood throughout the building with pillars and exposed-wood beams, and much of the art and materials we used were locally sourced to highlight the story of the Charlevoix people.”
Local artisans provided cabinets, curtains, bedding, and carpets, and items often found in country settings, such as milk crates and barn wood, sit throughout the space. Hand-woven pillows that depict the bright star of Charlevoix, a local symbol, also can be found on the hotel’s beds, which range from pull-downs to queens to bunks. Distinct buildings vary in décor and include animal motifs, botanical themes, and a train station- inspired main building, all of which tie back to the original farm through exposed reclaimed-wood planks, sliding red-steel barn doors, and exposed rough studs. “In many ways, the old wood farm was a source of inspiration,” Beaudry says. “It was as if the ghost of the farm was still present.”
Since opening its doors more than 25 years ago, Saint-Damase has become a premier casegood manufacturer in the luxury-hotel industry. Though most of the company’s work has been on US projects, it journeyed to America’s northern neighbor to work on Quebec’s Hôtel La Ferme with design company LemayMichaud. “We did the majority of the casegoods for the rooms and a large portion of the public-area millwork including the restaurants, theater, la gare, and the reception area,” says Marc Soucy of Saint-Damase. “The ‘coup de coeur’ for this project has to be the vibrant red reception desk.”