Outdoor Living | Micro-Cabin Glamping in Charlevoix
Last weekend, Jamie and I were invited to Repère Boréal and I swear, not many outdoor lodging sites can compare to the uniqueness of this mini paradise on earth. I could not imagine a more perfect winter weekend getaway and I will definitely go back this summer to experience another season in this magical place.
First and foremost, the micro-cabins are located in Charlevoix, an area known for it’s picturesque landscapes and very snowy winters (they receive about 6.5 ft a year!!!) I had been to Charlevoix once in the summer time and I had snowboarded at le Massif, however, it was the first time I explored the area without a plan and witnessed the beauty of the region covered in a fluffy snow blanket.
What I find fascinating about it is that it makes you feel like you’re so far away from home, even though it’s only a mere 3h30 drive to get there from Montreal.
While I was contemplating the Saint-Lawrence river from a view point in Baie Saint-Paul, I found it crazy to think that whales and belugas live in those waters, where as the woods are home to a population of bear, moose and elk.
The FLAVOUR’s Trail
On our way to our refuge in the woods, we decided to spend a night in Baie Saint-Paul where we fuelled up on local products. Charlevoix is also known for it’s flavour’s trail where a profusion of locally farmed products such as cheeses, organic meats & charcuteries, ciders & artisan beers won’t disappoint epicureans on the hunt for a gastronomic adventure. We stopped at small shop owned by La Cidrerie Pednault where we were offered to taste a variety of delicious apple, pear and prune ciders. We spoke to a very nice lady who told us all about their 100 year old Orchard based in Île-aux-coudres. We were pleased to add their products to our little glamping basket.
We also curated a selection of products from the area such as le Pieux de Charlevoix (my all time favourite saucisson), dried biologic ham, l’origine de Charlevoix (which won itself the title of best cheese in Canada), le Fleurmier de Charlevoix (a creamy-buttery soft cheese) and le 1608, a firm cheese that paired perfectly well with my ice cider from La Cidrerie Pednault.
I’’d choose a platter like this over any meal, any time.
The next day, we drove down to Repère Boréal which is only 20 minutes away from Baie Saint-Paul where we were given the opportunity to experience unparalleled proximity to wilderness in the comfort of the most cozy, yet amazingly designed micro-cabin.
Upon our arrival, we were welcomed with home made goods such as a smores kit, banana bread, soup in a jar, oatmeal, veggie shepherd’s pie, homemade butter, bread and even ‘’happy chicken’’ eggs (how cute is that!).
The refuges at Repère Boréal minimize the interface between you and nature and really create a singular glamping experience. We were staying in the Mashk (which means Bear in Innu) a micro-cabin tucked away in the woods with fifteen-foot windows, a mezzanine hosting the most comfy bed, a rooftop deck, radiant heated floors, kitchen and bathroom. We had ‘’la creme de la creme’’ as we’d say in French.
A great addition is that our cabin had built in speakers that connected with my Spotify and started playing my music as soon as I entered the cabin or woke up in the morning. I definitely need to find a way to bring this system at home…It’s like having a soundtrack to your life (which I always dreamed of!).
That evening, we poured ourselves some wine, listened to jazz music and prepared a cheese & charcuterie platter while watching the snow fall. We weren’t gonna pass on those smores so we ended the night pigging out on marshmallow’s and graham cookies by the campfire.
Doesn’t get much better than that!
The Next Morning
The next morning, it felt amazing to wake up to all this natural light. We were surrounded by windows framing different parts of the forest as if they were a piece of art. For breakfast, I cooked up a chive and spinach omelet in which I threw chunks of 1608 cheese and Pieux de Charlevoix saucisson and it was seriously the best omelet I had in my life (plus we didn’t waste any of the leftovers).
I have to admit that staying in the Mashk micro-cabin was far from camping, or even glamping considering there’s a full kitchen, bathroom and shower, but Repère Boréal also offers two other accomodation types that are closer to a real outdoor camping experience. The Shipship and the Maikan…
Last but not least, there is also a small and intimate spa on site that is secluded in nature and connected to it’s environment. The two jacuzzis and sauna blend perfectly well with their surroundings and both times we went we didn’t hear (or see) a soul. There is no extra fee or check-in process, you simply walk in through a wooden door with your bathrobe and relax. The site was very quiet at all times, which made this escapade feel even more soothing.