Photo credit: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

The capital of the Quebec province has an irresistible small-town appeal—and one with a distinctive European flavor. The mostly French-speaking city is filled with historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and charming places to eat and shop. Head for Old Quebec City, a fortified 17th-century area that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exemplifying the quarter’s distinctive personality, here are the best hotels in Old Quebec City.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (1 Rue des Carrières; 418-692-3861) Old Quebec City

This 610-room Fairmont grand dame dates back to 1893. It is “a Quebec icon” with “stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the Old Fortified City” says Travel+Leisure, and rooms are “flush with luxury accommodations.” It doesn’t feel stuffy, though. “Sometimes when staying at a fancy hotel, one may encounter at least one person who is snooty or unpleasant,” according to one Google reviewer. “But at this place everyone we encountered was so happy and helpful. Our room was huge and beautiful with great bath products.”    >> Book this hotel for less

Auberge Saint-Antoine (8 Rue Saint-Antoine; 418-692-2211) Old Quebec City

This Relais & Chateaux boutique hotel in the heart of Old Quebec is housed in three 17th and 18th century buildings and features artifacts uncovered in an on-site archaeological dig. “Rooms overlook the St. Lawrence River on one side and the courtyard on the other, so pick lodgings with a view if possible,” advises Condé Nast Traveler. “Each of the 95 rooms is unique, featuring its own antiques and local designer touches.” One Google reviewer loves the mix of old and new: “It has so many awesome artifacts from the 1600s to 1900s. My kids loved it and I couldn’t get them to stop taking baths in the huge tub with a TV in the washroom.”    >> Book this hotel for less

Hôtel Le Germain Dominion (126 Rue Saint-Pierre; 418-692-2224) Old Port

Located in the city’s Old Port district, this 1912 hotel “is an excellent location for exploring all that Quebec City has to offer,” says Travel+Leisure, “offering amenities like 24-hour gym access, in-room Nespresso machines, and a continental breakfast—plus, it’s pet friendly.” The small-hotel charm is a plus, says one Tripadvisor user. “If you do not like large hotels and prefer a high end boutique hotel, then this hotel should be on your list.”    >> Book this hotel for less

Auberge Saint-Pierre (79 Rue Saint-Pierre; 418-694-7981) Old Quebec City

With a 200-year-old exterior and stone-and-brick-wall interiors, this 30-room hotel exudes historic charm. “This is one of the homier options in Old Québec,” says Frommers. “It’s a good choice for longer stays or families, as units offer room to spread out and some have modest kitchens.” A Trip Advisor user agrees, raving about the little perks. “It’s a small but cozy hotel …They have two coffee machines in the lobby and a wine dispenser and a liqueur dispenser where you can use your key card and enjoy the drinks.”    >> Book this hotel for less

Clarendon Hotel (57 Rue Sainte-Anne; 418-692-2480) Old Quebec City

 “Built in 1870, this is the oldest operating hotel in the city,” Fodors says of this 144-room hotel. “The rooms have been refurbished in art deco and art nouveau styles, with classic drapery for a traditional feel. Views face Old Quebec landmarks or the inner courtyard.” A Google reviewer offers a few tips: Be sure to ask for a fridge or microwave in your room if that’s important to you, since not all rooms have them. Also, “hotel seems to be offering ‘valet parking’ or no parking, however there is an underground parking right across the street.”    >> Book this hotel for less