Family drops anchor here with new business 

Lorraine Briscoe 

The new owners of Hotel & Suites Lac-Brome, Veronique Cools and her husband, Driss Ennabaoui, did not get off to an easy start. Their first weekend after taking possession in late October 2019 was hit with a three-day power failure which forced them to cancel all reservations. A few months later the pandemic came along. They turned this into an opportunity to do some planning and renovations. The dining area has undergone a transformation and some suites are now equipped with a jacuzzi. 

The couple comes with experience in the business. They built a premium Best Western in Montreal where they also developed a niche market renting furnished apartments on a short-term basis. Their two sons, Nassim and Amin and a daughter-in-law, Celine Marks, are all involved in the business and here is where they have settled and will make their life. In fact, Veronique went through the necessary hoops to have her late father’s remains moved here from France 40 years after his death. 

They have many plans for the business located on the north east side of Brome Lake. The Quilliams, as the restaurant is still called, will be a steakhouse/Italian restaurant. Veronique is all too aware of how important it is to keep their chef happy. “We consider him part of the family. He loves the outdoors and says he feels like he is on vacation living here.” 

Expanding the spa offering by building a centre de soins on the top floor is on the agenda. The owners have decided it would make more sense to convert the large semi-circular event room on the second floor into a second dining area where the beautiful expansive view of the lake and reserve can be fully appreciated. They are also renovating the motel style rental units on a lot adjacent to the main hotel. 

One of their priorities is finding ways to attract local customers with various events and activities. They dream of having a restaurant on the beach and holding concerts there. Finding a more descriptive name for the hotel, one that reflects their desire to “bring nature to our guests” is something they are working on too says Veronique.