There’s really a lot to love Montreal for: its charm, artistic streak, bagels and poutine, and European architecture. And because there’s so much to see, the question naturally arises: where to stay?
Le Mount Stephen
This neoclassical building in the city centre, on the Golden Square Mile to be precise, was once the home of Scottish Lord George Stephen, businessman and railway pioneer.
Later, the building became the Private Members Club before being converted into a hotel in 2006. 90 rooms are housed in the new eleven-storey building, which adjoins the original building at the rear. The attention to detail is visible in the furnishings of Le Mount Stephan: Japanese toilets, showers with colour therapy, and ideally placed USB ports are part of the basic equipment here. If all the modern bells and whistles don’t keep you in touch with tradition, the in-house restaurant is the place to be – serving British classics like Welsh rarebit (a kind of posh cheese toast) while admiring the fine 19th-century wood panelling and stained-glass windows.
In Montreal’s old harbour sits this truly epic hotel with just ten rooms. The 200-year-old building has retained its warehouse charm: the exposed stone walls inside Hotel Epik combine with the modern furnishings to create a sophisticated ambience. A quick snack of freshly baked croissants and off you go for a stroll along the harbour or into the city centre, a 20-minute walk away.
Hotel ST Paul
Imposing Beaux Arts flair on the outside, tasteful minimalism on the inside combined with modern furnishings that echo the high ceilings and large windows of the historic building. Hotel St Paul’s rooms feature highly polished wooden floors, exposed stone walls, and a clean design. On the streets of Old Montreal, just a few steps from the hotel entrance, there is a diverse range of restaurants. Hambar, for example, offers delicious meat platters, fresh pasta, and tender meat dishes such as the veal steak with fingerling potatoes, brown butter, and goat cheese.
Hotel William Gray
This modern boutique hotel in the historic Old Montreal neighbourhood is still so young, yet so steeped in history. Opened in 2016, the hotel spans two historic 18th-century buildings – Maison Cherrier and Maison Edward William Gray. Today, a modern, eight-stored glass connection merges the two parts into one building that houses 127 rooms. Inside the hotel, soft leather meets rough concrete, while drastic voids are accentuated by floating staircases and light sources with ornate metal. After a dip in the outdoor pool, the in-house restaurant beckons with its exceptional cuisine: dry-aged steak, raw scallops enhanced with Meyer lemon and lavender, and roasted bone marrow with grilled tomatoes and avocado are all on the menu here.
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
After a C$140 million renovation, this once-traditional convention hotel is back at the top of the list of Montreal’s best hotels. When the Fairmont first opened in 1958, it was the only hotel in all of North America to offer a direct phone line in every room. Almost 60 years later, the hotel once again offers its business guests state-of-the-art facilities: The business centre consists of a large common area à la Silicon Valley, creative brainstorming, and meeting rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technologies, and a colourful, inspiring atmosphere. Also new are a number of restaurants, such as the Artisans Market, which offers healthy and fresh meals to go – when time is again only enough for a lunch al Desko.
The historic Banque du Canada building is no longer just about money. Since the big W moved in, the colour palette has changed dramatically. Beyond the crimson lobby, the elegant rooms in black and white and blue tones with bright colour accents await their 152 guests. The three in-house bars promise endless party fun. And those who party a lot also need to relax – after a night of drinking, the AWAY Spa beckons with vitalising facial and full-body treatments as well as luxurious massages.
Hotel Gault is located in the heart of the historic Old Montreal district. The imposing 18th-century building was once home to a carpet factory. Today, not much is left of it. The interior of the hotel is dominated by spacious, open loft-style rooms. The icing on the cake is probably the polished concrete floors and modern furnishings with Eames chairs in the style of the 1950s. The brunch in the in-house restaurant is unbeatable – this is where locals meet to ring on the weekend with a sumptuous breakfast. Room service promises a little more privacy, but just as much enjoyment. The menu includes popular classics like the Reuben sandwich with smoked meat, sauerkraut, cheese, and cornichons. No less popular is the Gault Pizza. Served around the clock on the terrace with a gorgeous view of the city