While Montreal’s French flair, food scene, and massive underground network of stores and walkways make it a great destination anytime of the year, I know some readers visit because they own Bombardier jets. Recently, I had a chance to visit the Bombardier factory, including attending the delivery of the 100th Global 7500, the 10th for VistaJet.
I also took the opportunity to survey the city’s luxury hotel scene, the subject of this week’s report below.
1. Four Seasons Hotel Montreal
Forbes Travel Guide inspectors say of its only 5-star hotel in the city, “Four Seasons Hotel Montreal is a rose-hued oasis for the city’s foodies, design lovers and world travelers alike. The opulent property opened in May 2019 in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile, a downtown area that once housed roughly 60 families holding 70 percent of Canada’s wealth at the turn of the 20th century. Keeping with that shining tradition, the luxury lifestyle property has made a name for itself with its distinguished dining from celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, trendy after-work patio scene and jaw-dropping décor. The wood, velour and pink hues in the reception area, suites and corridors create a la vie en rose feel. But step into the day and night lounges on opposite sides of a marble-footed wraparound bar and you’ll find yourself in a boudoir-inspired enchanted forest. You’ll never want to leave your home away from home — and some don’t. With private residences on the upper levels, the hotel always contains a mix of locals and visitors.”
Robb Report adds, “Despite the buzzing social spaces, the hotel still feels like a sanctuary, too, thanks to separate elevators for the dining outlets, and some great soundproofing. The serene, generously sized rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows (some overlooking a building-sized mural of musician/local son Leonard Cohen), deep-soaking tubs and exclusive bath products from Swedish perfume brand Byredo. You’ll find a Precor machine-equipped gym and skylight-topped pool on the sixth floor, and a first-floor spa where the signature scrubs, facials, and massages are done with gold-infused products from natural line Omorovicza—a glittering nod to the surrounding Golden Square Mile neighborhood.”
On the top – 12th floor, the 2,121 sq.ft. two-bedroom Presidential Suite epitomizes the modern Montreal lifestyle. Unwind or entertain in the sleek living area with a dining table for eight. At day’s end, the master bedroom awaits, featuring an oversized bathroom with a double shower and free-standing whirlpool tub.
More suites at Four Seasons Hotel Montreal.
2. The Ritz-Carlton Montreal
The top-rated hotel in the city by US News & World Report, it says, “The Ritz-Carlton, Montréal lives up to the brand’s reputation by providing sophisticated accommodations and superb service in a location that’s well-suited for both business and leisure travelers. Set in downtown Montreal (within walking distance of Mont-Royal Park and the McGill University campus), this Ritz-Carlton earns high praise for its stylish guest rooms, decorated in neutral tones with luxe accents. The property also houses a fitness center and a small indoor rooftop pool, not to mention a garden and terrace. After a long day, you can satisfy your craving for gourmet French fare at renowned chef Daniel Boulud’s restaurant, Maison Boulud.”
Forbes Travel Guide writes, “The historic property, located in the heart of the city’s Golden Square Mile, has been a hub of social, cultural and political activity throughout its hundred-year existence. Indeed, past guests have included Queen Elizabeth II, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who were married on the property — and the hotel was the first in the world to bear The Ritz-Carlton name when it opened its doors on December 31, 1912. With its central downtown location near the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, galleries and luxury shops (including high-end department store Holt Renfrew), and with an extensive restoration under its belt, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel remains one of the chicest and most sought-after properties in Montreal.
The 5,700 sq.ft. Royal Suite offers city and garden views. There is a Master bedroom and two additional bedrooms, all with King beds. Enjoy the Sitting Room with fireplace or retreat to the Meeting/Dining room with seating for up to 12 people and 30 people standing. The expansive Living Room overlooks the garden and also has a fireplace.
More Suites at The Ritz-Carlton Montreal.
3. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth
Forbes Travel Guide inspectors say, “From the outside, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth maintains its traditional facade, but on the inside, everything has changed. It is no longer the same Montreal hotel that Queen Elizabeth first visited in 1959, nor the property that John Lennon and Yoko Ono chose for their “bed-in for peace” in 1969. Instead, it has undergone a $140 million transformation to be at the cutting edge of hospitality and the face of the city’s dynamic character. Centrally located downtown, the hotel’s renovation aims to connect travelers with Montreal by bringing in local art and quirky cultural elements, fostering creativity and encouraging locals to engage with the historic building. Between the culinary experiences, 24-hour wellness center, cutting-edge business campus and the warmth of the rooms, Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth has unveiled a modern place that is both inviting and refreshing.”
Conde Nast Traveler journalists report, “In 2017, the Fairmont, a classic 1960s hotel, got a major renovation by Sid Lee, a young, playful agency that created a totally fresh vibe, including new business facilities. Today, the high-traffic hotel, which is located next to the train station, has a young, cool crowd and more energy than ever. The Fairmont is a true hub; in fact, locals often walk through the lobby just to soak up a little glamour on their way to or from lunch.”
Royal Ville-Marie Suite
The 2,497 sq.ft. Royal Ville-Marie suite features views of downtown Montreal and its iconic buildings. Accessible by a private panoramic elevator, it also features the elegant interiors. Designed as a stunning residential apartment, the suite is comprised of an entrance foyer, a formal dining room for 10 people, a kitchen with bar counter, a living room with panoramic atrium allowing natural light to flood the expansive interiors, a library with electric fireplace, an office, a spacious master bedroom, en-suite bathroom with freestanding soaker tub and master dressing room with walk-in closet.
More suites at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth.
4. Hotel Le Crystal
Forbes Travel Guide writes, “In a sea of generic hotel chains, Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Hotel Le Crystal offers the individuality of a boutique property in the heart of downtown Montreal, with urban-chic suites providing plenty of local flair. Within walking distance to the city’s business and shopping districts and kitty-corner to The Bell Centre where the beloved Montreal Canadiens play home games, the suites at Hotel Le Crystal provide everything you need for a business trip, romantic weekend and family getaway, including well-equipped kitchenettes, a functional space to work and cozy living areas.
US News adds, “Situated in downtown Montreal (just three blocks south of Canada Place), Hôtel Le Crystal earns consistent praise from previous guests for its convenient location and friendly staff. The hotel features 131 spacious suites, each of which is appointed with a bedroom and separate living area, and comes furnished with rain showers or deep soaking tubs, LCD TVs, kitchenettes and free Wi-Fi access. But according to many guests, the best part about Hôtel Le Crystal’s rooms is the view; travelers recommend reserving accommodations on a higher floor for better vistas and less noise. Although the property is surrounded by a wide variety of eateries, guests recommend dining at the on-site restaurant, Siam Centre-ville, which serves Thai cuisine. Hôtel Le Crystal also offers access to a spa, a fitness center, a hot tub and an indoor saltwater pool.”
The 1,278 sq.ft. Penthouse 1104 features the largest of any private terrace at the hotel, with open sky views and lounging area. Sip a sunset cocktail or warm yourself by the fireplace and create lasting memories! Additional amenities include a kitchenette with a hot plate and a dining table, three flat-screen TVs and two bathrooms, one with a deep soaking tub.
More suites at Hotel Le Crystal.
5. Sofitel Hotel Golden Mile
US News reports, “Visitors rave about this sleek and stylish member of the Accor hotel family, which sits on Sherbrooke Street near McGill University. The Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile invites visitors to stay in sleek rooms, which come outfitted with LCD TVs, Nespresso coffee machines and marble bathrooms with rain showers. Although the property’s price tags are steep, many Sofitel visitors felt that the accommodations and the on-site amenities were well worth the money. The Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile also houses a fitness center, not to mention the stylish Le Renoir restaurant, which serves gourmet contemporary French cuisine. But for some travelers, this Sofitel’s offerings were outshined by its superb customer service; the hotel’s multilingual employees earn glowing reviews for their friendliness.”
Conde Nast Traveler adds, “Minimalist and playful with good art in every room, pops of bright color, and Victorian accents (culled from the estate of North American railroad pioneer William Cornelius Van Horne), the property delivers on all fronts. Order the stuffed duck breast at the French restaurant Renoir; it’s stuffed with chanterelles, ricotta, and butternut squash, then spiced with cardamom.”
The 1,050 sq.ft. suite Penthouse Floor features expansive windows, separate comfortable sitting and work area.
More suites at Sofitel Hotel Golden Mile.
6. W Montreal
US News writes, “The W brand’s signature swanky style doesn’t quite blend into the W Montréal’s Old City location, but guests don’t seem to mind. Recent visitors praised this hotel’s decor, characterized by bright colors and contemporary furnishings, as well as its gracious hotel staff. Guest rooms here feature floor-to-ceiling windows and are dressed in a sleek white, grey and gold color palette.”
Conde Nast Traveler says, “Enter through the sliding glass doors and up a short flight of stairs into the energetic lobby, and you’re transported into a microcosm of the Montreal of today: an of-the-moment, diverse nexus where design lovers, food lovers, art lovers, and just plain old lovers come together. We’d be remiss not to mention the hotel’s infamous bar. It’s gone through a number of iterations over the years, and at its current one, Bartizen, gin flights and handcrafted concoctions take center stage. Make sure to stop here before checkout—having a drink at the W is a rite of passage in Montreal.”
Extreme Wow Suite
The Extreme Wow Suite spans 1,336 sq.ft., plus an outdoor balcony. There is a large living area and dining area. The high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows provide a spacious feel and panoramic views.
More suites at W Montreal.