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As the second-largest French-speaking city in the world — often referred to as the ‘Paris of Canada’ — Montreal has historic architecture, a strong food and culture scene, and rich history. The Old Montreal quarter is filled with majestic buildings dating back to the 17th century, with grand cathedrals and extravagant public buildings that now house impressive museums. The 1967 World’s Fair left a legacy of beautiful urban parks and an efficient underground rail network. As well as the numerous museums, cultural offerings in the city include theaters, libraries, music halls, and outdoor festivals. In the field of gastronomy, Montreal has taken the best of classic French techniques and turned them on their head to create innovative cuisine that is rapidly gaining attention from serious food lovers both domestically and internationally.
With such enticing offerings attracting interest from all over the world, Montreal has developed accommodations to cater to the annual influx of visitors. Hotels range from historic boutique properties to soaring modern towers, with varied styles and intentions that reflects the mix of old and new in this modern and dynamic city. Below, just a few of our favorite Montreal stays.
Best Overall: Hotel Le Crystal
Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, just a short walk from the Bell Center, Hotel Le Crystal rises above its desirable street corner a gleaming tower of steel and glass. Modern guest suites are bright and airy thanks to the natural light streaming in through enormous glass windows which stretch from wall to wall and floor to ceiling. Large, comfy beds contain feather pillows and duvets, and suites are kitted out with amenities such as Nespresso machines and flat-screen TVs. Each also has a fully-equipped kitchen, a separate living area, and bathrooms with rainfall showers, separate soaking tubs, and twin vanities.
The Amerispa offers luxury massage and beauty treatments, as well as a heated indoor pool and a decadent rooftop hot tub with stunning city views. The Siam Centre-ville restaurant serves authentic, internationally-recognized Thai cuisine, or guests can order a diverse range of dishes, from salmon teriyaki to gourmet pizzas, from the in-room service menu.
Best Boutique: Hotel le St-James
A member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World group, the iconic Hotel Le St-James has sat proudly on the ancient cobblestone streets of Old Montreal since 1870. This boutique property, with a mere 60 rooms and suites, is housed in a restored Merchants Bank building and features a majestic façade that is complemented by the opulent furnishings within.
Guestrooms here are uniquely decorated with hand-carved antique furniture and ornate lighting fixtures, while bathrooms are lined with polished marble and come with Molton Brown bath products. The Le Spa is found deep in the heart of the historic building, with rough-cut stone walls creating a rustic and hallowed atmosphere. Inside, guests can indulge in treatments such as caviar facials and hot stone massages, snack on gourmet bites and beverages, and relax in the steam room or sauna. At XO Le Restaurant, an ever-changing menu based on seasonal produce is complemented by a diverse selection of premium wines sourced from all over the world. On Fridays, classical jazz musicians lead a sophisticated evening of fine dining and signature cocktails.
Best for Families: Intercontinental Montreal
Situated in the center of Montreal, with shopping, restaurants, historic attractions, and parks filling the surrounding streets, the Intercontinental Montreal is a convenient location for visiting families. Commodious guest rooms and suites with adjoining rooms can accommodate large families and come with amenities including Keurig coffeemakers, LCD TVs, iPod docks, and welcome packs for the children. Kid-friendly activities are organized by the hotel, and a babysitting service is available.
The Osco! Restaurant serves classic Mediterranean cuisine from the Provence region, filled with the aromas and flavors of virgin olive oil, lavender infusions, and fresh market ingredients combining in wholesome tasty fare. Accompanying these seasonal dishes are freshly baked baguette loaves and a wide selection of premium imported wines. Once younger family members have retired for the evening, adults can enjoy the intimate alcoves and elegant atmosphere of the Sarah B. absinthe bar, where the infamous spirit is blended into signature cocktail blends.
Best for Romance: Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth
Despite being the largest hotel in Montreal, Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth nevertheless manages to retain a warm and intimate ambiance. Situated opposite the Gare Central train station and surrounded by shops, restaurants, and other attractions, this storied and iconic property has recently undergone an extensive facelift to reveal a fresh, contemporary look while retaining its warm, historic character.
Guestrooms feature retro '60s furnishings and contemporary artworks in vibrant hues, with the best rooms offering breathtaking views of the Marie Reine du Mond Cathedral and the surrounding parks. At Restaurant Rosélys, fresh and seasonal local produce is used in the creation of gourmet dishes with a heavy French influence. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast buffet or an a la carte menu in the mornings, lunch on fresh seafood and meat cuts purchased daily from local markets, and dine on dishes such as petit-gris snails, duck confit, and artichoke ravioli in the evenings. The Krema café is popular with guests and locals alike, and visitors can purchase home-made specialty foods at the artisanal urban market next to the lobby.
Best High-End Luxury: Le Mount Stephen
Set within a meticulously restored gentleman’s club dating back to 1883, the Le Mount Stephen is a neoclassical wonder of carved stone columns, graceful arched windows, and elegant staircases. Inside, onyx fireplaces, gold-gilt fixtures, and polished wood furnishings add to the atmosphere of a stately country manor. The best rooms in the hotel are the Sky Loft and Royal Suite, which are flooded with natural light pouring through glass ceilings and include a fireplace, living areas, and terraces for taking in the city skyline views. Rooms contain contemporary décor with antique touches, and come with modern amenities including Nespresso coffee machines, flatscreen TVs, and touch-panel climate control. Gleaming marble-lined bathrooms come with chrome walk-in rainfall showers, separate soaking tubs, and twin vanities.
At the MBIOSPA Prestige, guests can treat themselves to Swedish, hot stone, and Thai herbal massages, undertake nourishing facial treatments or relax into one of the Signature Escapes experiences. The Bar George serves contemporary British fare in a sumptuous dining rooms filled with richly detailed wood paneling, ornate light fixtures, padded leather seats, and plush couches next to a marble fireplace.
Best for Singles: W Montreal
Located in a happening area of downtown Montreal — where hip restaurants, bars, and cocktail lounges are all within easy walking distance — the W Montreal is a modern, upscale property housed in the historic Banque du Canada building. In this self-described sleek, sassy, and sexy property, guestrooms feature dramatic black and white décor with eye-catching carpets, elegant wallpaper, and retro furnishings. Modern amenities include LCD TVs with satellite channels, an iPod dock, Bluetooth speakers, and a mini bar. Bathrooms come with rainfall showers, Bliss bath products, and soft bathrobes.
The Nom Nom restaurant is an eclectic, artistic space filled with faux-vintage wallpaper, antique furnishings, linen ceiling drapes, and glass-topped tables. The Bartizen bar is a decadent space filled with over-stuffed velvet couches, marble-topped tables, exquisite murals, a curved wooden ceiling, and polished wall mirrors. Downstairs, the Wunderbar feels like an underground nightclub, with a brightly-colored light shows and a thumping sound system. The Away Spa offers massage treatments, paraffin hand washes, and beauty salon services, with massages able to be enjoyed in the privacy of guest’s rooms.
Best for Business: Loews Hotel Vogue
Located in the fashionable Golden Mile area of Montreal, the Loews Hotel Vogue is a convenient and comfortable option for traveling businessmen. The hotel contains over 6,500 feet of function space, including three intimate executive boardroom spaces, lavish banquet halls, private seminar venues, and a beautiful outdoor terrace. Experienced meeting specialists are on hand to ensure that events and seminars run smoothly, and delicious healthy food options can be selected from the extensive catering menu. State-of-the-art audio-visual equipment is available for hire, along with skilled technicians for installation and operation.
At the end of a long workday, stunning modern rooms provide a suite of luxurious amenities including flatscreen TVs in both the bedroom and bathroom, relaxing Jacuzzi tubs, 100-percent Egyptian cotton sheets, and 24-hour room service. Business amenities include ironing facilities, stylish work tables, and wake-up calls, while premium Wi-Fi and two phones keep working guests productive and connected. La Société Bistro serves delectable French cuisine specializing in seafood dishes, and the Lux Lounge is a classy cocktail bar with plush couches, intimate tables, and an impressive wine selection.
Best View: Hotel Nelligan
The Hotel Nelligan is a stylish boutique that proudly displays its heritage with exposed brick and stone walls, cast-iron railings, and polished wooden furnishings. But for many visitors, the highlights of the property are the stunning city and river views available from the Terrasse Nelligan rooftop restaurant. The heated alfresco patio affords spectacular vistas over Old Montreal, with the Notre-Dame Bascilia dominating the skyline to the west and views of parks and the San Lorenzo River to the east. Serving gourmet snacks made with fresh local ingredients and signature cocktails (as well as their signature sangria), the terrace is the perfect place to watch the sun sink behind the turrets, towers, and skyscrapers of the city.
Other restaurants include the sophisticated Verses Bistro, where seasonal dishes are paired with selections from the extensive wine menu, and the popular pub setting Méchant Boeuf Bar-Brasserie, which offers a raw food cuisine, bistro bites, hand-crafted cocktails and live music. Guestrooms feature minimalist décor and come with down comforters and pillows and spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and upscale bathroom amenities.
Best for Art: Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile
With the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts just a short walk away (down a street lined with boutique art galleries) and with many of the city’s finest cathedrals in close proximity, the Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile is an ideal base for visitors wishing to explore the city’s history and culture. The hotel itself impresses on an aesthetic level, with a sleek designed accented by Victorian antiques and contemporary artworks throughout.
Stylish guestrooms come with plush furnishings, modern amenities such as Nespresso coffee machines and LCD TVs, and expansive floor-to-ceiling windows affording views of the city skyline. Marble bathrooms are done up with walk-in showers, separate bathtubs, double vanities, and Hermés bath products. The Renoir restaurant serves gourmet dishes with a strong French influence on the elegant dining room or on the alfresco terrace. Meanwhile, Le Bar provides fresh, handcrafted cocktails in a casually upscale atmosphere, with soft leather couches and soaring glass windows. The hotel also provides a modern fitness center filled with weights, cardio and aerobic exercise equipment, a sauna, and 24-hour room service.