I don’t need to tell you that 2020 has been Extremely Weird. You already know. And we’re probably all feeling some degree of restlessness or wanderlust as cities move in and out (and back into) various stages of lockdown. Some good news? You don’t need to pack two suitcases and get on an overseas flight to satisfy that travel itch, because a weekend road trip or even a staycation close to home will do the trick. Read on for the best hotels in Montreal that will make you forget you’re in your home and native land.
Hôtel William Gray
Find it: 421 St Vincent St., hotelwilliamgray.com
The vibe: Every square inch of this luxe hotel is made to be shared on Instagram. From the lucite staircases to the fresh foliage and the raindrop-like light fixtures dangling from the ceiling in the lobby, you’ll be tempted to extend your staycation just to absorb the aesthetic a bit more. And the suites themselves—pure class. When I tell you the marble bathroom feels like your own mini-spa!
Average cost: $200 to $700 per night
What to do: During COVID, actually a lot. There’s the hotel’s Daily Office promotion that allows guests to rent out a room for the day to work from, the Quarantine Goals offer that’s for anyone who wants to spend the 14-day quarantine at the Old Montreal hotel, and Home Life, a deal for someone who wants to stay for a month. (See all the offers here.) Since restaurants are closed in all red zones of Quebec at press time, the hospitality group that owns William Gray has cooked up some very cool dining option for Montrealers: With their A Private Dinner offer, you can rent out a room for the evening and have a fully served meal for your household (yes, in keeping with government regulations, all attendees must live in the same household), or try the A Private Dinner + Stay deal to dine *and* spend the night at the hotel. Hot tip: These dining offers are also available at the group’s other Vieux-Port hotels, including the Hôtel Nelligan and its Verses restaurant and the Hôtel Place d’Armes and its Kyo Bar Japonais. When it comes to health and safety, the hotel has amped up their efforts significantly including sanitizer stations throughout the property, plexiglass dividers on the lobby desks, and increased cleaning and disinfection of common and high-touch areas.
Read this next: 10 Things to Do in Montreal in the Winter
Auberge du Vieux-Port
Find it: 97 de la Commune St. E, aubergeduvieuxport.com
The vibe: Yes, another Old Montreal hotel but, honestly, you can’t beat the charm of Montreal’s historic neighbourhood. The name of this beautiful boutique hotel truly speaks for itself as the spectacular views of the Old Port are a major selling point. The rooms have delightful old-fashioned touches like rustic exposed brick and stone walls, post and beam ceilings, vintage fireplaces and elegant bed frames, but somehow the spaces still feel current.
Average cost: $300 to $600 per night
What to do: Aside from taking multiple naps and reading in bed whilst watching the snow fall on the St. Lawrence, guests can take advantage of the hotel’s pandemic offers like getting a third night free when you book two. (Who doesn’t love a long weekend?) And while the hotel’s restaurants are currently closed, you can still get breakfast served in your room in the form of a lunch box from the local NELLi Café—cute! Since reopening in July, the property has implemented stringent health and safety procedures including sanitizer stations, frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas, and adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.
Le Germain Hotel Montreal
Find it: 2050 Mansfield St., germainhotels.com
The vibe: This newly renovated downtown hotel blends modern luxury with cool retro touches like oversized globe lamps, lucite egg chairs, mirrored surfaces and, in some suites, circular beds. It’s got all the throwback charm of the 1960s with the conveniences of 2020. Groovy, baby!
Average cost: $225 to $305 per night for standard rooms of varying sizes, with a luxury apartment suite ringing in at $1,600 (Hot tip: take advantage of their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal and get your second night free.)
What to do: Take in Montreal’s famous Golden Square Mile neighbourhood after enjoying an easy, and safe, contactless check-in. If you need to chat with someone at the front desk, plexiglass dividers and mandatory masks make that experience as stress-free as possible, as do sanitizing stations in all the common areas. Miss dining out? Take advantage of the hotel’s current In-Room Gastronomy package that brings an authentic restaurant experience to the comfort and safety of your room. The decadent offer includes a four-course dinner for two from Le Germain’s Le Boulevardier restaurant, a wine pairing and breakfast the next morning—divine! Another super convenient COVID-related feature: Your reservation can be cancelled penalty-free until 4 p.m. on the day you’re scheduled to arrive.
Read this next: What Canadians Should Know Before Travelling During COVID-19
Find it: 449 Sainte-Hélène St., hotelgault.com
The vibe: This Old Montreal oasis embodies everything magical about Paris (read: a 19th century exterior, quaint terraces and breathtaking double-door windows) with the convenience of location. Choose between their loft-, suite-, terrace- or apartment-style rooms and trust you won’t be disappointed. Did we mention the spacious spa bathtubs? You might never take your bathrobe off.
Average cost: $400 to $600 per night
What to do: Work, even on the weekends. If you need to book an impromptu meeting or brainstorming session, the hotel has six workspaces (like a cozy little library nook) for you to set up shop in—at a safe, masked, frequently sanitized distance, of course. The boutique hotel reopened in June with increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
Four Seasons Hotel Montreal
Find it: 1440 Rue de la Montagne, fourseasons.com
The vibe: Upscale luxury without any of the old-fashioned stuffiness. The lobby alone deserves all the design awards, while the MARCUS Lounge + Bar just begs to be lounged in (mark my words, when I visit again in the After Times, I *will* enjoy a glass of Champagne on one of the curvy couches). Meanwhile, in the spacious, meticulously appointed suites, pops of rose—think of it as a more mature millennial pink—sparkle amid a soothing palette of soft grey and white. And if you’re still not convinced of the hotel’s coolness, here’s all you need to know: The divine bathrooms are stocked with all Byredo Gypsy Water everything.
Average cost: $367 to $1,500 per night
What to do: Enjoy a safe check-in process including mandatory temperature checks upon arrival and fully sanitized suites as soon as the hotel re-opens on January 11, 2021. (It’s temporarily closed due to COVID but is accepting reservations now for the much-anticipated re-opening.) When the city starts to open up a bit more, weekend brunch at the hotel’s MARCUS restaurant is an absolute must (may I recommend the Belgian waffles as your breakkie dessert?), as is a visit to the indulgent spa and water therapy circuit. Until then, go for a snowy stroll around downtown Montreal, stopping for café and pastries at Maison Christian Faure. (The chocolate almond croissant is a wonder.) Or enjoy a little in-room dining—nothing feels better than perfect French fries eaten whilst sitting on a king size bed in a fluffy white robe anyway, non? If all else fails, catch up on your REM cycles thanks to the hotel’s impossibly comfortable beds, delectable down duvets and blackout drapes complete with bedside controls.
Read for a staycation? Shop these items that will elevate your stay
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The Weekend Bag
Away The Large Everywhere Bag (Limited Edition), $365, awaytravel.com
This limited edition carryall is the larger version of the brand's beloved weekender, made extra-special by the clamshell opening (!) of the large main compartment. That means you get the blessing of accessing your stuff like you would in a suitcase, in the compact convenience of a weekender. No more digging blindly for that other sock! It's also crafted out of water-resistant nylon with leather panelling and features a padded 15" laptop pocket.