Montreal truly comes alive in the Spring and Summer – and Kiwi Collection’s Karen Mumby went to this fantastic Canadian city to visit one of our collection’s nicest hotels – W Montreal. She reports back on her impressions of this luxury hotel and gives some suggestions on the best ways to spend your time Canada’s largest French city (or Canada’s New York, as she puts it)!
By the time you leave Montreal you will know the true meaning of the enjoyment of living – joie de vivre! There is so much to do in Montreal, and never enough time to do it all.
Site Seeing and Things to Do in Montreal:
If you’re traveling to Montreal this summer, some “must do’s” I discovered include:
• Exploring the historic districts in Old Montreal by foot
• Attending Cirque Du Soleil –Montreal is where it all started after all
• Taking a carriage ride through Old Montreal
• Touring the St. Lawrence River by boat
• Exploring Montreal’s nightlife – possibly the best in Canada
• Climbing Mount Royal
• Explore the multitude of fine dining establishments
• Going shopping in fine Montreal boutiques
• Exploring the underground city
• Site seeing at the famous Basilique Notre-Dame, a gorgeous church found in the historic district of Old Montreal. (The Notre-Dame makes a very romantic place to propose to your sweetheart, which I suggested to a now newly-engaged family member!)
Accommodation in Montreal – W Montreal Hotel Review
As for accommodation in Montreal – location is key. You’ll want to be right downtown where all of the action and energy is.
I had the fortunate experience of staying at the W Montreal during my trip. This gorgeous hotel is perfect for both the business and leisure traveler. It is in the renovated Banque du Canada building of Montreal which is located on the Square of Victoria Park at the edge of the Old Port district.
W Montreal is within easy walking distance of both Old and New Montreal, including Sainte-Catherine Street, 4 blocks away. Sainte-Catherine Street is known for its shopping and eateries – which is what makes the W Montreal’s location so prime!
Also within walking distance from the hotel was Notre Dames Basilica of Montreal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Olympic Stadium and Tower.
Our room was sleek, hip and cool – very Montreal! With blue, gray and black accents, I felt very chic staying here. Some of the best features of the room were the large windows looking out over Victoria Square, the cosy 350-thread count cotton sheets and the huge washroom (about the same size as the living space in the room!)
I truly believe that the shower could fit six people comfortably – I didn’t try it, but it could work! Trust me.
Another great feature of the W Montreal is the Acura service, which is a car you can reserve to take anywhere within the city for free. This makes exploring Montreal very accessible and easy, and is a perfect service for people who are truly trying to explore all of Montreal’s sites!
After a long flight, I would recommend a visit to the Spa at the W Montreal. Frequenters of spas will not be disappointed with the menu here, and I think it’s great that you can arrange an in-room massage treatment. It’s the perfect way to get all of the kinks out after any long stretch of traveling in my opinion.
Another writer for Kiwi Collection featured the W Montreal in an article about accommodation for the Montreal Jazz Festival, so you can read more about this hotel and others in Montreal in that article.
Restaurants in Montreal:
The Otto, an Italian Fusion restaurant, is one of the restaurants at the W Hotel in Montreal. Set against a background of striking reds, I’d say this restaurant is perfect for intimate evenings and special events.
The Wunderbar, also at the hotel, has a wavy, illuminated ceiling and is bathed in electric purples, offers a sunken VIP area and stone DJ station, it is one of hottest bars in Montréal.
For more of a relaxing drink go to the mezzanine level bar at the W, it is very cool and very comfortable. They make the best cappuccinos – so they them!.
Other great restaurants in Montreal include:
• Au Pied De Cochon Restaurant at 536 avenue Duluth Est
• Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen at 3895 St. Larent (if you live for smoke meat this is a must. I would recommend sharing as portions are huge)
• Reuben’s at 1116 rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest
• L’Express at 3927 Rue Saint-Denis
• XO Le Restaurant in the Hotel Le St James at 355 St-Jacques O (this is hands down the best place to have brunch in Montreal)
Shopping in Montreal:
I’d say that some of the best shopping in the world happens in Montreal – forget New York – Montreal is a shopper’s paradise.
• For Irresistible bargains, the best place to start is Ste-Catherine Street
• For trendy/daring fashion, go to Main
• For something a bit more edgy, go to Saint-Laurent Street
• For the more exclusive/classic looks, Sherbrooke Street is the place to be. Go from Guy to Montagne, Laurier Street west of Avenue du Parc, in Outremont and Les Ailes on St. Catherine