Hotel Bonaventure Montreal
900 rue de la Gauchetière Montréal, Québec H5A 1E4 Canada
Two-and-a-half acres of rooftop gardens and an open-air swimming pool set this downtown hotel, once a Hilton, apart from the usual corporate destinations. The old staid lobby is now minimal chic, with wood panels and a sexy reception desk.
Elegant and refined, the rooms have no trendy bling to distract from the clean design. There’s lots of so-called greige paint, burgundy accents, abstract art and leather headboards with square-shaped padding.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The ceilings feel a bit low--a hang-over from the hotel's days as a Hilton.
Tubs have glassed-in showers, while the marble counters have under-hang sinks. The soft lighting is particularly kind. Bless.
The hotel’s MiaSpa brings the pampering to your room, where you should try the famous deep-tissue or Swedish massages.
Think geometric wallpaper, ridged concrete, and horizontal wood panels. The lobby, once you get there, is expansive and sexy, with great site lines for checking out your fellow guests.
The heated, four-season pool is a showpiece. Kids are allowed to enjoy it wholeheartedly, as are adults. All the plants and trees keep it leafy green.
Breakfast is served at Le Bisco, the casual dining room, which becomes Le Kube for evening meals. That's right--one restaurant, two names. House specialties include Provencale-style mussels, fresh french fries, and milk-fed veal liver. Gluten-free plates are available.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Buffet breakfast isn’t included in your room reservation. That’s a bummer because the hotel isn’t located at ground level. So, pay for coffee, or go out.
Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montreal is indeed only a 15-minute walk from the hotel and the Bell Center is accessible from the inside of the hotel, so this is a prime location. The Bonaventure is attached to the Underground City, which gets you to the metro and beyond. Parking is reasonable ($40/day, or $24 with one free exit) but try not to drive in construction-riddled Montreal.
For home-style Portuguese fare downtown, you can’t beat Ferreira Café (15-20 minute walk) or hop in a cab and try the city’s most famous restaurant, Joe Beef (10-minute drive). Reservations required.
For the full tiki bar experience in Chinatown, of all places, try Le Mal Nécessaire (10-minute drive). They serve drinks in un-ironic pineapples. Or visit Grumpy’s Bar, where local newspaper columnists order whiskey and complain about city corruption.
WHY WE LIKE IT
With its sexy new lobby, the Bonaventure is no longer just a great place to bring the kids. We love the heated outdoor pool, of course, but the location is great for sightseeing. Although the approach is a bit awkward, requiring an elevator ride, the sky-high feeling is the pay-off. Because this doesn’t operate like a cold chain hotel, watch the website for deals and call the front desk in person.
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