Le Marriott Château Champlain
1050 rue de la Gauchetière Ouest, Montréal, Québec H3B 4C9, Canada
An icon from the 1967 Olympics, this 36-floor skyscraper overlooking Place du Canada attracts business guests and families alike with its indoor links to the métro and Underground City, and great views.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This is a favorite prom destination for Montreal high schools, so May and June can get slightly annoying and overrun by teenagers.
Distinctive half-moon windows give the rooms wonderful views of Mont-Royal to the north and the St. Lawrence River to the south and east. The cozy rooms aren’t overly sexy, but they’ve been completely updated, with “plug and play” desk consoles for electronic devices. Free Wi-Fi was also added, and each room has climate control.
Serviceable and clean, the bathroom recently got an extra privacy door for the commode.
The reception area doesn’t make a good first impression. It’s badly out of date, but at least it’s spacious. Expect a lot of marble columns and stuffy chairs from the 1990s.
The lap pool is modern, surrounded by windows and plants, with a view of the fitness area. Families are welcome.
The Samuel de Champlain restaurant on site is a white table cloth affair for fine dining, but the menu isn’t snooty. They serve tartars and fancy braised meats, but also pizza, smoked meat sandwiches, and meatball subs. The breakfast buffet is, indeed, a great start to the day.
The room service menus—there are two—are glorious the giggle-inducing. Do you want a chocolate covered marshmallow lollipop? What about chia-crusted salmon with green tea basmati rice? Just ask.
Convenient underground passageways connect the hotel with the Bonaventure métro station and Place Ville-Marie, so it’s easy to see the sights. Taxis pull up all day, so it’s just as easy to grab a cab.
Grab a taxi and head into Westmount for dinner at Park (15-minute ride), where the chef has a private license to import fish. The sushi is divine. For small plates of delicious Cuban specialties, there’s La Habanera (10-minute walk).
You’ll feel like a local at Hurley’s Irish Pub (10-minute walk), with its Cheer’s ambiance. For more involved cocktails, head to La Distillerie No. 1 on rue Ontario (10-minute drive).
WHY WE LIKE IT
What a view! The unique windows, with their crescent-shaped curves, are good for gawking. We also like the private lounges on the top floors, and the park-side views. While the room décor doesn’t inspire a night of passion, it’s perfectly correct --as the French say—and chic enough, with warm accents and throw blankets. The central location is great for meeting people, even in winter, and the indoor pool and fitness facility means you won’t blow your workout regime.
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