Dec - good time for Montreal?

Dec 15th, 2002, 03:03 PM
  #1  
Susan
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Dec - good time for Montreal?

I have an opportunity to go to Montreal this upcoming weekend Dec 20-22 for a very reasonable rate. Was wondering if Montreal is one of those cities where it is great to be there during the Christmas season (like New York, London or Quebec) or if it is just cold with not much in the way of seasonal festivities (even some of the world's greatest cities are nothing special during Christmas time so wanted to check....)

Sorry if this posts twice - technical difficulties.

 
Dec 15th, 2002, 03:57 PM
  #2  
kate
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We were there in November and it didn't matter if it was cold and wet, or if there was a seasonal thing going on.
I think it will be great, I would grab the chance to go back! Where would you stay?
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 04:27 PM
  #3  
Susan
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I guess I am trying to decide if it makes sense to miss some holiday events here in NYC to go to Montreal right before Christmas or wait until January.

Found a US$62 rate at the Delta Montreal so would stay there.
 
Dec 15th, 2002, 04:37 PM
  #4  
kate
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Not my favorite hotel, but if someone posts here that it would be big treat in Montreal rather than here in NYC, it could be fun. I would like to go back soon, myself. We stay at the Le Germain, although I think the new Sofitel has fireplaces in some rooms, how cozy would that be in the winter?
 
Dec 17th, 2002, 05:59 PM
  #5  
Donna
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We love Montreal during the holidays (any weather, anytime, actually). Best bet is a hotel with everything (great restaurant, fabulous cocktail lounge, terrific room service) so you don't have to venture outdoors if the weather is truly awful. Even better is one connected to the Underground. Otherwise, just be prepared for being dressed comfortably while out and about... Montreal is dining, shopping, culture, historical sights, concerts, festivals, scenery, galore... You can hardly go wrong with a bit of advance planning. Have you checked all the websites?

If you haven't the time to plan and/or research, just head for rue Crescent or rue St-Denis or rue Laurier, etc., etc.
 
Dec 18th, 2002, 04:22 PM
  #6  
Lois
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The Delta is much less expensive than Le Germain, one of the most pricey hotels in Mtl, and very good value. The Pres. Kennedy Delta is just a couple of blocks out of the most desirable part of downtown, hence the somewhat lower rates; but the city is still very walkable from there. Montreal is great before Christmas because of the excellent shopping opportunities. It is a very culturally "alive" city, so of course there are lots of events to see.
 
Dec 19th, 2002, 01:13 AM
  #7  
Sarah
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My husband and I just returned from Montreal on the 17th. It was really great, but I wouldn't say it was that great when it comes to Christmas activites. We did go to the Nutcracker and saw some nice light displays. However if it were me, I would probably stay in NYC which is sooo Christmas-sy this time of year and go to Montreal in January.
 
Dec 19th, 2002, 10:24 AM
  #8  
kate
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No kidding! Lois? the Le Germain is one of the most expensive hotels in Montreal?
Before we made our reservations, we considered staying somewhere else, having been to the Le Germain before. We looked into the St Paul, The Sofitel, & The Nelligan. All were substantially MORE than the Le Germain.
Therefore this surprises me that you say this, unless the prices went up since we visited in November.
You do have to consider that you are also paying to be right in the heart of downtown, if you are in Montreal for a short stay, you don't want to waste time, getting places.
 
Dec 20th, 2002, 12:16 PM
  #9  
Lois
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Yes, Le Germain is one of the most expensive in town. You are comparing it to the other boutique hotels in Old Montreal, also with small numbers of rooms. I would be very surprised if the Sofitel is not offering lower prices than Le Germain--how on earth are they going to fill those rooms? The Delta could be compared with larger downtown hotels--the Sheraton, Chateau Champlain, Queen E, Delta on University, Hilton Bonaventure, Omni, even the Vogue, etc.--all offer more reasonable rates. Le Germain is indeed very nice, but you don't have to pay anything close to those high rates to be in the heart of downtown, directly connected to the underground city, if that's what you want.
 
Dec 20th, 2002, 04:52 PM
  #10  
kate
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We used to stay at the Omni, which was the Four Seasons when we first visited Montreal. Their rates at this time are around $200 CAD and up, much more if you get a room facing Sherbrooke.
The Vogue which has no real view but is new and right in the thick of things runs from @205 CAD to the $400 range.
The large room with a view that we had in the Le Germain was $235 CAD, in Nov that was about $150 USD.
Maybe the boutique hotels are on the expensive side, but the hotels you mention are charmless, unnattractive and huge, offering little in the way of personal service.
I guess I am spoiled by staying in boutique style hotels, they have so much more to offer than the large Holiday Inn types, but if I had to budget more, I would go for the Chateau Versailles or something on a smaller scale.
anyway-that's just my opinion
 
Dec 21st, 2002, 05:18 AM
  #11  
Lois
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I think you are referring to published rack rates for the larger hotels--if you check on Expedia, or even the hotel's own website for specials, you'll see that rates are much less. I just meant that travellers don't need to spend such big bucks for one of the fanciest hotels in town to enjoy a nice stay in downtown Montreal. For Canadian travellers, of course, the fact that $235CAD=$150US is small comfort. It is nice that you can afford to pay for loads of charm and personal service. Lots of people who post on this board are families who need to book 2 rooms; if you were in this position you would probably feel that a slight loss of charm was more than made up for by a big savings in room rates at one of the larger hotels.
 
Dec 21st, 2002, 12:57 PM
  #12  
kate
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Yes, Lois, you are right. I am lucky I can afford charm and that the CAD is good for US visitors.
I remember the years of bringing two children along and staying all in one room in order to have a vacation. If you can call it that as I was always exhausted when I got home!
I suppose if I were visiting Montreal under those circumstances again, I would go for the B&B's or smaller places (isn't Chateau Versaillels more affordable?)
I have always had a dislike for huge impersonal hotels. Even expensive ones
 
Dec 22nd, 2002, 08:20 PM
  #13  
Susan
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Well I am the person who posted this and just got off the plane from Montreal. Will post other comments separately (and later) but since I see this question developed into a hotel preference discussion thought I would share my hotel experience with you here.

Montreal Delta on Avenue Kennedy - US$62 plus tax

Price - can't be beat!!

Room - based on some Internet comments, requested a "renovated" room and it was excellent! Large L shaped room (bigger than many NYC studios) with balcony and view. Large bathroom.

Health Club - supposedly the best in Montreal. Even has a squash court! Pool and jacuzzi. Also a spa (got a massage for half the price at home)

Location - convenient. 5 min from Place Des Arts (and practically on top of metro station)

Charm - none

Concierge - WORST I have ever experienced! I have gotten better service at $10 a night hostels! Approached 4 DIFFERENT concierges each with a different request and got no help! As an example, asked one if he could tell us about an attraction and he said "no, I've never been there". I wasn't asking about his personal life just for his professional assistance! They were so horrible I felt the need to tell management about it.

So yes, absolutely no charm and lame concierge but for $62 it was a steal for a completely decent hotel w/ a good location and fitness center.
 
Dec 23rd, 2002, 04:38 AM
  #14  
kate
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Susan, hurry and write your report!
Was it snowing? Where did you shop? restaurants? I miss Montreal.Kate
 
Dec 23rd, 2002, 07:13 AM
  #15  
Melissa
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We'll be in Montreal Dec. 24-29, first night at the Sheraton but looking for other options. In what kind of area is Chateau Versailles? Are any of you familiar with the Parc Lafontaine area? Read about Auberge de la Fontaine but wondering if that's a bit out of things. Or places in Vieux Montreal -- we're looking in the $80-100 range. We were there 16 years ago for our February honeymoon and can't wait to return.
 
Dec 23rd, 2002, 07:37 AM
  #16  
Louis
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Château Versailles is at Western edge of downtown core. OK area, but in IMHO Parc Lafontaine area is better: close to rue St-Denis St. and hip Plateau area.

Old Montreal is nice... but kind of quiet in the winter time.

 
Dec 24th, 2002, 06:26 AM
  #17  
Susan
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Kate and anyone else who may be interested, I started a new thread about my experience this weekend. It is titled "Christmas Weekend in Montreal - feedback" and I posted it Dec 24. I had to split my comments into 2 separate posts so read both.
 

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