Montreal long weekend in Feb. 2008?

Jan 24th, 2008, 02:28 PM
  #1  
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Montreal long weekend in Feb. 2008?

My 11-year-old daughter has a long weekend (4 days) off from school and we are considering Montreal as a destination. We live in Atlanta, so are not used to brutally cold weather and snow. This question may have been "done to death," but is it likely we can enjoy some outdoor activities in February? (We are not skiers or skaters.) Or should we plan to visit in the late spring or early summer--- when airfare/hotel is usually more expensive? I am considering the St. Sulpice or Loew's or Nellington. We prefer having breakfast included or close by. Any "musts" or tips you can provide are much appreciated. We have traveled in the U.S. and Europe as a family.

Thanks!
laurie_k is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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Hi Laurie,

If budget is an issue come to Montreal in Feb. and concentrate on all the wonderful things that you can do inside. There are several shopping complexes (Place Mtl Trust, Cours Mont Royal, The Eaton Center, Complexe Les Ailes, La Cathedrale, The Bay) which are all connected via an underground tunnel system which allows you to walk from one to another without ever going inside. For shoppers in the winter this is heaven!

Other than that, it will be cold (today it's -15C) but if you're willing to endure some chilly weather I think you can still have a great time. Maybe your daughter would enjoy the snow? You could build a snow man in a park, Or go toboganning at Mt Royal.

The Montreal Metro system is really good, so you don't have to do a lot of walking outside if you're too cold, just hop on and get off at the next stop.

I think that Montreal in the winter is an experience that shouldn't be missed. While it is superb in the summer as well (and spring and fall for that matter lol) there's something about winter time in this city that I adore.

Let us know what you decide

Layla
aucho53 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2008, 04:36 PM
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We had a little snow here over the weekend (2" maybe), and she and other kids in the neighborhood had a blast having snowball fights and building snowmen, so I think she would love that! And toboganning sounds great... could we reach Mt. Royal by metro?

Thank you for all your great ideas, too, Layla. Do you have a preference on where to stay in the city? I thought Vieux Montreal would be more "francais" than downtown.
laurie_k is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 05:38 AM
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I have been to Montreal in all seasons, and thoroughly enjoyed myself every time. That being said, Montreal can be brutally bitter in February, making a 3 block walk a real ordeal for someone not used to cold weather. In warm weather, the cafes sprawl out onto the sidewalks, the street entertainers are in full force, and everyone is out and about enjoying themselves.
If you do go in February, I would recommend staying downtown as opposed to the Old City, which can feel a bit isolated in the winter. Downtown, you can always head for the underground city or the Museum if it's really brutal out.
zootsi is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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We've stayed at the Saint Sulpice and loved it. We were upgraded to a large suite (750 sq feet) overlooking the courtyard but even the smaller suites (650 sq feet, I think) are lovely. The kitchen area is outfitted with real plates and wine glasses, linen napkins, etc. which was nice for us, since we were entertaining a bit there.

Regarding Montreal in February? Well, I was there in March a couple of years ago and it was very, very cold. Also, there wasn't much open in Old Montreal. That said, weather is very variable and you might hit on some nice days. Also, there's plenty to do in the city and Old Montreal isn't the only tourist attraction. Besides, there were a few galleries and restaurants open, just no street activity as there is in the spring and summer.
goddesstogo is online now  
Jan 25th, 2008, 10:25 AM
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I second the recommendation to stay downtown, as it's slightly closer to walk to things such as shopping restaurants etc.

I live in Monreal...and yes it does get very very cold, but I wouldn't let it deter me. Just be sure to bundle up and don't forget your hat, gloves and boots if you intend on playing in the snow.

Regarding hotels downtown I very much like the Omni. It's on Sherbrooke st, on the corner of Metcalfe. It's a 4*, and there is a promotion right now through travelzoo.com where you can use the promo code OMNIZOO when booking on the hotel website and certain rooms are at 99$ which is a steal for that hotel and location.

I'm not exactly sure of the best way to get to Mt Royal by bus/metro I'm pretty sure you take the #11 bus from Mont Royal metro station and it should take you to Mount Royal Park, but maybe another poster can confirm that for you since I'm not 100% sure.

Layla

aucho53 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 05:04 AM
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The weather can be very cold in February as others have said. For instance over the past few nights, temperatures have been below zero F. The winds off the St. Lawrence can make it seem even colder to me than northern Vt where we live.
But the city does offer lots to do indoors if the weather is too cold for outside activities.
As noted by other posters, Montreal hotels are much less expensive in winter than in summer. Even in summer they are much less expensive than northeastern US cities like New York and Boston. The $99 rate for the Omni mentioned by Layla is a great deal if you can get it. There are also other deals at downtown hotels via a tourist office promotion for multi-night stays called the "sweet deals" offer.

The Montreal tourist website is very good, describes neighborhoods and attractions, lists activities, describes the Sweet Deal offers
http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/B2C/00/default.asp

It has a description of winter activities under "Experience Montreal, then "the Joys of Winter"
http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/B2C
_Target/ExperienceMontreal/EN/HTML/1169_EN.asp

I am going to be seeing my son who lives in Montreal this weekend. I will ask about sledding in Mt. Royal. I know I have seen people sledding off Ave du Parc which is easily reachable by bus from downtown, but I am not sure whether there are places to rent sleds.
Vttraveler is online now  
Jan 26th, 2008, 11:14 AM
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Hi, laurie_k: Montreal is an amazing city! My son goes to school there so I visit quite often. I always stay @ Omni Mont Royal which is located downtown @ the corner of Sherbrooke & Peel. They have a great "buffet breakfast" that you & your daughter might enjoy. I have never seen a rate anywhere close to the low rate of $99 but you may luck out or perhaps there will be some special promotion going on in February.
There are a lot of wonderful restaurants w/in a very short walk of Omni.
Don't forget The Biodome. If you Google Biodome you will get lots of info on this amazing place. Recently my son had some friends visiting & they went there & loved it. It is also close to the Casino but I don't think your 11 yo will be going there....maybe when she goes back to Montreal to go to University! LOL
Anyway, have a great time! Have you checked Air Canada flights Atl/Montreal? Recently they had some pretty good fares. You wld have to connect in Toronto. The only airline I know that has a direct flight Atlanta/Montreal is Delta
wow is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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Don't miss the Insectarium in Montreal!
msteacher is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 07:40 PM
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Thank you for all your advice... we are still considering what to do! Guess I should do a little more reading on this, too.
laurie_k is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 03:17 AM
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I asked my son whether he knew anywhere to rent sleds/toboggans. Like wow's son, he is a student at McGill. He said everyone he knows just bought a cheap plastic sled.
Vttraveler is online now  
Feb 11th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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My DH and I are considering going to Montreal this weekend for Friday and Saturday nights. We're coming from Lake Placid, NY and are looking for a romantic long weekend. Kind of a last hurrah before our baby arrives in May. I was wondering if Montreal would be worth going to since it's supposed to be so cold. Mind you, we're definitely used to cold--it's 2 degrees here today. I didn't want it to be a waste of money if the weather was going to be hindrance. This post has helped me feel a little better about choosing Montreal. It's closer to us than NYC and Boston, and cheaper.

We're just looking for a weekend where we can focus on us as a couple, eat some good food, stay in a nice hotel and maybe do some shopping and check out some museums, without breaking the bank. We don't have a reservation yet, but are considering the Omni or the Delta. Which would be the better choice? I'd also appreciate any restaurant reco's in those vacinities--not too fancy/expensive.
ethel is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 02:14 PM
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Hi ethel,

It's super cold in Montreal right now...but I wouldn't let that deter me. I would pick the Omni over the delta, but I love the Omni. In terms of restaurants there's a ton of them around. Directly down metcalfe there's Shodan for upscale japanese, and if you walk down to st catherine street which is 2mins from the hotel you will see a gazillion places within that vicinity.

Enjoy your trip!

Layla
aucho53 is offline  
Feb 11th, 2008, 02:22 PM
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wow
 
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Hi, ethel! Go for it! Omni wld be an excellent choice. I always stay there when I go to visit my son in Montreal. It is located downtown @ the corner of Sherbrooke & Peel w/in close proximity to great restaurants & shopping. I always get a suite that faces north w/ a spectacular view of the mountain. At night it is really quite beautiful w/ all of the lights. Ask for a high floor facing north.

If you like Thai food, there is a very good restaurant called Zen which is located @ Omni. For Italian, try La Capannina(514.845.1852) which is on Stanley just around the corner from Omni. I have also heard great things about Il Cortile which is west of Omni on Sherbrooke but I have not had a chance to try that one yet.
For breakfast, Omni has a nice buffet breakfast

Enjoy Montreal! And, congrats about the baby!
wow is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 02:27 AM
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The Omni is definitely the more luxurious choice but is usually quite a bit more expensive. If you are staying 2 nights you may be able to get a "sweet deal" package for the Delta. I don't think the Omni participates in this program. See my earlier post for the link.

These hotels are much cheaper than comparable places in NYC in Boston, even with the current exchange rate and Montreal will have plenty of the other things you want--good food, shopping, museums.
Vttraveler is online now  
Feb 12th, 2008, 04:39 AM
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Morning all! Thanks for the advice. My DH has decided we're staying at the Delta. He's looked at both places and the Delta did have the "sweet deal" package, and the parking situation seems a little bit better. It's about 10 below zero here today and we're do to get almost a foot for snow tomorrow so what's the difference as far as temp/weather goes. At least we'll be some place away from home for a few days.

We don't have any agenda planned but I've never been a planner. Based on staying at the Delta, what one major thing would you pick to do on Saturday? The Fine Arts museum, the Biodome, Eaton center, something else? I want to be able to relax and not feel like we're running around trying to visit a million places.

I have read some previous posts on here, but with the short time frame, I know my Fodor friends can give me some updated first-hand experiences/recommendations.
ethel is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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There are 2 Deltas in downtown Montreal. Just fyi, the one on President Kennedy (also backs onto Sherbrooke) is the better location right in the heart of everything.
With an 11 year old, the Biodome would be a real treat, especially in winter.
For an authentic French bistro right downtown, the Grand Comptoir is the real deal, on Sq. Phillips.
zootsi is offline  
Feb 12th, 2008, 01:30 PM
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wow
 
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ethel, are you flying or driving to Montreal?
wow is offline  
Feb 13th, 2008, 06:08 AM
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Wow--we are driving. We're only about 1.5 hrs away.
ethel is offline  
Feb 14th, 2008, 01:24 PM
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for adults I would not really recommend the Biodome. Fine arts museum is a good choice. If you are interested in archeology/history the Pointe a Calliere museum is excellent (Old Port area)
http://www.pacmusee.qc.ca/index.aspx?lang=EN-CA

Have a great time this weekend whatever you decide to do

Vttraveler is online now  

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