Newcomers to Montreal

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May 21st, 2003, 06:39 AM
  #1
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Newcomers to Montreal

Newcomers (Western-Canadians) to Montreal looking at part of a honeymoon in the area before flying off to Paris for a couple of weeks.
Time: Early August (+/-2 days long)
Age: Early 30's/ late 20's (active)

Transportation: ??? Would a car be necessary or would our feet & public transport be enough?

I would assume we should stay in old Montreal?

More questions to follow, but any general / broad suggestions would be appreciated.

Thx!
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May 21st, 2003, 07:19 AM
  #2
ron
 
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You do not need or really want a car for a couple of days in Montreal. Old Montreal is a good choice for hotels; a number of new boutique hotels have opened as conversions of historic office buildings. You can find some of the names by searching back on this site. Expect hot, humid weather during August. And, as a former western Canadian, let me remind you that any rights that you think you have as a pedestrian do not apply in Montreal!
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May 21st, 2003, 09:36 AM
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You can easily get all over Montreal via the metro and occasional bus (we love the buses for enjoying the scenery). You can download and print terrific maps from the transit website. Taxis are reasonable as well. Whenever we visit, our car stays in the hotel garage for the duration.

While Old Montreal is well worth a visit, a day or afternoon or evening, perhaps with a return visit or two, the metro stops are quite a hike (uphill and down as well) from most lodging there. There are many other neighborhoods you'll want to explore during your visit.

If you scroll on down, there are lots of reviews/recommendations for the many new boutique hotels. Though, in August, I'd highly recommend a larger hotel with at least one restaurant, a fabulous cocktail lounge (preferably with live music), that's connected to, or within a block or two, of the metro. Should the weather be unfavorable (very hot/humid, all day/evening showers), you either won't have to leave the hotel or can head for the vast underground city.
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May 21st, 2003, 11:18 AM
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Ron, I am aware of the pedestrian thing. I couldn't believe that I got harrassed to allow an old lady to jay-walk while I was in Ontario. I guess that is why I like it out West, the people are friendlier and more respectful of others around them (although you do get a handful of the both kinds at either end of the country).

djkbooks,
What is this underground city you speak of? Fact/fiction? Some sort of metaphor? Never heard of this.
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May 21st, 2003, 12:10 PM
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The underground city is a bit of an exaggeration - it's actually a huge, mult level series of malls, connecting arcades, and subway stations that are below much of the downtown part of the city. Can be a nice respite in bad weather, but not my favorite part of the city. For the first time visitor, the old city is very charming. The downtown is much like any big North American city, but with a French influence. Another interesting part of the city is the St. Denis - plateau area - lots of charm and European flair. Montreal and Paris on the same trip, two of my favorite cities!
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May 21st, 2003, 01:49 PM
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I agree with Zootsi re the underground. Go to this site for attractions,festivals,shopping,night life & hotels: www.go-montreal.com

also get a free comprehensive booklet for information on montreal & the province it's in(free) call 1-877-266-5687 go to www.bonjourquebec.com
If it were me, I would prefer staying downtown. What type of hotel would you like? Please be specific
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May 21st, 2003, 07:49 PM
  #7
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If you are interested in Old Montreal, I would recommend one of the trendy boutique hotels such as Hotel Place D'Armes or Hotel Nelligan which are in the heart of Old Montreal. They also offer a great package called 'Romantic Getaway', which includes a 5-course meal at a fine cuisine French restaurant called 'Les Remparts'.Check it out on their web-site along with all their properties; www.oldmontrealhotels.com.

As for a car, I would only recommend it if you are traveling very far. The undergroung passages are everywhere in Montreal and make it easy to get around. Besides that there are a lot of hotels which offer shuttle services so get informed.

Enjoy your honeymoon
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May 21st, 2003, 08:18 PM
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If you are thinking of staying in Old Montreal I would suggest booking a hotel ASAP. I'm heading there in July and found that a lot of the ideal boutique hotels were booked up already in April. I was fortunate to get a room at the Hotel Place D'Armes, but it was the last room in the place for the days I was looking at. You may have better luck if you avoid the weekends.
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May 21st, 2003, 09:36 PM
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The Underground is great! When we were there this past November, we had two snowy days, very windy and cold. We were able to spend the entire day, shopping ,eating and going to the cinema, while staying inside the whole time. I guess in the humid days of August it would be just as nice, to take an air conditioned break and stay underground!
We always drive to Montreal, we never take the car out once we arrive. It is a lovely city for walking and cabs are cheap and always available.
The Metro is easy also.
Staying in Old Montreal would put you in more of a touristy area, plenty of tee shirt shops in lovely old buildings. Some really nice restaurants, and you are right by the water.
Downtown will put you by many restaurants, museums, shopping, Mont Royal and much more to do than you will have time for. There are also many more choices of hotels.
Wherever you stay, I am sure you will love it, have a great time, and Congratulations on your marriage~
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May 25th, 2003, 07:07 AM
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James-you can recoup most of the hotel tax,keep your receipts & file the necessary refund form obtained at the hotel
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May 25th, 2003, 11:36 PM
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Please note that visitors can be refunded 7% federal tax (TPS), but not the 7.5% provincial tax (TVQ) on hotel stays, if you meet the requirements. Note that many hotels distribute refund forms which are processed through third parties who deduct a substantial fee. For official details, see http://www.ccra-adrc.gc.ca/tax/nonre...ors/tax-e.html
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May 26th, 2003, 01:28 PM
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<Please note that visitors can be refunded 7% federal tax (TPS), but not the 7.5% provincial tax (TVQ) on hotel stays, if you meet the requirements.>

And James, along with all other Canadian residents do not meet the requirement of being foreign residents.
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May 26th, 2003, 06:27 PM
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Tazlor-I just try to do my best;I wanted to make visitors aware that they can get something back. I'm very happy to be corrected. I'm sure you make mistakes ?????
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May 26th, 2003, 06:30 PM
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Ron-I meant foreign visitors,obviously not canadians-I should have been more explicit
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May 26th, 2003, 07:58 PM
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For DJKBooks,

A booklet was given to me and everyone else on my street from a branch of tourism montreal-of course I was aware of the refund on the hotel tax but not all the details and was just informing people what I had read from tourism montreal-it seems that everyone does make mistakes. But since you have stayed in hotels here and I haven't then you would know.
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May 30th, 2003, 11:23 AM
  #16
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Any more good suggestions for accomodations in Old Montreal???
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May 30th, 2003, 11:31 PM
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For more hotels in Old Montreal:
Le Saint Sulpice go to www.lesaintsulpice.com
Hotel Gault
www.hotelgault.com
Hotel St. Paul
www.hotelstpaul.com
Le St. James Hotel
www.hotellestjames.com
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Jun 2nd, 2003, 06:08 AM
  #18
 
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The tax refunds also apply to all purchases over $50, but not F&B. This is significant in Montreal, which is a wonderful shopping city.
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Jun 3rd, 2003, 11:45 AM
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We stayed at Auberge du Vieux Port for our first trip to Montreal last November and absolutely loved it! Best hotel experience we have ever had. It is in Old Montreal, down by the water -- it would probably be even nicer to stay there in the summer than it was in November (got a bit cold at times!).

We also stayed for a few days downtown; I would definitely recommend staying in Old Montreal over downtown, especially for a romantic trip. The Metro was only about a 10-minute walk, and we walked to the Ste Caterine area from our hotel a few times (not that far!).

Be sure to spend time in the St. Denis area -- fun shopping, nightlife.

We loved Montreal (love Paris too)! You will have a great time.
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