At Hotel Monville in Montréal, there are 20 storeys of stylish suites, views of the skyscraper-packed skyline and a roof terrace for warmer weather. Though the city’s often chilly, you’ll be warmed inside by super staff, cosy counter seats and creative cocktails. The Gourmet restaurant does a fine line in French-inspired favourites, like chou-fleurs and salades. – though Canada’s favourite export, maple syrup, does also feature. And there’s some AI in place to help you along the way: room-service robots (who knew R2-D2 could lift a cloche?) and a self-check-in desk, though human fans will be pleased to hear sentient staff are also on hand if you’re not quite ready to go back to the future.
Noon, but flexible, on request. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £119.81 (CA$204), including tax at 14.975 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional room tax of 3.5% per room per night on check-out.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast (from $20 a person).
The hotel’s AI abilities don’t stop at automated check-ins: it also has a room-service robot.
Please note, the hotel's restaurant and gym will be closed until 1 September 2020.
At the hotel
Roof terrace, 24-hour gym, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: smart TV, air-conditioning, mini fridge, Nespresso coffee machine, tea-making kit and organic Oneka bath products.
Our favourite rooms
For the best views, it’s got to be one of the Corner Suites, especially one that’s been helpfully positioned to the north-east, where you can see the Saint Lawrence River, the Jacques Cartier Bridge and beyond, all without a fellow skyscraper meddling with your cityscape. If you’re planning to swing a chat, you might want something a little bigger than the 210sq ft Standard Rooms.
There’s no spa at the hotel, but it has partnered with river-ferry-turned-floating-spa Bota Bota in the city’s Old Port.
Montréal can get more than a little nippy (temperatures can stick below zero for most of the winter): get those layers and thermals packed.
The communal areas are easily accessible for wheelchair users, and there are 27 specially adapted rooms (in Standard and the Suite categories).
All ages are welcome, but the hotel doesn’t especially cater to mini Smiths. Extra beds can be added to rooms for a charge. Kids are welcome in the restaurant, but there’s no dedicated menu, and only two highchairs.
The restaurant uses seasonal food that’s often organic and locally sourced; the Oneka bath products are also organic and are made in Québec; and the hotel is committed to recycling and composting.
Sit up at the bar to admire just how really quite striking those columns are.
It’s (probably) cold: if you want to look like a lumberjack, at least you’ll be cosy. Plaid ’n’ flannel all the way.
The Gourmet restaurant is part of the lobby and bar, where you can enjoy classic Québécois cuisine with a focus on local produce (hello, maple syrup) and, naturally, a hefty French flavour. Dishes include roasted cauliflower with brown butter, deer carpaccio, duck cooked with local honey and whisky, and beef with a tarragon and mustard jus. Breakfast is a choice of an English-style fry-up, a Continental line-up of a pastry, house-made compote and butter, a healthy, quinoa-involving option and oatmeal waffles.
The bar concocts cocktails with names like Rosemary’s Baby, When In Rome and Milano Iced Tea, and pretzel bites, chicken wings and pitta with dips to accompany them. There’s also a self-service café at the back of the bar and restaurant area, where you can pick up a coffee, croissants, cold drinks, salads and sandwiches in a hurry.
Breakfast hours are 6.30am to 11am. Food is served in Gourmet all day, with a lunch menu on offer from 11am to 3pm, and dinner available until 11pm. Drinks are served in the bar until midnight.
There’s a menu available to order up as room service, but don’t expect a regular waiter and cloche situation: R2-D2’ll be delivering it.
Hotel Monville is in downtown Montréal, in the Canadian province of Québec.
Montréal–Trudeau International Airport is your best bet, a 20-minute drive from the hotel.
The city’s Central Station (or Gare Centrale, because they speak French around here too, you know) is handily only a mile away. Trains from across Canada – including Ottawa, Québec City and Toronto – call in here.
Parking at the hotel costs $35 a day. Ottawa is a two-hour drive west; to Québec City, it’s three hours due north-east.
Worth getting out of bed for
The hotel is in the heart of downtown Montréal, and you’ll be able to admire several of its skyscrapers straight through your bedroom windows. Join a yoga class on the roof terrace if the weather’s lovely; even if it’s moved indoors, you’ll get some great views of the city. For novelty value (probably more fun if you’ve got kids with you), order some room service, which an R2-D2-resembling robot will be delivering. Go with an appetite to the biggest open-air market in North America: Marché Jean-Talon is a maze of farmers’ stalls, florists and fromageries. Self-styled spa-sur-l’eauBota Bota is the retreat for you if you enjoy floating sensations, moored old boats and ports – have a treatment on-board, or take a tour of the leisurely hydrotherapy circuit. Canadians are used to dealing with the cold and they’ve helpfully created Underground City for when it’s just too frosty out: this network of subterranean streets links up subway stations and shopping centres. Catch a show at boutique music venue Casa del Popolo to discover the best new artists in town. And are you really in Canada if you haven’t been to an ice-hockey game? Enjoy the nation’s most prized pastime with a trip to see the Montréal Canadiens.Walk up to the city’s namesake summit (and extinct volcano) Mount Royal; and if it’s nippy out, warm up with a hot drink – and endless skyline views – at the Chalet du Mont Royal, which has been offering refuge to chilly walkers since 1932.
If you’ve overslept and missed the morning meal, fear not: Larrys will rescue you with its served-into-the-afternoon breakfasts, and the staff won’t bat an eyelid if you’d like some wine with that, since this is an anything, anytime sort of place. To close your eyes and picture yourself in Paris, head to L’Express, where you may as well be, thanks to the bistro-style French classics and 11,000-bottle-strong cellar. In a city famous for its smoked meats, it’d be rude not to try some: the thinly sliced jambon, covered in shaved cheese and a drizzle of brown butter at Vin Mon Lapin is an excellent place to start; the server’s wine-list selections are also exemplary. For southern Italian food with a little Québécois flair within rolling-home distance of Hotel Monville, try Nora Gray, where dishes include house-made focaccia, cacio e pepe tagliatelle and Jerusalem artichoke with taleggio, braised duck and chestnuts.
If you like fancy cocktails, and you like them in the middle of the night, Bar-St-Denis is the small-hours spot for you; its mixologists keep on muddling until 3am.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this downtown hotel in Canada and unpacked their maple syrup and given their poutine recipes a whirl, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Monville in Montréal…
Apparently, Montréal was a bit of a sinful haven for Americans to cross the border for during Prohibition, somewhere they could come to indulge all their alcohol-imbibing and gambling needs. Though liquor is now freely available for all, we still like to think of this fabulous French-Canadian city as somewhere with a naughty side. It’s somewhere where cocktails remain a craft, and there are the speakeasies to prove it. And it’s also the home of Hotel Monville, a sky-high, glass-and-dark-concrete structure in downtown. The central setting means easy access to everything you’ll want to see and do, with cinematic skyline views from huge, often-multiple windows in the rooms and up on the roof terrace (open seasonally; you’re in the almost-Arctic, after all). The Gourmet restaurant utilises Canada’s bounty, with seafood straight from Atlantic waters and meat from within Québec. Chefs also have things like maple syrup and poutine to play with (though possibly not together). Today, Canada may be altogether more buttoned-up and wholesome, but there's still a little glint in its eye – and Hotel Monville lets you in on the secret.