Fly direct to Montreal’s Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport from the UK and US. Our Smith24 team are on hand at all times to book your flights. Taxi transfers to the hotel cost around CA$40, or, for CA$10, hop aboard the L’Aerobus shuttle service for the 45-minute ride to Montreal Central Bus station and take a cab from there.
VIA Rail Canada operates speedy services to Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto, as well as a direct train service to New York City (leafy and pretty, but a leg-numbing eight hours). All services arrive at Montreal’s Gare Centrale, where there is a taxi rank.
Cars aren’t necessary for navigating Montreal’s compact and easily traffic-clogged centre. If you decide to drive from the airport, follow signs for Montreal Downtown/Centre-Ville onto Autoroute Ville-Marie 720 and take the fourth exit, signposted De La Montagne/St Jacques Sud. There's valet parking at the hotel for CA$38 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
St Paul sits in the historic European-accented Old Montreal neighbourhood, where there are cobbled streets and repurposed factories. Architecture buffs will find the latter down by the Old Port, plus some striking modernist monoliths in Downtown. A short walk from the hotel lies Habitat 67, a Brutalist building-blocks-gone-wild complex by Moshe Safdie; Mies Van Der Rohe’s Westmount Square office blocks; and whimsical 19th-century folly Château Ramezay, now a museum. Wander up to heritage site Bonsecours Market then amble over to the Musée d'Art Contemporain and stroll along the Old Port before treating yourself to a massage and eucalyptus steam bath aboard floating spa Bota Bota.
Place des Arts is a multi-discipline arts space for plays, dance recitals and art shows, DHC / Arts hosts big names and major exhibitions and the Darling Foundry champions new talent. Shop-till-you-droppers should head to Maison Pepin for tasteful souvenirs across the board, Ssense for cutting-edge fashions, concept store Want Apothecary and À Table Tout le Monde (361 rue Saint-Paul Ouest) for chic homewares. When the day’s wanderings are done, seek out Gibeau Orange Julep (7700 Decarie Boulevard) – a huge orange-shaped sphere you really can’t miss – to try their mysterious namesake drink (essentially a creamy orange juice with powdered egg) with a carton of poutine.
Unsigned, hidden down an old-town side-street, and cunningly disguised as a fishing lodge, Le Club Chasse et Pêche on rue St Claude is making waves with its innovative Qubecois cuisine. Expect new twists on old favourites (such as surf 'n' turf pairing lobster with Wagyu beef, sweetbreads or suckling pig), and a young, animated atmosphere. Also within walking distance of St Paul, Holder, on rue McGill, serves European brasserie-style cuisine, complemented with an impressive wine selection. Meat-lovers should flock to Da Emma (+1514 392 1568), on rue de la Commune Ouest, an excellent Italian set in what was once a women's prison.