On a recent trip to Quebec, I stayed at Le Saint-Sulpice, a new ultra-modern boutique hotel in Old Montreal, which bills itself as an urban resort. The hotel has a wonderful ambience, with plenty of exposed stonework and dark wood in the welcoming lobby. Its location in the old walled town, one of the few preserved historic city centres in North America, makes it a choice place to stay.
This charming historic setting is very popular with tourists who enjoy being within walking distance of numerous galleries, museums, shops and cafes in the area. Le Saint-Sulpice is just behind the famed Notre-Dame Basilica and only a block away from Old Port, a popular spot where people enjoy walking along the banks of the St. Lawrence River, viewing the wares of the artists on the nearby narrow cobblestoned streets and stopping for a cool drink at an outdoor cafe.
It is also near the Science Centre, the Convention Centre, Chinatown, the IMAX theartre and the Montréal Casino. Part of a recent trend to renovate older historic buildings and turn them into boutique hotels, Le Saint-Sulpice provides a different type of experience from larger traditional accommodations.
The first thing I noticed was how personal the service was. The staff came to know me very quickly — from the doorman who wished me a good day to the Front Desk staff who were able to tell callers that I had just stepped out, because they noticed when I did.
Upon entering the hotel, I noticed its modern stylish look with its simple elegant furnishings and the warm tones of the walls and the carpets. The luxurious yet arty flare continues into the spacious suites, which are decorated in natural calming tones and are adorned with bonus features such as fireplaces and comfortable leather couches.
I was fascinated just watching the water run into my beautiful clear glass sink in the spacious bathroom. The deep bathtub came equipped with a state-of-the-art handheld shower. The standard amenities include plush bathrobes and upscale toiletries. I enjoyed having the extra space and found it to be a nice change from standard hotel rooms — it was more like staying in a nice condo than a hotel room. There was a kitchenette, complete with dishes, a coffee maker, a microwave, a stove-top, a refrigerator and a sink, as well as a living area with a couch and comfortable chairs. The large desk was well-suited to business travellers as there were two phone lines and high speed Internet access. There was even a Murphy bed almost invisbly tucked into the wall in order to accomodate extra guests if necessary.
For a woman travelling alone, it is nice to know that the 24-hour concierge is available for such tasks as purchasing grocery orders and delivering them directly to the room. Since all of the suites are equipped for cooking, there is the option of staying in for a quiet evening and preparing a meal in your own suite. If you’re travelling on business or just need some down time, this is a good alternative to have. The suites also offer a nice setting for entertaining guests or business associates, as the bedroom is completely separate from the rest of the living space.
To my surprise, the staff had preprinted business cards for me with my name and the address and phone number of the hotel, another unique standard feature of the Le Saint-Sulpice. How convenient! Instead of scrambling for paper and pen and trying to write down a number that you probably don’t remember, you just hand out one of these personalized business cards and feel very sophisticated.
The bedroom was very comfortable with down pillows and a duvet comforter, standard features in all rooms. The windows in my suite looked out at the hotel’s landscaped interior courtyard, the perfect place to enjoy breakfast or lunch under one of on a sunny day. The hotel has a fine-dining restaurant simply known as S that specializes in fresh seafood and grilled steaks. It’s open for three meals daily, as well as 24-hour room service, so there are choices for both the cocooner and the social butterfly.
Other perks for business travellers include: a fully-equipped boardroom, cell phone rentals, computer rentals, secretarial and translation services and in-room connections for fax and modems. For those in need of relaxation and/or exercise the Essence Fitness Centre has massage therapy, standard fitness equipment and a sauna.
Of added appeal to American visitors is the closeness of Montréal to the U.S. border (Vermont and New York are just an hour drive away). And of course, the prices because of the lower Canadian are quite enticing. You might just want to postpone your costly European getaway and head to Montréal instead!
If You Go:
Start with Tourisme Montreal’s website – a lively, colorful and content-rich site that will help you plan your stay! http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/
Book your room at Le Saint-Sulpice: http://www.lesaintsulpice.com/
Copyright September 2004 by Neilia Sherman. All rights reserved. Photo credit to Linda Aksomitis.