What: Ritz Montreal, Canada
Where: In the heart of Golden Square mile in Downtown Montreal on Sherbrooke street.
The Rooms: Average sized and even though the lobby oozes old glamor, the rooms are classic with a modern contemporary British twist. The style is all about mixing old and new – the lobby looks very similar how it did when it first opened to keep that heritage. Especially loved the wallpaper and touch of colour with the bright pink chair. Even though the rooms aren’t very large, you have your soft, a small couch, an LCD TV and a desk.
The Bed: If you haven’t tried a Ritz bed, they are one of the best. I give it 9.5/10
The Toilets: I must say the toilets were very impressive. A shower, bathtub, Asprey toiletries, heated floors but the most exciting? The TOTO toilets – heated toilet seats, with everything managed from a controller – from the wash, dryer to the flusher. If you are staying in one of the suites, you are offered toiletries by Bulgari White tea, Fresh, Kiehl’s, Antica Farmacista, to Acqua di Parma.
The Breakfast: Breakfast is served at Maison Boulud, but as most of our wake ups were quite early, I ordered room service to my room. They have everything from mixed berries, fruit platters to oatmeal and eggs. If you request a wake up call, a black coffee is offered to your room.
The Food (restaurants & bars):
-Maison Boulud: The Ritz Montreal is home to one of the most famous restaurants in the city, Maison Boulud – an upscale restaurant by the prominent NYC based chef, Daniel Boulud where they serve a mix of French and Québécois dishes.
-They are famous for their Afternoon tea, where they have a range of teas, mini sandwiches and fresh scones (they do make some of the best scones I’ve had) and make their jams in house.
-Room Service: Whatever you order, make sure to order a side of sweet potato fries (not many hotels have sweet potato fries as an option!) – They also have an Arabic section in the menu.
-Dom Perignon Champagne Bar: The bar is at the hotel exclusive to North America – they serve signature cocktails, spirits and wines, as well as other champagnes by the class such as Veuve Clicquot, Moet and Ruinart.
Minibar: Soft drinks, snacks and alcohol – and the room is equipped with a Nespresso machine.
Pool, Spa & Gym:
-The hotel doesn’t have a spa yet but will be opening their own spa very soon.
-They have a rooftop indoor salt-water swimming pool that is heated through the use of reclaimed energy and recycled water.
-The hotel has a fitness centre but they also partner up with the best gym in Montreal (MAA) for PT sessions in your room or scheduling classes for you at their space.
Price: Rates start at AED1950 (depending on seasons and availability)
-This is a big one – this historic hotel is the FIRST Ritz Carlton in the world (it opened in 1912), and the only five Diamond property in the city. They closed for a 4 year renovation and reopened 8 years ago, which explains the modern and new bedrooms.
-They really have one of the best Concierge’s I’ve had the pleasure to meet – Simon is amazing, incredibly helpful and knowledgable with a huge passion. (Check out one of his most recent interviews globalnews.ca/video/1630925/a-career-as-a-concierge)
-Most famous people tend to stay there when visiting Montreal- Queen Elizabeth II and Sophia Loren stayed there, Elizabeth Taylor got married to Richard Burton there and I was stuck in the elevator with Dennis Quaid during my stay.
-The location is incredibly ideal – walking distance to everything in downtown and neighbours include the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, designer stores and top department store, Holt Renfrew.
-The hotel hold one of the most happening Grand Prix parties, incase you are able to plan your trip around it the F1 week.
-The hotel’s signature scent is diffused through the vents and is made of Ginger white tea.
-The hotel has a residences section, where residents can enjoy the hotel services including room service
-The Ritz Montreal is a green hotel as proven in their indoor salt-water swimming pool, the lighting and room temperatures regulated according to the season and hotel occupancy, high tech amenities as well as the tesla chargers installed in the parking for battery operated cars – so green that they were awarded the Green Hotels Global Certificate
-Guest relations really research everyone that is visiting the hotel to make it very personalised. Middle Eastern guests are incredibly taken care of – I had the Quran, prayer carpet and Arabic channels available in my room. The room service menu has an Arabic section and they really do spoil you with Arabic delicacies.
-Fun Fact: The first transatlantic call was made from the hotel.
What to do in Montreal:
-Notre Dame Church (one of the most breathtaking churches to visit in Old Montreal – try to take a horse carriage ride to see the city from a different perspective)
-Golden Square Mile (worth walking around to check the vintage stores and victorian homes – make sure to pick up a coffee from Olimpico coffee and bagels from St Viateur)
-Sucrerie de la Montaigne (a traditional Sugar shack right outside Montreal, where they make maple syrup – this is an experience I highly recommend you try. The shack is owned by an inspiring man called Pierre)
-Pamper yourself with a spa day at the Bota Bota spa (a space which used to be a car ferry) with incredible views of the city.
-Have Breakfast at Beauty’s, a diner with hearty and delicious dishes.
-Pick up a sandwich from the bakery, Olive and Gourmando – take note, it is usually very busy so try to go early.