ESTED BY Ross Atkinson
HOW MANY ROOMS? 108 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Refurbished top-to-bottom, with spacious rooms and plenty of SPG perks, in close proximity to the highlights of Montreal
PRICE Internet rates for a midweek stay in August started at C$217 ($168) for a deluxe king bed or C$233 ($181) for a deluxe junior corner suite with an additional 20 percent discount for SPG members.
CONTACT: Le Méridien Versailles, 1808 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3H 1E5, Canada; tel (514) 933 8111, lemeridienversailleshotel.com
VERDICT: I am a fan. This property, location, and truly unique products and services deliver a great experience. Not only would I would revisit on business; I would happily stay to experience more of the city, its people and art.
BACKGROUND: After a top-to-bottom transformation, Le Méridien Versailles has reinvented itself from the penthouse to the lobby, to the coffee, cocktails, desserts, and places of conversation. This is a vibrant and reimagined destination for those coming from afar or just around the corner.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Ideally located minutes from the Golden Square Mile and just steps away from the best shopping, venues and attractions in Montreal, Le Méridien Versailles reflects the brand’s commitment to incorporate the locality into its mid-century design. As you enter the property, you will begin to see the makeover unfold. Experience the spirit of the hotel and Montreal – whether checking in, gathering in Le Méridien Hub, or just admiring the ceiling in the elevator.
A traditional hotel lobby space is usually passé; however the concept of the Le Méridien Hub brings a sense of place, purpose and belonging to the common areas. Locals, tourists, business travelers alike often flow onto the streetside café seating bringing that Parisian flavor both in and outside.
WHERE IS IT? The mid-rise hotel fits in well along Rue Sherbrooke, a downtown Montreal street lined with brownstones. The Le Méridien Versailles is in the midst of the city’s best dining and shopping in a distinctly Parisian atmosphere.
ROOM FACILITIES: I am often guilty of saying a room is a room; but here, this is not at all the case. The hotel was formerly a condominium building, so the rooms are quite spacious by city center standards, with large windows. Mine was a corner room with windows that wrap around for great views over Montreal. I would highly recommend asking for this room type just for the grand cityscapes.
The contemporary furnishings with a large work desk and comfortable chair make for a much-needed remote office. Note the custom made wallpaper; it really drew me into the room. WiFi connections were brisk and an included amenity throughout the property for SPG members who book on the website.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Imagine launching your hotel’s restaurant and bar concepts by first having a renowned mixologist, barrista and pastry chef design innovative coffee, cocktail and pastry creations for the property from local flavors. The Montréal Éclair, conjured up by Le Méridien global pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini, is fashioned with smoked maple, sweet cheese curd and malt.
This unique approach to the spirits and desserts is worth mentioning. However the hotel is also home to executive chef, Alexandre St-Amand-Tremblay and the Branzino Restaurant, a gourmet Mediterranean-inspired cuisine open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: The hotel features 2,600 square feet of newly renovated meeting and event space across four rooms with AirMedia technology and panoramic windows. To avoid daydreaming out the windows, remote controlled blinds are also part of the package.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES: Upon arrival, guests receive a limited edition room key designed specifically to Unlock Art, a program that offers complimentary access to galleries and institutions. The Montreal Le Méridien’s Unlock Art introduced me to the Canadian Centre for Architecture. What I imagined as a short visit turned into several hours inside this remarkable museum.
Guests can also take a Priority Bicycles cruising bike offered by the hotel for a leisurely ride along the St. Lawrence River on your way to Old Montreal using streets and bike paths.