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Best hotel in Montreal

Best hotel in Montreal

Old Sep 8, 11, 10:22 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by ABG View Post
To round out the thread, try and get up to Laurier BBQ by Gordon Ramsey for a lunch. Quebec Roasted chicken!
Oh I was so annoyed to have missed that opening by a week when I was in Montreal! I love his restaurants, and really wanted to try it - next time!
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Old Sep 8, 11, 11:21 am
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by emma69 View Post
Oh I was so annoyed to have missed that opening by a week when I was in Montreal! I love his restaurants, and really wanted to try it - next time!
Much obliged for the tip; the menu looks great!
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Old Sep 24, 11, 1:41 pm
  #18  
 
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Unfortunately, the St. James now ranks as my biggest luxury hotel disappointment. I"ll write back in a few days once I have received a response from (the non-existent?) management.

On the bright side, the Place D'Armes was wonderful.
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Old Sep 24, 11, 5:48 pm
  #19  
 
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st james

nba1017 :
~ how unfortunate to hear of your awful experience at st james.
~ we've stayed twice and my daughter just returned. although one night the bath from above leaked down into her bath the problem was immediately addressed and she was moved to a huge suite.
~ we've enjoyed everything above st james except for some snooties employed there.
~ place de armes - oh my, we stayed there last year and the front desk staff was awful and unhelpful. all others were great! the place was not well-kept as the glass display in the elevator was broken and walls/corners/details were chipped and dinged up...gym was a mess. the room was enormous and cleaner than the public areas but very dark. not a good experience for us but maybe improvements have been made. glad it worked out for you.
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Old Sep 27, 11, 3:36 pm
  #20  
 
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As promised, a review of the St. James, as well as the Place d'Armes. I"m going to write in a more casual fashion, as opposed to a traditional review.


Hotel Le St. James, Montreal QC


The Good:

- The room. We were shown 906 and 802, settling on the latter. Both were junior suites. 802 is in a corner position, and although it's about the smallest room you could get away with calling a junior suite (485-490sf), the four large windows made it acceptable. Beautiful sleigh bed with impeccable linens, a large wooden desk to the left, and a sitting area with two leather chairs and a round dining/vanity table by the windows. The decor was unique and interesting in and of itself.

- The bathroom. Simply the best shower I've ever experienced in a hotel, outside of the Dolder Grand in Zurch. Molton Brown products and a lovely port window off the tub. Only complaint is that the tub could have been a tad bit deeper and wider.

- The concierge. Simon was absolutely fabulous. He seamlessly handled my restaurant and car bookings, recommended a great local place I was indecisive, and arranged for VIP access to a jazz club. As an example, the front desk screwed up my request for a morning NYT, and when questioned in the afternoon, told me that none were left and gave me the name of a newsstand a few blocks away. I ran into Simon upon walking out of the hotel in a bit of a huff and relayed my concern. A NYT was outside my door in ten minutes.



The 'eh:'

- Arrival experience. I had prebooked a hotel car for a transfer from YUL. Perhaps this was a simple miscommunication, but my impression of a 'meet-and-greet' service is that the driver meets me outside baggage and takes me directly to a waiting car. Having to wait for him to pull the car around defeats the purpose of this service. Then again, it could just be how it's done in New York and some other places I've utilized it. Anyway, this was a bit annoying. Furthermore, the hotel was totally unaware of my arrival, with no doorman to open the door, no one greeting me by name, and not having a room available despite not being sold out the night before. No offer to have drinks in the bar or utilize the spa was made, and our drinks were never comped despite waiting until 4:30pm. For a hotel with ~60 rooms, this is really poor. If the Boston Ritz Carlton can recognize my personal SUV and have every single employee greet me by name, why can't the St. James track their own car? Regardless, after some pushing with the manager on duty, I was shown a (newly available) room, but declined it and ended up waiting for the corner junior suite (802).

- Restaurant service. Just slow and a little lethargic. I was only of three tables in the restaurant at 8am, and had to wait 10 minutes for a waiter to come over. After waiting 15 more for my check, I simply left. On a similar note, I called down for some desert and coffee at 10:15pm and was told the particular desert, off the restaurant menu, couldn't be made as it closed at 10. I had just had a nightcap downstairs and was told it would be no problem by the restaurant staff. They ended up making it, but the general attitude was to just say "no" unless pressed.

- Spa. The St. James is a small hotel, but it does have a spa room in its basement (formerly the bank vault). It further advertises the use of sauna and steam facilities for guests on its website. Unfortunately, it doesn't mention that these services are upon request, only when spa guests are not using them. I called at 5pm one evening to inquire about this, and was told it would be possible at 9:30pm, or at 2pm the next day. It's not an issue per se, but it is a clearly advertised service, and a bit of a let down.




The really poor:

- One evening, I heard a knock on my door while the DND sign was on, and, before either my partner or I could dress ourselves, a hotel employee entered the room. Obviously it was a disconcerting thing, and would have been a lot more serious if it was just her in the room. When I dressed and went down to the front desk to discuss it, I ran into the same employee, who began verbally accosting me. The front desk agent's response (this was the manager on duty) was 'sorry, we will talk to our manager in the morning.' When I pressed further to speak to the rooms manager (the same gentleman who made a room appear, so to speak), I was told he had left for the night. Naturally, ten minutes later, I saw this same gentleman walking around the lobby. The hotel had no response to this. I took it upon myself to appraise American Express (as my travel agent) of the events. The manager on duty still had nothing to say beyond 'we apologize' and that I could speak with the manager who had 'left' in the morning. I asked about moving to a room with a more comprehensive security apparatus (perhaps a chain-lock?) and was told this would not be possible. As it would have been very unrelaxing to wait around until 9am to speak with a manager about a very disconcerting issue, we decided to leave and haul ourselves to the Place d'Armes. I settled up the bill, and this same agent actually had the audacity to not simply charge me the full rate, but gave me attitude when I requested my breakfast (as an FHR perk) be removed.



Overall, I have some good things to say about the hotel. The property itself is downright beautiful, with the best rooms I've found in North America. Unfortunately, the service is reminiscent of certain 'grand' hotels in Europe. I will give due credit to the hotel GM for contacting me Monday afternoon refunding my full bill per my request, as well as offering a two night stay in a suite with breakfast on them. I will take them up on it at some point, as all the issues I referenced were simply ones of training, rather than fundamental flaws.



I've written a lot--the Place D'Armes review to follow shortly.
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Old Sep 28, 11, 5:13 am
  #21  
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We did not have a perfect experience at St. James either. It is beautiful though.

What in the world was the employee's excuse for coming into the room? Sounds like it was night - what time was it? And why did he "accost" you later?
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Old Jan 9, 20, 12:06 am
  #22  
 
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I was wondering whether there might be any more recent experiences/views. I couldn't find a newer thread than this one, apologies if I missed it. Is there anything recommended for a stay in the summer within let's say 15 minutes walking distance of the Convention Center? Any input greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Old Jan 9, 20, 10:39 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Travel4Love View Post
I was wondering whether there might be any more recent experiences/views. I couldn't find a newer thread than this one, apologies if I missed it. Is there anything recommended for a stay in the summer within let's say 15 minutes walking distance of the Convention Center? Any input greatly appreciated, thank you.
Anything in "Old Montreal" or "Old Town" is very walkable to the "Palais des Congres". This would include The Saint James and various quality 4 star boutique style hotels.
The Ritz Carlton, Mount Stephen and Four Seasons are much further away
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Old Jan 10, 20, 2:18 am
  #24  
 
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I don't know if it would be up to your standards but I have only good things to say about Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. My parents went there on their honeymoon a few decades ago and it (along other Fairmont hotels I've been to) always seem to have held up a great service standard ever since. It's a walking distance to the main attractions too!
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Old Jan 10, 20, 3:33 am
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Thank you both for your insight. Some TripAdvisor reviews seem to indicate that the Fairmont has undergone renovation, which might make it a good choice. ABG do I hear you right that in your opinion the only true luxury option in my preferred area is the St. James?
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:28 am
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we had a perfect stay at the Ritz summer before last. I wrote a review somewhere on this site. I don’t know where it is in relation to the convention center, but we easily used Uber to get around.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:34 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
we had a perfect stay at the Ritz summer before last. I wrote a review somewhere on this site. I don’t know where it is in relation to the convention center, but we easily used Uber to get around.
It's about half an hour walking, which unfortunately isn't perfect, since I need to keep going back and forth several times a day for several days in a row. Otherwise I would love to try out that property.
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Old Jan 10, 20, 4:56 am
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I'd take a half an hour walk each way for the ability to use a Toto toilet with seat warmer and bidet. Absolutely the easiest trade I'll ever make.
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