A September 2005 trip
to Montreal by am331
Quote: We went to Canada to attend a wedding in Ottawa and to celebrate our anniversary in Montreal.
We had made reservations for massages at Spa Eastman (see review) and walked about 20 minutes to get there (it's off of Sherbrooke. We walked through the Saint Catherine's street area, where there are lots of shops and young people. We also saw the gates of McGill University, and there are lots of students walking around this area as well. The massages were great!
Then we had lunch at Resto Fiore (nothing to write home about) and walked back to the hotel. After changing and relaxing, we decided to walk around the "old Montreal" part of town, which was very quaint and had lots of cute little places to see. We took some photos outside of Notre Dame Cathedral and saw the horse-drawn carriages.
For dinner, the hotel concierge recommended Europea, a restaurant we absolutely fell in love with (see review).
The next morning, before driving to the airport, we went up to the Prince Arthur street section of town, walked around, and had breakfast at a local coffee shop. This area has less-expensive shopping options than Saint Catherine's. All in all, it was a very romantic and memorable anniversary holiday!
Hotel | "Marriott Chateau Champlain"
This is a very lovely hotel. We used some Marriott rewards points to stay here for free and were worried we’d get shorted, but instead we got the best of everything! (One note: Marriott rewards points rooms are usually located right in front of the elevators, but that was fine by us, as we had less transit time to our room.)
The lobby is beautiful and the rooms have interesting half-circle windows with great views. I thought it gave the room a very romantic feel. We stayed on the 28th floor and had an amazing view of the city! The location is very central, close to both the downtown as well as the Old Montreal areas, so we were able to walk to both, as well as to the area near McGill University, where we had massage appointments at Spa Eastman on Sherbrooke. When we went to the Prince Arthur area, we drove, but the doorman told us that it’s only a half-hour walk. The staff there is most helpful; there was a doorman who always knew the best route (walking or driving) to get to anyplace we wanted and even drew us maps, and the lady at the concierge desk recommended a fabulous restaurant for us to dine at on our anniversary (Europea) and even called and made the reservation for us (which helped a great deal, since our French is rusty). Also, the bilingual front desk staff always helped us with questions and concerns. We’d recommend this place to out friends happily!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 9, 2005
Marriott Chteau Champlain
1 PL DU CANADA
Each item they brought out was explained to us in great detail so that we could savor and appreciate every aspect of it. They offer a large variety of interesting foods and offered all guests several "teasers" (mise en bouche) throughout the night. We started with the lobster cappuchino, sort of like bisque with many layers drizzled with truffle oil, cream, and a base of lobster broth—absolutely delicious! For his entrée, my husband had the filet mignon with braised beef, and it was excellent. I had the langostine and seared fois gras, which was also amazing. They brought us several pre-desserts, and we also had teas with flavored sugars. We ended the night with dessert, a mango sherbet for my husband and the chocolate raviolis with raspberry sherbet for me. They also gave us two glasses of champagne in a special Moet-lover’s glass. What a fabulous way to spend our first anniversary!
You simply MUST try this place. Prices were very reasonable for a high-end restaurant. We spent C$200 (US$160) for two (but we tipped 25% because we loved it so much), but the Canadian taxes are astronomical! To us it was money well spent! Later we saw in a guidebook that it is a regional winner in the Grand Prix de Turisme Quebecois 2005. We feel so lucky to have gone there! Thanks, Europea!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 7, 2005
1227 de la Montagne
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1Z2
My husband and I went to Spa Eastman for massages on our anniversary, and it was marvelous. They offered a "couples massage" where we could both get our massages in the same room at the same time. It was his first time, and he was nervous, but the masseuse was really excellent and asked him exactly which body areas he felt comfortable with and the level of pressure he wanted. They have a very cute little waiting lounge with a lovely view and a relaxation room after the massages. The only downside was finding it; you have to use a back door to enter, and it's not clearly marked. The price was also reasonable: $70 Canadian per hour-long massage, and we also tipped $10 U.S. per masseuse. I'd definitely go back!
New Jersey, New Jersey