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Posts by Isa Tousignant

Hotel Le St-James: Montreal’s Superstar Hotel

It’s known for its A-list of world-famous guests – Madonna, anyone? – and its legendary decoration, where every antique that fills the hotel’s 60 individualized guestrooms and halls was personally chosen on world travels by the owner, Lucien Rémillard. Hotel Le St-James and its gourmet restaurant, XO, are where the everyman goes for special occasions and where the fabulous calls their home away from home. We caught up with Elizabeth Glimenacki, who oversaw the historic Old Montreal property’s conversion into a luxury hotel…

Le Petit Hôtel: A Small Old Montreal Hotel with a Grand Design

It’s always full, and there’s good reason – this appropriately named little hotel in Old Montreal is an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on high design. Owned by the Antonopoulos Group, which also runs the Hôtel Nelligan and Le Place d’Armes Hotel & Suites, Le Petit Hôtel boasts an economical use of space in the common areas but nice roomy guestrooms dressed up in warm earthy colours by the Montreal hotel and restaurant design firm Camdi Design. We spoke to President and Art Director Pierre Brousseau about his vision for this petite property…

Pamper the winter away in Montreal’s best spas

As the temperatures dip, the idea of a hot sauna followed by an expert massage has even more irresistible allure. And how about being your friends’ favourite Santa ever? Giving the gift of lasting relaxation and pampering is no sweat this holiday season thanks to some red-hot deals in Montreal spas. They’ll warm your cockles – and your soul…

Hotel Gault: A four-star getaway in Old Montreal

Hotel Gault, in the heart of Old Montreal, is one of the city’s most unique luxury stays. Set in a fully restructured historic building, reinforced against earthquakes with injected concrete, its aesthetic is less ancient than other Old Montreal hotels. By the time Montreal design firm YH2 began work on the project, the original structure had already been transformed through time – it was used as offices and storage space, and few of the original elements were recoverable. The result is a historic exterior and a spacious, gorgeous interior oasis of peace and tranquillity whose aesthetic is mostly contemporary. We spoke to YH2 designer Marie-Claude Hamelin…

Phi Centre examines the art of being Rad Hourani

Rad Hourani is one of Montreal’s best known fashion exports, with collections in 130 shops and galleries in 30 countries around the world. But the Montreal-based world traveler and general creative mind is much more than an award-winning unisex fashion designer – he’s also a filmmaker and an artist. Until November 30, Montreal’s progressive Phi Centre is showing us the extent of his vision…

Intercontinental Montréal: A luxe niche right downtown

When the lavish Intercontinental Montréal changed hands in 2009, the new owners ordered a complete redesign. In came California-based firm Zebrowsky Design Group, who had a mandate to do everything from redecorate the furnishings to completely transform the lobby’s layout. Montreal and its European heritage was a big part of Tim Zebrowky’s inspiration for all those decisions, from minute to mighty; we caught up with him to discuss his ideas…

The MMFA brings the sound of Venice to Montreal

In a uniquely multi-sensorial, immersive experience, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has brought to its Desmarais pavilion perhaps not the taste, but certainly the sounds of Venice… The exhibition, titled Splendore a Venezia, is entirely dedicated to art that illustrates the centrality of music to the famous Italian city. From 16th century paintings by Titian to 18th century works by Francesco Guardi, the works on the wall all portray musicians, or musical instruments, or musical patrons, or are by artists who were themselves musicians. At first it may seem like a niche theme, but by golly, this exhibition proves it was about time someone created an exhibition to unite is all. Accompanying the visuals, there’s a soundtrack playing from room to room with classical compositions also ranging in historical periods and styles. And that’s not counting the audioguide, which has 18 pieces to listen to according to prompts on the gallery wall. With the walls painted bright colours and a contemporary Venetian twist to the interior décor, the result of all this stimulation is overwhelming at times, but in a cornucopia kind of way. The riches on display (which include instruments galore, musical partitions and a full-scale gondola, just… / Read More →

Hotel St-Paul: A Luxury Boutique Hotel in Old Montreal

Designer Anna Borallo isn’t only the creative mind behind the décor of Old Montreal’s jewel, Hotel St-Paul; she also decided on the spatial planning. That’s because before the hotel opened in 2000, the beautiful historic building seen from the outside was entirely gutted and build anew on the inside. That’s what makes the white-walled rooms so spacious and the construction so carefully and beautifully measured. There’s a respect for nature’s colours, and a generally sleek minimalism that gives the property its eminently tasteful feel. We asked the designer about her inspirations…

Hotel 10: The revamped historic gem right on the Main

Perched on the storied corner of Saint-Laurent and Sherbrooke Street, Hotel 10 may be set in a historical building but it’s as new as can be. When the current owners took over the property, which had been an Opus hotel, they did a makeover of major proportions – everything from the interior décor palette to the shape of furniture changed. General Manager Bob Eyton-Jones presided over the entire process. We caught up with him in Montreal…

Hotel Chez Swann: Inside Montreal’s modern gothic boutique hotel

Hotel Chez Swann, a 23-room bijou of a hotel in the heart of downtown Montreal, hits a unique flavour with its interior design. It is replete with art – not only on the walls, but in the design itself, which includes elements that exceed beyond practicality to make incredible aesthetic statements that hit a modern gothic note. In certain areas if feels practically theatrical, with dramatic pops of colour contrasting with one another into an animated, lively experience, all conceived by artist and designer Mary Moegenburg. We caught up with the globetrotter on the phone from New Mexico, where she was working on her latest project.