Montreal’s Top 5 Hotels for Art Lovers

Posted on August 11th, 2009 by .

I’ve always loved hotel rooms, because they allow you to truly be yourself – or somebody else, like a crazy rock star or a Russian oligarch. And there’s that level of intimacy and solitude that’s almost impossible to achieve at home. Read more to find my suggestions of the best hotels to get inspired in Montreal.
Even though I live in Montreal, sometimes I like to check into a hotel in my own city, and escape my everyday life for an entire day by locking myself up, writing, reading, and enjoying my stay. Here’s my selection of unforgettable hotels, where life seems a little different, both outside and inside the room.

A stunning Beaux Arts building recently transformed into a chic hotel, St. Paul is a calm, quiet and airy space set on McGill Street. Some people might say it’s a little cold, but I love the cool ambiance;it’s serene in winter and quite refreshing in summer. Each room was created according to one of the four elements – air, fire, earth and water – and the choice is reflected through the colour palette and textures (dark wood floors, large windows and high ceilings).

How could I forget to mention this hotel, whose name is inspired by Émile Nelligan, one of Quebec’s most famous poet and enfant terrible? The place reflects the spirit of this tormented author, with its classical architecture and contemporary highlights. You may find a poem exposed on one of your penthouse suite’s brick walls – a good inspiration to write poetry while tucked into bed or while drinking red wine on their ROOFTOP TERRACE AT VERSES SKY.

The Gault Hotel reminds me of Jacques Tati’s wonderfully funny movies, like Mon oncle and Playtime. It’s both retro and modern, with colourful furniture from the 50s and 60s, such as Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Swan chair. Located in Old Montreal, near McGill Street, it’s the perfect spot to discover some new art galleries in the neighbourhood – DHC/ART is literally next door, while the Darling Foundry is ten minutes away by foot.

There’s no other place in town where you will feel more important than at Hotel le St. James, located in a former bank in Old Montreal. Maybe because that’s where Madonna and the Rolling Stones usually go when they’re in town. The décor is a tribute to Queen Victoria, but it also mixes in some rare Louis XVI furniture and vases from past Chinese dynasties. You can have afternoon tea there and enjoy perfectly made scones and cucumber sandwiches, and end up with a bottle of champagne delivered to your suite, in pure rock star decadence.

The students, artists and bohemians who stay in this wicked hostel located in Old Montreal share the same unconventional spirit, the same taste for adventure. It’s a place for travellers to cross paths, and exchange their views on the world while painting, writing, dancing, and exploring all types of artistic expressions. And by the time they leave the hotel, they’ve left behind a little bit of themselves in the process. The hotel itself is eco-friendly and encourages recycling, and also has rooms that correspond to certain colours – the pink bedroom is for women, the white bedroom is dedicated to people who have a hard time sleeping.

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