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SOFITEL MONTREAL : A CLASS ACT

Seriously.  There’s absolutely no gimmick in that “five stars” rating. Everything at the Sofitel hits you as being top of the line.  Starting with the service. Four clés d’or concierges  (one of them being the actual vice-president of the international union) make sure every single customer gets what they want, when they want it.  The decorum adopted by the staff speaks for itself: the moment you step in, the staff makes you feel like royalty.

THE LGBT PACKAGE: IF YOU’RE GAY, THEN YOU DESERVE A DISCOUNT

It’s no secret that the gay community has an affinity for packages. Many people are drawn to a big package, but really, it’s the quality of the package that truly determines its worth. Tourisme Montreal is offering a discount on a hotel rooms, and throwing in some pretty stellar coupons to up the ante.

HOLIDAY INN SELECT: CHINATOWN

Many people chose to travel to Montreal because it has that delicious French flare that can’t be found elsewhere in North America. It’s like going to Europe, but cheaper. But Montreal is more than delicious baguettes and passionate romance and beautiful women with French accents. It’s a hub of international cultures, and the Chinese community plays an important role in the ethnic and cultural diversity of the city.

HOTEL PLACE D’ARMES CELEBRATES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY

Last Thursday the Antonopoulos family celebrated the tenth anniversary of their Hotel Place d’Armes with an all-out bash. Boxing circa 1930 was the evening’s colourful theme, so lucky invite-only guests (like me) were entertained by some live fist fighting in a miniature ring, “cigarette girls” (serving sushi) dressed in feathers and flapper dresses, an oyster bar, drinks aplenty, a slick jazz band, and guest of honour Lucian Bute , the Montrealer who recently defended his super-middleweight title after a spectacular knockout match with Jesse Brinkley on Oct. 15 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.

STREET ( SORT OF!) PROFILE: SQUARE VICTORIA

Astute followers of our Montreal Street Profile series may notice that there is something different between today’s instalment and those about Bleury, Parc, Maisonneuve, Saint-Paul and Saint-Zotique. Yes, Square Victoria is not a street but it is surrounded by them and has enough stuff going on that it deserves its moment in the sun…

BACHELORETTE BASH IN MONTREAL

Seeing that I’m writing a book about hedonism in Montreal, my girlfriend in New York was convinced that my “cute little French city” would be the perfect place for her up-coming bachelorette party—and that I was the ideal person to send her a list of ideas. Of course, I had to agree, on both accounts (and add that Montreal is also a very safe city). But, I made her promise—in exchange for a girly-girl, good times itinerary—that there would be no matching pink t-shirts or plastic tiaras involved. Thank god, she agreed. Here goes…

THE CHARMING HOTEL: AUBERGE DE LA FONTAINE

As they say in real estate, the same is true for hotels — it’s all about “location, location, location.” And as far as locations go in Montreal, the artsy and picturesque “Plateau Mont-Royal” is among the most touted by gushing travelers. The Auberge de la Fontaine is a charming accommodation option in the heart of the Plateau. With many of the rooms overlooking Parc Lafontaine, the guesthouse offers twenty one rooms in a beautiful setting. Plus, there’s a certain “homey” feeling that is difficult to find in the big name hotels. If you’re looking for something personable, with easy accessible to restaurants, cafes and shops, this might be your best bet.

LIVING IT LARGE AT THE QUEEN ELIZABETH HOTEL

As a Montrealer, it’s rare that I get to experience the city’s high profile hotels. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth ranks amongst our downtown’s top addresses for a deluxe stay near some of Montreal’s major attractions, including Sainte-Catherine Street’s shopping strip, the Underground city, the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral and the Bell Center, home of the Canadien hockey team. I was lucky enough to see for myself if the hotel is up to its high-class reputation and I can assure you it is. Known for its modern charm and flawless service, the hotel’s motto echoes what makes Montreal unique in the eyes of locals and visitors alike: “Where Joie de Vivre Comes to Life”. Here are ten facts you need to know about Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, should you decide to enjoy one of its 1,037 guest rooms and suites while visiting Montreal.

BOUTIQUE HOTELS : WHERE TO STAY FOR YOUR GIRLS GETAWAY

Montreal is known for her sassy collection of boutique hotels. And I’m often asked, “Which one should I book?” Since each one has a distinctive personality, it’s an important question, because where you check in can set the tone and pace of your ladies’ night out. Here’s a little cheat sheet to guide you in the right direction.

FESTIVAL DU NOUVEAU CINEMA: OCTOBER 13 TO 24

Montreal’s Festival du Nouveau Cinema (FNC) exists to highlight the most original and innovative achievements in film and new media. After 38 years of stellar programming, the 2010 festival is guaranteed to be visually amazing, while offering fascinating stories from around the globe.