Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth opens the first urban market in a Canadian Hotel
With over 980 guest rooms, a prime downtown location, an enviable Montréal history, and a year-long extensive renovation that has left the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel refreshed and ready for business in the 21st Century, what else can you add to contribute to a hotel’s innovative new vision? How about an urban market?
The very first urban market to be found in a Canadian hotel, Marché Artisans, has been meticulously designed to cater to the downtown core of office workers and residents, as well as out-of-town hotel patrons and conference attendees, while serving as an unofficial pantry for the hotel’s entire culinary program.
Queen E’s emergence as a key player in business conferences
While it’s a venerable and historic institution, the elegant Queen E (as it’s affectionately called by Montrealers) is also the largest hotel in the city and has committed to fast-forwarding to today’s quick-paced world, by incorporating the multi-purpose amenities, the leading-edge technology, and the event services that will keep it competitive and sought after as an event destination.
Along with the new luxury restaurant, bar and coffee lounge, a spa, and a multi-purpose venue, the urban market – with its careful selection of products and services spread out over an 8,000-sq. ft. space and 10 eclectic food stations – has been designed to serve as a one-stop destination for those who enjoy good quality, locally and internationally sourced food and culinary items.
Sustainability projects take centre stage
In keeping with the hotel’s sustainability commitment, the market will focus on promoting foods from local artisanal producers presented by knowledgeable staff who will assist guests in their exploration. The meat counters feature locally sourced Quebec Cornish hen, chicken, lamb, and beef, and great care is ensured to stock the cheese counter with local products.
Local coffee roasters, chutneys, vinegars, jams, and chocolates make their appearance on the shelves, while great care is taken to ensure that the fresh produce section is amply stocked with as many local fruits and vegetables as possible.
The hotel’s sustainable conscience also extends to the market’s packaging, with natural ink, biodegradable bags, and compostable containers used with the goal of reducing the hotel’s ecological footprint. This, in turn, has lead to some interesting collaborations and innovative solutions.
Marché Artisans Director, Mario Paladin, who personally sampled and selected each product currently sold at the market, works hard to find original ways to go about those sustainability goals.
“I’m especially proud of the partnership we’ve established with Blanc de Gris, a Montréal-based oyster mushroom producer that recovers our coffee grinds from our espresso bar and grows their mushrooms (which we sell here) in them. They then return whatever residual matter is left over and we use it as compost on our rooftop garden.”
Innovation and collaboration at the heart of its vision as a business destination
It’s the kind of full-circle sustainable project that is symbolic of the innovative vision permeating the new and improved Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel these days. Aiming to take the best ideas from the international scene and incorporate them on a local scale which, in turn, provides added services for its guests, is what’s guiding most of the hotel’s decisions these days.
While the Queen E enjoys an enviable and stellar reputation that is forever intertwined with Montréal’s history, it’s very much a part of the city’s present and future. A partnership with business meeting experts and creative lab producers C2 Montréal has helped establish close ties with the business community, and the hotel’s multi-functional spaces, which can accommodate a diversity of creative and collaborative experiences, now have one more venue to use.
C2 Montréal and the Queen Elizabeth Hotel recently joined forces to create a new penthouse business space. Espace C2, which occupies one entire wing of the top floor and stretches out into a rooftop terrace, can accommodate 200 guests in a variety of configurations. In establishing all these new additions, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel is quickly positioning itself as a leading business destination in Montréal with an unparalleled vision to match its ambition.
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