Montreal

Here in the Northeast, Montreal has the reputation of being a haven for under 21 spring break goers and hordes of men on stag weekends. In my two visits there, I have discovered that it is much more. A very short, hour long flight or roughly a 6 hour drive from Boston, Montreal is really a long weekend getaway. On our last visit, we used TripAdvisor and Expedia to research cost-saving packages and ended up with an incredible deal that included our flight and 3 nights at the very hip W Hotel. Once you arrive in the Montreal airport, you can take an inexpensive bus to the city itself. This took about 45 minutes (please note that last year, our visit was during the US Columbus Day holiday and Canadian Thanksgiving, so there were MANY travelers and lots of traffic. Times may vary.) Walking into the W was. . . interesting. It is a really beautiful hotel, very cool, modern, hip. It is very dark inside and has nightclub music playing in the lobby pretty much all day long. On check in, the front desk staff was incredibly friendly, and Simon, the gentleman checking us in, having worked in Northern Ireland for several years, identified hubs’ accent immediately and gave us drink vouchers for the hotel bar. It pays to travel with a dashing foreign man ;) Our room was beautiful and unlike any other hotel room I have ever stayed in. The bathroom was enormous and separated by the bedroom only by a curtain. Weird, right? But the bathtub was a massive soaking tub and stocked with Bliss spa products. There was also a huge chaise lounge with lots of pillows. It was in Montreal that we began watching Season 1 of LOST. Its a good memory :) I guess the only caution I would give about this hotel is that it IS as hip as it appears. We arrived back in a taxi at around 11 PM on a Saturday, and the line to get into our hotel’s nightclub was hundreds long. We were able to skirt past it, but it was a bit daunting. Luckily the noise did not carry up to our room. (How old does that make me sound?!) Mega Room source   On our first night in Montreal we had reservations at Decca 77, located at 1077 Drummond. I try my best to do research on restaurants before we travel, so we had a reservation at Decca 77 and arrived a little bit early. Being that it was a Friday night, the restaurant was a bit empty, but the bar was packed. As we were early we opted to have a drink at the bar. When we were seated, we were met by a very friendly waiter who was more than happy to let us know about everything we should see in Montreal. He was so welcoming and helpful! One thing I have to say is that French Canadians are VERY nice people. If you have had a bad experience with French speakers in France as some of us may have had (me in Nice, hubs in Paris, how unfriendly can you be?!) , don’t let that deter you from visiting Montreal. It is like night and day. We both opted for the Prix Fixe menu. I started with the carrot soup, and hubs got the oysters. As usual we split both, and they were great choices, especially the PEI oysters. Nummy. For our entrees I had salmon and hubs had roasted chicken which was SOO good. By the time dessert rolled around, we were fairly full, and we split something which I don’t actually remember. Dessert is never my favorite course, but I do remember that we liked it! I would definitely recommend Decca 77 as a nice place to either get drinks at the bar or to enjoy their reasonable 3 course Prix Fixe. For late night going out in Montreal, we discovered a chain called Les 3 Brasseurs. A brewery with a pub menu, Les 3 Brasseurs (the St. Denis location) is a friendly place with a massive square bar. We were treated very well at this bar and started out sharing sample flights of the house brews. Our server, a super sweet young Québécois, later introduced us to their “Brit” cocktail (hubs LOVED the name btw ;)) a dark beer with a shot of Jameson. Totally yummy with tastes of coffee, chocolate, and caramel, this was our evening dessert. Every night that we went out in Montreal was fantastic. We did a TON of walking, especially from downtown to the Olympic Park, but it is an incredible place to buy some cheese, bread, and apples and to sit outside for a mid-day picnic. If you are visiting Montreal, I would also recommend the following sites: Olympic Park Botanical Gardens Old Montreal- Lovely cobblestone streets, lots of places with heat lamps so that you can eat outside in late fall Mont Royal- A beautiful place to hike and to view the entire city from I really am looking forward to returning to Montreal soon. It is easy to get to, has a lot of delicious culinary options, and is generally relaxing a romantic. Have you ever been to Montreal? What did you think? Don’t forget to enter my Healthy Halloween giveaway! It ends on Halloween. . .muahahaha.

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  1. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite’s avatar

    Well I have been to Montreal a few times and we LOVE Les 3 Brasseurs!!!! In fact, we might have to go there again in 3 weeks when I am there for a conference!! It recently opened here in Toronto but it’s just not the same in an anglophone city….

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  2. traveleatlove’s avatar

    Lucky! It is such a great city. I hope to make a trip up there again and to Quebec City because we have never been there.

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  3. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite’s avatar

    Oooh – if you go to QC, I have some great recommendations for that too!

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  4. Simply Life’s avatar

    I haven’t been to Montreal but it’s definitely on my list of places to go now that we live in the northeast!

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  5. Alison’s avatar

    I’ve always wanted to go to Montreal. I’ve heard it’s like a European town in architecture. But we usually go to warm places for vacation – since we vacation in the winter. Someday I’ll get up there.

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  6. Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca)’s avatar

    I have never been to Montreal, but I would love to go someday!

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  7. talesfromtwocities’s avatar

    That hotel looks super trendy! I was there in June and its definitely a fun trip from Boston, we drove! I had the best seafood at a place called Garde Manger. Thanks for the tips for next time :)

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  8. burpexcuzme’s avatar

    I’ve never been to Montreal, but that’s one of the places I really, really want to go out of my freaking long list of places I really, really want to go. Lol. That hotel is damn COOL!!!!

    Reply

  9. pandabox33’s avatar

    I live in Montreal ! I moved here from another city 15 years ago and if you go back I have recommendations. :) It really is a great place, you have everything you want. You have to try Le Pied de Cochon, it’s a meaty restaurant with few or no vegetarian options but there is fish (Gravlax slamon, yummy). http://www.restaurantaupieddecochon.ca If you like rice pudding, I love it, there is a place that does only that and in many, many flavors, all are exquisite : Riz en folie. http://www.rizenfolie.com If you like walking, and shopping, there is Avenue Mont-Royal and rue St-Laurent. Stores and stores of everything and restaurants ! If you want to go to a gourmet shop, my favorites are Le Cartet on McGill street (it is also a restaurant, very trendy) and Gourmet Laurier on rue Laurier. European products mostly. I tried l’Hôtel des Gouverneurs and L’Auberge du Vieux Port, you can get great deals. Montreaaaalll. :)

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  10. lessonstolearn’s avatar

    It’s amazing…I’ve lived in the Northeast my whole life and have never been to Montreal. I’ve hear lots of good things and need to go!

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  11. traveleatlove’s avatar

    Lucky you! We really loved it. Are the winters awful? I will definitely keep your tips in mind and will let you know when we make it back, thank you!

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