It’s a relatively quiet period in August, so it’s time to take a diversion from our usual flight path with some hotel reviews.
The city of Montréal has always had an independent spirit. This is non more so than with its hotels. Whilst all the major chains are represented in the city, none, bar the W Montréal, really stir any interest. There are, however, lots of interesting independent hotels. One of the most recent is Hôtel William Gray which opened in 2016.
Hôtel William Gray
The hotel is located at 421 Rue Saint Vincent in Old Montréal, which is convenient for all the major tourist spots.
It is within walking distance, though perhaps not with heavy luggage, from Champ-de-Mars metro station. Valet parking is available at the hotel.
The hotel comprises two historical buildings, Maison Edward-William-Gray and Maison du Cabinet-de-Côme-Séraphin-Cherrier and a new 9 storey building, which houses most of the rooms, built around an exterior courtyard.
The hotel features two external terraces (a very popular feature in a city that does not take its relatively short summer for granted), a spa, a fitness room and expansive event facilities.
As well as the hotel, the building features a public coffee shop Café Olimpico and the “Off The Hook” boutique.
Judging by the crowds at weekends, the hotel bars are clearly popular with locals but, importantly, don’t interfere with the guests’ experience.
The Living Room
One of the stand-out features of this hotel is its ground floor public lounge area, The Living Room.
Hotels have long tried to make their public lobbies into a design statement. This may not be the grandest or most capacious space you have seen in a hotel. But it is great example of just doing something really, really, well. There’s a wide variety of seating and high quality furniture you’d be happy to have in your own home.
The hotel has a wide variety of rooms and suites, some located in the historic part of the hotel.
This is a typical deluxe room in the main building with a minimalist industrial design featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed ceilings, hardwood flooring and mustard colour accents.
The bedding is extremely comfortable. The bathroom features a multi-jet rain shower.
As you should expect for any new hotel, USB charging ports are in abundance. There’s an in-room coffee machine for that pre-morning shower espresso.
One really practically useful feature is a in-room safe that is a) top-loading and b) positioned at waist level. No need to get on your hand and knees to shoe-horn your laptop in a safe at the bottom of the wardrobe.
There were absolutely no issues at all with the room or, indeed, any other part of the hotel.
The hotel does have a large restaurant, Maggie Oakes. Though, you have absolutely no shortage of options within walking distance. For breakfast and brunch, you cannot miss Olive & Gourmando (351 Rue Saint-Paul Ouest) and Le Cartet (106 Rue McGill), pictured below.
This is a great hotel.
It’s clean, modern and contemporary and doesn’t try too hard. It’s big enough to offer everything you could need, but without feeling like a bed factory. Everything just feels very solid and well done. And it passes the most important test of all: You’d return without hesitation.