When John Lennon and Yoko Ono checked into the hotel to stage the second of their famous bed-ins in 1969, the world was a different place: criminalised LGBTQ+ people were fighting for their lives against oppression at The Stonewall Inn in New York. How times have changed – our visit coincided with Montreal Pride and the hotel was full of LGBTQ+ people in celebratory mode.

Boldly redesigned in 2017, the property looks fresh and contemporary. We thought the ground-floor communal areas were too busy to feel luxurious – they’re connected to a network of underground mall-like streets for the cold winters – but they’re home to some tasty offerings, including the urban pantry Marché Artisans and a signature restaurant that’s well worth checking out. The eatery’s private outdoor terrace provided us with a good vantage point to watch the parade pass by, glass of bubbly in hand. 

Our 15th-floor Fairmont Gold suite was spacious and comfortable, with a clean, unfussy contemporary design and generously proportioned bathroom. Taking the lifts at busy times was a slight issue, but overall we had no complaints about how the Queen Elizabeth ran. We especially enjoyed the beautiful pool, which provided a welcome break from the bustle of the celebrations. As with some larger hotels, the property felt a little impersonal at times, but, for some, the lack of watchful staff (especially during Pride) could be seen as a bonus.

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While you’re Out There
For a quirky little Montreal experience, head to sunset yoga at 7pm daily at the Observatoire Place Villa Marie for sprawling views of this gorgeous city while you do your tree pose.

www.fairmont.com

Photography courtesy of Fairmont