I enjoy visiting Montreal, even in the winter time. I’ve visited twice in recent months, and while the weather is cold, the city is well adapted to dealing with it. On both trips, I stayed at the Renaissance Montreal Downtown. The hotel is located on Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, near McGill University. I’ve stayed in a few places in Montreal, and since my preferred Hyatt Regency has been reflagged as a Doubletree, I searched out some other options. I’ve stayed at the Le Meridien, which while I always like the brand, this particular hotel isn’t that nice, and the location isn’t great. The Sheraton and Westin hotels are nice too, but were a bit more expensive. There is also a Marriott, but it was pricey, and while a colleague stayed there, it sounds like I made the right decision.
The Renaissance Montreal is a new build, and as expected from the brand, has a modern design, which I like. I found room rates, while not cheap, to be in line with most similar hotels in the area, and to me I find this a better value than other options. They advertise the only rooftop terrace in downtown Montreal, but during my stays, it wasn’t open, presumably due to cold, or possibly only on weekends in the winter, as there is cover and heaters.
Renaissance Montreal Public Spaces
On both stays at the Renaissance Montreal, I arrived late in the evening, via Uber from the airport. The lobby is dark, with a trendy vibe. As per usual in Montreal, I was greeted in French, but that quickly switched to English based either on my dumb look, or my response with a 20 or so word French vocabulary. Sigh. As a Marriott Lifetime Platinum, I was offered an amenity of points or breakfast, and while I chose breakfast both times, I still was given points as well. Breakfast is offered in the restaurant just behind the reception desk.
East features pan-Asian cuisine, although I only ate breakfast here, which was typical North American food. The breakfast certificates I used are good for any breakfast item and a drink. This is a tasty breakfast, and made to order each day. I prefer this to choosing from a buffet. Apparently I like routines, and I think I had the same breakfast nearly every day, a cheddar omelet, served with brown toast, and potatoes. Simple, and tasty.
The lobby area isn’t large, but there are a few areas. I didn’t spend too much time here other than waiting for colleagues. There are a few seating areas, the above photo is an area called the library.
The below the ground floor lobby is for some meeting rooms, and a small fitness center. Montreal in winter means cold weather and short daylight, therefore most of my workouts are inside. The hotel gym is 2 floors below ground, but decently equipped, and in particular with some Montreal Canadiens memorabilia. Canadiens home games are played at the Bell Center, a few blocks away.
Renaissance Montreal Rooms
Both of my stays were just in standard rooms, no upgrade offered. Both rooms have the same design motif. although once I was assigned a room on the penthouse floor. That only means that some of the top floor is shared with the bar open in warmer months. A longer elevator ride, although slightly better views from the room.
The bathroom (washroom since we are in Canada), is bright with white tile, and not large, but plenty of space. Nice Kohler fixtures, and a rainfall shower head.
Out and about in Montreal (pronounced oot and aboot)
Montreal is a wonderful city. I enjoy my visits here, although I much prefer doing so in the warmer months.
I was able to get to a Canadiens game, and despite them losing, watching NHL hockey in Canada is quite an experience. So much history, especially one of the Original 6 teams. There is also good food. Smoked meat/pastrami is well known, but I also got some poutine.
Thankfully I was able to get a run in after this monstrosity of a meal. Mont Royal, a prominent point near downtown is home to a large park, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted, most famous for designing Central Park in New York. A great place for running/walking/etc. One cool but sunny morning, I made it out for a run before flying home. Definitely a favorite spot in the city. Nice views from the top:
The Renaissance Montreal is a nice new property in downtown. I’ve visited twice now, and would gladly return in the future. Nothing fancy, but a solid and modern property, centrally located.
Have you stayed here? What did you think?