The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, which opened in 1958 in Montreal as one of the first luxury hotels in the city, reopened last summer after several years of planning and a yearlong closure to achieve a multi-million dollar renovation. Today, the new “Queen E” hotel boasts a brand new design that blends a contemporary decor with a vintage flair reminiscent of Montreal’s golden years, innovative food concepts and communal areas in addition to a luxurious spa. The transformation of this Montreal landmark by Fairmont is such a success that it was difficult to find ONLY 5 reasons to love and stay (please do) at the new “Queen E” Hotel. Indeed, the Queen has never looked better and the city of Montreal can truly be proud to count this close-to-perfect masterpiece in their hotel offering.

A Little Bit of History…

Since opening its doors on April 15th, 1958, the largest hotel in the city has a special place in the heart of Montrealers and visitors from around the world. At the time, the sleek 21-story convention hotel was considered a masterpiece of innovation as it was built above Montreal’s Central Station, then introducing new standards of engineering and hospitality to Montreal. It was also the keystone of a major renewal of the city’s downtown core. In addition, this is where in 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their famous Bed-In for Peace during which the ex-Beatles composed and recorded the song Give Peace a Chance and in 1976, the hotel was chosen as headquarters for the International Olympic Committee. Over the last few decades, prestigious personalities such as the members of British royal family chose The Queen Elizabeth Hotel for their Montreal stay. That explains why this hotel occupies such a special place in Montrealers’ hearts. But, after being open for 60 years, The Queen needed some updates and a little bit of love, and she received exactly what she deserved.

The objective of the massive hotel’s transformation—which forced the hotel management to close the entire property for more than a year—was precisely to make the establishment even more welcoming and to make its new design reflect the Queen E’s commitment to continually renew herself and offer the highest standards of luxury hotels in the city. After two visits to this Montreal landmark to make sure I was not missing anything, here are 5 reasons to love the new Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

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1. The Gorgeous Rooms…

The “new Queen E” now counts 950 guest rooms, including 80 suites (and the now famous John Lennon & Yoko Ono Suite—in honour and memory of their “Bed-In” in this very room 50 years ago.) The refurbished rooms are far from boring, offering a bold design that resulted in bright and dynamic interiors inspired by the vibrant city of Montreal. The result is a seamless blend of connectivity, efficiency and elegant comfort. I particularly enjoyed the colourful wallpapers, the views of downtown Montreal from all the rooms—the downtown hotel is ideally located—the luxurious and contemporary bathrooms are inviting, spacious and modern. Nods to Montreal’s history can be found everywhere in the rooms and hallways. In the Fairmont Gold rooms especially, there are Expo 67-inspired art walls and most of the art pieces that can be found everywhere around the hotel are “Montreal-inspired”.


2. The Fairmont Gold Lounge…

Located on the top three floors of the hotel, the Fairmont Gold rooms and suites boast a spectacular view of the city and private access to the gorgeous Fairmont Gold Lounge, located on the 21st floor. The lounge is spectacular, offering marble high top counters, dining tables, comfortable sofas and lounge chairs, a large working space and a library, dedicated staff and an exclusive check-in counter. A wide selection of non-alcoholic beverages is available 24/7 as well as a complimentary deluxe breakfast in the morning and snacks in the afternoon. The views from the lounge are hard to beat, the service is top notch and the space is simply gorgeous. To sum it all up, the new Fairmont Gold Lounge is one of the most luxurious and exclusive lounges that I have experienced.


3. The Moment Spa…

To reflect the entirely renovated luxurious Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel, the just as-new Moment Spa offers a unique well-being experience in a modern and lavish decor. Featuring three deluxe mani/pedi stations and eight private treatment rooms, as well as luxurious changing rooms with top-of-the-line products, Moment Spa is a gorgeous new urban spa that has it all. While there, try their signature “Moment Spa Massage” to be pampered from the top of the head to the tip of the toes. It was one of the more complete body massages I ever received, using slow techniques to ensure 110% relaxation and finishing the treatment with a moisturizing mist that is applied all over the body. Pure luxury! The spa area also features a top-of-the-line fitness center and a gorgeous indoor pool, sauna, and a jacuzzi. Non-hotel guests who book a treatment can also receive complimentary access to the fitness/pool area… and the comfy bathrobes and slippers are included.


4. The Artisans Market…

The new Queen Elizabeth not only has gorgeous hotel rooms, a premium exclusive lounge and a luxury urban spa, but it also features a new innovative food and beverage offer. As part of the hotel transformation, the very unique and also very cool Artisans Market opened near the entrance, becoming the first urban market in a Canadian hotel to offer take-out dishes, on-site consumption and exclusive fine products. This unique concept comes to life in a contemporary environment and offers various tempting options varying throughout the day, from lunch to late night snacks. The market space of the Queen Elizabeth includes a specialty grocery store with fresh seasonal products and takeaway foods, healthy ready-made meals, signature or imported gourmet products, meat and fish counters with a selection of dishes to eat in or take away, a bakery, a pastry shop, a fine chocolate and crêpes station, as well as a selection of wines by the glass, pizzas by the slice and much more. If you are hungry and don’t feel like sitting in a restaurant for hours, it is now definitely the place to go for every meal of the day. Need another reason to go? Locals are lining up during lunch hour, so be prepared!


5. The Kréma Café…

How hard it is to find good (I mean, very good quality) coffee when you stay in a hotel? Very hard. Most hotels go through major transformations without even thinking of upgrading their coffee offerings. That is definitely not the case at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, where the brand-new coffee shop, located near the lobby, Kréma, was named top 3 best coffee shops in the city just months after its opening. Locals and hotel guests are lining up all day every day to taste the impeccable work of the Krema’s baristas team. Good thing that downtown Montreal now has a great coffee shop, and even better news that it is located inside one of their landmark hotels. Simply brilliant!


Final Notes…

The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth has always been an important part of Montreal’s landscape and history. But now, since its reopening and smart repositioning, it is more relevant to the city than ever. Every detail has been thought of: from the coffee offer to the lounge, the spa, to the—genius—cocktail bar Nacarat (why did it take so long for the city of Montreal to get a decent fancy-swanky cocktail lounge in the downtown area?), the “Montreal-inspired” rooms and decor, as well as the innovative restaurant and food offerings. The Queen has never looked better… and Long live the Queen!

Learn More: www.fairmont.com/queen-elizabeth-montreal

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