Sometimes you just have to make the most of
any precious free time that any of us have, even if that means hopping on a plane (or even taking a short drive) and cramming as much as you can into a 48-hour vacation! And you’d be surprised at just how much you can do with that time!
Montréal in 48
This year is Montréal’s 375th anniversary and also, Canada Pride. We were fortunate enough to have been invited to celebrate, and it was amazingly fun! I have enjoyed Fierté Montréal nearly every year for the last couple but moved west one year and spent some well deserved time away at Montebello and Kenauk. I hadn’t been back to Montréal until this weekend! I hadn’t returned to Montréal until this weekend!
A Montréal Landmark
The famous Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth welcomed us after a year long renovation, and just in time to celebrate Montréal’s 375th this summer. It's spanking new design blends contemporary décor with a vintage flair, preserving her historic legacy with a nod to the future, encouraging guests and locals alike to enjoy her gracious new public lobbies and spaces. The lobby area now includes Rosélys Restaurant, a gastropub-type restaurant, a mixology bar called Nacarat Bar, a cute café called Krema Café where you can enjoy your coffee and relax by the fireplace, a “business campus” where you can work, relax and be inspired! Early fall will will see the Hotel open an urban market, offering guests seasonal products while supporting local artisans.
Give Peace a Chance in Montréal
Did you know? John Lennon and Yoko Ono held separate two week-long Bed-Ins for Peace, one at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam and one here at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. This nonviolent protest against war, in particular, the Vietnam War, is where the song “Give Peace a Chance” was composed and recorded. You can still rent this suite and enjoy many of the mementos of that time. We, unfortunately, did not stay in that suite. The beautifully renovated room overlooked Montréals famous Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral and I felt taken by a “this feels and looks like a New York hotel” inspiration of our room; a sense of urban sophistication and luxury. The bathroom was small but well appointed with the perfect light for selfies! The historic hotel's renovation included a state of the art, redesigned gym, a fantastic indoor pool, and many unique meeting spaces. And when I say unique meeting spaces, I am not kidding around. Just check out these pictures!
In what was one of the best parts of the weekend, the Fairmont hosted a pride party on the 3rd-floor terrace, to which we were happily invited. It was the perfect venue with a great view of the parade.
We managed to pack in a weekend filled with activities! We hiked up Mont-Royal where you can enjoy some great views of the city below. We shopped on Rue Sainte-Catherine, explored the “underground city” connecting downtown core, enjoyed Montreal smoked meat, and checked-out the pride events in the gay village. We also walked around the cobble lined streets in Old Montreal where you feel like you are in a Canadian version of a romantic European city. We didn’t have enough time this trip, but make sure you check out Scandinave Spa Vieux Montéal or Bota Bota spa if you are in the Old Port area.
We even managed to squeeze in a short trip to Quebec City! You can do a lot with 48 hours! The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth is conveniently located right above the rail station, so we took Via Rail from Montreal to Quebec City taking just over 3 hours. I know, it sounds like a lot when you only have 48 hours, BUT there’s something about taking the train that makes a trip feel extra special, especially enjoying the gorgeous views of the rocky, rolling Quebec countryside from the comfort of your train seat. We had 5 hours in Quebec City, and we made the most of it. We checked out the breathtaking Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, understandably one of the most iconic buildings in Canada and one of the most photographed hotels in the world. We strolled the ancient streets and grabbed a quick bite at Lapin Saute, offering cozy, comfort amazing Quebecois country food.
Our trip ended with a short hop back to Montreal for a connecting flight to NYC. The weekend went by fast, but it was amazingly fun. Already, we can’t wait to go back!