Riley Contributor Gregory George books a stay at the wonderful Le Mount Stephen, one of Montreal’s trendiest boutique hotels
My chatty cab driver turns north on Drummond Street and stops mid-block in front a grand Italianate mansion. “You’re my first fare here,” he wistfully adds. The door opens, and a tall, uniformed gentleman croons, “Welcome to Le Mount Stephen, Mr. George.”
Welcome, indeed, to Le Mount Stephen: a luxurious gift to Montreal.
Located in the heart of Montreal’s rejuvenated Golden Square Mile neighbourhood, Le Mount Stephen has long been an address associated with luxury. Originally built in the 1880s, the opulent private residence of Scottish native George Stephen, the first president and financier of the Canadian Pacific Railway, opened initially in 1926 as a private men’s-only club, continuing as a social club until 2011. Tidan Hospitality Group purchased the somewhat derelict structure and then lovingly oversaw the extensive renovation.
Le Mount Stephen re-opened her doors May 1st, 2017, after completing an extensive $20-million renovation, inviting over 1000 lucky guests to take a step back in time and relish the restored foyer, grand interiors, and nostalgic accents, offering a great testimonial of a by-gone era of paternal heritage.
A mix of history and high-tech
Recognized as one of only three hotels in Canada by Leading Hotels of the World, Le Mount Stephen truly is a gift to the city and residents of Montreal. Tall ceilings, gold finishes, and period furnishings command a warm respect of a former era of privilege, the main foyer doubling as a gallery of all sorts of vintage luxury, including a brooding grandfather clock, carved from a single piece of ancient mahogany.
Great attention to detail with a forward-thinking nod to history and preservation make the principal Stephen mansion a glorious entrance and staging area for architects Lemay‘s modern and sleek addition of 69 contemporary rooms and 21 suites, designed to appeal to a trendy, modern and sophisticated clientele. Clefs d’Or concierge, valet parking, a fitness area and an indulgent, two-story spa, MBIOSPA Prestige, certainly up the luxe quotient.
Technology and state-of-the-art comfort are the focus here, the guest rooms fully computerized, perhaps overly so. Some may feel intimidated by all the technology, but with the assistance of knowledgeable and engaging staff, guests are easily walked through the numerous pre-set room options that all make for a luxurious experience with a simple click of a button, including:
- Morning, day and night time blinds and drapery settings
- Automatic flushing bidets with heated seats and self-drying options
- A multicoloured chronotherapy lit relaxing rain shower ceiling
White on white predominates the modern addition, situated behind the original Stephen Mansion with Carrara marble finishes shining in the new main lobby and public spaces.
Gregory George ‘In Residence’
The foyer is also home to a bustling bar and restaurant, fittingly named Bar George, and Le Mount Stephen has wisely placed their food and beverage offerings in the competent hands of Chefs Anthony Walsh, Kevin Ramaswamy and Amanda Ray of Toronto‘s Oliver & Bonicini fame, making drinks and dinner here is a must. Event and in-room dining are also available.
I have always loved being referred to as Mr George during my hotel stays. A small but important attention to detail that is paramount in the luxury hotel business. It is a clear sign of a property’s (and their staff’s) commitment to excellence and their guests’ well being.
And Le Mount Stephen covers all the bases here. From my first email correspondence with Marie-Therese, the Hotel’s Reservation Manager, further personal touch points with the Hotel’s General Manager, to my arrival cab greeting and check-in and out, Le Mount Stephen excels at providing an excellent guest experience. Include a very knowledgeable and friendly Bar George staff, and your attentive experience is complete.
A luxurious legacy indeed.
Riley Recommends: For reviews, rates, and reservations, check out our preferred accommodation partner at Le Mount Stephen.
Contributor Gregory George is a world traveler, writer and co-founder / Editor-in-Chief of the www.followsummer.com travel site. You can follow Gregory’s travel inspirations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.