From my first glimpse at its cobble-stone streets, old-world architecture, and historic buildings, I was smitten with Old Montreal. Driving down rue St. Sulpice, Notre Dame Basilica appeared before me with its magnificent façade. Harkening to worshippers for almost 200 years it called to me, too. Our hotel, Le Saint-Sulpice, stood directly behind the cathedral. My heart quickened when I realized that I would be staying in the center of this magnificent city’s birthplace. When I entered the hotel, I became even more elated—Le Saint-Sulpice displays all the charm of Montreal with the design, comfort, and splendor of a 21st century high-end hotel. It is a luxury retreat within the metropolis.
As I entered the hotel, I was immediately impressed by its design—mosaic tiles in the entry way proclaimed “Le Saint-Sulpice.” My eyes swept across its spacious lobby tastefully decorated with comfortable seating, tables, and a library case next to the fireplace. I could see all the way to an outdoor terrace where guests of the hotel’s restaurant, Sinclair, could dine or unwind from a day of sight-seeing. We were warmly greeted by the staff. Their attentive and accommodating demeanor would become their hallmark.
The hotel features all suites; ours was a deluxe. As I entered the foyer of our accommodations, I was impressed by its elegant interior-design and spaciousness. My husband and I agreed that there was room enough to easily call our suite home. I set my purse down on the hallway bench and surveyed my new residence. The bathroom held an art-glass sink, large soaking tub, and equally roomy shower. With its L’Occitane products, I was in heaven! I veered off the hallway into our bedroom, which had a nice-sized vanity for my primping, two closets, and a bureau. I immediately laid down on the bed; it felt like lying on a cloud. The room’s smoky blue paint was calming and would invite sweet dreams later that night. I couldn’t wait to see what else was in store, so I opened the French doors onto the living room—it did not disappoint. The taupe and cream furniture with red, white, and black accents were très chic. Opening the picture-window doors, I was just in time to hear the bells of Notre Dame ringing, a sweet sound to an otherwise quiet suite. It was summer so I didn’t turn on our fireplace, but I imagined how cozy it would be during a winter holiday stay. The rooms were beautifully appointed with excellent finishes and tasteful décor. A skilled interior designer must have decorated this masterpiece, because the attention to detail was exceptional—stylish wallpaper in the dining area, espresso-colored wood furniture, sleek kitchenette. The little touches-robes, umbrella, teapot, Nespresso machine-showed me that Le Saint-Sulpice cares about its guests’ comfort; their attention to our needs and preferences put the hotel’s staff above the rest. Front-desk employees greeted us in the manner that we preferred, “Bonjour” for me and “Hi” for my husband. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome.
We stayed for three nights and I was sad to leave; I had grown quite attached to Le Saint-Sulpice. I knew that I would miss leaving the curtains open at night so the morning light would blush the bedroom through the frosted-glass doors. In such a short time, I had grown fond of simple pleasures like eating decadent chocolate confections off of china from our kitchenette (the space was so well-appointed that I could have cooked a meal—had I been so inclined, which I was not). I would pine for my little rituals. To contemplate my day, every morning I would walk across the lane through an ivy-covered gate that unveiled a manicured little park. Each evening, I would wander next door to the pink begonia-filled courtyard of Notre Dame and sit upon one of their benches thinking about the day’s adventures. As a historian, I record memories; perhaps this is why I felt so connected to the hotel. Le Saint-Sulpice encourages its guests to make and share their own memories. For inspiration, a collection of short stories by noted authors who have stayed at the hotel, Suite Stories, is located on the nightstand in every room.
I was first drawn to Le Saint-Sulpice because of its location on a site of prominence. The hotel respects their stately heritage; although the building is newer, they took care to blend its architecture with historical surroundings. In impressive surroundings, I could day-dream about the important people who had lived, worked, and worshipped on this area. Sir Charles Le Moyne and Sir Jacques Le Ber, prosperous businessmen, founding fathers, brothers-in-law and French nobility, built terraced homes on the land where the hotel now resides. In the 17th century, with Europeans clamoring for hats and other fashions made with fur, both men made substantial financial gains from the fur trade which dominated Montreal’s economy. Nearby to their homes was the Seminary of St. Sulpice (still standing) and the first Notre Dame cathedral. When Sulpicians arrived in the 1650s, they established a parish and played a large role in the creation of Montreal.
History buffs will be enthralled with the area’s rich past. Being surrounded by history while luxuriating in my contemporary suite at Le Saint-Sulpice was nirvana for me. I greatly enjoyed the grand accommodations, as well as the hotel’s location near delicious eateries and cool galleries. It will be my preferred Montreal hotel and I hope to return soon to my Montreal home. When looking for hotels in Montreal, I encourage other travelers to roam there, too.
Disclosure: We were the guests of Le Saint-Sulpice for one night, however, we enjoyed our suite so much that we paid for two additional nights. All views and opinions expressed in this blog are always my own.