The St.Paul was a mixed experience for us. From the moment we arrived at the front doors we were staggered by how beautiful the building was. Built in 1906 and maintaining all the outward appearance and detail of that age, it is a breathtaking appearance. Inside we were greeted warmly by staff who spoke flawlessly in English or French, and offered immediate and pleasant assistance. The interior design was almost as impressive as the exterior, painting a stark contrast of modern design with the classic outward appearance of the building. The room (ours was a Superior Queen, most are) was generously sized with large bright windows, and the room was ready with classical music playing softly in the background. So you're wondering, what's the bad part?
Well, the bed and pillows in our room were entirely uncomfortable. Neither myself or my wife were able to get a decent night's sleep on the bed as it was hard as a rock, and the pillows were similarly made of what seemed to be R40 insulation. It's difficult to down-rate such a beautiful place, perhaps it was just 'our' room - it was after all an 'ice' theme. Each floor has a theme incorporating elements of the Earth, so some floors are 'ice' that feature blue lighting outside the rooms and the interior décor is inspired by light glassy surfaces and cool colours. There are also 'fire' rooms, and I believe there might be Earth too.
The included continental breakfast was delicious, offering 5 types of fresh bread, 4 types of fresh fruit (Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Honeydew and Pineapple), fresh or packaged yogurt, a selection of croissants or chocolate-chip danishes, and 3 types of delicious cheese. The St.Paul is also in an excellent location relative to old downtown Montreal, close to lots of good restaurants and attractions. We ate near the hotel most evenings (Indian place around the corner is brilliant, as is Holder), and took the metro up to the Jean Talon market. Staff was very friendly, accommodating all of our requests effortlessly for maps and information.
One thing, because its an old building the rooms seem to have an older drainage system - the bathroom has an open drain in the center. Part way through our stay our room started to smell like sewer. My wife has apparently seen this before and just poured several litres of water down the drain and the smell disappeared, so no biggie. This is after all a classic building - if you want the style, you have to live with some of the drawbacks of older architecture.
Aside from our uncomfortable bed the stay was awesome. Perhaps if we had complained like some travelers love to do we could have been moved or even 'promoted' to a better room. We have traveled many times staying in just hostels so we weren't about to criticize and just made do. If you do have problems with the comfort of the bed I'm sure the staff would happily change your room, so overall I'd give the St.Paul a great review.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled in an original Beaux-Arts building in the historic quarter of Old Montreal, the St Paul opened in 2001 as Canada’s first ever boutique hotel. The 119-room property, designed by Montreal-based design firm Borrallo Interiors offers a timeless blend of past and present, and an innovative design that maintains the integrity of the building’s original architecture. Bold juxtapositions of color and texture heighten the senses and transport guests on a visual journey throughout their stay. Masculine elements like straight cuts and strong lines collide with feminine expressions found in the fashion-inspired fabrics to create a soothing paradox ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- St Paul Hotel