By Linda Domingo and Gina Samarotto
Experience “la bonne vie” (the good life) in Montreal with the help of Loews Hôtel Vogue, located in the heart of the city. Offering elegant accommodations with French flair, the hotel’s proximity to world-class shopping, acclaimed restaurants and top museums makes it the perfect home base for every type of traveler.
“Montreal is a very multicultural, very lively city,” says Cynthia Larose, concierge at Loews Hôtel Vogue. “We are French-speaking and that French influence makes us different. It really puts us apart from other Canadian destinations. You can see our French roots in the city’s architecture, taste it in our food. You can feel the wonderful European flair everywhere in the city.” Larose gives us her suggestions for making the most of any trip to this culturally rich destination.
Eat: As a city with one of the highest numbers of restaurants per capita in North America, Montreal offers something for everyone, from deli-style smoked meats at Schwartz’s to upscale dining at Europea, just a two-minute walk from the hotel. Larose sends guests there for heavenly dishes like tagliatelle, created with lemony calamari, poached quail egg, squid ink and garlic butter croutons. “Europea is one of the first farm-to-table restaurants in Montreal,” she says. “Both locals and visitors love it.”
Shop: High-fashion fresh from the runway, distinctive boutiques, notable gifts and unique accessories make La Maison Ogilvy any shopping enthusiast’s dream come true. Just steps from the hotel’s main lobby, the high-end department store showcases the latest wearable offerings from Burberry to Vince, elegant home goods, and luxury services that include a hair salon, personal shopping, made-to-measure couture and an in-house bridal shop.
For even more shopping, art galleries and designer boutiques line St. Paul Street in Old Montreal. The area is also a feast for the eyes with its 19th century architecture. The famous Marché Bonsecours also makes its home on the street; the building hosts galleries, restaurants and 15 boutiques which sell Quebec-made goods including jewelry and furniture.
Play: Feeling the need for speed? The Canadian Grand Prix has been a part of the Formula One World Championship since 1967. This year, the event will be held June 5-7 on Notre Dame Island at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, a venue that also hosts biking, in-line skating and jogging during the spring and summer months.
If you prefer something more melodious than the sound of revving engines, the 36th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal will run from June 26 to July 5 and features both free and ticketed events at locations around the city.