Big B and I were supposed to have a romantic weekend in Montreal this past summer. Then I broke my ankle a week before we were scheduled to arrive, so that put an end to that. To salvage the trip and use the IHG Rewards Points that were so generously provided to me for the earlier stay, we opted for a family trip to the second-largest primarily French-speaking city in the world instead — using the InterContinental Montreal as our home base.
You’ll be able to read all of my suggestions for a Montreal itinerary with kids over at SavvyMom.ca soon. But for now, read my InterContinental Montreal review here and let me know if you have any questions about a visit to what is arguably the most Anglophone-friendly city La Belle Province.
When you book a hotel in a city you don’t know well and find out it’s a block away from a subway stop and an easy walk to lots of restaurants and the newest attraction, it feels like a huge score. And that’s exactly what happened when we finally arrived at the InterContinental Montreal after our five-hour-plus road trip. We dropped our bags, put on our walking shoes and it took us only about 10 minutes to reach the Old Port of Montreal, where we found the new Observation Wheel (La Grande roue de Montréal) and a number of restaurant options.
The InterContinental Montreal is also only a couple of streets over from the city’s famed St. Catherine St. with heaps of shops.
Our room — a family suite — was perfect for us. It had a separate bedroom with a king bed, a good-sized washroom and a living space with a desk, TV and a sofa bed. The decor was nice; pretty traditional and, overall, cast a darker style than you’d see at a something like the InterContinental Toronto Centre (one of my favourite hotels). It was probably closer to the InterContinental Yorkville in terms of interiors.
I know sometimes my family gets special treatment when we visit a hotel. Front desk staff have been told ahead of time that an “influencer” is coming and they tend to go above and beyond in terms of service. But it’s always very telling to me when we’re assisted by staff who have no idea who we are, other than hotel guests. On our first morning, we were standing in the lobby looking at a subway map and our kids were begging to be fed, a nice man came over and asked if he could help. He taught us how to read the Montreal subway map and also showed us where the closest stop was to the hotel in addition to pointing out which stop we needed for our breakfast joint. He was awesome and it’s kindnesses and customer service like this that makes you remember a place fondly.
Super super super clean. And plenty of towels and face cloths (which, when lacking, is a big pet peeve of mine! We are a family of four — we need more than two bath towels!). In fact, the towels were such a good size that we borrowed a couple to take swimming. (Fear not; we returned them.) Housekeeping continued to be excellent throughout our stay and I was especially pleased that no one folded the sofa bed back up during our stay…you’ll read why in a moment.
On the swimming front, there is a pool at the InterContinental Montreal but unfortunately I can’t tell you anything about it because we opted to swim at Olympic Park instead.
We are IHG Rewards Club members (you can sign up here, for free), so we were able to take advantage of free WiFi throughout the hotel and our room with a password provided to us during check-in.
One thing I always like with the InterContinental is the opportunity to make requests regarding my room ahead of time. Do I want to be on a low floor? Near or far from the elevators? Do I need an early check-in? And will I require extra pillows? That last one is particularly important to me because, as Big B will tell you, I sleep amidst a Pillow Kingdom. I made my requests during the online reservation process and everything was perfect upon arrival.
On the pillow front, this is a good time to mention how exceedingly comfortable they and the rest of the bedding was. Had two beautiful nights of restful sleep.
Regrettably, we didn’t have time to visit the onsite restaurants or absinthe bar. The latter, I suspect, would have been a really fun addition to our romantic stay had we made it.
When the overnight self-parking option is $25 and the valet is only $10 more, we always choose valet. It’s so much easier, especially with the kids, and I always find it a better value once you factor in your last day. After checking out in the morning, we still had a full day ahead of us in Montreal and we were simply able to leave the car there the whole time and it was delivered to us when we finally returned after dinner. Self-parking charges are usually daily and then nightly, so this made a lot more sense for us.
We found the elevators consistently fast during our stay, which is particularly useful when your kid decides in the lobby that she absolutely must pee that very second and may only be able to hold it for precisely seven more seconds.
A really wonderful stay all said and done and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again if we returned to Montreal.
The sofa bed in the family suite was not intuitive when going from sofa to bed. It took us a solid 15 minutes to figure out how to unfurl the thing. The front desk rep did ask us to call when we were ready to have it made into a bed, but we just like to be a bit more self-sufficient. We were not exactly the picture of self-sufficient that night.
Now, I didn’t visit personally as I mentioned but I’ve read the hotel pool is more like a lap pool and kept on the cool side — ideal for doing laps, but perhaps not for families with little kids who are just looking to jump, splash and play.
For some reason, the temperature between the two rooms was always a bit different and I could never match them up. Not to say we were too warm while the kids were too cold or anything, but there was a marked difference when you’d leave our room to go check on the kids.
The bathroom decor was nothing special, though I did like that the tub and shower were separate — always convenient with kids who may want to bathe while a parent is showering.
DISCLAIMER: It’s important for you to know that IHG is a client of the PR firm where I work part-time, and I am in no way encouraged to choose or favour IHG brands. I genuinely love staying at the InterContinental hotel chain — and have done so on my own dime — and all opinions and recommendations are my own.