Design shines at the Four Seasons
The Four Seasons Hôtel Montréal is a ground-breaking beacon on the local hotel design scene, with its glossy-black block exterior, its fourth floor reception hall, its direct access to a Montréal institution – Holt Renfrew Ogilvy – and its stunning restaurant, Marcus, home to the world-renowned cuisine of chef Marcus Samuelsson. We took some time to tour the Four Season’s glittering food-and-drink spaces with their designer, Montréal’s own Zébulon Perron.
Build it and they will come
“The intention is for this to become the IT spot downtown,” says Perron about Marcus. This isn’t his firm’s first walk in the park – it has become an expert at managing the food-and-drink offerings of hotels, having designed Henri Brasserie Française at Hotel Birks Montreal and various projects for the Groupe Germain Hôtels, including the flagship Hôtel Le Germain Montréal, currently undergoing a complete makeover.
Beyond hotels, Atelier Zébulon Perron has signed many of Montréal’s most renowned and stylish places to have a good time – including Montréal Plaza Restaurant, Le Royal, Bar Furco, Buvette Chez Simone, Foodchain, Impasto and many more. “I think we were selected by the Four Seasons because of our ability to create restaurants and lounges that attract crowds,” says Perron. “It’s become very important for hotel groups now to activate their food and drink spaces, so that they teem with life and bring people in. I don’t doubt that will happen with Marcus.”
Luxurious materials for a lush experience
Located right off the hotel’s fourth-floor lobby area, with direct access to the luxury shopping plaza Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, both the Marcus Restaurant + Terrace and the Marcus Lounge + Bar are poised to be the next big happening places in the Golden Square Mile. In order to give each space its distinct atmosphere, Perron and his team used oodles of brass – both high-polished and oxidized – as well as velvet, rich woods and marbles. “There is LOTS of marble,” Perron chuckles.
Let the day drinking begin!
On the lounge side, the colours start pale – creams, lavenders, teals and greys galore – in what Perron calls the “day lounge,” a light and airy space where you might take a break after shopping, meet a friend who’s staying at the hotel, or work for a while on your laptop while sipping something tasty. The endless curvy, rushed velvet banquette is a feat of engineering because it has – no pun intended – no feet. It’s anchored in the walls and looks like it’s floating. The sensual shapes continue with the custom-made ivory terrazzo furniture, some of which includes planters filled with tropical greens. The final touch of shine comes courtesy of the impressive crystal wall that acts as window dressing – it was shipped from Australia and shines to the gods.
Into the night
The “night lounge,” which gives onto the De Maisonneuve Boulevard side of the hotel, is dressed in darker, sexier hues featuring forest green, mauves and charcoals, and is also elevated by two steps to make the ceiling lower. “We wanted to create a more intimate experience,” explains Perron. The mirrored surfaces contrast with the velvet seating and the matte wall wallpapered with a treated photograph of trees taken on Mount Royal. There’s a deejay booth and a statement wall-recess perfect for Instagram – but nothing beats the photo op in the bathrooms, where mirrors create a Droste effect. You know, when a picture appears within a picture within a picture? Your feed is guaranteed to light up.
Par ici, la brasserie
The final, grandest section of the Four Seasons Montréal’s food and drink offering is the Marcus Restaurant + Terrace, where chef Marcus Samuelsson’s cuisine will shine particularly bright. The aesthetic of this 200-seat space is full of fun touches and creative lighting solutions – trademarks of Atelier Zébulon Perron – alongside classic brasserie design elements, with a twist.
For example, the black-and-white tile floor is traditional bistro, but instead of a checkerboard it’s a syncopated tile pattern. The classic cane chairs you’d see in a French brasserie here have been elevated with cushy velvet seats. The banquettes are beautiful, high-backed and semi-circular, making great nooks for intimate discussions. The overall feel of this space is celebratory, and the party can happen inside or out – “the terrace is four-season adapted, heated in winter and air conditioned in summer,” explains Perron. “The windows can be completely removed, without vertical segments, and stored behind the mirrors.”
All the ingredients are in place for this to become the neighbourhood’s new hot spot, for both locals and guests, anytime of year.
Isa Tousignant, blogger
Isa Tousignant is an arts and lifestyle writer based out of Parc Ex. When she isn't dragging her one-eyed pug around the neighbourhood, she's busy scoping out art shows, shopping for vintage finds, hiking urban trails or designing jewelry for her brand Gré.