Montréal for two: a getaway for couples

Blair Dohey

Blair Dohey is a Canadian writer and blogger who relentlessly tracks down the coolest things to do and see in Montréal and loves discovering amazing restaurants and bars in the city. When he’s not writing about his travels through Montréal, you’ll probably find him sitting at a bar, chatting with friends and laughing at his own jokes.

Montréal shines all year long but there’s something magical about the city in winter. As things begin to reopen and dining in makes a comeback – at last! – we’ve got great ideas for a romantic getaway made for two. You’ll find hotel suggestions plus things to do and places to eat within walking distance so you can plan the perfect city break à deux.

Stay: Marriott Château Champlain

With its unique half-moon windows and superb location, this iconic Montréal hotel had a complete makeover last year and continues to offer luxurious comfort and jaw-dropping views. The redesigned fitness centre lets you work out together in a bright, spacious setting and keep those New Year’s resolutions.

Metro: Bonaventure
 

 

Do: Nestled between downtown and Old Montréal, the Marriott Château Champlain gives you the best of the bustling downtown scene and the romance of the historic district, all in the same day. Go for a little retail therapy in the morning in the boutiques and shopping centres along Sainte-Catherine Street or in the underground pedestrian network. Take some time together to dive into the world of contemporary art at the MAC (in its temporary home at Place Ville Marie). Or stroll down into Old Montréal and check out one of city’s lesser-known gems, the high-tech PHI Centre, with its eclectic program of interactive exhibitions.

 

Eat: Walk over to Marcus for an elegant brunch in the chic Four Seasons Hotel. For lunch, go casual with your choice of local faves at the Cathcart food hall in Place Ville Marie or Time Out Montréal at the Eaton Centre. Feel like dining in for supper? Keep it cosy with an intimate dinner for two at the Château Champlain’s Lloyd restaurant and bar.

 

Stay: Hotel Monville

This stylish, modern hotel located at the crossroads of the entertainment district, Old Montréal and Chinatown is perfect for couples who want to disconnect from their busy schedules, but not from technology. The chic, minimalist design of the rooms is makes it easy to relax, and the free Wi-Fi, MP3 docks and Netflix let you curl up for a movie night or set the mood with your favourite tunes after a day of exploring.

Metro: Place d’Armes
 

 

Do: You don’t have to be in town for a conference to enjoy the colourful design of the Palais de congrès convention centre, just steps from the Monville. Take a couple’s selfie in front of the multicoloured façade, or in the bright magenta “lipstick forest”. The Palais is also home to the OASIS immersion exhibition, featuring three immersive galleries, two dazzling light installations and a lounge area with café and boutique. As evening falls, you’ll definitely want to walk over the Quartier des spectacles for Luminothérapie, an interactive art playground complete with illuminated musical see-saws and other magical installations.
 

Eat: Go for coffee and homemade pastries at La Finca and browse their market for goodies to go. For lunch, discover Peruvian tapas at Tiradito, but be sure to leave room for dinner at Fiorellino, famous for their pizzas, homemade gnocchi and other Italian specialties. Or head over to Chinatown for dim sum at Restaurant Kim Fung. For an afternoon treat, visit the Dragon Beard Candy stall for traditional sweet treats to share.

 

Stay: Hotel Omni Mont-Royal

This four-star hotel located in the Golden Square Mile features an exquisite lobby and a glamorous atmosphere that sets the mood for a romantic stay. The elegantly appointed loft-style rooms offer magnificent views of the city skyline to gaze upon as you sip champagne together after a busy day.

Metro: Peel
 

 

Do: From the Omni, set out on a cultural adventure for two with a visit to the McCord Museum or the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Explore the Golden Square Mile with a walk through the vast McGill University campus or peruse the galleries and boutiques on Sherbrooke Street West. Pop in to Les Cours Mont-Royal to shop local and luxury brands – and visit the Barbie Museum! It's free and it's the largest permanent exhibit of its kind in the world. You'll find celebrity tributes to stars from Beyoncé to the cast of Star Trek. For a breath of fresh air, take an invigorating walk up to Mount Royal for breath-taking views of the city, ice skating on Beaver Lake or just a romantic walk surrounded by nature.
 

Eat: Petit Opus Café in the Omni is a delightful spot for a French-inspired lunch after all that exploring. Nearby on Peel Street, Ferreira Café is one of best restaurants for Portuguese cuisine in the city. The whole area has tons of great food choices, from refined Japanese fare at Restaurant Sho-Dan to fresh roasted coffee at Melk Café for a mid-afternoon tête-à-tête.

 

Stay: Le Saint Sulpice

Le Saint-Sulpice Hôtel is a delightful mix of modern luxury and Old-World charm. The spacious and well-appointed suites feature closed bedrooms, full kitchenettes and charming views of Old Montréal. Some suites even come with an electric fireplace, others with a balcony or terrace, and some offer both! Très romantique.

Metro: Place d’Armes
 

 

Do: The Saint-Sulpice is right next door to the world-famous Notre-Dame Basilica, currently home to AURA, the spectacular multimedia experience designed by Montréal’s own Moment Factory. During the day, explore galleries and specialty boutiques along Saint-Paul Street and continue on to the iconic dome of Marché Bonsecours to check out fashion and jewellery by local designers. Go for a skate date in the Old Port, then snuggle together in a heated cabin on La Grande roue, Canada’s tallest observation wheel. If you're a couple that’s into history and culture, check out Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex.

 

Eat: Coffee lovers will want to check out the ALOHA Espresso Bar and, if you take your java to go, pair it with a delightful dessert from Maison Christian Faure. Lunch or dinner at La Catrina is always a treat. They serve some of the best Mexican food in the city. Un po’ di Più is also a must-try and, of course, there’s the fabulous Italian fare at Bevo Bar + Pizzeria. Their ovens are always fired up and their menu never disappoints.

 

Stay: Hôtel Nelligan

One of Old Montréal’s favourite boutique hotels, the Nelligan sets the stage for a romantic stay with the warmth of stone and brick walls and luxurious beds. The hotel features a spectacular rooftop terrace (that you’ll have to come back to visit in the summer), a cafe and a restaurant.

Metro: Place d’Armes or Square Victoria
 

 

Do: Take in the Imagine Monet exhibit at L’Arsenal for an immersive experience of the impressionist master. As you stroll the streets of the old city, drop in to the very Instagrammable Petit Dep, with its eclectic selection of sweets and other delights. For some deep relaxation, treat yourselves to a massage at the Bota Bota floating spa. (The water circuit is temporarily closed, but you can book individual massages and treatments.) In the evening, go for a romantic walk in Old Montréal and watch the past come to life in the ethereal projections of Cité Memoire.
 

Eat: Brunch at Le Cartet will kick the day off on the right foot. Crew Café, located in a spectacular 1920s bank building, is an absolute must-visit, for the great coffee and snacks as well as for the stunning architecture. Olive + Gourmando is a local favourite for lunch (get a brownie to go!). For dinner, nearby Saint-Paul and McGill streets offer many great options, from fresh sushi and vegan options at Bloom to hearty meals at Méchant Boeuf Bar-Brasserie. If you want to stay close to your home-away-from-home, the NELLI café is open from breakfast to dinner, with menus featuring fresh local ingredients and an impressive wine list.

Blair Dohey

Blair Dohey is a Canadian writer and blogger who relentlessly tracks down the coolest things to do and see in Montréal and loves discovering amazing restaurants and bars in the city. When he’s not writing about his travels through Montréal, you’ll probably find him sitting at a bar, chatting with friends and laughing at his own jokes.

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