Queen Elizabeth Reigns Again in Montreal
Following several years of planning and 12 months of work, Fairmont’ s Queen Elizabeth Hotel officially reopened this past summer with a completely new look.
The hotel’s owner, Ivanhoé Cambridge, had closed the property for a year while a major transformation was completed. Guests can now enjoy a totally renewed hotel experience, The new guestrooms are now accessible, along with all of the common areas, the Fairmont Gold lounge, the new CoLab 3 business campus and terrace on the third floor, Suite 1742 (site of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s iconic Bed-In for Peace), as well as the spa.
The other new “Queen E” experiences being introduced include the Agora, Rosélys restaurant, Kréma café, and Nacarat bar, and the Artisans market. The Fairmont Gold experience was also reinvented. Guests can now enjoy an exclusive lounge on the 21st floor offering unique views of the city. This space is designed as a succession of rooms, each with its own ambience. The three upper floors of the hotel offer luxurious Fairmont Gold rooms and suites with exclusive and personalized services.
Since opening its doors on April 15, 1958, the largest hotel in the city has a special place in the heart of Montrealers and visitors from around the world. At the time, the sleek 21-storey convention hotel was hailed as a masterpiece of innovation. Its construction above Central Station called for the most audacious techniques to eliminate the vibrations due to trains passing underneath. In 1961, the hotel was connected to Place Ville Marie by a corridor below street level that launched the first link to the Underground City.
The objective of the hotel’s transformation in 2017 was precisely to make the establishment even more welcoming and to make it an important contributor to the social life of the Montreal community. Its new design reflects its commitment to continually renew itself and offer the highest standards of luxury hotels.
Lennon and Ono’s Bed-In For Peace, Suite 1742
In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their famous Bed-in for Peace during which the ex-Beatles composed and recorded “Give Peace a Chance“, a song that quickly became a worldwide peace anthem. The hotel’s newly redesigned John Lennon & Yoko Ono Suite, where the legendary couple held their iconic Bed-In for Peace in 1969. Preserving the historical character of Suite 1742, which John and Yoko took over for their second bed-in in 1969, was a key goal of the hotel’s recent transformation. Rather than recreate the hotel’s period décor, the designer draws inspiration from places the couple had lived in or visited, such as London, New York, Tokyo and New Delhi.
Reproductions of the famous handwritten Hair Peace and Bed Peace cutouts adorn the window once again, while the words of the song Give Peace a Chance, recorded by John and Yoko in Suite 1742, are inscribed repeatedly on the walls, after the fashion of a war memorial—with, in this case, a wish for peace in lieu of the names of fallen soldiers.
An immersive art experience One of the distinctive features of the John and Yoko Suite is the incorporation of artworks, interactive pieces and multimedia installations designed and produced by MASSIVart. They include an archival cabinet containing photos, videos and historical items, among them a Give Peace a Chance vinyl record. Visitors will be able to don virtual-reality headsets placed on the nightstands on either side of the bed for an exclusive immersive experience—allowing them, among other things, to sense the unique energy of the bed-in from the point of view of John or Yoko.
The Moment Spa
The Moment Spa of the Queen Elizabeth allows you to suspend time during a total relaxation of the body and soul. With a highly-skilled team and a zen atmosphere, our guests will enjoy a moment of serenity and relief. The spa offers eight treatment rooms as well as a manicure and pedicure area.
Rosélys restaurant, directly on Mansfield Street, is designed to offer a modern, chic and accessible bistro experience. It features market cuisine, with varied menu items according to the time of day and the season. Blending Parisian elegance and English style, Rosélys is the perfect meeting place for business luncheons, afternoon tea, dinner amongst friends, and Sunday brunch. Chef Maxime Delmont prepares a menu based on fresh, superior-quality ingredients, and the bar area has fine vintage wines available by the glass, a raw bar, and select counter seating beside the open-plan kitchen.
Nacarat will delight cocktail aficionados, offering a discerning menu and a theatrical experience, thanks to interior décor inspired by the Glam Rock era. The space has been laid out to provide an exceptional view of Montreal’s vibrant street life. Headed by internationally renowned mixologist Nader Chabaane, Nacarat is a cocktail bar experience anchored by multiple stations drawing inspiration from the open kitchen concept. “Liquid cuisine” is an apt description of the creative work of Nacarat’s mixologists, who craft out-off-the-ordinary libations using both traditional and experimental techniques. The menu includes a selection of local craft brews that highlight the Greater Montreal Region’s thriving beer-making industry. The bar also serves an exclusive range of fine spirits from the best distilleries. The stunning interior décor is best described as “Ziggy Stardust meets 21st century modernity.” Nacarat also features an outdoor terrace with room for 20 people. \
Café Kréma serves high-end, homemade hot and cold drinks, with coffee and tea as the star attractions. The café is an inviting space, with its central fireplace, comfy armchairs, and unbeatable view of Montreal’s effervescent downtown. Kréma is the place to be for the best roast coffees from Montreal brûleries and other comforting beverages.
Marché Artisans, the first gourmet market in a Canadian hotel, is an original concept gourmet route that’s sprinkled with discoveries from the latest harvest, with new arrivals coming in fresh from across Montréal and all over the world. Part gourmet supermarket, part restaurant and eat-in counters, this vast 8,000 square-foot culinary space is divided into more than 10 sections where visitors can enjoy local sustainable fare and international high end products. Guests will be guided by gourmet advisors, dedicated foodies with a wealth of knowledge about the products and their origin, as well as tips on how to pair or cook them.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.