WHERE TO STAY: ALT+ HOTEL QUARTIER DIX30
We all know the city of Montreal has its own urban charm and trendy flair. As a ville that separates itself from the rest of the mega-cities across Canada, it remains unique in urban sprawl and architecture, with a stylistic touch of French heritage. Coming from someone who has both lived there and explores this destination as a business tourist, it's next to impossible to go wrong when it comes to a hotel or sweet spot to hang your hat for a few days.
This time around I opted for the Alt+ Hotel in Brossard, located on Montreal’s South Shore, 15-minutes from the downtown core. The Alt+ is perfectly positioned within the DIX 30 commercial and tourism space, where you can find renowned shops like Williams-Sonoma, Urban Outfitters, and Apple, to name a few. As a car enthusiast, I was surprised to see that a Porsche retail shop on the main strip-- love it! While the DIX30 district isn’t the bustling intersection of McGill College and St. Catherine, if you like to drive, it's worth exploring as the city’s roadways feel more like European raceways.
What separates the Alt+ Hotel from its sibling properties is that at this hotel, the 168 studio-style rooms offer an assortment of extras such as a modular desk slash dining table, an open wardrobe for expedient unpacking, as well as a kitchenette for those who want to dine in. And if you’re a business traveler or just lead a healthy lifestyle, you can imagine how handy these items are. It's particularly well-suited for longer stays. And the decor is not repeated, where's the other Alt Hotels, from East to West, have very familiar elements and furniture. The Alt+ has a touch that will make your stay feel like a home away from home.
My room, a Studio+ was located on a corner and fitted with full-size windows, making it bright, spacious, and certainly felt like a very reasonable apartment or loft and with functionality-- the perfect pied-à-terre.
While the room options of Studio, Studio+, and 2-piece rooms are all very similar with a few slight exceptions, the Double Studio room sets itself apart as the largest space available -able to comfortably accommodate up to 4 adults and 1 child, offers two Queen beds and a bathroom which includes a bathtub as a bonus to the shower.
If you’re looking to relax and grab a few cocktails, hit Bar Les Cousins. It’s got a great atmosphere for sipping spirits, syrups, tonics and bitters made of local ingredients. Every drink is carefully crafted setting Les Cousins apart for other nearby speakeasies. You also find well-selected local beers and wines.
It was designed by acclaimed Quebec design firm Atelier Zébulon Perron. It's vintage with a mild contemporary tone. During the day it is perfectly inviting with a natural coolness and lighting while at night, it affords suave intimacy. Staff is perfectly friendly and in their element, ready to help you unwind for a happy hour or two. Open 7 days a week, it doesn’t hurt to stop by, especially if you've received a complimentary drink ticket from the house.
While you cannot dine at Bar Les Cousins, it’s not a terrible thing. Brasserie T by Toqué! just opened at the end of January, where hotel guests and locals can enjoy a meal by renowned Chef Normand Laprise. It’s Adjacent to the hotel and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Sourcing “local” is a big part of the Alt properties owned by Groupe Germain Hotels. In each city, local collaborations are what make the hotels unique to the region, inclusive, and innovative. While plenty of Quebec collaborators are involved in various aspects of Alt+ Hotel, one of my faves partnerships is a clothing brand that I have collaborated with in the past, Frank and Oak. The uniforms worn by employees are supplied by the Montreal retailer which keep staff looking funky-fresh and classic, every season of the year.
For a stylish home away from home, The Alt+ Hotel is a fine choice. Rooms start at $174 per night and the customer service is excellent. For more information, visit: https://www.althotels.com