Given the amount of travelling I do, it is very fortunate that I just love hotels! I suspect it’s a combination of the promise of breakfast in bed, not having to tidy up after myself (laziness), the lure of a freshly made bed every single day (again, with no effort on my part) and the excitement of exploring all the little packets in a new bathroom (I’m a girl of simple pleasures). And I’m not fussy – I’m equally happy in a big, glitzy hotel or a small and charming little boutique hotel right in the middle of the action. I was lucky to get a little of each during my last trip to Canada. All of these Canadian hotels are perfectly situated, all top quality, but each with an individual style – and that’s what makes for a memorable holiday.
The Auberge Bonaparte, in Montreal is a small, old hotel right in the heart of Old Montreal. It is housed in an historic old stone building and each of the 30 rooms are dressed with elegance, refinement and a touch of Louis-Phillipe style – très French. The staff are remarkably warm and friendly and the on-site restaurant offers exceptional cuisine, punching well above it’s weight for such a small establishment. Just take a step outside the door of Auberge Bonaparte and you will find yourself in the old cobbled streets of this historical district, within easy walking distance of numerous Montreal attractions and some of the best restaurants anywhere.
The Hotel des Coutellier in Old Quebec city was another little boutique hotel which won my heart. Again, just a step out the door puts you in the heart of this very European city and, happily for me, the farmers market was directly across the road. Featuring a huge bed, comfy chairs and a quiet so complete that it was easy to forget there were other people there (I’m assuming this, I never saw or heard them), what I really loved was a couple of special features in the bathroom.
One was the amazingly generous shower head, much appreciated by this fuzzy-haired traveller on hair washing day for. There’s nothing I hate more than running around in circles under rubbish shower roses, trying to get wet. The other was breathtaking in it’s simplicity – a packet of good quality makeup removing wipes in the bathroom amenities kit. Those and a magnified mirror are a great way to make a girl happy. Why don’t more hotels make better efforts to cater for women travellers?
My favourite hotel in Vancouver has always been the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel, but on my last trip I moved a little closer to the water and stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. I love the Fairmont chain – largely for the fact that they always get customer service so very right. The Waterfront was no exception to that rule. The hotel is situated directly opposite the cruise ship terminal and has glorious views out across the Burrard Inlet to the mountains beyond. It is just still just a short walk from the centre of the city, boasts beautifully renovated rooms and maintains a strong focus on sustainability with electric vehicle charging stations, a rooftop garden with beehives and is now almost at a point of zero waste.
I was lucky enough to score a large corner room with a full bathroom, with a bath. By the time I got back to Vancouver I was at the tail end of a very busy trip and wasted no time in taking advantage of the tub. But if I never get back to Vancouver in this lifetime (and I really hope that is not the case) I will die happy, having had the opportunity to awake to this stunning view. Now that is truly memorable.
While in Canada, Lambs’ Ears and Honey was a guest of the Canadian Tourism Commission .