Great location, outdated design: 4 things to know about the InterContinental Montreal
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Earlier this year, I took a quick trip to Canada to cover the country’s reopening to fully vaccinated Americans.
My trip took me to Toronto and Montreal, the latter of which is one of my favorite cities in the world. I only had 24-hours in Montreal and wanted to make the most of my time in the city, so picking a centrally-located hotel was key to making the most of my short trip.
I asked other Montreal-loving TPG staffers about their favorite hotels in the city, and one stood out: the InterContinental Montreal. While it wasn’t anyone’s favorite per se, I was consistently told it was a great hotel with a perfect location for such a short visit. After checking nightly rates, I booked it immediately.
Overall, I was impressed with the one-night stay — especially for the price. Let’s take a look at five things you should know about InterContinental Montreal if you’re considering a visit.
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Rates are very reasonable
Paid rates at the InterContinetal Montreal are very reasonable for a four-star property in downtown Montreal. I paid $171.78 USD after taxes and fees for my midweek stay in August, which is an excellent deal for this caliber of hotel given its location.
You’ll find similar pricing through the end of the year. Prices are a bit over $200 per night on many dates in October, but rates start to settle back down in November. For example, this weekend stay in November costs just $177.52 after taxes and currency conversion.
I paid with my Citi Premier® Card to avoid foreign transaction fees and earn 3 Citi ThankYou points per dollar for hotel bookings. Make sure to pay for your stay with a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees as mine was billed in Canadian dollars.
You can use your IHG Rewards points to book this hotel too. That same November weekend night costs 26,000 IHG Rewards points per night. This is comparable to other IHG properties in the area, like the Holiday Inn Montreal Centreville Downtown and Holiday Inn & Suites Montreal Centreville Ouest. Of course, the InterContinental should provide a more luxurious experience.
Other downtown Montreal hotels can be booked relatively cheaply, too, but I think the price-to-quality of this hotel is in a great sweet spot. You’re getting the excellent location of downtown Montreal and four-star service for your money or points.
A perfect location for a first visit
Speaking of location, it’s hard to beat the InterContinental Montreal.
You’re located in between downtown Montreal and Old Montreal, which is perfect for first-timers. You can quickly walk from the skyscraper-filled downtown district to the European-like streets of Old Montreal, where you’ll find much of the city’s tourist attractions. Some must-sees include Montreal City Hall, Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and the National Museum of Archaeology and History.
There are endless cafes, restaurants and bars within walking distance of the hotel, too — a plus given Montreal is one of North America’s top food cities. If you’re looking for a caffeine boost at the start of the day, La Finca Coffee & Office is right down the block, which is an excellent place to grab a coffee and work from your laptop. Some dinner options include Gibbys for steaks and BARROCO for European food.
Public transit is easy, too. The hotel is located just two blocks away from the Square Victoria-OACI metro station. Here, you can jump on the Orange Line for quick travel all around Montreal. This is particularly useful given an Uber driver shortage is impacting Montreal, making cars harder to find and more expensive during peak times.
One other cool thing to note: if you’re driving up to Montreal on an electric car road trip, there’s on-street charging right down the block from the hotel.
Amenities are plentiful and service is great
While many of the hotel’s amenities were closed during my visit, they may have since reopened due to a changing COVID-19 protocols. The hotel’s website doesn’t list any current closures.
The InterContinental Montreal has a huge health club with an indoor salt-water lap pool, dry sauna and even on-site personal trainers and massage therapists. You’ll also find an assortment of gym equipment to ensure you don’t miss a workout day during your trip to Montreal.
The hotel also features an InterContinental Club that serves breakfast in the morning and drinks and snacks at night. You can access the club if you book or are upgraded to a club-level room. Likewise, those with invite-only InterContintal Royal Ambassador status receive complimentary access on all stays.
There’s also an on-site restaurant that serves breakfast as well as a bar. I didn’t have the chance to check either out during my stay, but the bar looked atmospheric and like a great place for InterContinental Ambassador members to use their $20 dining credit.
Further, the staff is outstanding and made sure I had everything I needed during my stay. The check-in process was fast despite it being one of the first days Americans were allowed back into Canada. It was like any pre-pandemic stay, which I much appreciated.
The rooms need a refresh ASAP
The InterContinental Montreal has solid rooms for the price, but they aren’t for everyone.
Rooms are decorated in a very classic InterContinental way. The rooms are stylish for the time they were designed, with classic luxury finishes. My standard king room was akin to how I imagine a cigar lounge, with dark wooden accents and red carpet. That said, the furnishings were starting to show their age.
There’s a large desk, comfortable bed and the bathroom was spacious with a separate shower and bathtub. It was immaculately clean, but the green finishes in the bathroom are truly a design choice of decades past.
Some parts of the room are genuinely out of date, too. The in-room TVs are thick with a relatively small screen. Further, the iPod dock on the nightstand has a 30-pin dock connector. Apple hasn’t used this connector in new devices since 2012, nearly 10 years ago.
I’d like to see this hotel take a more modern approach to the luxury hotel the next time it renovates. As it stands, the design is extremely outdated, which is fine if you’re using the room as a nightly crash pad after a long day of exploring Montreal. But, it isn’t the most inspiring place, especially for younger travelers.
This limits the InterContinental Montreal in how much it can reasonably charge for a hotel room. If it was twice the nightly rate, I wouldn’t even consider it. But given the low rate and great location, the dated rooms can be overlooked given they’re spotlessly clean and large enough for most travelers.
While the InterContinental Montreal might not be the most luxurious hotel in Montreal, it’s an excellent value. The location is perfect to explore both the old and new parts of the city and the hotel is filled with great amenities. Its only major downfall is the dated rooms — they’re large and clean, but starting to show their age.
I have no qualms about recommending the property to anyone looking for a low-cost stay in the center of downtown Montreal. Look out for rates under $200 per night after tax — you shouldn’t have an issue finding these rates in the winter months, even on the weekends.
Feature photo by Andrew Kunesh/The Points Guy.
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