Steps from great dining, and within easy walking distance of the downtown shopping district, this elegant European-style hotel housed in the lovingly restored 1870 Merchants Bank building is known for its high level of service, attention to detail, and luxurious surroundings. From the illuminated onyx floor in the jewel box–like spa (in what used to be the vault) to the grand piano and vast wraparound balcony of the penthouse, guests can expect nothing but the best at Le St James. Notice the gleaming brass doors of the elevator, which were bought at auction from the Waldorf Astoria. Curl up in the library and catch up on your reading. Or book a natural skin-care treatment at the spa. Guest rooms shine with marble bathrooms, dark wood detail, sparkling chandeliers, and glowing rich accents of amber, gold, and scarlet.
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Montreal’s Old Town area is a thriving hub of art galleries, restaurants, and fashionable boutiques. Take the opportunity to stock up on Canadian designers like the talented Marie Saint Pierre or browse must-have home decor design work at Zone. Nothing tastes better after a shopping spree than a flute of bubbly, so head to this all-sparkling bar in the Old Town for a glass or two.
Need to Know
Rooms: 17 rooms, 43 suites. From $400. Check-in: 4 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The XO restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner in what used to be the banker’s hall. Chef Julien Robillard creates innovative French-style cuisine; splurge and get the tasting menu available at dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Le Lounge has a comprehensive cocktail menu and impressive global wine list. Spa and gym details: The exclusive one-room spa is situated in the old bank vault that dates to 1870; its stone wall was once part of the fortification of the city. The compact gym is open 24 hours daily.
Who’s it for: High-end leisure travelers and CEOs. Our favorite rooms: The two-bedroom Penthouse on the 12th floor is reached by a private elevator and takes over the whole floor. Its wraparound balcony looks out over the south shore, the Expo 67 site, and the Old Port. Luxurious touches are everywhere, from the Philippe Starck–designed soaker tub to the green Chinese marble bathroom and Italian parquet floor. Room 301 has a huge four-poster bed and original wood details from the hotel’s days as a bank. Special touches: No detail is too small or too luxurious here; for instance, the Frette bedsheets are hand-ironed by a team of housekeepers.