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Montreal’s Newest Hotel Features Heated Rooftop Pool Open All Year

Montreal’s newest hotel, the Hyatt Centric, was built on the site of Place Viger, a grand hotel and railway station constructed in 1898 and named after Jacques Viger, the first Mayor of the city. This slick new four star hotel overlooks the St. Lawrence River and is a ten minute stroll from the charming Parisian-style quarter of Le Vieux‑Montréal, with its cobbled streets, 17th-century buildings, shops and cafes. Because Old Montreal is low-rise, the views from the hotel’s higher floors across the river and city are unrivalled.

Designed by the award-winning architecture firm Provencher Roy (who also led the redesign of the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Montreal’s Golden Mile and designed the history museum Pointe-à-Callière), the Hyatt Centric is housed in a set of impressive cantilevered buildings, a contrast to the adjacent French château-style former railway hotel that is today the offices of a software company. The architects have ensured that the exterior building materials complement the historic atmosphere of Old Montreal, including the white concrete that is the same as the Old Port’s famous Clock Tower.

Hyatt Centric describes itself as an “urban brand that celebrates contemporary lifestyle and local culture” and the new Montreal property does have elements of an independent boutique hotel. Interior design includes artwork and furnishings by Montreal artisans. Furniture in the common areas and guest rooms is by Ivy Studio. And rough concrete ceilings lend an edgy feel to the 177 guest rooms, each of which has lovely view of either the waterfront and old Montreal or the landscaped gardens of the interior courtyard.

The chic on site bistro Cartier Arms serves breakfast and dinner has a menu that draws heavily on Québec and British culture. Starters include salmon crudo, thick cheese-laden onion soup and caesar salad. Mains include organic salmon with salsa verde, guinea fowl and burgers. The menu is easily adapted for vegetarians too. Desserts are moreish from toffee pudding, to trifle with cream or “banoffee” pie, a delicious chocolate, banana and toffee concoction. The restaurant has a popular bar or take the elevator to the 14th floor for stunning views from a petite pop up bar beside the pool that is set to expand onto the terrace next year.

The hotel’s open-air rooftop heated swimming pool, open year-round is a real selling point of this hotel. And when the bar is expanded to the outdoors, this is sure to be a hotspot for guests and visitors alike. There’s only one other hotel in Montreal with a rooftop pool (the Bonaventure) but that’s in the center of town and doesn’t offer the sweeping views of the St Lawrence and the old town like the Hyatt Centric.

To see and do nearby

At 147 feet (45 metres), the imposing, beaux arts-style Clock Tower built in 1922 at the Old Port of Montreal, serves as a lighthouse. Make the 192-step trek to the top for panoramic waterfront views. The Clock Tower stands as a poignant symbol of the Port of Montréal’s historical significance in Canadian transportation. Constructed during a time when Montréal led global grain exports and ranked second in North American cargo volume, the tower highlights the port’s pivotal role in the city’s economic development. Additionally, it serves as a memorial to the bravery of Merchant Marine seamen who lost their lives in the First World War.

The glorious Notre-Dame Basilica is Montreal’s oldest Catholic church, founded in 1656 (though the church we see it today wasn’t built until 1829). The interior is astonishly ornate with large stained-glass windows telling the story of the founding of Montreal. And, on some dates (check calendar on the website), visitors can book tickets for Aura, a gorgeous audio visual experience: a four-act multimedia display of dynamic light and orchestral music.

Pointe-À-Callière, Canada’s only major archaeological museum, has fascinating collections of artifacts from the First Nations of the Montreal region that illustrate how various cultures coexisted and interacted, and how the French and British empires influenced the history of this territory over the years.

The highly interactive Montreal Science Centre on the waterfront is ideal for children and adults alike, with permanent exhibitions like Mini Mondo (a world just for kids) and Windmills of the Imagination, plus an on-site IMAX theater.

Hyatt Centric Ville-Marie, 621 Notre Dame Street East, Montréal Tel: 514-657-2444

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