Hotel Le Germain belongs to Germain Hôtels, a family-owned Canadian group with 18 properties in the country across its Le Germain, Alt and Escad brands. Hotel Le Germain Montreal opened in 1999, marking the group’s first property outside of Quebec City, and underwent a $30 million renovation in 2019.
It reopened in January 2020, just before the pandemic, with the addition of six new floors, increasing the number of rooms to 136.
Where is it?
The tall tetris-like hotel is one of the most striking in the city, with its colourful façade a distraction from the largely grey high-rises in the area. The brutalist exterior is brightened by the 52m high ‘Dazzle My Heart’ mural from Canadian artist Michelle Hoogveld. This was a result of a collaboration with MURAL, an annual urban art festival held in Montreal, and was unveiled in August 2021.
Hoogveld used 80 different colours in a gradient-like pattern, while the left-hand façade of the hotel features a monochrome pattern. The building really stands out thanks to this artwork, and makes it seem like you’re about to enter an art gallery rather than your home for the night. See a video of the artwork here.
The only parts of the building that are not emblazoned with colour are the second-floor restaurant (there is no first floor, just the ground floor) which features wall-to-wall glass windows, and the additional six floors at the top.
The colour scheme is more muted inside, with plush furnishings, low lighting and interesting artworks. The building was the former headquarters of the Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec, and the hotel’s interiors by architectural firm LemayMichaud pay homage to the year of 1967 when it was constructed. Features throughout include softened curved lines and nods to the sixties.
The lobby is open-plan, with reception desks to the left, a counter selling goods from the hotel, the stylish Le Flâneur bar to the right, and additional seating opposite the lifts. Check-in was quick and keycards provide access to the floors. The hotel offers a flexible checkout time, which is very handy for guests with a late departure from the city.
Beside reception there is a staircase leading to Le Boulevardier restaurant, with vertical slats allowing the bustle of the restaurant to reach the lobby.
There are 136 rooms in this hotel in four categories, along with three suite categories. I stayed in a 27 sqm Classic Queen on the 21st floor, overlooking President Kennedy Avenue and offering skyline views over downtown Montreal.
The colour scheme is brown and grey, unlike the hotel’s façade, with a minimalist design characterised by wooden features and interesting light fixtures. Given its sixties heritage, there are also fun touches such as the wallpaper in the toilet which is a collage of newspaper clippings and graphics, making for some good reading material.
The back wall of the bed curves around to form the bathroom unit, which includes a separate toilet with a sliding door and a tiled shower cubicle with a rain shower and handheld shower. A narrow window from the cubicle looks into the main part of the room, which didn’t bother me as I was travelling alone.
Bathrooms feature custom-made Ruby Brown amenities with the hotel’s own signature scent (hemp and amber), which are made in Montreal, vegan and in large refillable bottles – if you love them, you can purchase them at reception.
The highlight of the room is the dream-like bed, fitted with a goose down duvet, which has a wooden frame and antenna-like reading lights protruding from the headboard. It is extremely comfortable, so much so that they sell the bedding at a store in the city.
Beside the bed there are plenty of USB and sockets, as well as a lamp suspended from the ceiling and a bedside table lamp. The in-room clock radio doubles as a wireless charging station (just place your phone on top of it) and it also pairs with devices for sound.
The room also includes a wooden table which houses the minibar, atop which there is a Nespresso machine, kettle and Camellia Sinensis tea. There’s also a flatscreen TV above with Chromecast capabilities. It’s not possible to work here due to the minibar blocking space for a chair, but a small side table (described as a swing-out workstation) fit my laptop well. The wifi was free, quick and easy to access.
Aside from this there is a wardrobe with an iron, ironing board, bathrobes and slippers, a sizeable safe and umbrella (I was very grateful for the latter as it was drizzly on my arrival). There’s also a useful pad filled with details on the hotel services, and a checklist you can fill in if something is broken – this did make me wonder if this was a regular occurrence though.
Each floor also has a communal water fountain, allowing you to refill your water bottles.
Food and drink
The hotel has two dining venues: Le Flâneur bar in the lobby, which features an oyster bar and wine list, and the bistro-style Le Boulevardier on the second floor, with a menu that focuses on seafood.
Both are designed by Atelier Zebulon Perron and have attractive stylish design. The former marries concrete with marble, velvet and wooden materials, while the latter is open-plan, with contemporary design and floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking President Kennedy Avenue.
Both were buzzy during my stay, but I headed out for dinner as I wanted to soak up the atmosphere of the Fête National du Quebec.
The hotel has a 24-hour fitness centre on the 17th floor with Peloton bikes and city views.
The revamp saw the addition of three meeting spaces on the third floor. It also has a work-from-hotel option, with rates starting from $119 per day.
Hotel Le Germain is a well-located property in the city’s downtown area, with great in-room amenities, heavenly beds and stylish interior and exterior design. A larger desk would be better suited to business travellers.
Jazzing up the skyscraper-heavy downtown area
A night’s sleep in the heavenly bed, waking up to skyline views in the morning
Internet rates for a flexible midweek stay in August started from CAD$470 (including taxes) for a Classic Queen room
2050 Mansfield Street, Montreal H3A 1Y9; +1 877 333 2050