Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
When I heard that Hotel le St.-James in Montreal was the preferred accommodation for celebrities like Madonna and Mick Jagger, I have to admit I pictured something slightly different than this gracious, historic hotel in Old Montreal. Although I knew the building dated back to 1870, and I had seen the photos of the white-gloved doormen, I think I was picturing an interior décor something along the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.
Well, there's no rock n' roll memorabilia on the walls and certainly no Love Jones room service available here. This 60-room hotel started its life as a bank, and in the late 19th century, banks were basically palaces erected to the gods of commerce, with intricate wood paneling, shiny marble floors, elaborate ceilings, creamy paintings in heavy gilt frames -- all of which was impeccably preserved when the building was renovated into a hotel, and echoed in the floors that were added to the original structure.
The feel of Hotel le St.-James is sumptuous masculinity -- the palette is a subdued, tan, deep blues, browns, a faint hunting print pattern on the window treatment, even the curving posts of the four-poster beds seem to thrust towards the ceiling with great confidence. It flirts with severity, but pulls back from it by a few soft and whimsical touches: the pure white linens, the stuffed lion (which is the hotel's mascot) which sits on the mini-bar on each room.
Gallery: Hotel le St.-James Montreal