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Rostra rating: 4.5
Located in the former headquarters of a Canadian textile magnate, the eponymous Hotel Gault is an oasis of design and hospitality tucked away on a quiet street in the middle of Montreal’s otherwise thronged and noisy Vieux Montreal district. Entering the lobby at the apex of the triangular 19th century structure is a distinctly TARDIS-like experience wherein a soaring pre-belle époque pilastered façade is replaced within five steps by a hyper-modern elongated space defined by concrete and wooden floors below, square tin ceiling tiles above, punctuated with the original wrought iron Corinthian columns, and sprinkled liberally with bespoke furniture by Paulin and Binfaré.
Hotel Gault has thirty “suites,” which also boast numerous designer appointments scattered throughout their open plan layouts wherein exposed brick walls work harmoniously with the original French windows. The furnishings are a riot of color that offset the monotone concrete floors and light oak cabinetry. The audio and visual entertainment tech is state of the art, the Nespresso coffee maker very welcome first thing in the morning, and Wi-Fi access is free (as it should be given the room rates, dammit!!).
There are, however, a few cases in which design trumps function in a bad way. The designers from Y2H decided that only gauzy curtains would suffice for partitions between the bath/dressing areas and the rest of the “suite.” This effect produces a bit more intimacy and light than Team Mago is completely comfortable with. Also, even though the “suites” are billed as containing everything that contemporary “connected professionals” require to take care of business on the road, we could not locate a desk in our “suite,” and believe me we looked. Maybe “connected professionals” do not need a desk, but as pioneers in the field of extreme telecommuting, we were nonplused by its conspicuous absence.
UPDATE: We had a very nice note from the Hotel Gault saying that they liked our post. Thanks! And they were kind enough to clear up some things… “If you go to the hotel Gault website, you’ll see there is only one loft without a proper working desk. The other room types have a working desk. Also, the room where you were staying is called the «loft» because of the open area concept. Please make sure to come back and you will enjoy another room type !”
We encourage all our readers to check out the other rooms on the website. They really are beautiful.
Hotel Gault’s location is fantastic for travelers. All the sites of downtown Montreal are within easy walking distance, while the foodie neighborhood of Little Burgundy is a half hour’s stroll distant, and its gastroclone Mile Ex the same amount of time by public transport. Of equal importance, Montreal’s central train station is an easy fifteen minute rolling bag drag from the hotel.
A professional, friendly, and highly efficient staff compliments Hotel Gault’s central location. The concierge got us reservations at Liverpool House when we failed to do so on our on– and at very short notice. The front desk personnel were excellent concerning directions, they even handed out a real city map of Montreal (as opposed to the tear sheet POS that even the best hotels seem to think they can get away dispensing with impunity). Every staff member we encountered was very knowledgeable (and opinionated) about restaurants and bars throughout greater Montreal. Case in point: the bartender/barista turned out to be trained sommelier who preferred to work in the hotel trade. He turned our nightcaps into boozy previews of our restaurant reviews with a local critic.
The Gault has a nice, if spendy, lobby restaurant and bar that serves breakfast and lunch (there is also 24 hour rooms service). We only had breakfast, but it was quite good and the service attentive. The bar sports a real deal espresso machine and the coffee was great. In fact, the staff gave us free coffee when they did not have enough go cups, and then another free one when the replacement go cups arrived just as we were departing for the day. There is also a very well equipped micro gym with twenty-four-hour access.
Mago Tip: let the staff do the work for you. Put together a Montreal itinerary and book as early as possible, then share your itinerary with the concierge and let her make the bookings for you, as well as suggest alternatives and additions. Be sure to tip the concierge and any other staff involved appropriately.