Hotel Omni Mont-Royal Montreal
Living just a few hours away from the city, we get to Montreal a few times a year. Our family has always been drawn to staying in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal), however, this time we stayed at the newly renovated Hotel Omni Mont-Royal Montreal. This property is perfectly situated on Sherbrooke Street West. It is just two blocks from Mont-Royal Park, around the corner from shopping on Saint Catherine Street, and just a short walk to Crescent Street which is home to many popular restaurants and pubs. Montrealers refer to this neighborhood as the Golden Square Mile, and now I know why.
The Omni has many accommodations to choose from. My husband and two children (ages 11 and 13) fit very comfortably in our deluxe room. We had two double beds, a nice sitting area with two contemporary chairs and one large credenza that served as the desk, dresser and hid the bar fridge and coffee maker. This left the room feeling clean, or as clean as it can be with a family of four sharing space. As a parent, I appreciated the little touches like the lighting. Not only was there a lot of it, but all of the lamps were on dimmers. Plus their clock radio serves as a docking station. Our family can’t seem to have enough places to plug in and recharge.
You might consider upgrading to an Executive Suite. This layout has ample space for a family that likes to spread out or if some in your party go to bed a bit earlier. At a little over 500 square feet, this suite offers parents two rooms that are separated by french doors. In the bedroom, there is a king bed and in the living space, there is a pullout couch. Plus, there are two full bathrooms!
Extras at the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal
- Kids receive milk and cookies delivered to their guest room on the first night! A nice treat as part of the Omni Sensational Kids Program.
- Wi-fi is only complimentary for Select Guest® loyalty program Members. However, it is free to join and you get lots of other perks!
- The concierge service at this hotel is fantastic! Check with them for discounted tickets to popular area attractions like the Botanical Gardens and Skating at the Atrium. Be sure to stop by and ask for advice before you head out, not only will you save yourself time, but money as well.
- There is a heated outdoor pool, however, it is operated seasonally from Mid May through Mid October.
I won’t lie. I don’t eat red or smoked meat and I don’t usually seek out “touristy” places. However, Reuben’s Delicatessen is a “must do”. Located smack in the middle of bustling Saint Catherine Street, and right around the corner from the Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, it seemed like the ideal spot for Friday night’s dinner. As one might expect at a deli the menu is huge. Even the pickiest kids are sure to find something to eat. The portions are gigantic, so consider sharing and be sure to save room for dessert.
Knowing that we were planning to head to the Museum of Archeology and History on Saturday morning, we started with breakfast at Le Cartet in Old Montreal. It is Brunch only on the weekend but that was fine with us. This trendy restaurant serves plates filled with fabulous eggs and goat’s milk cheese, fruit-filled crepes, chocolate, almond and plain croissants, banana and coconut bread, plus bowls and bowls of Illy coffee. Seating can be family-style at long wooden tables and we did see lots of families dining with their children. The service was top notch. Attentive, yet not overbearing and super quick — a total plus with kids.
Montréal Museum of Archeology and History: Pointe-à-Callière
The last time we visited Montreal we took a tour of Notre Dame Basilica. This tour gave us a great overview of Montreal’s history and really sparked our interest in this city that we visit so often. Wanting to expand on that, I planned a visit to Pointe-à-Callière. This museum that is comprised of six buildings, is actually built right on top of an archeological site! We started our visit with an 18-minute multimedia presentation of the complete history of Montreal from the birth of the city right up to the present day. Don’t miss this. Not only does the theater have a 270º screen, but the floor overlooks archeological remains that become part of the presentation. After that, you are free to walk through the museum on your own or, if you time it right, take a guided tour. My tweens found that spending just about two hours there was enough for them. I am not sure I would recommend this museum for anyone younger unless they are real history buffs as there are no real hands-on activities.
As a family, we are drawn to all types of farmers’ and food markets. We tend to seek out local markets wherever we travel eating our way through the marketplaces. I find this is a great way for the kids to sample local foods without having the pressure of a sit-down meal. They can try a little sample of cheese, a piece of fruit or vegetable that is native to the region. Perhaps even find a few new things they like that we can take home. On this trip, we finally had a chance to get to the Atwater Market and it did not disappoint. I can see making this a stop on all future trips to Montreal.
Montréal Botanical Garden – Gardens of Light
For the last 20 years, the Chinese Garden at the Botanical Gardens has been lit up each Fall by The Magic of Lanterns. We were lucky to be there during this celebration. There are approximately 1,000 lanterns that light up the gardens as you walk through. The exhibit has been extended into the Japanese Garden as well. If you are planning to go with small children know that you will be doing a lot of walking and although it may seem like a good idea to bring a stroller, at some points the pathways are rather narrow and can be very crowded. Also, there were times where we were, waiting for quite a while just to pass. We visited the gardens around 7:30 pm on a Saturday evening. Perhaps it is best to get there right at 6:30 when it opens or try a weeknight instead.
Omni Concierge Tip: Not only did the concierge advise us to purchase our tickets for the Botanical Garden at a discounted price through the hotel, but by doing so he let us know that we would be avoiding the 1.5-hour line to get in the front gate
Disclosure: While I was invited to Hotel Omni Mont-Royal and they paid for some of my expenses, my review reflects the honest opinions of my experience without outside influence.