Because when you’re on vacation, you want to get away from the routine, I treated myself to a night in Montreal at the newly revamped Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown, which replaced the Lord Berri. It was time for this hotel to say goodbye.
Access to Platinum status
The Fairfield by Marriott Montreal, a category 5 Marriott Bonvoy hotel, allowed me not to drive after a dinner with friends. Moreover, this night became my fiftieth and officially opened the doors to the hotel chain‘s Platinum status.
Thanks to my American Express® Marriott BonvoyTM Card, which gives me 15 Elite Nights for my membership or renewal status, followed by Marriott’s pandemic promotional offer, I got upgaded to a better room. You read that right: the lady was upgraded!
I wrote to the hotel the day before I arrived and asked them to acknowledge my new Platinum elite status. “Could I get an early arrival, upgrade and breakfast included please?”
Well, yes. Well, for breakfast, I hear it’s always free for everyone at this hotel.
I did get an executive room with a king size bed and a sofa bed. I also arrived at 13:00.
Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown Hotel Location
Downtown, specifically in the Latin Quarter.
On the edge of Old Montreal, a ten-minute walk away. Right next to the Berri-UQAM metro station, the Grande Bibliothèque and the Université du Québec, and near the Gay Village and Chinatown. We can guess that this perfect location gives us access to all of Montreal’s major points of interest.
I want to give a shout out to the Grande Bibliothèque, which is starting to open its doors again in ways other than virtual. Have you already tried its music library?
I would tell you about the restaurants in the area. But the truth is that I was going to a friend’s house for dinner and had to leave early enough the next day to prepare for my departure to the rented cottage for the rest of my vacation.
But I’ll still provide the suggestions of a member who stayed at the hotel.
- At 1447 Atateken Street (formerly Amherst), right next to the hotel, the “Pourquoi Pas” espresso bar.
- At number 1481 of the same street, the restaurant “Alejandro”, whose Mexican cuisine is described as “fusion Brunch & lunch”
- O’Thym restaurant, at 1112 boul. Maisonneuve East, corner of Atateken.
My arrival at the Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown hotel
We are on Berri, corner Ste-Catherine with a crane near the hotel and several orange cones. Fortunately, there is a 15-minute drop-off point where I can check in and get access to the garage for $30. IT’S A MUST, if you come by car.
Access is via Labelle Street, behind the hotel, and I must admit that entering and exiting this small garage was an experience in itself.
- Just trying to find the garage door. I went somewhere else.
- Confidently enter the narrow, steep downward passage separating the two doors that rise too slowly.
- Park as indicated backwards when the easiest spots have already been taken.
And this, with a manual transmission.
I’ll be honest…
At night as I went to bed, thought about my exit from the garage the next day. The slope this time upwards in manual driving, while the door would open SLOWLY.
In the end, it went well.
The outside door of the hotel is locked, because of COVID, the receptionist tells me. If you do not have your room card , you will have to ring the bell.
Once inside, the employee is friendly. We do as we should, with the usual COVID measures: antiseptic gel for cleaning hands, mask, plexiglass, distancing, etc.
Gym, bar and dining room are closed.
No coffee in the lobby, no room service, no bottled water. Breakfast is in bags. So much for anti-virus measures.
Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown Hotel
The Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown hotel looks like new.
The chandeliers hanging in the center of the lobby appear contemporary, and are surrounded by small pieces stuck to the wall that look like stars. In short, it sparkles.
The lobby, although small, offers a waiting area with a sofa and two comfortable chairs. A matching carpet defines the area. There is also a flat screen TV above the gas fireplace.
The reception desk could normally accommodate two guests at a time. Good to know: there is a safe if the one in the room is not suitable. On the left are the lifts and the canteen area , known as the “Market” with drinks and snacks. The prices are reasonable to help you out. $2 for my water bottle.
Adjacent to the lobby, on the right, is a computer station which lets you fax and photocopy, and offers delivery and pick-up service.
A scale, on which, for a coin, you can weigh your luggage before departure to the airport or train station.
Finally, a bit far from the bustle, you find a coin-operated laundry (washer/dryer) as well as a laundry service.
Behind the lobby lounge, there is a bistro-bar and a dining room to serve breakfast buffets. But red cords let us know we were not allowed to enter.
Damn you, virus.
I told you that I inherited an executive room with a very large bed. On the 3rd floor, near the ice machine and facing Berri Street. I assure you, though, we don’t hear the traffic rumour.
I liked the sobriety of the decor in shades of grey, caramel and orange:
- Grey for example for the sofa-bed, wallpaper, curtains, a lamp and the carpet.
- Orange tree for the office chair and sofa cushions.
- And the caramel that reminds us of the wood grain.
Used among other things for the headboard that goes up almost to the ceiling, a panel on which the television rests on the wall (with all the possible channels), for the piece of furniture that hides the small fridge and safe, and finally for the bedside tables integrated in the headboard.
The chair combines both grey for the seat and backrest and caramel for the stylish frame.
Sober and elegant, I told you.
The usual accessories
- a mini fridge,
- a safe ,
- the iron and its board,
- the coffee machine,
The ones you can ask for: a cot/crib. The receptionist told me that the hotel allowed families of five in the twin rooms.
I liked the bathroom at the Fairfield. Above the toilet, a round wooden shelf reminiscent of the room’s caramel colour serves as a display for bath products. Here again, the decor is uncluttered. A little Scandinavian air.
No bath but a large shower. The bath mat and towels are rolled up and placed on the shelf under the sink. Three small ones for the hands, on the towel rack. A removable soap holder. And that’s it.
Nothing more on the decoration side. But that’s also what spoiling yourself at the hotel is all about. All those neat little details.
My overnight stay at the Fairfield by Marriott Montreal Downtown, a category 5 hotel, has allowed me to reach the elite Platinum status until February 2022.
I appreciated the complimentary upgrade, the 1pm arrival time, and the quiet and sober room.
The location is central but other hotels in the same chain nearby also offer this advantage. I was able to walk to my friends’ houses, which suited me fine. However, I would not have given a category 5 to this hotel which has neither swimming pool nor SPA.
The cost of rooms is so affordable these days that you are better off paying cash with your Marriott Bonvoy™ American Express® Card (5 points per dollar) and earning your points than spending them.
At $127 a night plus bottled water, parking and taxes, the bill came to $187.92 and I got 3,965 Marriott points!