As winter melts, away and the leaves turn a brighter shade of green, the cosmopolitan French- Canadian city of Montreal comes out in bloom. The 18th century splendor of the old town has a Parisian vibe with its chic cafés, heritage churches, and pretty patisseries next to donut chains. The meandering canal, cycle ways, and creative spaces pull it firmly into the 21st century and the whole city lights up with a dollop of North American contemporary flair. With the Grand Prix hitting the coolest city in Canada, here’s how to dine, stay and play – the luxury way.

antique touches at le saint james

Where to Stay

For those touching down in the trendy metropolis and arts capital of Montreal, there are an endless array of bespoke places to stay. From historic suites and atmospheric touches to edgy modern designs – Montreal brings the old-world glamor of Europe into the fray. The Le St. James boasts atmospheric beauty down in Old Montreal. The striking historic hotel is aesthetically appeasing with a well curated collection of antiques, lashings of brass, and architectural reminders that it was once a merchant bank. Madonna and Elton John have both bedded down in these ornate rooms. For the best bed in the building book the heritage collection suite for 19th century style and impeccable artwork.

19th century style in one of the suites at le st james

The Ritz Carlton Montreal is a firm favorite with lavish travelers looking for a brand they know to be beautiful. The rooftop pool is perfect for summer days, the spa invites you to unwind after a day of Grand Prix action, and the restaurant a fine example of parfait dining. The Royal Suite boasts an open fireplace, daring dining room, and glitzy garden views.

a parfait reception at the Ritz

For a stay that calls on boutique style rather than grandiose fashion, the Hotel Gault is awash in 19th century splendor and only boasts a handful of well-designed rooms. Loft rooms boast trendy exposed brick and the suites are bright and airy with sink down Casa Rovea linens and heated floors.

Boutique chic at Hotel Gault

Where to Dine

Your bon appetite comes with a side of style and a dollop of divinity in Montreal, the French side of the city certainly knows how to take food seriously. The city is brimming with beautiful places to dine and these Canadian French chefs like to get creative in the kitchen. Toque has been hailed one of the best restaurants in the world and is renowned for starting the food revolution in Montreal.  The menu takes its inspiration from market fresh style; expect razor clams, black cod, chervil cheese with strawberry gel and oolong tasting teas.

Toque – one of the best restaurants in the world

Joe Beef may not sound nor seem like a first-class dining experience on first glance, but the world-famous chef has long been making a culinary splash. Expectations run high for good reason in this tour du force restaurant and suffice to say – the dishes do not let you down. French gluttony is the name of the game and this reflects in pricey chalkboard dishes like foie gras double down sandwiches, lobster spaghetti, sky high piles of oysters, and endless glugs of Chablis.

fancy a foie gras sandwich? Head to Joe Beef’s

Where to Play

After sumptuous sleeps and foie gras sandwiches, the Grand Prix in Montreal is all about uncorking the champagne, cheering beside the track, and dancing after dark. Le Grand Soir at La Gare Maritime is the must attend party of the year. Expect plenty of Moet, famous hockey players, F1 stars, gift bags, and cello music. Tickets must be bought in advance.

red carpet events like Le Grand Soir

The red-carpet party at Le Richmond is also a must for elite attendees looking to get their party on. Remy Martin and Grey Goose often sponsor the all-night event and there is certainly a high-class vibe about the place. World class DJ’s, pop up oyster bars, and the coolest cocktails in town make it well worth swinging by.