Christchurch's Hotel Montreal: A romantic retreat in the Garden City

A junior suite at Hotel Montreal Christchurch. Photo: Supplied
A junior suite at Hotel Montreal Christchurch. Photo: Supplied
Fancy a romantic night away but don't want to travel too far? Here's what Hotel Montreal has to offer.

Location: On Montreal St, on the edge of Hagley Park, and just a couple of blocks away from the river, Cathedral Square, New Regent St, and the new, excellent Riverside Market.

Getting there: We had been staying with family at another property in Merivale, but wanted to end our trip with a night just the two of us. It was an easy 10-minute Uber ride between the two.

First impressions: The lobby was clean and cool on a hot, stuffy day. The receptionist was very helpful - we needed a sewing kit to fix a wardrobe malfunction and he advised us there should be one in our room, but if not we could get one from housekeeping. Five minutes after we had got into our room, a member of housekeeping knocked on the door and came in to show us where exactly in the room the kit was. Excellent, thoughtful service.

About the hotel: This is a sister property to The George, the famed Christchurch five-star hotel with a one-to-one staff ratio. Both hotels are award winning - most recently Hotel Montreal was named by Trip Advisor readers as one of the Travellers' Choice Top 25 Luxury NZ Hotels.

Room: We were in a junior suite on the third of four floors. It was incredibly spacious, with kitchenette, extensive storage and a living area complete with squishy sofa, coffee table and winged arm chairs. The balcony had enough room for table and chairs, and the faux-grass floor was a cute touch. The balcony rail seemed worryingly low to me.

Bed: It looked beautiful, with crisp white linen, and tasteful mustard lampshade, bedside tables, comforter and headboard which looked great against the charcoal walls. The bed was made up of two king singles pushed together, and there was a noticeable ridge down the middle. But each side was wonderfully comfortable.

The bed in one of Hotel Montreal Christchurch's junior suites. Photo: Stephanie Holmes
The bed in one of Hotel Montreal Christchurch's junior suites. Photo: Stephanie Holmes
Bathroom: A decent amount of space, and spotlessly clean. The shower was spacious, but when using the rain head attachment the pressure was disappointing.

Toiletries: Nellie Tier shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion. The brand is handmade in New Zealand and includes no parabens, or artificial nasties. The same range was on sale in the lobby's small gift shop for $8 a pop. The amenity kit scored points for including a sustainably sourced bamboo toothbrush in the dental kit, but lost them again with the inclusion of a single use plastic dental flosser.

Facilities: There's a small but well-equipped gym on the ground floor, and a well-kept croquet lawn outside. Bikes are available to use at no cost - we borrowed a pair for a couple of hours and tootled around town on a delightfully sunny Sunday morning. Christchurch is a great city for cycling.

Food and drink: I quickly demolished the homemade cookies which were in our room on arrival. The Polo Bar & Restaurant on the ground floor serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and drinks, with a la carte menu including Argentinian barbecue and wood-fired pizza. Sit inside, or in the large courtyard.

The lobby and Polo Bar & Restaurant at Christchurch's Hotel Montreal. Photo: Stephanie Holmes
The lobby and Polo Bar & Restaurant at Christchurch's Hotel Montreal. Photo: Stephanie Holmes
Wi-Fi: Free and unlimited, with fast speeds.

Noise: I don't know if it was because it was early January and the city empties out like it does in Auckland, but things were exceptionally quiet at all times, even though we slept with the balcony door and windows open and the hotel is close to main roads.

Perfect for: A romantic weekend away in central Christchurch.

 

 

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