Le St-James - Hotel Review
Study in Opulence
by Alain Gayot
with antiques, objets d'art, French tapestries and fine
art, Hôtel Le St-James is an exercise in opulence.
The 1870 Second Empire period structure of this former
bank building in historic Old Montréal
also enjoys a superb location, within walking distance
of the Old Town area, the city's downtown and excellent
restaurants, shops, museums and night clubs.
to that attentive, detailed service and you have a world-class
hotel whose plush elegance appeals to both dignitaries
and rock legends like the Rolling Stones.
luxury comes at a cost—about $350 for a standard
guest room to about $3,000 for the Royal Suite—but
the hotel is unapologetic in its catering to the elite.
After all, not everybody recognizes a Ming vase or a Louis
XVI chest as such. And first-rate things have always been
reserved for those who need to feel a sense of privacy
and exclusivity. Here, the privileged few will enjoy lavish
rooms decorated with handsome baroque furnishings and
enhanced with cotton piqué sheets from Frette,
bath amenities, plasma screen TVs and a library of rare
truffle treats before bed are always a nice touch.
of the hotel's guest rooms
hotel’s newly renovated XO Restaurant (located in what was formerly known as the
Grand Salon and originally known as Bankers Hall), offers
fine dining tasting menus under the helm of executive chef Michele Mercuri. Salon XO, a bar-lounge space, features an à-la-carte menu that includes caviar and cocktails. Or you may simply
want to relax at Le Spa, more of a spa suite than a full-service spa—but
what a suite it is, converted from a vintage bank vault
into an atmospheric space with an original brick ceiling,
stone walls and a lighted onyx floor that's also
heated. Overall, Le St-James counts 61 rooms and suites
and extensive business meeting space. It also promises a singular stay, very
much like that of a private club for those with a pedigree.