I’d never visited French Canada and had the opportunity to explore beautiful Montreal last fall for a half marathon. (I love using running as an excuse to travel.) My childhood friend, Mark, and I stayed at Hotel Gault, a boutique hotel in Old Montreal. Montreal definitely felt French to me, although I’ve heard of contentious comparisons between the Parisian and local accents :)
Gault’s modern but edgy touches achieved the perfect combination of chic and cozy - our room had concrete floors and combined concrete and exposed brick walls but was still warm and comfortable.
I was STARVING upon getting in and schlepped to Boris Bistro around the corner for a bite and bubbles. I didn’t even have to pretend I was in Paris; the slightly balmy warmth made sitting on the outdoor patio alone, for hours, super comfy.
We spent our first full day, also pre-race day, exploring the town. By exploring I mean drinking (ahem, carb-loading) and shopping. Mark flipped when he saw pasteis de nata, a Portuguese egg tart pastry, in the window of Cantinho de Lisboa. #YOLO.
I fell in love with Old Town’s streets and rustic architecture.
The course was STUNNING. About 7 of the 13.1 miles were through parks, ending with a stretch through town. Naturally, we prepped for the run with croissants.
Post-race indulgence and pretty views, compliments of Jardin Nelson and St. Paul Street, respectively.
After Mark flew back to NYC, I enjoyed a solo dinner at Dolcetto & Co. - a sucker for octopus and creatively assembled pizza, I ate for 2.
Solo evening stroll après dîner.
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In cooler (okay, straight winter) months, Gault offers generous pre-paid rates as low as 170 CAD for a loft. A slight upgrade to a junior suite for an average bump of about 100 CAD per night. If you plan for spring accordingly, you can avoid a steep price hike and lock in a loft for 260 CAD. Plan, plan, plan!
Parisian designer Philippe Dubuc was in the process of limiting his gorgeous old-town boutique to solely men’s wear when we were there. Dip in for gifts for the honey (or dad, or bro) back home!