One of the most popular luxury hotels in Montreal is preparing to open its doors to visitors once again after an extensive renovation.
Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, the Ritz-Carlton boasts a clientele that includes the likes of Queen Elizabeth, Richard Nixon, the Rolling Stones, George H.W. Bush, Celine Dion and Elizabeth Taylor.
Now, 100 years after welcoming its first guests, the hotel has nearly completed a $200 million (£127 million) refurbishment to bring its rooms up to date and make the hotel more eco-friendly. The renovation focused on preserving the charm and history of the hotel while bringing high-tech improvements to all aspects of the building.
Once opened the refurbished hotel will only have half its former rooms – the hotel has downsized to 98 rooms and 31 suites in an effort to give guests a more comfortable stay.
“That’s why you see hotels like ourselves going from 229 rooms to 130 rooms. The old Ritz-Carlton had a clientele that certainly fit into that market but I think that the hotel has to be a little bit more focused on where they’re going,” Ritz-Carlton CEO Andrew Torriani told the Associated Press.
“It’s more about being smaller but being luxurious enough that really we’re on the world stage.”
Green innovation was also central to the hotel’s refurbishment project – the salt-water swimming pool is heated by excess heat from the hotel’s kitchen, a herb garden provides fresh ingredients for signature dishes, and lights both in rooms and around the hotel are activated by motion sensors to save energy.
“It’s really, really nice,” athlete Alexandre Bilodeau, the hotel’s first official guest, said at hotel’s re-opening.
“The bathroom is amazing. Everything is energy efficient and the buttons are everywhere. It’s all electric and all automatic. I spent two minutes in the room so I’m really looking forward to experiencing all of it.”