The New Four Seasons Montreal Opens With Marcus Samuelsson’s Newest Restaurant

Sandra Ramani

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Prior to the opening of the Four Seasons Hotel Montreal this past May, we asked celebrated chef Marcus Samuelsson—whose eponymous restaurant occupies much of the third floor of the hotel—what he expected from this sparkling new property. “It’s going to be the kind of place that locals come to all the time, whether for a meeting, a quick drink or a special occasion,” he said at the time. “It’s going to be a really exciting and social place for the city of Montreal.” Now that the hotel has officially been launched, Samuelsson’s predictions have come true, as the property feels like the first true “lifestyle” hotel in the Four Seasons portfolio.

Set in the heart of downtown’s Golden Square Mile neighborhood, so-named for the mansions of prominent families that once lined its streets, the 169-room hotel and 18 Four Seasons Private Residences sit in a newly built contemporary tower designed by Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture. Inside, Paris-based firm Gilles & Boissier, in collaboration with Montreal-based architect and designer Philip Hazan, have crafted spacious common areas that have strong midcentury modern and feminine aesthetics, with curved walls, low seating, and lots of splashes of brass, white marble, and pale pink and rose hues. A central open-air atrium visible on the higher floors showcases a cascading, floral-inspired installation by Pascale Girardin, while a curated collection of contemporary works by local and international artists is displayed throughout. (There are also several bold, vintage photographs featured in some of the public spaces; look out for ones of Margaret Trudeau—wife of former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, mother of current PM Justin Trudeau, and a mainstay on the 1970’s social scene—hanging with Andy Warhol and dancing at Studio 54.)

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The fresh, playful vibe not only sets the hotel apart from more classic Four Seasons properties, but it also helps set the tone for the lively, communal experiences for which the hotel is becoming known. Per the ownership, renowned Montreal design studio Atelier Zébulon Perron has envisioned the entire third floor as The Social Square—a series of curving, interconnected spaces, each with unique style, lighting and musical soundtrack. Among these connection-driven areas is a clubby, tucked-away bar offering absinthe fountains and a high-end cocktail program; a lounge and bar open all day for coffee, drinks, and light menus; and MARCUS by Chef Marcus Samuelsson, a greenery-filled, seafood-focused restaurant with indoor and heated terrace seating, an open-kitchen, and a private nook that turns into a space for DJs and live bands in the evenings. In all spaces you’ll find a mix of locals and travelers, business colleagues and girlfriend gatherings, families and couples, fashion-forward Instagrammers and older neighborhood residents—making it feel like one of the more inclusive and approachable luxury hotels.

Despite the buzzing social spaces, the hotel still feels like a sanctuary, too, thanks to separate elevators for the dining outlets, and some great soundproofing. The serene, generously sized rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows (some overlooking a building-sized mural of musician/local son Leonard Cohen), deep-soaking tubs and exclusive bath products from Swedish perfume brand Byredo. You’ll find a Precor machine-equipped gym and skylight-topped pool on the sixth floor, and a first-floor spa where the signature scrubs, facials, and massages are done with gold-infused products from natural line Omorovicza—a glittering nod to the surrounding Golden Square Mile neighborhood.

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