See The Beautifully Renovated Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel In Montreal
With all the glamor and excitement happening at Buckingham Palace, the world has once again caught royal fever. How fitting, then, that the historic Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal, Canada, recently reopened after a $140 million update that gives it a fresh injection of youthfulness and energy. The design team looked to the ‘60s for color and pattern inspiration – think groovy geometrics and circles à la James Bond movie graphics. Guest rooms are bright and bold, with a youthful feel. “This is where Montrealers received the world,” says Martin LeBlanc, an architect and senior partner at Sid Lee Architecture, which led the hotel’s year-long renovation.
The Queen E first opened in April 1958, and in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their largest Bed-In for Peace in suite 1742, which is now the Queen E’s most sought-after room. “Previously, there was just a frame on the wall that identified the room,” say Martin. Post-reno, the furniture is placed like John and Yoko rearranged it and walls are inscribed with words from the song “Give Peace a Chance” (which was recorded in the room). Immersive artworks let fans virtually experience the famous event, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in May 2019. Click through to see inside the space, including John and Yoko’s famous suite.
The golden, die-cut ceiling in the lobby is a glamorous take on the panelled ceilings found in the 1960s-era office buildings that surround the Queen E. A mixed media installation by Montreal artist Alexandre Berthiaume creates a graphic display behind the main check-in desks.
Nods to iconic mid-twentieth century designs like the Platner armchair give the Queen E a modern-retro glamor.
Head to Rosélys Restaurant for casual bistro food and a good glass of wine. The open kitchen gives the space a welcoming buzz. Cozy banquettes and tables are mixed with retro counter seating at the bar — the preferred perch of people traveling on their own. The bistro is also accessible from Mansfield Street, making it inviting to nearby residents for lunches and dinners.
Artist Paul Hardy’s Drift Glow, a work of oil on canvas panels, is mounted above the bistro’s banquettes for added ambience.
On warm summer evenings, the outdoor terrace on the third floor is the perfect spot for sunset cocktails.
On the 21st floor, Fairmont Gold members will find a dedicated check-in desk and lounge. Complimentary breakfast, beverages and cocktail-hour canapés are served.
The Queen E boasts 124 works of art by 37 contemporary artists from Quebec and Canada, which are displayed throughout the hotel. A small gallery on the 21st floor showcases pieces, including this sculpture by Michel De Broin, against a cloud-dappled view of the city. The hotel’s art collection was acquired with direction from Massivart.
Serious mixologists create “liquid cuisine” in the hotel’s street-level Bar Nacarat. Tufted banquettes, patterned floors and moody lighting pay homage to Glam Rock.
John Lennon and Yoko famously handwrote Hair Peace and Bed Peace on the window in suite 1742. The message has been reproduced and the furniture is placed exactly how the couple rearranged it. The lyrics to the song Give Peace a Chance are embossed on the walls.
“The notion of flowers was big for this suite, but it also revisits John and Yoko’s everyday life,” says Martin.
An archival cabinet in suite 1742 contains photos, videos and historical items, including a Give Peace A Chance vinyl record.
Interactive artworks help recreate the famous bed-in. A virtual reality headset lets fans experience the event from John and Yoko’s point of view…
… or pick up the vintage phone to listen in on an interview with the couple.