Montreal | $$$$ | Website
Look what a few splashes of paint can do. Taken over by new management in 2007 and completely rebranded, Opus Hotel Montreal's stylish facelift has already ranked it among the city's slickest boutique accommodations, according to international travel reviews. Each of Opus' guest rooms now represents one of five fictitious "personalities" — from London rock star Billy to Parisian designer Pierre — with bright color palettes to match. We love how it works with the rest of the décor, which is minimalist and starkly luxurious (think rough concrete ceilings). This darker side of the Opus is an homage to the history of its building, an Art-Nouveau heritage structure from 1915.
Perhaps best of all is what lies outside the hotel: Montreal's hippest, hottest strip for dining and nightlife, which extends north from the hotel's street corner for a full 10-12 blocks. St. Laurent Boulevard is rammed at all hours with a mix of locals and visitors, each better looking than the next, so this is the spot to get a feel for the real Montreal. If you don't want to stray too far, there's also a swanky resto-bar (Koko) and lounge (Suco) right on site.
- • 136 guest rooms
- • Two-floor presidential suite
- • LCD TVs with integrated computer
- • High-speed Internet
- • Fitness center
- • 24-hour business facilities with conference room
- • Animal friendly
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Opus fills the boutique niche in a coveted area.
I stayed here back in late 2006, when Opus was still the Hotel Godin. Besides painting some walls, though, the Opus design team kept much of the (very cool) scheme the same, including its concrete ceilings, swirly marbled lobby and slightly retro feel. Overall, this hotel fills a very badly needed niche for boutique accommodations outside of Old Montreal, and with gusto — its coveted spot on the corner of Sherbrooke and St. Laurent boulevards couldn’t really get more convenient for partiers or business people. I’m now itching to try its two resto-bars, especially the new Koko which, if the atmosphere matches the super funky look, could become a star in its own right on St. Laurent.