Stop time, take a pause to recentre, and make some time for yourself. In this era of FOMO and constant professional performance, taking out an entire day just to rest has become a necessity. But, there’s no need to start booking flights – charming historic Old Montreal is the place close to home for a day of pure relaxation.
To start off this timeless journey, drop anchor at Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau. Including both hot and cold treatments, “restful” is the only word that fits here. You can take advantage of everything on their premises, from the boat itself to its surrounding grounds and gardens. Please note that since their reopening, you will need to make advance reservations for any treatments or spots in the water circuit. The days of the waiting line are over; everything happens online, making your stay there much more efficient!
Following your day aboard the spa, you should try out the Old Port pedal boats. There is nothing more relaxing than listening to the lapping waves as you paddle across the Bonsecours Basin. Let yourself be rocked by the tranquil waves as you admire the profile of the city skyline before you.
Are you feeling a bit peckish? Look no further than the terrace at Scena. White parasols and sangria make for an excellent recipe for relaxation. Throw in one of their wonderful small plates, and you’ll feel totally satisfied.
With the ever-present river as backdrop and the historic neighbourhood buildings across, we can confirm that it is possible to respark the feeling of childhood, thanks to the Grande Roue de Montréal. Enjoy a spectacular view over the city in the comfort of their temperature-controlled cabins. At 60 metres in the air, you will have a panoramic view that can reach up to 28 km far in favourable conditions.
Are you ready to shake out those legs after your time suspended in the air? Guidatour offers street tours of le Vieux, headed up by one of their experienced guides. Alone or in a group, you will discover the history of this city, from its creation to today. And since a great bargain can help bring peace to a troubled spirit, we’d suggest looking into their “Attraction Passport”. They’ve come up with several packages that give you access to a multitude of discounted activities! Including adventures, history, relaxation, and more, there’s something in here for all tastes.
The Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel is a harbour of peace that, in addition to being an integral part of our city’s history, offers a moment with the angels atop the churches’ belvedere. Among the rooftops, a view that is less frequented than you’d think awaits you. You can also learn more about the great builder of Montreal, Marguerite Bourgeoys, through the adjoining exhibit “Meet Marguerite!” which was just launched this year. Under the leadership of its new director, Jean-François Royal, the Marguerite-Bourgeoys Historical Site brings to light its human adventure and its achievements in a resolutely modern way.
Before returning to the hotel, one last stop at Loft bar à Ongles is in order. A manicure, pedicure, and facial treatment sounds like an ideal end to a day of pampering to us! If you’re visiting with another friend, take advantage of their Duchesse High Tea package, which includes nail treatments and a delicious snack which will ensure a moment of resonant peace within their charming salon.
The phrase “dolce far niente” is an Italian expression that means the pleasure of doing nothing, and dolce far niente is exactly what l’Hôtel Épik is all about. Here, the pleasure of stretching out, relaxing, and having a good time is the very essence of this establishment. With only 10 rooms and suites, this little hotel of historic character knows how to please. Plan your supper from their restaurant’s savoury, Italian-inspired menu, then decide whether you want to dine in the restaurant itself, or on their beautiful outdoor terrace.
But if you feel more like going out, there are several great restaurants around, like Helena, whose reputation is second to none! They serve dishes with the flavours of Portugal, crafted with local, top-quality ingredients.
After this restful day, your batteries may be recharged enough that you want to explore le Vieux further in a more active fashion. If this is the case, check out the other tours that we’ve put together: the family tour, the trendy tour, and a gastronomic tour are all along the same vein. Here in le Vieux, the possibilities are endless!
© Photo Credit 1: Justine Marc-Aurèle
© Photo Credit 2: Thibault Caron