Hotel Le St-James
What's so special
Set in a former merchant bank in the heart of Old Montreal, this hotel offers guests luxury and a fantastic sense of grandeur. The owners are art collectors who have spent time decorating each room with an impressive array of antiques from Venetian dressers to 18th-century Russian armoires.
How they rate it
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Everything in this hotel "is designed to please the eye, right down to the distinctive brass-and-tassel room keys", says Jolyon Attwooll in The Daily Telegraph. Every suite is different and "all are spacious and lavishly decorated while the modern touches such as widescreen televisions are not discordant". The service is fantastic. "This is the kind of place where you can pop out for a morning run and find the doorman unprompted ready with a bottle of water to hand on your return."
The restaurant is on the former bank's trading floor, giving it a grand atmosphere. The food is "exquisitely presented Italian-inspired cuisine". Scallops with pineapple pure is a typical dish.
A double room costs from C$400 (£258). For more, visit www.hotellestjames.com, or call 00 1 514 841 3111.
Hotel de l'Institut
What's so special
This hotel is located on the top two floors of the Institut de Tourisme et d'Hotellerie du Quebec, a world-famous hospitality school. Working here forms an integral part of any students' education so the service is always top-notch and the staff are enthusiastic about their roles.
How they rate it
"Government-owned hotels might normally have you running for the hills, but this is actually a great find for bargain-hunters," says Vicky Baker in The Sunday Times. The location is central and close to the tourist hotspots. All the rooms have their own balconies and, following a revamp last year, bedrooms now have the latest mod-cons and sleek furniture.
People may rave about the location, "but what sets this hotel apart is the charming service", says Fodors.com. "You're cared for by squads of smiling, eager-to-please young people in crisp uniforms." Students also staff the bar and ground-floor restaurant where Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge (pictured) tested their culinary skills recently.
The restaurant is excellent. Dishes include grilled veal bavette with fresh laurel juice.
Doubles start from C$122 (£79). Find out more at www.ithq.qc.ca, or call 00 1 514 282 5120.
What the travel writers are saying
If you fancy a holiday at the British seaside, try one of these "fabulous" waterfront hotels, says Rhiannon Batten in The Independent.
The Scarlet in Cornwall (pictured above) is a contemporary hotel set above the village of Mawgan Porth just up the coast from Newquay. It has a "perfect wide arc of sand to head out from with a surf board". But there's more to it than just location. The hotel is eco-friendly and offers fantastic accommodation, a luxury spa and a great restaurant. Prices from £270 for a double room (Scarlethotel.co.uk).
The Cary Arms in Devon is "a beachcomber's delight". The small waterside hotel at Babbacombe "has a touch of the quirky 1930s seaside retreat about it". It is an unpretentious hotel with a great pub attached for meals. "It is hard not to love a place that slips a hot water bottle into your bed on chilly nights." Doubles from £155 (Caryarms.co.uk).
It's the foibles of the George Hotel on the Isle of Wight that will make you fall in love with it "the ship-like camber of some of the floorboards and the confidence in just being itself". Situated on the banks of the Solent, the hotel is "reassuringly traditional, yet without an ounce of stuffiness". Double rooms start at £190 (Thegeorge.co.uk).
"Sussex meets New England" at the Gallivant Hotel in Rye. The bedrooms have blue and white striped furnishings and inlaid seashells. The food "is a big draw; the chef was lured from the Tate Modern to work his magic on the local produce". Prices start at £85 for a double (Thegallivanthotel.com).
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