Luxury Hotels


Sam Ioannidis is as 360-degrees as a hotelier can get. In the few months he has been running FOUR SEASONS MONTREAL he seems to have integrated the city’s circles of local ethnic communities – he lives in the English neighbourhood rather than the more-obvious Greek ghetto – the canine world, the sailing fraternity, the music and art scene, and food and fashion.

The five-year old hotel is owned by shopping mall, lifestyle and fashion genius Andrew Lutfy. Straight from Four Seasons’ third-floor social hub, go through double glass doors direct to the flagship Holt, Renfrew & Ogilvy store. Head past men’s shoes, including Louboutin loafers. Go down to the basement to a beauty emporium that beats Harrods any day. It also undoubtedly equals Selfridge’s, until last year owned by the Weston family, majority owner of Holt, Renfrew & Ogilvy – in which Andrew Lutfy has a minority share, hence the interactive symbiosis with his hotel.

Sam Ioannidis showed Girlahead the store’s famous Tudor Palace (above), which beamed Montreal’s first radio station. Double tennis court-sized, this space is ideal for significant weddings and meetings. Next to the Tudor treat are a series of discreetly decorated personal shopping suites, with such support as private cashier, and food and drink service. Hotel guests love this (the recently-added nonstop Dubai to Montreal flight is so popular it is rumoured Emirates might put an A380 on). Montreal’s winters are justly renowned. Minus 40 outside but, from the hotel, walk straight into Chanel, Dior, Gucci et al, for guys, girls and tots.

But back to the 12-floor hotel. Upper floors are built around an open-sky atrium dotted with dozens and dozens of  leaf-shaped flying-saucers, a gigantic mobile artwork by Pascale Girardin. Gilles & Boissier have done the xxx bedrooms and they are gorgeous, full wall windows, and ‘walls’ between bed and ablution areas are half open, with copper-edged mirrored screens: bathroom tap etc are all copper. Closet doors are semi-transparent. Desks are replaced by protruding wall-set ledges, handy for sockets and USB ports. The bed has a white upper frame, four-post without the drapes. Taupe curtains are complemented by a luscious dusky pink velvet chaise longue with three matching cushions. Welcomes include a 12cm-long dusky pink chocolate, a pair of just-open lips, about to say ‘selfie sensation’.

Well of course this modern-lifestyle hotel has an indoor pool and a mixed-brand 24/7 gym. It has a sensational spa. Guerlain, through and through (try Simon if your back feels like a twisted rag). Oh yes, it has food. DOES it have food! It’s all Marcus, Marcus Samuelsson. The Ethiopian-born Swede has designed the place, and runs the place. The restaurant, part of the third floor ‘social hub’, flows from hotel reception via more-closed and openable-terrace round to a lounge (and that department store). Some of the tables look out over Kevin Ledo’s massive 1,000sq m, Crescent Street art tribute to Leonard Cohen, finished 2017. Marcus’ signature three-tier, sparkler-topped seafood tower is another lasting memory of this larger-than-life hotel.