Montreal charm in Christchurch …

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img_9901-1THE Hotel Montreal, which sits in Montreal Street on one side of Cramner Square, is the newest luxury hotel to open in central Christchurch.

The 27-room property joins the nearby Hotel George as the only two five-star hotels in the South Island city which is slowly recovering from the devastating 2011 earthquake that killed 185 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

My room has a spacious siting area with a plush armchair and comfy couch, an all-white bathroom, and sleeping area with the shades of blue and brown used in the light-filled space giving it a sophisticated edge that would be at ease in a chic New York hotel.

Those who know Christchurch from the days before the big quake changed the face of the city will recognise the Hotel Montreal as the former Chateau Blanc, which operated as an apartment hotel before 2011, with a local family buying the block and spending millions to convert it into boutique digs.

While the Hotel Montreal is in the heart of Christchurch the streets surrounding the property as still quiet – the locals joke Christchurch is like a donut, nothing in the middle – there are a few pubs and cafés popping up nearby and there is an on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as room service.

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Lush living in a Hotel Montreal suite. Pic Sarah Nicholson

SUMMARY …

What I like … opulence, from the lush carpet under my feet to the plump cushions on the couches. Oh, and that delicious new smell.

What I don’t … there wasn’t a lot of options when it came to finding an afternoon snack, but the city is still recovering and this was obviously a hard-hit neighbourhood.

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