THE 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 sitting area with a plush armchair and comfy couch, an all-white bathroom, table for in-suite dining, and bedroom enclave 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.
It is a room made for lounging, for staying in and snuggling when the weather is cold, and rather than venture out to explore the city in the evening I stay in to watch movies and climb into bed not long after the sun sets.
There is also thoughtful attention to detail with stately swirls in the chair frames, patterned fabric that contrasts to the bold blocks of colour around the room, and a studded ottoman with these highlights making the apartment-style chamber feel more personal.
There is a reading light slung over the lounge and the television in the sleeping space is on an arm allowing easy adjustment for watching movies propped up in a pile of pillows.
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.
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.