Over Memorial Day, Dan and I drove to Montreal (from NYC, 6.5 hours) to spend a glorious weekend eating and drinking far too much. Montreal is the perfect place for that. On this trip, we stayed at the Double Tree by Hilton in the Complexe Desjardins, which was very recently converted from a Hyatt to a Double Tree in December. Fun fact – we stayed at that Hyatt back in 2012! This time around, we were very excited to check out the new Executive Lounge a/k/a Club Lounge at the Double Tree, having really enjoyed the one at the Double Tree by Hilton in Santiago!
If you read about our experience at the Double Tree in Santiago, you may recall that, as a result of Dan’s Hilton Aspire credit card (his current fave card), we have Diamond Status at Hilton properties, which generally permits us to access their Executive Lounge – a private area in the hotel for Diamond Members that often features free food and drink (kind of like an airport lounge). International lounges are typically better than US lounges, and, unlike its sister US properties, the Double Tree Montreal’s lounge offered happy hour with wine and beer according to its website! We checked out the lounge almost as soon as we checked in!
Open only between 3 PM and 9 PM, the Executive Lounge is located close to the hotel’s general bar area, just next to the hotel’s sit down restaurant, Saveur. Access is granted via a swipe of your room key. There is a desk at the entrance that is sometimes manned, but no one every said anything to us when we entered (or left, even with large glasses of wine) or checked us in in any fashion.
After the check-in area, there is a food space with drinks and a long table for a buffet, a small living area with a couch and a TV playing CNN, a scattering of 2 and 4 person tables, and a more private room off to the side. There’s definitely not a lot of privacy in this Executive Lounge, but its reasonable enough and electric plugs are scatted throughout. Plus, the lounge was quite quiet when we were there, especially before and after the 5 PM – 7 PM food and booze extravaganza.
From 3 PM to 5 PM, the food selection in the Executive Lounge is quite limited, consisting of cookies (but they were very good and very soft!), fruit, and some days, a savory snack mix with the cutest little Tiffany blue boxes to take away. We definitely snagged a few cookies to go during our stay.
At promptly 5 PM, the Executive Lounge set out a food buffet that could really make a full meal if you so desired. The food is supposed to last until 7 PM on paper (or the hotel website), and when we visited, it was taken down a little after 7 PM. The food was, however, frequently replenished between 5 and 7 PM.
The only hot item on the menu is soup. This was consistent each night. During our stay, the soup options were tomato lentil, green pea, and hot pink beet soup. I only tried the tomato lentil (a girl has a lot of dinner resys in Montreal!), but the soup seemed to be popular every night.
In addition to soup, every night there was a sizeable cheese platter with a variety of cheese (types not disclosed however), crackers, bread for bruschetta with a variety of toppings (I particularly enjoyed the tomato), cold veggies with dipping sauce, and a fresh salad (type varying by day).
There were also a few additions to the buffet each day, including pork pate one evening!
Each night also ended with a selection of tasty desserts.
Pre-5 PM, the only drinks offered in the Executive Lounge are a selection of cold sodas (Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Ginger Ale, Diet 7-UP when we were there), Perrier sparkling water, and unlimited Eska bottled water. There is also an espresso machine, with the usual drinks as well as hot chocolate. Tea was also offered. The hot chocolate was particularly good in my opinion.
Post-5 PM, the lounge set out mediocre red and white wine bottles and a selection of beers, which included a Unibroue, Belle Guele, and Coors Light (ICK!) on our visit. We opted for the red from Montepulciano. It was decent, and certainly drinkable for free. Our first night there were 3 options of red and white, but only the one option for our last two nights.
Everything is self-serve and the staff replenished both wine and beer when the stash ran low. I would also note that the alcohol is only served between 5 and 7 per the Double Tree’s website, but when we visited, everything was out until at least 7:30 and perhaps later (we left for dinner around 7:30 each night).
Other Amenities In The Executive Lounge
There is good, free wifi in the Executive Lounge, but you receive this throughout with Diamond Status (otherwise its $20 CAD/day).
STEAL OUR TRIP
Double Tree by Hilton Montreal: 1255 Jeanne-Mance St, Montreal, QC H5B 1E5, Canada. Attached to the Complexe des Jardins, a 10 minute walk from Vieux Montreal. Lounge access to those staying in Executive Rooms or with Diamond Status (which we have through our Hilton Aspire card). Parking on site at an extra cost (around 22 CAN/day when we visited (or 32 CAN/day for valet), but there was a 12 CAN/day weekend special for self-parking).