In times of chaos, it's tempting to take to the bed. In which case, where better than at Montreal's Fairmont, the Queen Elizabeth, in the same suite where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged a weeklong Bed-In for Peace in 1969 while recording their hit song "Give Peace a Chance."
Built in 1958, the 21-story hotel ushered an era of modernism into the world's second-largest Francophone city, which two years before the Bed-In hosted more than 50 million visitors for Expo 67.
Today, fresh on the heels of a yearlong, $140 million makeover, the Queen Elizabeth retains its modernist heritage in a reconfigured lobby known as the Agora that takes its design cues from 1960s fashion. Locals and visitors are welcomed into an immersive environment marked by a cavalcade of the greatest hits from midcentury Scandinavian design complemented by multimedia tableaux projections.
The hotel's permanent art collection of 123 works is on display throughout — and particularly in Suite 1742, also known as the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Suite.
In the suite's sitting room, a wall of file cabinets reveals an interactive installation of historic audio and video footage from the Bed-In. Furnished with rock 'n' roll memorabilia and a rotary phone, the 1,400-square-foot suite features a dining room, kitchenette, a second bedroom and two bathrooms.
For another perspective on the '60s, the Nacarat Bar evokes the glam rock era of David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust in a sleek cocktail lounge nestled off the lobby. Signature cocktails highlight the five tastes, with ingredients such as squid ink, chili tincture and smoke.
With views onto the street, the lobby's convivial Cafe Krema serves Montreal's best roast coffees alongside a central fireplace surrounded by contemporary classic decor.
Sculptural staircases in black and white lead from the Agora up to a new outdoor terrace with panoramic views of Mont Royal and downtown Montreal. A third-floor business campus features modular, multipurpose rooms enlivened with pingpong tables, swings and video and table games, while the hotel's second floor offers lounges and flexible spaces for receptions, meetings and events.
Apart from Suite 1742, the 950-room hotel features various lavish suites suitable for a personalized bed-in. The generously proportioned junior suites raise a martini glass to "Mad Men" with retro cocktail cabinets and swivel chairs alongside teak desks. Should the party become raucous, there's always the hotel's indoor pool complemented by Moment, a spa with eight treatment rooms and manicure and pedicure salons.
Rates for Suite 1742 at the Fairmont, the Queen Elizabeth commence at $2,250.
Through April 30, the hotel is offering a Family Moments Package. The plan, good for a minimum two-night stay, includes accommodations in two rooms or suites, with the second room at a 50% discount (for children under 18). Room rates start at $349 per night.
For those who follow the music, Mont-Tremblant has been host to the Tremblant International Blues Festival for the past 25 years. Located about 90 miles from Montreal, the four-season resort in the Laurentian Mountains is home to the Tremblant Resort on the sylvan shores of Lake Tremblant as well as numerous golf courses and a pedestrian shopping village.
Hiking trails abound at Mont-Tremblant National Park, with the Fairmont Tremblant providing a pleasant base camp. Suites at the 314-room hotel are not unlike a beloved family ski chalet — and equally appealing in summer when the blues festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors for more than 100 shows, most of which are free.
Available year-round, the Fairmont Tremblant's Condo Family Vacation Offer includes overnight accommodations in a unit with a kitchen, optional grocery delivery and access to the property's game room and pools. Rates start at $494 per unit, per night, based on two adults and two children.