Category Archives: canada

One Day Stay: Montreal, Canada


I was fortunate enough to visit Montreal in both the winter and summertime. Seeing this culturally diverse city in both extremes was amazing. Full of energy, Montreal has a thriving nightlife, unique dining experiences and more adventurous things to do – I just adore it. This ‘One Day Stay’ visit was extra fun since I traveled with girlfriends. Who couldn’t have a great weekend with your pals in such a cool city that is Montreal?!



Le St-Martin Hotel Particulier is a contemporary 123 room hotel in Downtown Montreal and is a perfect mix of modern & comfort. Some things to expect from St-Martin are complimentary wifi (dream come true), Keurig coffee maker in your room and afternoon complimentary treats delivered to your door! The friendly multilingual staff will assist you in discovering some of the best restaurants, bars & nightlife Montreal has to offer. Also, onsite is a 24 hour fitness center and heated lap pool (available year round). Bistro L’Aromate serves up a delicious breakfast but also offers a mix of Mediterranean, Californian & Asian cuisines for lunch & dinner. I particularly enjoyed cocktails out on the terrace AND the cool lighting effects that change colors.



It’s not my first inclination to do something active on my quick getaways but I’m not sure why not. I always enjoy a little adventure and exercise disguised as fun! This visit I partook in bike tour with Ca Roule Montreal through some of Montreal’s lesser known neighborhoods. It was fantastic to be able to bike primarily along the city’s bike path to discover different parts of Montreal. We had an amazing tour guide, Ruby, who shared much of Montreal’s history – old and new. Our halfway point was stopping at the Atwater Market, which I adored. It’s always a feast for the eyes and the stomach to go to the local markets in destinations.



Given that this was my summertime visit to Montreal, I just had to take part in what is a big deal in their culture – the patio/terrace season. My favorite happy hour spot was Terrasses Nelligan. Not only was the sangria FAB but the scene was jumping and its rooftop location in Old Montreal made it perfect to view the beautiful scenery all around.



Located in the trendy Mile-End neighborhood, Nouveau Palais is an old-timey feeling diner that serves delicious fare to the hipster crowd. They also feature a classic cocktail list that isn’t too shabby either. I opted for my often go-to Negroni cocktail and had their famous burger. I wasn’t disappointed by either.

I was invited by Montreal Tourism to come enjoy #MTLmoments in the summer. MERCI for arranging the wonderful itinerary, hip stay at St-Martin Hotel, yummy dinner at Nouveau Palais and the super fun bike tour with Ca Roule Montreal. Once again, Montreal proves to be very ‘Lola Approved’!


Filed under canada, hipster hotels, one day stay, travel

One Day Stay: Toronto, Ontario


Toronto is now known as North America’s 4th largest city. Flying into Toronto, I would have thought it was the largest. The skyline of buildings seems to go on FOREVER. Once really in downtown Toronto there are enclaves of different neighborhoods with different personalities, which are fun to discover. One of my favorite things about Toronto is that it is a water city, located on the Great Lake – Lake Ontario. It almost seems like the city is on the ocean! Toronto has so much to offer it might not be fair to only give it a One Day Stay but I can say you won’t be lost for options in all varieties of dining, drinking and doing even if just for one day.


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Part of the Skyline Hotels & Resorts group, Cosmopolitan Hotel Toronto is a perfect place to drop your bag! Located in the heart of Toronto, you can easily get to anything in the city while enjoying the comfort of one of their 65 luxury studio apartment style rooms complete with a kitchen. It’s like a home away from your home. The staff is also extremely friendly and helpful. Don’t miss out on the spa or the wine bar!


One of the best times I’ve EVER had was going to a drag queen show at Woody’s in “The Village” – a super friendly gay neighborhood in Toronto. Located on Church Street, I was game to try something new. I had no idea I’d be dancing to fun tunes and complimented so many times in one evening. Who doesn’t like being told repeatedly that they are gorgeous?! Just sayin’! With DJ’s nightly, Woody’s offers other kinds of entertainment but the drag queen show, for me, was just perfect.


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Let’s just say I had an overly ambitious cocktail crawl outlined for my time in Toronto. Although I did have a drink at Four Seasons and Shangri-la, my favorite place was The Hazelton ONE Bar and Patio. The place was a bit more cozy than the other two and the crowd was fun. Located on Yorkville, ONE Bar is known for hand-crafted cocktails made with infused vodkas & fresh local produce. MMMM!


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Luma, one of Oliver & Bonacini’s many famed restos in Toronto, is located inside the TIFF Bell Lightbox – which is home to the Toronto International Film Festival, and is one cool restaurant and space.  Luma’s menu features Canadian artisanal cuisine using the finest local and regional ingredients. I went with the Niagara Gold Beef Burger and it was absolutely delish. I’m a big burger fan so I’m not always that easy to please. Let’s just say it had the perfect combination of extras in bacon jam, thyme and garlic aioli, niagara gold cheese and chili pepper fries. TO. DIE. FOR. Also, I really loved Luma’s decor – so bright, airy and cheerful.


Filed under canada, one day stay, toronto, travel

Hotel Le Germain, #Montreal – by @JETSETextra @TheWrldWanderer & @loladimarco

That’s correct. A TRIPLE-HIT Review!


Hotel Le Germain is a fun, fresh and fashionable boutique hotel located in downtown Montreal. With just over 100 rooms and suites, Hotel Le Germain’s concept is to allow guests to enjoy beautiful views of the city while pampering them with signature bedding and decor accessories made exclusively for Hotel Le Germain Montreal by fashion designer, Marie Saint Pierre. The warm inviting staff, complimentary espresso bar and Molton Brown products should also not be overlooked. With extra attention to making your stay memorable, Hotel Le Germain offers a program called Elite Extras with special offerings like relaxation, romance or night at the movies. Finally, and possibly our favorite, is Hotel Le Germain’s perfect host concept “Gtails” which means taking care of the finer details. Hotel Le Germain wants to meet all their guests needs but also anticipate them. ELITE. PAMPER. FASHION. What’s not to love…

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Mary Anne is an easy going traveler who loves a hotel that offers convenience and great amenities.  The first thing she looks for in her room is slippers and a robe, Hotel Le Germain did not disappoint as they supply a 100% cotton bathrobe for after the shower or  just relaxing. Her Superior Room offered plenty of space with a work area and a revolving bed side desk with power plugs close by for charging devices. The in room goodies at the minibar were nice little treats for late at night before bedtime. Her other favorite aspect was downstairs adjacent to the lobby. A complimentary library and cappuccino bar, which if you’re a coffee addict like Mary Anne, you won’t be disappointed.  Overall, Hotel Le Germain is a great hotel for families on vacation or business travelers who need a great place to meet with clients.

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If there’s one thing Erin can’t live without, especially while traveling, it’s wi-fi, and she could not have been more pleased upon arrival at the Hotel Le Germain.  While other hotels may offer free wi-fi to guests, it can often be a complicated process involving passwords and log in names, all-the-while still managing to be an unreliable system.  However, the Hotel Le Germain is ahead of the game, which is a welcome change from the norm, especially for business travelers and travel writers.  Here, no passwords are necessary, and a reliable wi-fi connection is easily accessible just by choosing their network, and that connection is constant and strong.  It’s any traveler’s dream and on top of great service, beautiful rooms, and comfortable beds, it’s just icing on the cake.

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Lola is a Hotel Junkie. Traveling to great getaways and always looking for the fun, Lola believes if you pick the right place to stay, then the rest will fall into place. Hotel Le Germain is a bit unexpected. Of course, it’s a great spot to rest your head but you can feel an underlying cheekiness to the place. Lola’s favorite thing about Hotel Le Germain was the playful “flower” arrangement in the lobby. It was tall vases with simple tropical greens and tiny fish. You might even miss the fish…it was like a playful secret.

Lola's favorite Hotel Le Germain touch

Lola’s favorite Hotel Le Germain touch

Serving primarily the business traveler, Hotel Le Germain makes it easy to start your day by grabbing a quick bite or a coffee on your way out. Since Montreal is only a 5 hour car ride up from Boston, it makes for a perfect short trip. Hotel Le Germain is a great boutique hotel for those who want style, comfort and to be in the heart of downtown.

Mary Anne, Erin & Lola were lucky guests of Hotel Le Germain and, as three well traveled divas, we think Hotel Le Germain’s an all-around great hotel.  We liked the convenience of the hotel’s location but also that even though Hotel Le Germain is right in the thick of things, it seemed like it was in a quiet neighborhood. Although we were treated to our stay, our opinions are still OURS. Rooms start at $210 a night, however, to mark Groupe Germain Hospitalite’s 25th anniversary, the hotel brand is offering a 25% discount on your second night. Details are:

  • Reserve for a Friday or Saturday night and your 2nd night is 25% off!
  • Deluxe continental breakfast included
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi access

Valid until December 31, 2013
Reserve with the promo code: GG25


Filed under canada, hipster hotels, montreal, travel

#MTLMoments – My 3 Favorite Drink Experiences in Montreal


I’ve said it before about the lovely city of Montreal – I feel we are kindred spirits. I was thrilled to return to Montreal this August and get to experience it in summertime. I had so much fun there in the throes of winter but really appreciated all I adored from that visit even more this one. People really get out and enjoy Montreal and I think that’s so cool. From wandering the streets, the foodie treats, dancing the night away at a club or just out for evening cocktails on a terrace about town, Montrealers are mixing it up in their city. I, fortunately, got to do all of the above but for now wanted to focus on 3 of my favorite drink experiences while in Montreal.

Classic Cocktails on the Patio

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Baldwin Barmacie – located in the ultra hip Mile-End area of Montreal, Baldwin Barmacie feels like a retro throwback. I loved the simple decor and the cocktail menu did not disappoint. I decided on one of my usuals, a dirty martini, it was so yummy that i had to order 2! Plus the petit glass it arrived in was tres cute. You can expect a stylish crowd here but not a pretentious one. Ladies, look out for firefighters on duty down the street at the Firefighters Museum. DELICIOUS!

Impromptu Market Picnic with Vin

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Atwater Market – located on the edge of the Old Port neighborhood of Montreal, what a treasure this market is. Quebec products abound here and they pride themselves on delivering local gourmet treats. Fruit and produce can be found as well as butchers and cheese mongers. The flowers aren’t to be missed either. My magic drink moment was found at Première Moisson within the market where they sell delicious pastries and sandwiches. I collected a ham and cheese croissant but not like any I’ve had before as well as a little bottle of vin and a last-minute addition of a chocolate chip and caramel cookie. When I was rung up the woman checking me out said she would have ordered the exact same thing. BINGO!

One of a Kind Glass of Champagne

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La Champagnerie – located in Old Montreal, it totally makes sense to have a bar that specializes in champagne – so romantic! But this isn’t your usual champagne bar. First of all, let me be clear, champagne is FAR from my favorite but this experience and what I had to drink were the top of my drink experiences. SOOOO that’s saying something. The “Sabrage” technique became popular from Napoleonic France times. The sabre was the weapon of choice at that time and with all of Napoleon’s victories, the calvary would open champagne with their sabres. OK so that’s where the tradition started but have you ever been somewhere where they encourage you to do the same? No, I thought not. Pick a delicious bottle of champagne and open it with a blunt knife all on you own! Suddenly it’s the very best tasting champagne on earth. But really…IT WAS.


Filed under canada, cocktails, montreal, travel

i spy eye candy! – Montreal

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This week where in the world is lola? picked the EYE CANDY topic of MONTREAL! Why, you ask? Because I’m one lucky gal who’s returning to THE CITY OF 100 STEEPLES this weekend. As I’ve written before, I feel as though Montrealers and Lola are kindred spirits. What’s even better than returning to Montreal? Returning to Montreal with super fun traveling girlfriends.

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CAN’T WAIT to check out Montreal in the summertime PLUS a new hotel property, have some great meals & cocktails out on the town, take a boat & bike tour AND check out the music fest that is going down right now – Piknic Electronik.

You can follow our girlfriend adventures on my Instagram, Facebook & Twitter with the hashtags #MTLMoments AND #SummerInMtl.

PS – I’ll be traveling with the sexy, funny and sassy @wheretogoAM, @JETSETextra, @turnipseeds & @TheWrldWanderer!!! That REALLY should be EYE CANDY reasons enough to follow us.

NOW all I need to complete my EYE CANDY dreams is getting a Mountie #lolafied! What’s eye candy about Montreal to you?

XO – Lola – Bon Voyage 


Filed under canada, eye candy, montreal, travel