If hotels could be said to have genealogies, the Hotel William Gray would unquestionably score for its blue-blooded stock. In the shadow of the Old Port, the Notre-Dame Basilica and Place Jacques Cartier, Montreal-based Béïque Legault Thuot Architectes have stitched together two historic piles in the old city, linking the 1818 Maison Cherrier, and the late 18th-century Maison Edward William Gray House with an eight-storey high glass tower.
The resulting 127-room William Gray is a handsome and modern reimagining of disparately historic spaces. For this, applause also for interiors studio CAMDI Design for its warm mix of leather and raw concrete, and dramatic voids accented by floating staircases and black metal light fixtures.
There are plenty of diversions, one of which will be an outdoor pool on the second floor that’s due to open in 2017. Downstairs, Off the Hook, a local independent boutique is stocked with urban fashion brands like Atelier New Regime and Reigning Champ.
Meanwhile, in-house restaurant Maggie Oakes – named after the wife of the titular Edward William Gray, Montreal’s first sheriff, and dressed in grey marble, walnut and a wall garden – is headed up by chef Derek Bocking who sends out steaks that have been dry-aged in the cooler at the back, sea scallop crudos seasoned with Meyer lemon and lavender, and roasted bone marrow nuzzled by grilled green tomato and avocado.