MARRIOTT CHATEAU CHAMPLAIN
I stayed at the Marriott Chateau Champlain. The landmark, 4-diamond (AAA/ CAA) hotel located in the heart of downtown does not look like anything special from the outside. In fact, the local reference to it as a "cheese grater" is appropriate. But inside, guests find nothing cheesy -- just a warm, cozy hotel with courteous workers. There are 36 floors, 611 rooms (here's a link to virtual view of a standard room) that feature Marriott's new "Revive" bed (thick mattress, fluffy pillows, 300-thread count sheets, and down comforters wrapped inside a clean duvet cover). Complimentary high-speed internet is accessible throughout the hotel.
On the flight over Kerry said, "Since you are not high maintenance I had to put you up in one of the maid quarters for a night. The hotel is sold out, and I knew you wouldn't care." Kerry is always joking, but for some reason he convinced me and I had no problem. Kerry was indeed setting me up. When I opened the door to my room, I took a peek inside and got worried I had opened the wrong room. Kerry, that rat! The room (the Presidential Suite!) was so nice that President George H. Bush, Fidel Castro and George Clooney have all stayed there. Of course, not together -- but it was so huge, they could have. The plush two-bedroom palace came with three bathrooms(!), a dining room, living room, fireplace, video room (with flat screen TV) and a Jacuzzi. It was one of the first times I was actually bummed I had such a nice room, because I had no one to share it with. A room like that is meant to be shared. Where was my dad? Forget my dad -- where was Paris? Room rates range from $164 USD to $2,000 USD.
A nice perk about my room being on the 36th floor � other than the amazing view of the city � was that it was on a club level floor. That meant free food, and a fully stocked fridge in the club room. The hotel offers a fine continental breakfast, and light snacks and desserts all day and night. An upgrade to the club room begin at $43 USD. Other highlights include an indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, and 29,000 square feet of banquet rooms. My favorites were the 18th-century "Etude Champlain" and the fun "Caf' Conc Room".
I highly advise guests not to miss out on a massage from Charlotte in the spa. The spa itself was nothing special -- just one unimpressive room with walls so thin that whenever guests walked by on their way to or from the workout room, it felt like they were right there with me. That would've been bad, because I was lying face down, stark naked on the massage table. Charlotte -- a young, beautiful, sensual, strong-handed woman -- was one of the best masseuses I have ever had. No, there was no "happy ending," so get that out of your mind. It was just pure bliss, as for the first time I had my butt massaged. Who knew how good that could feel?! I am not a massage rookie � they're one of my favorite things in the world. But all the masseuses I have had have stayed away from my naked behind (they've come close, I admit). But Charlotte didn't care. She wasn't violating me; she was just a pro who jumped right in and pretended she was kneading pizza dough (shiver). Charlotte climbed on the table for better leverage (of course, I could've been hallucinating; I was in another world as I felt the towel covering my behind slide further and further, as Charlotte's warm, strong hands inched lower and lower). It felt so good as I could barely open my mouth. But if I could have talked, I would have turned my head, and in an Austin Powers voice would've said, "Charlotte, you are a naughty girl!". Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain, 1050 de la Gauchetiere West, Montreal, Quebec H3B 4C9 Canada; tel.: 514-878-9000; toll-free: 800-200-5909.