Visiting a city for the first time is always exciting! But when stress and anxiety set in, it can be difficult to figure out where to start to fully enjoy our vacation. Here are six practical tips to save time and still have fun on your next trip.
Talk to the locals
Forget about the overly edited images on Instagram and the countless travel guides that always recommend the same spots. Talk to people who actually live in the city you’re visiting! They’re the best source of information about your destination’s hidden treasures. Ask them about their favourite restaurants and things to do, the city's most vibrant neighbourhoods, and any tips they might have. Get out of your comfort zone; that’s often how the best memories are made.
Do your research
While talking to locals will certainly help you venture off the beaten path, you should still learn a little about your destination to explore it efficiently. Before you go, find out about the local customs, lifestyle, security concerns, areas to avoid and food. And why not learn a few basic sentences in the country’s language, or bring a pocket dictionary to facilitate your conversations? Be a respectful traveller, not an annoying tourist.
Shop at local markets
The best way to experience local cuisine is definitely to check out the city's markets. Discover new ingredients, ask questions, taste regional flavours and get some inspiration to recreate your own feast once you’re back home. Talk to the shopkeepers about their specialties and get their tips on how to prepare traditional dishes. You might even find some souvenirs to bring back with you!
Leave your car behind
Why waste time and get frustrated in traffic when you can use a more environmentally friendly mode of transportation that allows you to truly experience the pace of the city you’re visiting? By using public transit or renting a bicycle, you can really get a feel for the area. It will also be easier for you to stop wherever something grabs your attention!
Give yourself the gift of time. Slowly sip a café as you observe the amazing details of your new environment. Put your mobile phone away and take a long walk. Avoid shortcuts and, most importantly, don’t overschedule your visit! Trying to see everything at once will just make your trip stressful. Live in the moment.
Write down your memories
Bring a notebook with you; you’ll be glad you did. It’s the best way to remember all your little discoveries. Reading through your travel notes makes the return home a little less sad.
If you are thinking about visiting Montréal soon, don’t hesitate to ask the professionals at Hotel Ruby Foo for their recommendations to have a blast while discovering the city!
Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, you only need one visit to fall in love with Montréal. This Canadian metropolis will amaze you with its historic charm, artistic flair and vibrant neighbourhoods. Easily accessible from Ruby Foo’s Hotel, this varied itinerary with plenty to see and do is the perfect way to discover Montréal. An exciting tour of this beautiful city is just a few Métro stops away!
Romance on Mount Royal
The Belvedere on Mount Royal is an idyllic attraction in an emblematic Montréal area—and a must for first-time visitors. With its spectacular view of the city, it's an ideal spot for a well-deserved break after a winter walk in Mount Royal Park. Or, breathe in the fresh air at the city's summit and enjoy the romantic atmosphere to cap off an evening with your significant other. If you go during the day, take the opportunity to visit Saint Joseph’s Oratory on Mount Royal just a short distance away.
One of the best ways to immerse yourself in Montréal culture is to taste its culinary classics. Stop by Mile End and try some of the city's iconic specialties, like fresh bagels from Saint-Viateur or Schwartz's Deli’s famous smoked-meat sandwich. If you’re in the Plateau area, be sure to visit La Banquise and discover their 1001 variations of the poutine. For something a little healthier, make your way to the Atwater Market and enjoy its seasonal fruits and vegetables—and pick up some gorgeous flowers while you’re at it!
Go back in time
Without a doubt, Old Montréal is one of the city’s most beautiful neighbourhoods. The architecture and cobblestone streets are reminiscent of Europe, yet it maintains its North American charm, continually reinventing itself with numerous emerging restaurants and businesses. Just 12 Métro stations away from Hotel Ruby Foo’s, the Notre-Dame Basilica and its luminous experience, AURA, are not to be missed. End the day on a high note with a stroll down Rue de la Commune and a ride on the ferris wheel at sunset!
Natural beauty from around the world
If you’re in Montréal in the fall or winter and the weather is not cooperating, reenergize with a visit to the fascinating Botanical Garden near Viau Métro. An oasis in the middle of the city, this Montréal phenomenon's different climates, landscapes, gardens and greenhouses will invigorate you. It’s perfect for a quiet afternoon, on your own or with the family!
History through art
Montréal has a plethora of museums to choose from, whether you’re an artist, forward thinker or history buff. There’s something for everyone! Enjoy the classics at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, innovative works at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, or a blast from the past at Pointe-à-Callière. Make the most of your stay, experience Montréal's culture and learn more about our cosmopolitan city's influences.
This list could go on forever... Montréal is an eclectic city where you can discover something new each time you visit. Hotel Ruby Foo’s is ideally located for all your activities, and our dedicated staff is always happy to help you make the most of your time exploring the city.
Enjoy your stay!
As soon as Halloween is over, the magic of the holidays sweeps across Montreal. The city lights up and gets decked out for the occasion, much to everyone’s delight. The best part is, Hotel Ruby Foo’s is close to many fantastic activities that will make your Christmas season bright.
What could be better than strolling through a Christmas market’s colourful decorations and festive kiosks to put you in the Holiday spirit! From December 20th to 31st, discover the fairy tale inspired Merry Montreal’s enormous Christmas market in the Old Port. You’ll be transported into the heart of Germany, while staying in the heart of our city’s grandest neighbourhood. Free activities include the unforgettable New Year Eve party, a tasting bar, musical shows, and fun Nordic activities! A magical must-see to discover before crawling back and warming up into our soft beds!
A Unique Shopping Tour
No idea what to get for your loved ones? Do your holiday shopping in Montreal’s underground city, where you can avoid traffic, escape the snow, and make the most of the wide variety of stores. When you’re ready for a break, stop by Montréal Trust’s enormous Christmas tree for a relaxing cup of coffee and a healthy dose of holiday cheer!
For a Jolly Good Time
Is Christmas your favorite holiday? Then jump into your winter vacation at bar Miracle to savor hot ciders and exclusive festive cocktails served in amusing cups. The yule-themed scenery bursting with decoration and a warm ambiance – that is as worthy of your childhood’s favorite Holiday movies – will take you directly to Santa’s home. From November 30th to December 30th, this pop-up bar is settled in Scarlett Exclusive located in Old Montreal. Since it’s only a few subway stations from Hotel Ruby Foo’s - It’s a must!
Ready, Set, Skate!
Skating is a favourite winter activity in Montréal, among athletes and amateurs alike. The city has a lot of options for a romantic date or activity with friends on the ice. There are plenty of superb outdoor rinks, like the Natrel Skating Rink in the Old Port of Montréal, or the one at the Winter Village on the Esplanade Financière Sunlife near the Olympic Stadium and Viau Métro station. If you prefer to avoid the wind and snow, try the indoor skating rink at Atrium Le 1000.
The Classics Never Go Out of Style
Some traditions never fade, and Les Grands Ballets’ magical Nutcracker is definitely one of them. See the Enchanting Escapade from December 13th to 30th at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier in Place des Arts. Performances are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., so you can share this experience with your children without them getting too cranky.
Hotel Ruby Foo’s is ideally located for you to enjoy all these activities and have a memorable winter stay. Our dedicated staff is always there to help you discover the best that the city has to offer.
Fall has barely begun, but it’s already time to start thinking about the Holidays! To help you get ready for the busiest time of the year, we have put together a short guide that will make planning a unique and delightful evening for you and your employees a lot more pleasant.
An Exquisite Meal for Every Taste
The Holiday season is the perfect time to gather around a festive table, celebrate the year’s successes and show your employees how much you appreciate their work. The meal you serve is therefore a priority. With Hotel Ruby Foo’s Christmas Party Packages, you can enjoy a delectable four-course meal and choose the dishes that suits your tastes and preferences. Our packages also include a welcome cocktail, a selection of refined hors d’oeuvres and two glasses of wine per person. A chocolate fountain or dessert table is also available to top off your dinner. Moreover, the hotel offers an exclusive bedroom rate of $125 for a Deluxe rooms and free parking.
You’ll Feel Like Dancing
Just because it’s Christmas, that doesn’t mean we have to go overboard with the classics. As they say, moderation is always in good taste—especially when Jingle Bells starts playing on repeat as soon as Halloween is over. Choose music that will make your guests want to dance and join the party. Offer a mix of styles and groups to further strengthen team spirit. Why not send out a survey a few weeks before the event and ask employees if they have any requests?
Lively and Varied Entertainment
A DJ or a host can make the difference between a memorable Christmas party and an event people can’t wait to leave. Make sure the host you choose caters to all age groups in attendance. Also, give people enough time for a relaxed meal; don’t rush them with endless games that interrupt them while they’re enjoying their meal. Effective organization is crucial for the evening to go smoothly!
Instead of wasting money on something that will end up being re-gifted, take the time to learn about your employees’ interests. Don’t just rely on your own tastes; this is an opportunity for you to get to know the people you work with every day. Also, offer your guests an original memento of the event. A fun photo booth, personalized wine glass or festive box of sweets can turn your Christmas party into an important tradition for your employees as opposed to just another formal event.
Don’t forget to think of those who may overindulge. To keep your guests safe, look into a designated driver or taxi service. Better yet, have your Christmas party at Ruby Foo’s Hotel, where you can enjoy the comfortable king-size beds in our Deluxe rooms for only $125 a night. That way, you can continue celebrating worry free!
Contact us today to take advantage of this special offer.
Who doesn’t love pizza? Raise your hand. Anyone? That’s what we thought! We devour it in all its forms: thick or thin crust, traditional or gourmet, vegetarian or meat lover’s… If you’re looking for the best spots in the city to indulge in a delicious pizza and a glass of red wine, these are our favourites.
Otago, Hotel Ruby Foo’s signature restaurant, has a wood-fired oven and a talented pizzaiolo whose creations are made in the Italian tradition. The result is simply divine! The pizzas on Otago’s simple menu are always delicious and worth the visit. Plus, the restaurant’s warm and relaxed atmosphere makes it the perfect place for a romantic dinner, or a get together with family or friends. You’ll become regulars in no time, we’re sure of it!
Ideally located on Parc Avenue, Moleskine is no longer the city’s best-kept secret—and for good reason! With a relaxed atmosphere downstairs and upscale dining upstairs, it’s actually two restaurants in one and their passion for good food and drinks brings them together. Wine lovers will be delighted to discover the impressive wine list, with its vast selection of private imports, and the pizza… it is sublime. Moleskine even has an ice cream bar, so try to save room for dessert!
Located in the heart of Little Italy, this restaurant faces tremendous pressure to prepare pizza that will delight even the harshest critics. Leave it to Stefano Faita and Michele Forgione to rise to the challenge! The chefs concoct exquisite pizzas using fresh market ingredients. Their seasonal menu creations range from traditional to adventurous and are always delectable; it is served in an authentic and friendly, Italian-inspired setting. The entire family will love GEMA!
For a traditional Neapolitan pizza at its best, head to NO.900. Cooked in just 90 seconds, these pizzas give a whole new meaning to the term “fast food.” Everything is tastefully and expertly crafted. The secret to their success is their homemade fleur de sel mozzarella. Another great reason to check out NO.900? They might be in your neighbourhood! This certainly makes things easier when you are craving pizza … Like now, perhaps? ;)
Is your mouth watering? You know where to go. Ready, set, bon appétit!
As the warm weather returns, so does our desire to play outside. It’s so nice to go for long walks under the summer sun, to get together with friends, do a little shopping, rest for a moment in a park or admire Montréal’s architecture. In our magnificent city, every neighbourhood is different and has something unique to offer. These are our favourites for a stroll:
Tourists flock to this part of the city, and for good reason! As soon as you set foot in Old Montréal, you are transported to another time and place. The neighbourhood is perfect for a long, leisurely walk, with frequent stops to admire the architectural marvels that recall our history. The narrow cobblestone streets, cute flowery patios, art merchants and horse-drawn carriages set the perfect scene for a stroll to another era.
If you’re more of a city dweller who prefers the hustle and bustle of a major metropolis, downtown is the place to be! All summer long, you can enjoy festivals and cultural events in quick succession. So, if you’re comfortable with crowds, explore the Quartier des spectacles, where you’ll find live music on outdoor stages, food trucks aplenty and a festive atmosphere perfect for an energizing walk! If you’re looking for something a little calmer and more contemplative, numerous excellent museums are within walking distance. Art lovers rejoice!
Did you know this area has been called the coolest neighbourhood in the world? And we can see why! Young, hip and buzzing with creativity, it’s the ideal spot for foodies and artists at heart. Roam the streets and take in everything the neighbourhood has to offer: trendy (but not pretentious!) restaurants, original shops, excellent cafés that really know their stuff… Mile End is begging to be explored! While you’re there, be sure to stop by St-Viateur or Fairmount for some bagels. What’s more, the neighbourhood is right next to Mount Royal, the city’s very best location for walking!
If you’re in the mood for a family stroll, this neighbourhood has more fun activities than you can imagine. You’re sure to enjoy a wonderful day filled with discoveries; the Biodôme (closed, reopens in summer 2019), Insectarium, Planetarium, Botanical Gardens and Olympic Stadium all within walking distance (or stroller distance!) from one another. Explore Parc Maisonneuve’s impressive network of paths, and throw down a blanket for a lovely picnic lunch between two activities.
This weekend, leave your car at home, put on your sneakers and go for a walk. Take your time, wander Montréal’s streets; we guarantee you’ll uncover incredible finds and see your city in a whole new light.
Winter’s not even over, and we’re already getting ready for summer vacation. How about you? Sunshine, patios, outdoor activities… We can’t wait to play outside! If you’re looking for the perfect vacation (or staycation!) destination, Montréal has loads of activities for everyone.
For sports enthusiasts…
Montréal is a hockey town. Everybody knows that! But what can fans do once the season is over? Not to worry! The Montréal sports scene is hot year round. We have the Formula 1 Canada Grand Prix, of course, which draws in visitors from around the world for an electrifying weekend. And for those who enjoy watching tennis pros battle it out on the court, the Rogers Cup is sure to be a thrill, with the women vying for the top prize this year. Are you more of a participant than a spectator? Then why not sign up for the Montréal triathlon or marathon? Every year, thousands of international athletes come to the city for these events. Or you could just cheer on the participants… ;)
For music lovers…
Montrealers love music, that’s for sure! Just look at all its festivals, which shine the spotlight not only on world-famous artists, but also on up-and-coming local talent. All tastes and styles are featured, with the International Montreal Jazz Festival, Les FrancoFolies, Osheaga, the Montreal International FestiBlues, Nuits d’Afrique and much more! Do you prefer electronic music? Then don’t miss Piknic Électronik: every Sunday, DJs and other artists will have you dancing under the sun. If classical music is more your speed, be sure to check out OSM in the Park, a summer series of free concerts by the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal!
For art lovers…
With its impressive array of museums and exhibits, Montréal is a great place to immerse yourself in art and culture. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is showing Impressionist Treasures, which will astonish you with its collection of European masterpieces. The Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal is presenting Leonard Cohen: Une brèche en toute chose/A Crack in Everything, a multidisciplinary exhibition inspired by the city’s great singer-songwriter which explores the theme of light. These are just two of Montréal’s countless artistic and cultural offerings!
Why so serious? A vacation means letting go of everyday work-related stress. It’s the perfect time to have a good laugh and to catch a comedy show! Keep an eye out for the Grand Montréal Comédie Fest and ZooFest schedules for a chance to see the established comedians you love and discover the stars of tomorrow. Is family fun and excitement what you’re looking for? La Ronde is definitely the best place for that! Roller coasters, fireworks and fun are on the menu. And if you want to sneak in a little educational content during the summer break, take the kids to the Montréal Science Centre, where they’ll have fun while they learn… And so will you!
If you’re looking for something to do this summer in Montréal, you have tons of options. The only problem is you might not have enough time to take advantage of everything the city has to offer. Our advice? Extend your holiday! ;)
Ah, the Holiday season is upon us! Family dinners, turkey, Yule logs, office parties, shopping… It’s a lot to think about! And what do you give to someone who has everything? Before you head out to buy yet another bottle of wine, have a look at 10 original ideas that are sure to be a hit at the gift exchange.
Edible gifts are always appreciated. So why not put something different under the tree this year and give someone the opportunity to discover local delicacies? Origine boréale has a wide variety of fine herbs, spices, mustards, jams, teas and more!
For those who care about the environment and social justice…
Natural body care products and soaps lovingly made by a Quebec company that gives back to the community… What’s not to love? They aren’t afraid to get creative, and even have beer- and bacon-scented soaps!
Do you know someone who has travelled so much, you’ve lost track of where they’ve been? Get them this scratch map of the world, so they can relive their experiences and choose their next destination.
For coffee lovers…
No one likes it when their coffee gets cold. But when you’re at the office, it’s difficult to get to the bottom of that cup while it’s still warm without being interrupted by chatty colleagues or urgent phone calls! The USB cup warmer is the perfect solution to keep your coffee or tea nice and hot.
For style seekers…
Who wants another boring tie for Christmas? Instead, celebrate good taste with some colourful socks or original, attention-grabbing boxers.
For those who need a pick-me-up…
Not looking forward to those family reunions? Bring a little liquid courage with you in this sleek and discreet flask. Christmas comes but once a year, after all. ;)
For the uncoordinated…
Know someone who’s all thumbs and who trips over their own feet? Give them this unspillable mug as a gift, and make messes a thing of Christmas past.
For (future) athletes…
We’ve all made New Year’s resolutions to get back into shape after the holidays. Help your loved ones stay on track with workout gear: a lovely yoga mat, a skip rope, a stability ball… Hop to it! No more excuses!
Think that candles are a lame gift? Think again! This collection inspired by Montréal’s different neighbourhoods will take you all over the city from the comfort of your own home.
For the sleep-deprived…
Know someone who snores like a buzz saw? We have just the gift (for their significant other): this pillow mist made with essential oils that improve breathing and help achieve quality sleep. Zzzzz…
Delight your friends and family with these original gift ideas. You may even upstage Santa Claus! Happy holidays everyone!
Are you planning a corporate meeting and wondering where to have it? Far be it from us to try to influence you (OK, maybe not that far), but have you considered Montréal? Reasons abound for you to visit our fair city.
Montréal is practical.
It’s the best of both worlds, with all the advantages of a world-class metropolis as well as a warm and friendly atmosphere. Montréal is a compact city; it’s easy to get around safely. It has all the versatile and ultramodern facilities you need to hold a large-scale event, including the Palais des congrès. Located right downtown, this venue is easily accessible by subway, and numerous tourist attractions are within walking distance. Coming to Montréal is easy, from anywhere in the world, thanks to its international airport. Its public transit network will take you to town in a jiffy.
Montréal is economical
The cost of organizing a corporate event is an important consideration. In this respect, Montréal is a great destination compared with other North American cities. First, the exchange rate will work in your favour, which is no small matter. Montréal is an inexpensive city regardless of the dollar’s value, which is perfect when you have a large group to lodge, feed and entertain. Speaking of entertainment, Montréal has tons of free activities. You won’t have to spend a fortune to keep your participants busy. This brings us to our final point, and it’s an important one…
Montréal is fun!
The city’s reputation speaks for itself. Montréal is a tourist hub, and for good reason! You’ll find loads of interesting—and free!—things to do year round. Montréal has a rich and vibrant cultural scene, with back-to-back festivals for every taste. So, when you plan your meeting, don’t forget to include an outing to one of the city’s culinary or artistic events in the schedule. Having some fun after a long workday is the best team-building activity there is, after all!
We look forward to seeing you soon. Bienvenue!
Summer is coming to an end in Quebec (already?!), but believe it or not, there is an upside. Fall doesn’t just mean beautiful colours: it’s also harvest time in Quebec’s vineyards, so wine lovers, rejoice! Are you up for a road trip to visit a few wineries and sample some terrific bottles? Be sure to stop by our favourite spots.
7100 Rang St-Vincent, Mirabel
Established in 1993, Négondos is Quebec’s first organic vineyard. Its focus is sustainable viticulture, so its vines are pesticide-free. Not only are these wines excellent, but they are also better for you and the planet! Visit this winery, taste the wines (including the orange wine!), and join in on the harvest. Open from June until Thanksgiving. Check out their online boutique: http://www.negondos.com/boutique/.
150 Chemin Boulais, Farnham
Founded in 1991, the vineyard has been organic and biodynamic since 2005. All its grapes are certified organic and hand-harvested. Come meet the grape growers, pick up a few bottles and admire a magnificent view of the Appalachian Mountains. You can go on a self-guided tour and visit the vineyard at your own pace with an audio guide. The tasting room is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., from the Fête nationale du Québec (June 24th) until the Canadian’s Thanksgiving (Oct. 9th, 2017).
Pinard & Filles
1700 Chemin des Pères, Magog
This family vineyard is located in the magnificent Magog area of the Eastern Townships. It uses organic viticulture methods, growing Pinot Noir/Meunier, Gamay, Dornfelder, Chardonnay, Riesling and Savagnin as naturally as possible – which produce excellent wines! You can visit the vineyard by appointment; go to their Facebook page or website for more information.
100 Chemin Richford, Frelighsburg
How about some cider to shake things up a little? Clos Saragnat has excellent products, all of which are organic certified and made with indigenous yeasts. They have won several prizes, including the Governor General’s Award in Celebration of the Nation’s Table; it’s definitely worth the detour! Be sure to try the straw wine, a sweet wine made from grapes that have been dried for several months before being pressed and vinified, to concentrate the sugar and flavour. Visit their boutique; you’ll make some delicious discoveries.
1086 Rue Bruce, Dunham
Beyond its amazing wines, L’Orpailleur has a lot to offer! You can enjoy a delicious meal at the Tire-Bouchon restaurant, or rent a hall for a wedding or special event. You can also go on an initiation tour and taste the wines, and even take a bottle sabering course! Accompanied by an experienced guide, one of the course participants will have the opportunity to sabre a bottle of Brut de l’Orpailleur. Will you be the lucky one?
Admit it: you can’t wait to hit the road, make some amazing discoveries and support our local wineries. Let’s raise our glasses to Quebec’s wine produ