For a change of pace, the council meeting this month was held at the “Manoir d’Youville” located on Ile St Bernard in Chateauguay. A beautiful island filled with wildlife and activities for the entire family, all year round. The city purchased this portion of the island, which was once owned by the nuns, for a convent and hospital care home, but now has taken on the role of a retreat hotel in beautiful surroundings. (Version francaise disponible ici).
I was given the opportunity to tour the hotel prior to the start of the meeting, and was able to snap a few photos along the way to share. The following are my honest opinions, and I was not compensated to promote this place at all, only encouraged to share my experiences, and mention all that it has to offer.
My first impressions of this place are of a historic institution, dotted with signs of modern amenities. The entire building was immaculately clean and well maintained. Hallways were well lit, artwork adorned the walls, and even the little touches such as side tables with potted plants, lamps, reading material and even essential oil infusers filled the air with fresh scents.
From the outside, I walked into a bright and clean lobby with a large decorated Christmas tree. I was greeted by the very polite hostess at the front desk, and the newly appointed hotel manager with a very positive and energetic demeanor. He was eager to show off all the work that had been accomplished in such a short time.
One thing that I never knew about the Manoir was that there are 3 ballrooms available for anyone to rent out for various events, such as birthdays, parties and weddings. Capable of hosting groups from 60 to 150 guests, including bar and buffet service available. Residents are offered a discount to host events here. Along with the ballrooms, there are several conference rooms throughout the building that can be reserved for any business event.
On the ground floor there is a coffee break room with a k-cup coffee machine, (cups and coffee pods can be obtained at the front desk for a modest $1.50) Guest rooms don’t have clocks or televisions, however there is a TV room available, and clocks are located in the hallways throughout the building. A large cafeteria offers buffet style dining for all guests of the hotel and visitors to the island.
Rooms are compact, but appear comfortable. A two room suite such as this one displayed goes for approximately $100 per night (plus a 10% rebate for residents), and includes breakfast. A double bed in one room, with a pull out sofa bed in the next. Two desks, closet space and a full washroom with bath and shower. Not every room has these features though. Since this was a monastery, most of the over 200 rooms offer only basic features, with a simple bed, desk and chair, and a communal washroom and shower down the hall. The actual hotel room may seem small, however guests also have access to reading rooms, with a variety of books and comfortable chairs to sit in, and beautifully decorated, period style communal rooms for guests to entertain in.
Other amenities offered to guests include free wifi, swimming pool, and massage room. And free access to the wildlife preserve on this island. While breakfast is included with the nightly stay, lunch an supper are available at an additional cost.
Customer service is usually what makes or breaks a business, and I must say that the staff that I met were the most friendly and accommodating that I’ve found in any hotel stay. Very eager to answer any questions I asked, and they had a sense of pride for their work and the building they were in.
I mentioned how clean this place was before, but I must say again how impressed I was that such a large building can be so well maintained. And it was a very cold night outside but it was so warm and welcoming in every room I visited, including the washroom facilities, that offered the little things such as immaculate sinks and toilets with a smell-good dispenser, and scented soaps. Even the grout in the shower stalls was scrubbed down and clean, something that most big name hotel resorts can’t even get right.
The council meeting is about to begin, so the last room I visited was the large two story chapel, with room for hundreds of guests. Religious services are no longer offered here, but the feel of peace and serenity still flow from this room, down to the large church organ and painted glass art on the windows.
I will leave you now as I enjoy some of these delicious treats prepared here at the hotel.
Thank you for taking to read this mini review, and I hope you decide to check this place out. As the mayor and all the staff said, this is our hotel, and we need to get the word out about this hidden treasure.
I am also working on the recap from Monday’s council meeting, it should be online shortly. There were a lot of interesting topics brought up, once again, and some heated discussions, which are almost always present.