The Four Seasons Montreal has truly become an ideal haunt for lovers of fine design. Not long ago we were captivated by a soaring installation in the hotel’s open-air atrium: Contemplation, by renowned artist Pascale Girardin. This site-specific sculpture evokes the ever-changing seasons, filling the heart of the luxurious establishment with suspended objects that look like drifting petals and falling leaves. It’s a welcome infusion of nature in the city’s bustling downtown core.
The Four Seasons Hotel is located on rue de la Montagne, which has long been a prestigious address in the chic French city. Originally the site of the Hotel de la Montagne, the new Four Seasons, which opened in 2019, is connected to the historic Ogilvy department store (now Holt Renfrew Ogilvy). The locale, just around the corner from the commercial Saint-Catherine Street West, is the sort of place one should stay on a luxurious shopping trip. Big names like Tiffany’s and Gucci are a short jaunt from high-end boutiques like Tozzi, Manitique, and the Marie Saint Pierre flagship. The Canadian Centre for Architecture and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts are both a few blocks away, perfect for rounding out a vacation with plenty of art and design.
The Four Seasons Montreal houses a spa, a sky-lit indoor swimming pool, a 24-hour fitness centre, and a round-the-clock concierge team. When it comes to dining, a restaurant, lounge, and bar — all by renowned, Michelin-starred chef Marcus Samuelsson, and accordingly named MARCUS — are sophisticated, design-savvy haunts that are as much about the atmosphere as they are about the refined cuisine.
The Four Seasons partnered with Montreal-based design firm Atelier Zébulon Perron for the creation of MARCUS. According to a recent press release, Zébulon Perron and his team are known in Montreal for designs that reflect the personalities of clients; property development company Carbonleo, builders of the Four Seasons, envisioned a “refined yet organic design with a focus on social ergonomics.”
The immersive spaces of MARCUS are sophisticated but inviting, inspired by “circadian rhythms in which each moment is designed to be a novel, one-of-a-kind experience for hotel guests and Montrealers alike.” These experiences are facilitated by dreamy, opulent choices, like a floating velvet bench in the lounge and a rippling crystal wall that casts prismatic lighting effects on the floors and furniture. Daybeds, leather banquettes, and thin-profile bar stools provide the sort of relaxing seating throughout that would make one want to stay awhile. The terrace outside offers foliage-framed views of the city beyond, including some of the large-scale murals for which Montreal is so well known. In full view here, on the side of a nearby building, is a painting of the city’s most beloved son: the late Leonard Cohen.
Zébulon Perron developed a new concept for the third floor of the Four Seasons: the Social Square, a space that represents the city’s characteristic social ecosystem. Here, hotel guests and locals can eat, drink, and experience the hotel’s own luxurious ecosystem. The Social System houses the hotel’s lobby and the lounge, bar, restaurant, and terrace that together make up MARCUS. The space serves as a central hub that is accessible from different entrances, be it from the street, the adjacent Holt Renfrew Ogilvy, or one of the hotel’s 169 accommodations, which includes 19 decadent suites. The space is “completely integrated into the ethos of the hotel, the neighbourhood, and the city.”
The lounge, bar, restaurant, and terrace of MARCUS each have their own design identity, while serving to overlap and complement the others. All reflect the hotel’s contemporary sensibilities. In the lounge, subtle details nodding to the ocean pay homage to chef Samuelsson’s seafood creations. (This is further reflected in the foyer, where a crab in a glass cube greets guests, and in the luxurious cold room at the restaurant’s entrance, where seafood delicacies are on full display.) The bar, on the other hand, evokes an enchanted forest. The restaurant balances elegance and warmth with minimalism and modernity, a charming blend of juxtapositions.
The men’s and women’s washrooms are a yin and yang of palettes, from the cold and elegant stone in the men’s to the warm lighting and soft lines of the women’s.
For Zébulon Perron, ergonomics isn’t just a buzz word; MARCUS is a conglomerate of details specifically engineered to encourage interaction, from the positioning of furniture to the height of the ceilings. Materials throughout were chosen for their durability and timelessness; marble, brass, white oak, and velvet all work together to create a space that is simultaneously contemporary and traditionally glamorous.
Photos via v2com
Photographer: Olivier Blouin