interior shot of casa bianca hotel

Montreal [stay]

Montreal has sustainability on its mind. More than 230 city organizations worked to develop the Sustainable Montreal 2016-2020 plan, the third iteration of the city’s environmental priorities. The initiative includes many of the city’s stakeholders, including those connected to tourism. When visiting Montreal, follow the locals’ lead and opt for one of these eco-friendly accommodations.


Give the Fairmont a Chance

The Queen Elizabeth Hotel became an activist icon in 1969 when John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged one of two “Bed-Ins For Peace” at the Fairmont in Montreal. In protest of the Vietnam War, the couple stayed in bed for an entire week. From their hotel room, Lennon and other prominent musicians recorded the song “Give Peace a Chance.” Those rooms are now dubbed the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Suite. Book your stay to sleep in the very bed Lennon and Ono occupied.

But the hotel offers much more than a piece of pop-culture history. It also runs on practices helping to protect the environment. From maintaining their own beehives and vegetable garden on the rooftop to donating to local nonprofits, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel works hard at hospitality and sustainability. The hotel features a coffee shop, bar, art galleries, onsite restaurant, and an artisan market preparing fresh meals. The Fairmont’s attention to Montreal culture also informs the hotel’s chic and modern design, which includes art installations by local painters and sculptors.

For travelers conscious of their carbon footprint, the Fairmont in Montreal boasts a four-out-of-five rating by Green Key Global, an international environmental certification body that recognizes hotels for their environmental performance. The hotel’s eco-advisor Marianna Nowark works to reduce the environmental impact of the building’s operations by ensuring the hotel buys local when possible, minimizes food waste, gives resources to charities in Montreal, and supports financial gender-equality for staff.

900 Rene-Levesque Blvd. West, Montreal, QC H3B 4A5, Canada. Rooms begin at $322 per night. To stay in the historic suite, be prepared to part with $1,500 per night.


Inn-House Yoga

open plan room

Located just minutes from the Botanical Garden, Casa Bianca features open-plan rooms and guests are treated to a picture-perfect view of Mont Royal. Photo courtesy of Casa Bianca.

Sunlight bounces off the serene white walls and hardwood flooring as Mont Royal’s most dramatic cliff face greets early risers at this wellness-focused hotel. Once guests rise, they can cleanse with locally produced, all-natural shampoo, conditioners, and soaps in one of the five stylish, open-plan suites. In the summer, in-house yoga instructor Jennifer Cloutier hosts rooftop yoga sessions at sunrise and sunset, allowing for stunning views of the park. Recently, Cloutier began a wellness program at Casa Bianca, offering services ranging from massage to reiki. The residence is a registered architectural landmark. Designed in 1912, it boasts French Revival features such as a terracotta fountain in the main hallway. Situated in the picturesque Plateau-Mont Royal district, Casa Bianca sits between the old town and Mile End districts, making the walkable city even more manageable.

4351 Esplanade Ave, Montreal, QC H2W 1T2, Canada. General Manager Jessica Gauthier recommends booking the rooms (starting at $112 per night) a “good month or two” in advance to ensure you get to stay at this chic inn.


A Stay That’s Sustainable

bathroom of the Boxotel

This luxury apartment includes a bathtub and a furnished terrace with a barbeque grill. The duplex features a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, double shower, washer and dryer, and hypoallergenic comforter and pillows. The rooms are also customized for workouts; hooks on the ceiling accommodate resistance exercises. Photo courtesy of Boxotel.

Developer and founder Marie-Jeanne Rivard, star of Canadian property renovation show Flip a Fille, describes Boxotelas as the perfect combination of a traditional hotel and AirBnB, appealing to those who want to settle in during their next Montreal journey. Complete with a stocked kitchen and full-glass shower, rooms at Boxotel feel like your own apartment with the added bonus of housekeeping. Each room offers a “smart home” experience automation system thats allows guest to remotely controlling temperature, lights, and curtains. The desks turn into tables, transforming the room into a fine-dining experience for those who chose to cook in their room. Rivard showcases art from upcoming Montreal artists in the Boxotel gallery on the lowest level of the building. With the addition of solar thermal panels, sun-oriented windows, and heated concrete floors, Rivard seeks to demonstrate how veganism focuses on healthy living too. “It is not only in the way of living, but also eating with respect to the environment,” Rivard says. “For me, it was something important to try to involve everyone, no matter what they eat.”

175 Ontario St. E, Montreal, QC H2X 1H5, Canada. To experience your own slice of home, rates begin at $140 per night.



Banner photo courtesy of Casa Bianca.

Peter Benson is the City Guides editor for NEHA. He has lived in four different countries and visited another couple dozen. He brings the lessons he learned from traveling and meeting people from all over the world to the publication. Benson earned his degree in business management from The University of Edinburgh in Scotland, his home country.

Sarah DiMarco is the Savor editor for NEHA. DiMarco has reported stories on various topics, including the LGBTQ+ community, urban development, and food. Prior to Newhouse, she earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Baldwin Wallace University. When she isn’t editing or writing, she can be found trying to master her grandmother's recipes in the kitchen.

Lindsey Sabado has bachelor’s degrees in history and English and a minor in education. Sabado is a contributing writer at and is pursuing a career in education reporting.