Bachelor Party. Stag Weekend. The Big Send Off. When it comes to an East Coast party weekend for your recently engaged buddy and his groomsmen, Montreal is a tried and true top destination.
As an accommodating (and affordable!) bachelor party locale, Montreal quite simply has more than two days’ and two nights’ worth of activities. How to make due? Consult our four Montreal Bachelor Party Weekend guides, each tailor-made to the groom-to-be.
The Suave Gentleman
He was long labelled ‘The Player’ and after meeting ‘The One’, he’s now the ultimate lady’s man. Your soon-to-be-hitched friend knows his Italian fashion labels, already has set his sights on the ultimate luxury honeymoon and has the pockets to finance the bachelor party weekend ten times over. Your fellow groomsmen joke that he takes more time to get ready than his bride-to-be. Treat this bad boy to a sleek fête in Montreal that he won’t soon forget… it’s going to be haute.
The Bachelor Weekend Basecamp: Ritz-Carlton Montreal
One of Canada’s top luxury hotels, the Ritz-Carlton has every bit of class and swagger that you’d expect from a five-star hotel of its kind. On the ground floor, your affianced amigo will be greeted by the elegant Palm Court and will be keen on sneaking in a taste at Daniel Boulud’s Montreal restaurant.
Other noteworthy perks coming from the landmark hotel’s $200 million renovation include a rooftop indoor saltwater pool, renovated fitness centre and access to free e-readers. trivago users are also giving their nod of approval, crowning the Ritz as the top-rated five-star hotel in Montreal.[button text="Check availability »" href="http://www.trivago.ca/montreal-73110/hotel/the-ritz-carlton-montreal-43594"]
Recommended Reservation: Two Signature Queen guestrooms with views of Mount Royal. The Ritz pulls out all the stops with an expansive marble bathroom equipped with a heated TOTO toilet, Asprey toiletries, pillows à la carte and a Nespresso machine. Request connecting rooms for easy roll call.
Local Attraction: Sightseeing in the Vieux-Port
Lauded as a piece of Europe in North America, Old Montreal is the oldest neighbourhood on the island dating back to the days of Governor Maisonneuve circa the 1640s. Orient your visit around Place Jacques-Cartier, a pedestrian promenade leading from Montreal City Hall down to the water. Wrap yourself to the tip of the Tour de l’Horloge pier then take the time to admire from inside and out the gothic details of Notre-Dame Basilica, the site of Céline Dion’s lavish wedding and more recently, the funeral of her husband Rene Angélil.
Team Activity: Afternoon détendu
Find your bachelor weekend clique some of their own joie de vivre at one of two Old Montreal urban spas. Right behind Notre-Dame, Scandinave Les Bains will take you through the true Nordic wellness experience from heat to chill to relaxation. Further south, Bota Bota offers a full menu of body and massage treatments. Pile the squad into a sauna overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the skyline of Old Montreal.
The Suave Gentlemen Bachelor Party Weekend Itinerary
- Style & Grooming: Waxman House
- Splurge Dinner: Soubois & Joe Beef
- Drinks on Drinks: Whisky Tasting at N sur Mackay, Somewhr Liquor Lounge and Big in Japan Bar
- Late Night Munchies: Majestique & Express
- Hungover Brunch: Le Cartet
- Souvenir for the Ms.: Naked & Famous Jeans
The Bohemian Artist
Berlin would be a tad too far for a stag weekend away, but Montreal will certainly do the trick for your groom-to-be. He rides a fixie, his favourite bands can’t be found on Spotify and thinks Williamsburg is so 2007. Montreal has long been a playground for artists and students with plenty of novelties that are sure to shut up your ‘know it all’ groom-to-be. Give him a weekend that will really spin his vinyl.
The Bachelor Weekend Basecamp: Le Petit Hôtel
When strolling along Rue Saint-Paul, you may just miss Le Petit Hôtel. Seamlessly tucked into the hardened façades of Vieux-Port (which goes by Old Montreal or the Old Port in English), the 28-room boutique hotel should not be looked over despite its miniature name. Your team is sure to be impressed by the property’s original masonry and exposed brick, in addition to modern upgrades like hardwood floors, Quebec-designed furniture and a lobby lounge mural by Montreal street art crew En Masse.
The hotel’s 24 x 7 Petit Café is the perfect spot to grab a quick allongé and a croissant while catching up on emails and waiting to rendezvous with the other groomsmen.[button text="Check availability »" href="http://www.trivago.ca/montreal-73110/hotel/le-petit-hotel-1281700"]
Recommended Reservation: Two of the XL lofts which can each accommodate four sleepers. Freshen up in the multi-jet shower, before unwinding with a round on the Nintendo Wii and finally collapse into goose down duvets and fluffy pillows.
Local Attraction: Contemporary Art Hop
Montreal remains the country’s undisputed creative capital and a number of private contemporary art galleries scattered around the city are lending their hands to support that claim. Near Le Petit Hôtel, Old Montreal’s Phi Centre and DHC curate an impressive assortment of artists addressing current topics in society and in the news. The former also screens an eye-catching line-up of art flicks and a newly-opened virtual reality garden.
For a self-guided art meander through Little Burgundy and St-Henri, pop into Arsenal/Division and followed by Parisian Laundry. Meanwhile, the newly-opened Never Apart in Mile-Ex is utilizing its “12,000 square feet of gallery, music production and creative space” to exhibit emerging artists spanning a variety of subject matters and music genres.
If street art is more the hubby-to-be’s scene, follow Wall2wall Montreal’s Walking Tour map which weaves along the Boulevard St-Laurent, passing by the lively public art erected for the city’s annual Mural Festival. Otherwise, Walks on The Wild Side is happy to show you around on a guided tour of Montreal street art which begins adjacent to urban art gallery Station 16.
Team Activity: Mile-End Craft Beer Tasting
The 514 also holds the title of Canadian metropolis with the highest number of restaurants per capita (and only second in North America behind NYC). The city’s maturing microbrewery scene presents the perfect pairing. For some serious craft brews, your bachelor weekend crew will have to have their pints pulled north of Rue Sherbrooke at brewpubs such as Benelux, Helm and Le Réservoir. At the head of the pack, Dieu du Ciel’s Péché Mortel (Imperial Stout) and Corne du Diable (IPA) are winning the brewer a loyal following across Canada and the US. Santé!
The Bohemian Bachelor Party Weekend Itinerary
- Style & Grooming: Emporium Barbershop
- Splurge Dinner: Manitoba
- Drinks on Drinks: Walking Boulevard Saint Laurent from Whisky Café to the Ping Pong Club then Bar Waverly to Bar Chez Serge
- Late Night Munchies: Poutine at Patati Patata or La Banquise
- Hungover Brunch: Lawrence, Fabergé and The Sparrow in the Mile-End
- Souvenir for the Ms.: Montreal bagels from St-Viateur or Fairmount, or an honourable challah from Hof Kelsten or Cheskie’s
The Gay Groom
With legendary gay nightlife, Montreal is an easy pick for recently betrothed gents looking to sneak in some pre-wedding fun. The Gay Village, centred along Ste-Catherine Street West, still remains the beating heart of the city’s LGBT community albeit within a city that continues to embrace its gay-friendly identity throughout. Time your gay Montreal bachelor party weekend over the summer when Ste-Catherine turns into a car-free zone with ropes of adorable pink bubbles strung high above. A weekend in Montreal: equal parts fun, funky and fab.
The Bachelor Weekend Basecamp: Bed and Breakfast du Village
Hosted by owners Phillipe and Nicolas, wake up at Bed & Breakfast du Village right in the centre of le Village. Renovated bedrooms in the main house are restful and come with a full breakfast in the morning enjoyed communally in the kitchen. Guests will love staying just half of a block down from the pedestrian stretch (Aires Libres) and around the corner from Beaudry metro station.
BBV was awarded a top value designation for Montreal based on the B&B’s very positive reviews accumulated by trivago in relation to its affordable price point. Get in touch with Phillipe and Nicolas soon to confirm availability for you and the entourage.[button text="Check availability »" href="http://www.trivago.ca/montreal-73110/hotel/bed-and-breakfast-du-village---bbv-3222548"]
Recommended Reservation: BBV’s Cottage plus additional rooms in the main house. Rent out the property’s cottage whose fully-equipped kitchen, living room and separate bedroom are spread across two floors. The five bedrooms in the main house can happily accommodate the rest of your party.
Local Attraction: Picnic in the Park
Though the husband-to-be may be a bit too old to fully appreciate Quebec’s liberal minimum drinking age (at a ripe 18 years), tolerant attitudes towards leisurely drinks al fresco makes boozy picnics a regular (and completely legal) activity of Montrealers.
One block over from BBV, health food store Rachelle-Béry can jump start your hamper with organic produce and snacks. Continue further up Wolfe Avenue to the Marché St-Jacques where you can float from the greengrocer to the cheesemonger to the baker. Procure yourself your beer of choice at the ubiquitous Montreal dépanneur (convenience store) or for a better selection of wines at the nearest SAQ (liquor store).
Immediately north of the Market is the Plateau’s largest green space, Parc Lafontaine. Throw your picnic blanket down and spread out on the gentle hills by the pond. Other go-to spots around town include the west side of Parc Jean-Drapeau, whose green space is sprinkled with retired Expo 67 pavilions including the iconic Biosphère.
If your bachelor weekend crew is big on electronic music, take a look at Piknic Electronik’s schedule to see if any favourite DJs are spinning while you’re in town. Other Montreal music festivals, namely Île Soniq, Fullflex Express, Osheaga and Heavy Montréal also pass through Jean-Drapeau. Piknic’s wintertime edition Igloofest brings out a lively retro ski suit-clad crowd ready to rave in the frigid minus thirty degree air. But hey, pourquoi pas?
On Sundays in the summer, you won’t have a problem locating Tam-Tams in Parc Jeanne-Mance where a congregation of drummers set the reverberating beat for the weekly celebration. From 10:30 a.m. until sunset, the drum circle around the George-Étienne Cartier Monument sets the soundtrack for Montrealers looking to enjoy a lazy day of picnicking, tossing a Frisbee and even live-action roleplaying in the adjacent forest.
Team Activity: Pride & Ezkapaz
Short of a pride bonanza, put your wedding party’s teamwork skills to the test at Ezkapaz. The three different escape game scenarios are sure to bring out the best and worst of your characters in a soft rehearsal of the big day’s stress. Elect your challenge: finding a globe-trotting photographer’s prized jewel, revisiting your glory days from the 80s and 90s or track down an underground society’s top secret document.
The Gay Bachelor Party Weekend Itinerary
- Style & Grooming: Mohawk Barbier etc
- Splurge Dinner: Le Mousso & O’Thym
- Drinks on Drinks: Agrikol and Village favourites Unity, Stud Bar, Sky and drag performances at Mado’s
- Late Night Munchies: Le Red Tiger
- Hungover Brunch: Beauty’s
- Souvenir for the Ms.: Frank & Oak
The Fitness Freak
Who is your guy? He has Cliff bars stuffed into every which of his pockets, his calendar is divided into arm and leg days and his Instagram is a collage of gym mirror portraiture. My friends, you’ve got a fitness freak groom on your hands. Luckily, Montreal has the comforts and frivolity to keep this exercise expert exhilarated on his bachelor party weekend away. Stretch out at these healthy hotspots around the city that will deliver your companion back in better shape than he left!
The Bachelor Weekend Basecamp: Le Saint-Sulpice
For real muscle heads, a stay at Le Saint-Sulpice on the historic Place D’Armes in Old Montreal is a must. Instead of cramming a small hotel gym into the boutique property, Le Saint-Sulpice has partnered up with UNI Training next door to extend guests complimentary workout hours in a bona fide gym. Your weekend wolf pack can stay in shape while away on your own schedules or be led by one of UNI Training’s instructors through Body Pump or spinning.
Back at the hotel, staff are keen to please with tailored service, in-room Nespresso machines and L’Occitane bath products. The Sinclair Restaurant and Lounge, set into the property’s garden, is open for all three meals of the day and offers some surprisingly affordable set menus.
Le Saint-Sulpice’s location is ideal for a morning jog to familiarize yourselves with Montreal’s historic past. Set out along the Promenade du Vieux-Port that straddles views of the St. Lawrence, the abandoned Silo No. 5 and Habitat 67 on one side and the rooftops of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours, Marche Bonsecours and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum on the other.[button text="Check availability »" href="http://www.trivago.ca/montreal-73110/hotel/le-saint-sulpice-43946"]
Recommended Hotel Reservation: Two Superior Suites. All rooms at the hotel can, fortunately, fit up to four guests. For some extra space, consider a Deluxe Suite with a balcony that looks down on the hotel’s gardens and is divided into a separate bedroom and living room with a sofa bed.
Local Attraction: Habs Game, Mont-Royal Belvèdere and the Parc Olympique
If your pre-wedding party is ambitious enough to plan a bachelor weekend over the bitter winter months, bare witness to how Montrealers (and loyal hockey fans from even further away) turn up for the Habs. Named after the habitants (the original settlers of New France), the Montreal Canadiens have supreme status over the city and the Centre Bell is the best place to see this worship in play.
Under clear skies, scale Mount Royal to the Belvedère lookout to score the most iconic shot of the Downtown and the South Shore. Your team can opt for a seven-kilometre jog winding up the “mountain” or cut to the chase up the 400 wooden steps above Rue Peel. In the winter, Beaver Lake freezes over allowing for picturesque hilltop outdoor skating.
Out by Pie-IX metro station, the original stadium from the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games still soars above the east end of the city. On the ground, catch a Montreal Impact soccer game or catch a funicular ride climbing at a 45° angle 574 feet up to the Observation Deck.
Team Activity: Surf the St. Lawrence/Rock Climbing
Every stag weekend needs to have a balance between the unforgettable and the forgettable. Tick the first of those boxes with a half-day or full-day surf lesson by KSF which will take you straight into Montreal’s white waters. For parties up to seven participants, KSF will get you and the crew up on both feet carving through the St. Lawrence, first on the Bunny Wave in LaSalle and later in front of the famous Habitat 67.
For land lovers, Allez Up will get you high on their challenging walls whether you choose to rock climb or boulder. You and your team can take turns belaying at this climbing gym which adjoins to a retired silo. Walls vary based on difficulty and beginners are welcome to the bouldering wall and walk-in climbing on Sunday afternoons.
The Fitness Freak Bachelor Party Weekend Itinerary
- Style & Grooming: Les Mecs Cheveux, with a new cut christened by a cannoli from La Cornetteria
- Splurge Dinner: ChuChai for Thai vegetarian or Le Pier 66 for pescatarian treats
- Drinks on Drinks: Pullman or Buvette Chez Simone for natural wines or Terrasse St-Ambroise (best reached with Bixi bike rentals)
- Late Night Munchies: Omnivore for mezze and pita sandwiches
- Hungover Brunch: Aux Vivres for their grain bowls and fresh-pressed juices
- Souvenir for the Ms.: Lolë for their activewear