One Night In Montréal!
An evening of total entertainment at Casino Montreal!
Whenever we plan our travels I like to check out the official tourism websites for our destination. When I had a look at the website for Toursim Montreal I saw a picture of this amazing modern building, it really looked an architectural wonder…what is that? I looked into it further and discovered it was Casino Montreal…this had to be added to our itinerary!
The casino is housed in three interconnected buildings on ile Notre Dame, two of them being buildings constructed for use at Expo 67, a world fair held in 1967 costing a huge amount of money to host but thought of as a great success. When originally built, these buildings or pavilions staging different country’s exhibitions were not meant as lasting buildings and following the end of the expo many of the buildings were demolished, after the area was used for part of the 1976 Olympics many of the remaining buildings fell into disrepair. However on 9th October 1993 Casino Montreal opened it’s doors here…and the area seems to be thriving. As we made our way there hundreds of people were in the surrounding parks, the island also hosts the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix when it’s roads are converted into the Circuit Gilles-Vileneuve, I reckon this must be an amazing time to visit and imagine there is a pretty big party…this may well have to be added to the “One day” list!
The buildings are so unique and have a massive wow factor, this was why I just had to explore and discover what was inside. We found that the wow factor didn’t stop outside and had a really great night!
Our night at Casino Montreal!
So when I think of planning a night out, I have to admit, a trip to a casino is not at the top of my list of ways to enjoy myself, especially in the U.K, although again admittedly I haven’t been to many.
As soon as we entered Casino Montreal though everything about it was as different and as unique as the architecture we had seen from the outside. It was light, airy, full of colour…and like we had found all over Canada…had a massively friendly atmosphere! People were here for fun and…it came across like everyone was enjoying themselves. A real party atmosphere has been created here and it is a place where people really let their hair down. Of course it does have the more serious gaming side to it, plays hosts to major poker tournaments and has the high roller gaming areas and sections, but they have done a great job of combining different areas seamlessly.
There are four restaurants at Casino Montreal, Le Montreal serving á la carte seafood and grill meals, Pavilion 67 an all you can eat buffet, Ajia a kind of Asian Fusion restaurant, and L’Instant a quick service deli type restaurant.
We were lucky to have a reservation at Le Montreal in a section where we had the choice of ordering from the menu or indulging ourselves at the all you can eat buffet! Le Montreal is a really lovely setting, on the one side there are windows looking out at the Montreal skyline, on the other are windows looking into the kitchens and the chefs working their magic, very nice, but still relaxed and comfortable, and the service was first class. We started off with some cocktails, the menu had great variety and also had some dishes influenced by the country theme running at the casino during our visit, Jack Daniels glazed rack of ribs, a HUGE Tomahawk steak…it was so tempting…but we all opted for the buffet so we could try the full range, we were also a little surprised by the prices which we thought were reasonable considering the location and the captive audience, $39 per person for the buffet.
The food was amazing…the best buffet I have had without doubt…this includes the buffet at The Bellagio Las Vegas which for me comes in a very close second! The starters were great but I was hooked on the meat counter…thick slices of rare, medium, or well done roast beef to your liking…it was immense! We tried everything…pizza, pasta, ribs, seafood…including Lobster! I’ll let you into a secret…this was my first ever time trying Lobster…I’d wanted to try it for ages but this was my first time! The selection here was awesome…all of us in our group enjoyed it…and the desserts were incredible!
After over indulging at the restaurant we decided to have a wander and explore the casino and find out more about what there was on offer. It was during this time that we discovered that the casino really was about total entertainment…it has so much to offer and has new twists on old things which really keep everything fresh! There is a gaming area, which is very popular, called The Zone, and it is so much fun! This is a trail blazing type of game which was developed at Casino Montréal with it then sold onto Casino’s everywhere including Las Vegas! So there are rows of seats with screens on front of you and then a stage at the front where hosts whip the audience into a frenzy! You select your game, roulette, blackjack, whatever you fancy, and play on the screen in front of you, but the difference is, everyone is playing the same game, with the same dealer, and it is played out on giant screens behind the stage as well. So say 20 people in the crowd are playing blackjack and hold on 18 and the dealer goes bust…all 20 win…it creates a great atmosphere…although we definitely ended down rather than up…it was really good fun and a different way to enjoy the traditional games.
There are so many funky quirky things about the casino, for example each floor is represented by a character from the deck of cards with a huge eye catching model of the character, one of so many talking points and things which really make the place different and a little bit special. Reinforcing the feeling that this is a place for people to come and have fun.
Some very creative people were undoubtedly behind the design and the ideas which kept popping up throughout our visit and there were a few times I had to stop and check the detail!
On each floor were these big playing cards where the pictures were created using 7524 dice! These stopped me in my tracks a couple of times!
Colour everywhere and in creating the fun atmosphere the devil was definitely in the detail. We had fun just exploring the different areas finding the nice touches, which by no means needed to be there, but brought a smile to your face!
There are also more serene and exclusive areas for a touch of luxury but still all quite relaxed. There’s something for everyone here.
As the night went on the more the fun cranked up, we had a sneaky look in at the cabaret show ….wo! People were really enjoying themselves really loving it! Fitting in with the country theme there was a country band playing on the stage really getting the crowd going, dancers marched out onto the stage, everybody was on their feet clapping and dancing…Canada and in particular Montréal, knows how to have fun!
As we had been walking round several times we had heard the party and the band playing in the central area, you could look down at what was happening from near enough every level. This seemed to be where the party really was! We finished our night here at the Le Valet de Carreau, a bar with a dance floor and 20 metre plus multimedia screen! Here the entertainment swapped between line dancing lead along by professionals and a live band playing. Whatever was happening there were people of a really wide age range joining in dancing have a great time. By the side of the stage there was a mechanical bull for people to have a go, it was huge fun!
A few Long Island Iced Teas later and our friend John hitting the James Bond Martini’s it was time for us to make a move! We had hours of fun here in a friendly happy atmosphere, an atmosphere I had never really associated with casinos before visiting here, one important thing for me to mention is that the staff, everybody working at the casino we met, really helped in no small way to create this atmosphere, and you get the impression they are proud of their work place and want you to enjoy it too!
When To Go
The Canadian Grand Prix is currently scheduled for 9th-11th June 2017 and although tickets will be really hot property I imagine this would be an amazing time to visit and enjoy time at the casino. Also 2017 is Canada’s 150th birthday as a country and there are huge festivals and parties planned which they are preparing for already. On top of this as well, Montréal will be celebrating it’s 375th anniversary, from our experience Montréal needs no excuse to throw a party…but this is going to be big and there are festivals planned throughout the year…there will be no better time to visit!
How To Get There
Prices to Canada are more affordable than you might imagine with more and more airlines joining the market place. WOW Air is an Airline based in Iceland which has been operating since November 2011. They operate routes from the U.K to the east coast of America and Canada, usually with a stop off in Iceland, we had an incredible time in iceland and I would really encourage anyone if they can to make the most of a stopover there whilst en route…look out for my blog posts on our time in Iceland soon! Even with a straight transfer in Iceland the journey to Montreal from the UK is only 10 hours. Plus looking at flights to include the dates for the Canadian grand prix for example 7th-14th June with WOW Air return flights from Gatwick are just £309.98 through Opodo. Pretty amazing!
As always thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed!
Casino Montreal supported us in our visit, but as ever my opinions are and always will be my own.