Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, The Queen Elizabeth has been an icon of the city since it opened in 1958 and is considered Canada’s last grand railway hotel.
The hotel recently underwent a $140-million renovation, which transformed the property with a major design overhaul of its 950 rooms and suites and its common areas and restaurants. The hotel’s redesign reflects on its past with vintage design touches, such as mid-century modern furniture, but also looks forward with modern-art installations throughout the property—the hotel’s art collection has 123 works, including sculptures and paintings, by 37 local and national artists.
Guest rooms include sleek furnishings and modern conveniences. Notably, guests can stay in room 1742 where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their Bed-In for Peace in 1969. The suite has interactive displays that provide video and audio clips detailing the pair’s stay. There are also four dining options, an indoor pool and a spa. Rates from $249. (fairmont.com) —Sara Samson
Nearby: Dorchester Square park features many historic monuments highlighting Montreal’s and Canada’s history.
Housed in a heritage neo-Georgian building in London’s Theatreland district, The Bloomsbury hotel has recently undergone an extensive, multi-million-dollar renovation. The redesigned, modest reception area and homey, guest-only lounge with fireplace sets the scene for a modern Bloomsbury set, à la Virginia Woolf and Lytton Strachey. The hotel’s new bar, The Coral Room, with its bold, coral-coloured walls, Herringbone parquet flooring and 1920s decor, is the place to go for cocktails and small plates—think Cumberland sausage rolls with relish and short-rib sliders and spiced slaw. Rates from $453. (doylecollection.com) —Diane Bolt
Nearby: Dominion Theatre is next door to the hotel, so you may get to see your favourite thespians before or after the show.
Indian Wells, Calif.
Nestled at the base of Coachella Valley’s Santa Rosa Mountains, this once-Tuscan-inspired retreat is debuting a fresh interior look, thanks to an US$8-million facelift. While the Miramonte maintains its original Tuscan-style exterior, inside, the lobby, common areas, meeting rooms, spa and dining areas have embraced a new “Coachella cool” aesthetic of blue hues and wood accents, a homage to the resort’s natural desert surroundings.
Start with a treatment at the freshly renovated spa, The Well. The new menu highlights local ingredients like lemons and lavender plucked straight from the property’s own herb and citrus gardens. Keeping with the farm-to-(massage)-table theme, the reimagined restaurant, Citrus & Palm, features produce from local Coachella Valley farms and the chef’s own on-site garden. After dinner, opt for some classic Miramonte experiences: relaxing in one of the resort’s two pools or playing a round of lawn games like cornhole under a starry, palm tree-lined sky. Rates from US$149. (miramonteresort.com) —Marissa Willman
Nearby: Empire Polo Club, the site of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (April 13-15 and 20-22) is just 15 minutes away.