Four Canadian hotels have gotten the ultimate stamp of approval, making it onto the 2013 Condé Nast Traveler Hot List. The Ritz-Carlton in Montreal, the Four Seasons and Shangri-La in Toronto and La Ferme in Baie-St-Paul, Que., join a record 154 properties on the annual list of best new hotels in the world. Last year only the Ritz-Carlton, Toronto and Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver made the cut.
The Hot List is compiled by the magazine's editors, who anonymously checked out 201 new hotels in 57 countries. The evaluation criteria includes amenities, food, atmosphere and service.
The magazine described the Shangri-La as ideal "for a city vacation" and highlighted David Chang's Momofuku restaurant. The new Four Seasons, which replaced a hulking, decades-old tower, was praised for being "a clear departure from the old-fashioned, out-of-date original." Guests are advised to check out some of the 1,700 commissioned pieces of art on display, including "sweet little framed prints of Canadian wildlife."
In Montreal, the Ritz-Carlton, which underwent a $200-million renovation, scored raves for its "turn-of-the-century grandeur" and Maison Boulud, another outpost of superstar French chef Daniel Boulud. Reviewing the hotel for The Globe last June, Jacob Richler wrote: "After two early meals in Maison Boulud, I would venture the biggest difference is in the superb cuisine. One never ate this well at the Ritz before."
La Ferme is part of Le Massif de Charlevoix resort, which has undergone massive change since being bought by Cirque du Soleil co-founder Daniel Gauthier in 2002. Inspired by farm buildings that used to occupy the site, the hotel features a railway station, public square and a spa. The magazine described it as "eclectic and whimsical" – as you'd expect from Gauthier.
The Hot List issue hits newsstands April 23.