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Montréal's largest hotel -- it has more than 1,000 rooms -- stacks its 21 floors atop VIA Rail's Gare Centrale, the main train station, with the Métro and popular shopping areas such as Place Ville-Marie and Place Bonaventure accessible through underground arcades. This desirable location makes "the Queen E" a frequent choice for heads of state and touring celebrities, even though other hotels in town offer more luxurious pampering. The Fairmont Gold 18th and 19th floors are the best choice, but other rooms are satisfactory, with traditional furnishings, easy chairs, ottomans, and bright reading lamps. Most rooms have windows that open, a rarity in this city. May 2009 marked the 40th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's weeklong "Bed-in for Peace" in suite no. 1742. The storied Beaver Club restaurant (ask to see the log book) is a masterpiece of local cuisine, including the wine and cheese selections.

Note: The hotel is closed until June 2017 for a top-to-bottom renovation.