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The Crystal was a big deal when it opened in 2008: a boutique hotel in a neighborhood not known for them (most are in Vieux-Montréal). Today, it’s still a most welcome property for the area. Its location close to the Centre Bell arena (home to the beloved Canadiens hockey team and venue for big touring musical events) ensures that the swanky Crystal gets its share of visitors who are taking in (or performing at) these shows. A top-floor pool (indoor, ringed by glass windows) and outdoor all-season Jacuzzi and well-maintained wooden terrace are a big part of the Crystal’s appeal. All the rooms are suites and the smallest, called the “Urban Suite,” is certainly ample for most guests: 495 square feet, with separate living and sleeping areas and a kitchenette. Enveloping sheets and luxurious mattresses are part of the mix, of course. The raucousness of rue Crescent and the endless shopping of rue Ste-Catherine are steps away.