Alain Ethier

Chef Concierge, Le St-Sulpice Hotel Montreal

  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Alain has more than 25 years of experience in the Montreal hotel industry and has been a member of Les Clefs d’Or Canada for 12 years. He is driven by his passion for Five-Star service and a strong desire to exceed guests’ expectations. Alain was chef concierge for six years at Le St-James and has been at Le St-Sulpice Montreal since 2009, where, as chef concierge, he has to try about 100 Montreal restaurants, attractions and events every year. Alain is the editor of Les Clefs d’Or Canada’s newsletter as well as the group’s blog manager and Facebook administrator.

  • On May 13, 2013
    Alain Ethier answered the question: Alain Ethier

    What are the best hotels in Old Montreal?

    I’ve had the chance to work for two of the best hotels in Old Montreal, so it will be a pleasure for me to describe them to you!

    Hotel Le St-James is a Four-Star rated hotel by Forbes Travel Guide and one of the most luxurious boutique hotels in Montreal. Located in an 1870 building that was once the Merchant’s Bank, it is full of history, antiques and rare pieces of art. The place was built to impress and to display the bank’s wealth and it still does that today as a hotel. It caters to the wealthiest and most famous people on the planet who like to live in a British castle-like environment and decor.

    Le St-Sulpice Hotel Montreal is where I can welcome you now. It is the only boutique hotel in Montreal with two Clefs d’Or Concierges to take care of your every needs and make sure you get the best possible experience of Old Montreal. The 108 suites hotel is ideally located just behind the Notre-Dame Basilica and at the corner of historic St-Paul Street. The comfort of the large suites, the warmth and coziness of the decor and the friendly and attentive service of the employees are equal to none to make you feel like you’re at home. In the summer, the backyard terrace becomes the coolest dining room in Old Montreal and an oasis of peace for an extra-long lunch. Actor James Woods, during his Montreal movie shoot last summer, loved the hotel so much that he publicly wrote about it on internet while he was still staying there, to the detriment of his own privacy.

    Hotel Gault is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in a beautiful historic building erected in 1871, with a strong focus on interior design and aesthetic elegance. The 30 luxurious rooms are frequently fully booked by their regular guests, who are very loyal to their hidden gem in the Old City. The staff is young, professional and cool, pretty much to the image of the guests staying there.

    Hotel Nelligan is a great place for the guests looking for a little more excitement. It is located in the busy part of St-Paul Street and offers 105 luxurious rooms and suites, many with brick or stone walls, a bustling lobby bar, a modern resto-bar with an in-house DJ, a great French restaurant and a very popular and busy rooftop terrace. The whole building transcends that energy and it is carried on by the very helpful and eager to please employees.

    Old Montreal has been booming with many of the best new restaurants, boutique hotels, trendy bars and eclectic shops in the last couple years. Combine that with the adjacent Old Port with its promenade, waterfront activities, numerous summer and winter festivals and many outdoor performances and it’s no wonder it has become one of the most sought neighborhoods of Montreal for the tourists, as well as the locals.
  • On April 10, 2013
    Alain Ethier is now following Amanda Arnold
  • On April 10, 2013

    Hello Kim, I heard you made a great presentation at the Clefs d'Or Congress in New Zealand. I wish I could have been there to meet you in person! Thank you for the nice comment!

  • On April 10, 2013
    Alain Ethier is now following Patricia Gajo
  • On April 4, 2013
    Alain Ethier answered the question: Alain Ethier

    What are the best restaurants in Montreal?

    Courtesy Toqué, Hans Laurendeau, Studio Shoot Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world, after Paris, so it is not surprising that many of the best restaurants offer French cuisine! Montreal is definitely a gastronomic destination and most foodies around the world have it on their bucket list of places to visit.

    As a Clefs d’Or Concierge in Montreal, I have the opportunity to interact almost on a weekly basis with all of the best restaurants, with their chefs, Maître D’s and owners and I had the chance to eat in most of them. My favorite restaurants list is based as much on my personal experiences as on the feedback I receive from the thousands of guests for whom I made restaurant recommendations and reservations and from regular conversations with my fellow Clefs d’Or Concierges. I always take into consideration, first and foremost, the quality of the food. Then, I look at the quality of the service, the knowledge of the staff, their efficiency, the creativity of the chef, the originality of the presentation, the decor of the restaurant, the ambiance, the location and finally the overall dining experience that will be offered to my guests.

    So, I’m happy to share with you my personal list of the best restaurants in Montreal. I chose them because I believe they deserve to be recognized for their talent, passion, efforts and continuous pursuit of excellence and because they constantly make my guests very happy and satisfied !

    The top 5 restaurants in Montreal (Not necessarily in order):

    Restaurant Européa: Located in the heart of downtown, on beautiful rue de la Montagne, Européa has two «Grands Chefs Relais et Châteaux» in the kitchen, to make sure your meal will be unforgettable: Jérôme Ferrer, the most famous chef in Montreal and Ludovic Delonca, his partner and co-owner since the beginning. To complete them, an executive pastry chef, Roland Del Monte, that was named «Meilleur Ouvrier de France» (Best Worker of France).

    If you feel adventurous, take the 10 course tasting dinner with wine pairings and you’ll probably end up tasting 12 to 14 courses, depending on the chef’s inspiration of the moment, and certainly see as many different plates and other recipients for the most outstanding and creative presentations! The service is equally amazing as you will get a full description of each and every dish presented to you.

    Toqué!: Located in the International Quarter, in between the hustle of downtown and the charm of Old-Montreal, you will feel very comfortable in their contemporary decor and very spacious seating arrangements. The chef-owner Normand Laprise is considered by many to be the most creative chef in the country and the pioneer of modern, experimental, molecular French cuisine in Montreal. He has been an inspiration for the new generation of young, daring chefs who keep pushing the limits of gastronomy in the city. The dining room is under the masterful supervision of co-owner Christine Lamarche, whose attention to details and flawless service is remarkable. Normand Laprise is proud to have developed privileged relationships with local farmers and breeders, which allow him to guarantee the quality and freshness of all ingredients used in the kitchen as well as being able to offer local Quebec products all year round.

    Club Chasse et Pêche: (The hunting and fishing club) Located on charming, cobblestoned, St-Claude street, in the Old-Montreal neighborhood, steps away from the Old Port and Place Jacques-Cartier. Claude Pelletier is one of the best chefs in the Province of Quebec; he is a master at assembling creative yet simple dishes whose flavor and balance are just perfect for your palate. Whether you choose from the fish and seafood side of the menu or from the game meats side, every bite will be delicious and highly enjoyable. Co-owner Hubert Marsolais manages a team of professional service people who are knowledgeable, attentive and friendly and he makes sure that no detail is overlooked and everybody’s needs are anticipated.

    Estiatorio Milos: The original Milos restaurant, property of the Spiliadis family, who also owns Milos Restaurants in New York City, Las Vegas, Miami and Athens. About 10 minutes drive from most downtown hotels, Milos is a destination by itself. You will find a great selection of the freshest and most delicately prepared fish, seafood and other Greek specialties. The service is friendly yet extremely professional and caring. The decor is spectacular and leaves no doubt that you are in a Greek restaurant, with its white plaster walls and fresh catch-of-the-day display, where you can personally choose the fish you’re going to eat. There are absolutely no compromise here about the quality of the food and the whole dining experience is more like a feast than a meal.

    Au Pied de Cochon: Located in the Plateau neighborhood, it is a modern bistro where the emphasis is definitely on the outstandingly daring, extravagant, borderline crazy, recipes of chef Martin Picard, one of the young apprentices of Normand Laprise, that I was referring to earlier! The menu revolves around two main ingredients: Pork and foie gras, and around two main concepts: Very creative and very rich. It is a foodies’ heaven where taste prevails over all other considerations; definitely not a place to go if you are serious about your weight-loss diet! Because you cannot come to Montreal without trying our most famous National dish, the poutine, you might as well try the highly heralded Poutine au Foie Gras. Chef-owner Martin Picard has a near-cult following, so tables here are regularly booked up a month in advance.

    Montreal is so rich in great restaurants that many other fine dining establishments could have easily been on this top 5 list. It was so difficult not to include them that I feel like you should at least know who they are, so if you are ever invited to dine at Maison Boulud, La Queue de Cheval, Les 400 Coups, L’Épicier, PortusCalle or at Garde Manger, you really should do everything in your power to go experience their fine cuisine.

    Bon appétit!
  • On March 26, 2013
    DeMarco Williams is now following Alain Ethier
  • On March 26, 2013
    Sarah Gleim is now following Alain Ethier
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    Amanda Arnold is now following Alain Ethier
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  • On March 23, 2013
    Alain Ethier answered the question: Alain Ethier

    What are the best hotels in Old Montreal?

    I’ve had the chance to work for two of the best hotels in Old Montreal, so it will be a pleasure for me to describe them to you!

    Hotel Le St-James is a four star rated hotel by Forbes Travel Guide and one of the most luxurious boutique hotels in Montreal. Located in an 1870 building that was once the Merchant’s Bank, it is full of history, antiques and rare pieces of art. The place was built to impress and to display the bank’s wealth and it still does that today as a hotel. It caters to the wealthiest and most famous people on the planet who like to live in a British castle-like environment and decor.

    Le St-Sulpice Hotel Montreal is where I can welcome you now. It is the only boutique hotel in Montreal with two Clefs d’Or Concierges to take care of your every needs and make sure you get the best possible experience of Old Montreal. The 108 suites hotel is ideally located just behind the Notre-Dame Basilica and at the corner of historic St-Paul Street. The comfort of the large suites, the warmth and coziness of the decor and the friendly and attentive service of the employees are equal to none to make you feel like you’re at home. In the summer, the backyard terrace becomes the coolest dining room in Old Montreal and an oasis of peace for an extra-long lunch. Actor James Woods, during his Montreal movie shoot last summer, loved the hotel so much that he publicly wrote about it on internet while he was still staying there, to the detriment of his own privacy.

    Hotel Gault is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in a beautiful historic building erected in 1871, with a strong focus on interior design and aesthetic elegance. The 30 luxurious rooms are frequently fully booked by their regular guests, who are very loyal to their hidden gem in the Old City. The staff is young, professional and cool, pretty much to the image of the guests staying there.

    Hotel Nelligan is a great place for the guests looking for a little more excitement. It is located in the busy part of St-Paul Street and offers 105 luxurious rooms and suites, many with brick or stone walls, a bustling lobby bar, a modern resto-bar with an in-house DJ, a great French restaurant and a very popular and busy rooftop terrace. The whole building transcends that energy and it is carried on by the very helpful and eager to please employees.

    Old Montreal has been booming with many of the best new restaurants, boutique hotels, trendy bars and eclectic shops in the last couple years. Combine that with the adjacent Old Port with its promenade, waterfront activities, numerous summer and winter festivals and many outdoor performances and it’s no wonder it has become one of the most sought neighborhoods of Montreal for the tourists, as well as the locals.
  • On March 23, 2013
    Alain Ethier answered the question: Alain Ethier

    What are the best hotels in Old Montreal?

    I’ve had the chance to work for two of the best hotels in Old Montreal, so it will be a pleasure for me to describe them to you!

    Hotel Le St-James is a four star rated hotel by Forbes Travel Guide and one of the most luxurious boutique hotels in Montreal. Located in an 1870 building that was once the Merchant’s Bank, it is full of history, antiques and rare pieces of art. The place was built to impress and to display the bank’s wealth and it still does that today as a hotel. It caters to the wealthiest and most famous people on the planet who like to live in a British castle-like environment and decor. Through the years, I’ve had the honor to attend to the needs and desires of stars like Madonna, U2 , the Rolling Stones, Sting, Elton John and so many others.

    Le St-Sulpice Hotel Montreal is where I can welcome you now. It is the only boutique hotel in Montreal with two Clefs d’Or Concierges to take care of your every needs and make sure you get the best possible experience of Old Montreal. The 108 suites hotel is ideally located just behind the Notre-Dame Basilica and at the corner of historic St-Paul Street. The comfort of the large suites, the warmth and coziness of the decor and the friendly and attentive service of the employees are equal to none to make you feel like you’re at home. In the summer, the backyard terrace becomes the coolest dining room in Old Montreal and an oasis of peace for an extra-long lunch. Actor James Woods, during his Montreal movie shoot last summer, loved the hotel so much that he publicly wrote about it on internet while he was still staying there, to the detriment of his own privacy.

    Hotel Gault is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in a beautiful historic building erected in 1871, with a strong focus on interior design and aesthetic elegance. The 30 luxurious rooms are frequently fully booked by their regular guests, who are very loyal to their hidden gem in the Old City. The staff is young, professional and cool, pretty much to the image of the guests staying there.

    Hotel Nelligan is a great place for the guests looking for a little more excitement. It is located in the busy part of St-Paul Street and offers 105 luxurious rooms and suites, many with brick or stone walls, a bustling lobby bar, a modern resto-bar with an in-house DJ, a great French restaurant and a very popular and busy rooftop terrace. The whole building transcends that energy and it is carried on by the very helpful and eager to please employees.

    Old Montreal has been booming with many of the best new restaurants, boutique hotels, trendy bars and eclectic shops in the last couple years. Combine that with the adjacent Old Port with its promenade, waterfront activities, numerous summer and winter festivals and many outdoor performances and it’s no wonder it has become one of the most sought neighborhoods of Montreal for the tourists, as well as the locals.
  • On March 23, 2013

    Hi Jennifer! If your trip takes you to Montreal, I'm in the process of tasting a...

  • On March 19, 2013
    Carlos Melia is now following Alain Ethier
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    Alain Ethier is now following the question: