The Montreal hotel where John Lennon and Yoko Ono held their infamous “Bed-In” has undergone major renovations, revealing a contemporary new look for the historic property.
Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth is the largest hotel in Quebec, and boasts of a list of former guests than include Queen Elizabeth II herself and members of the royal family, Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and many more.
The Canadian hotel became famous around the world after John Lennon and Yoko Ono took over a suite for a week, hanging out in bed in an effort to promote peace. It was the second such non-violent protest against war, with the other held at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam. It was in the Montreal hotel room that the song “Give Peace a Chance” was recorded with a number of other celebrities.
After opening in 1958 the hotel’s restaurants and lounges, such as the Beaver Club, attracted not just celebrities, but international politicians and business people. Now, after closing for renovations, the hotel has opened with the intent to create a space for the community.
“We designed the renewed hotel experience with a very holistic vision. The hotel literally opens onto the city to welcome local people. More generally, it reasserts itself as an urban hub serving local and international clienteles. It’s a third space where people can go every day to do business, attend events or enjoy some downtime,” said Jean Pelland, architect and senior partner at Sid Lee Architecture, which completed the new design.
The new focus of the hotel is aimed at opening the building up to the public, where Montrealers and visitors can explore. There are commercial spaces on the ground floor that open onto the street, which is in downtown Montreal, and there is even a new space in the hotel, called Agora, where festivals and events will be held.
For guests who are interested in the building’s unique musical history, they can stay in the John Lennon & Yoko Ono Suite – site of the Bed-In For Peace – which was designed to reflect the styles and patterns of 60s fashion.