I want to propose to my girlfriend this December in Montreal. It's been a while since I've been there and I would love to know about romantic yet affordable accommodations and the perfect place to pop the question.
TRAVEL CONCIERGE: There's a time in many a gal's life when she starts to anticipate the proposal. (Call me old-fashioned.) I recall my boyfriend booking an intimate bed-and-breakfast in the Ontario countryside. As we packed the car, he presented me with a box of long-stemmed roses. This might be it, I thought. When we arrived, the room featured mirrored closet doors and a "spa bathroom" with half-used shampoo bottles, and the whole place smelled like fried onions. This better not be it, I thought.
Luckily, you won't have that problem in Montreal. In fact, the hard part will be narrowing down the romance to one weekend. (This is a city that assembles official lists on the best places to kiss and hold hands.)
Start things off with a stylish hotel in Old Montreal. Quebec tourism is making this easier for thrifty Romeos with its Sweet Deals packages, available until Dec. 31 at www.tourisme-montreal.org/Offers, with participating hotels offering rooms starting at $116 a night and a second night at half price. There are some chic and historic spots on the list, including Auberge du Vieux-Port, Hotel St-Paul and Hôtel Nelligan.
So, back to the Big Question. It all depends on what kind of woman your future missus is: If she's the active type, you could slip the ring into her mitten at the skating pond at Lafontaine Park. If she loves nature, you can hide the rock among the tropical plants in the Montreal Botanical Garden. If she's a traditionalist, unveil the diamond in the quiet splendour of the Notre-Dame Basilica.
Or perhaps this is the time when romance trumps cliché. After a meal in the rich ambience of La Maison Pierre du Calvet, hire a horse-drawn calèche and pop the question as you clip-clop along the illuminated cobblestone streets.
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Karan Smith is a former Globe Travel editor.
Special to The Globe and Mail