Hotels in Dorval, Canada
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Dorval - The Best Kept Secret in Montreal’s West Island
Many visitors will overlook Dorval as just being the Montreal suburb where the airport is, but this coastline stretch of West Island is much, much more. It has deep roots in the early days of settlement, plenty of heritage buildings to visit, and an intriguing history to explore. If you’d rather just kick back and enjoy some of the finer things in life, then Dorval can provide that by the bucket load too. Exclusive members’ clubs, luxury hotels, a golf course, yacht club, the list really does go on, so you’ll never be stuck for things to do in Dorval.
One of the Oldest Cities in North America
The story of Dorval has developed over centuries, starting with its origins as a mission for Sulpician priests back in 1665, when what is now Montreal was just a tiny French settlement called Ville-Marie. A few decades later in 1691, a man named Sieur d’Orval bought the fort set up by the Parisian clergymen and renamed it after himself, creating Dorval. It grew over time, into a village by 1892, then incorporated into a town soon after in 1903. By 1956 it was a city in its own right, with shopping centres, hotels, even an airport, and because its history can be traced all the way back to the mid-17th century, that makes it the oldest city in West Island, and one of the oldest cities on the entire North American continent! A great place to find out more about this fascinating city is the Dorval Museum of Local History and Heritage, where the entrance is free!
Pay a Visit to an Exclusive Members Club
Dorval retains an air of prestigiousness from its earlier years, which can still be found at some of its more lavish establishments, from grand hotels to fancy clubs. Top of the list has to be the Forest & Stream Club, which is headquartered in the former villa of a chap named Alfred Brown, built in 1872. This was once a fashionable venue for the elites in Dorval, where opulent afternoon tea was served in the landscaped gardens on weekends during the 1920s. Established in 1884, it’s not quite the same now, after shaping itself into a wedding venue and restaurant, but it still retains its status as one of Canada's premier private social clubs. Down by the water overlooking Lake St. Louis, the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club began life in 1888, when anglophiles still clutched for recognition from the British Crown. It’s still there, and its current patron is Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Take a Day Trip to Dorval Island
Less than a kilometre from the Yacht Club and the shores of Dorval lies a small island named L’Île-Dorval , otherwise known as Dorval Island. With a total area of just 0.08 square miles, this tiny piece of land was once part of the mainland suburb, but a referendum changed this and at the start of 2006 it returned to being a city in its own right. Despite being settled since 1860, a census in 2011 logged the number of permanent residents at just five! Large-scale development never took off here, just a spattering of summer cottages were built instead of waterfront hotels, and it’s only connected to the mainland by a seasonal private ferry service. All this makes Dorval Island a fascinating place to visit, with its gravel paths, non-existent traffic, and lack of shops and businesses. You won’t even need that long here, you can walk around the entire island in roughly half an hour!
Not Just a Place to Stay Before Flying Out
The Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport may take up around 60% of the land in Dorval, but that shouldn’t mean you never leave your hotel if you’re stopping over for the day. There are plenty of fun activities you can enjoy passing the time. First up is taking on the 18 holes at Golf Dorval, where you can also practice your swing at the driving range if you’re short on time. If you’re thinking more about rest and relaxation before a long flight then why not book yourself into a spa for a massage or other therapeutic treatment to really unwind. If it’s some retail therapy that you crave, then there’s nowhere better than Les Jardins Dorval . It’s one of the oldest malls in Quebec, built in back 1954, and since then has been expanded and renovated, now containing over 60 stores and a whole lifetime of memories for the local residents!