Gatineau, in the province of Quebec, is across the river from Canada’s capital, Ottawa. It’s all considered part of the National Capital Region, but there are differences. On the Quebec side, it’s easier to find a bottle of wine (at the dépanneur corner store, rather than a government-controlled shop) and the sales taxes are slightly different. Pick a hotel in Gatineau and you’ll be closer to Lac Leamy and its grand casino, the excellent Canadian Museum of History and next-door Canadian Children’s Museum, and the maple leaves in Gatineau Park. Hotels often have better rates than on the Ottawa side, so you might have a finer room for the price too. Take your pick from these favourites – bookable via Culture Trip.
Stay here In Gatineau’s centre-ville – across from the Canadian Children’s Museum – and you’re just a 20-minute walk over the Alexandria Bridge to the National Gallery; further on, Ottawa’s Byward Market has a feast of eating options. The higher you are in this nine-storey hotel, the better your views of the river and the Gothic Revival Parliament buildings and Peace Tower. Exercise-wise, there’s a gym and light-filled indoor pool and the river pathways are just behind the museum. There are a few places to eat nearby, but central Gatineau mostly caters to the government workers in its many office buildings. Only breakfast is served at the hotel. Parking costs extra.
This centre–ville boutique hotel has modern red bricks outside and 46 spacious and uncluttered suites (plus two rooms) within. In addition to your bedroom, you’ll likely have an open-concept living room and kitchen with stove, microwave and fridge. The onsite café serves fair-trade coffee and you can sample from the hotel lounge’s menu while sitting next to their fireplace. You’re within walking distance of the Canadian Museum of History and the river, although restaurant choices are better 20 minutes’ walk away in Ottawa’s Byward Market. Hotel parking isn’t included in rates.
On the shores of Gatineau’s Lac Leamy, connected to Casino du Lac-Leamy, this high-end Gatineau hotel is for sybarites – hence the cigar lounge and five restaurants including the CAA-AAA Five Diamond Le Baccara with its predominantly French cuisine. Thanks to its location on the point, many rooms have lake views through their picture windows; some suites have a whirlpool tub in the marble-clad bathrooms too. The hotel has a large spa, an indoor pool and hot tub (again with large windows) plus an outdoor pool for the region’s steamy summers. The lake is good for bike trails and swimming, and the Ville de Gatineau rents out kayaks, canoes, SUPs, snowshoes and cross-country skis.
Also near Lac Leamy, this is a reliable Ramada property – the brand is internationally known. Some rooms at this moderate stalwart have carpeted floors and others are wood laminate – the latter feel more modern. Top tip: if you’re travelling with kids, they’ll find the loft rooms a treat, with the second bed up a flight of stairs. You can walk to the lake, casino and a grocery store (although, thanks to the location next to busy motorways, you’ll want a car to explore much further). There’s a gym, indoor pool, hot tub, sauna and spa, plus an onsite restaurant, Bistro75, serving filling sandwiches and kicky Canadian beers.
Tee up, golfers. This four-star favourite is west of Gatineau’s centre-ville across the street from the Champlain Golf Club and connected to the Chateau Cartier golf course on the bank of the Ottawa River. After the links, you’ll want to soak your stress away at the hotel’s Kōena Spa, which has outdoor Nordic baths, sauna and a steam room as well as light and salt rooms. Doubletree Hilton’s signature warm chocolate chip cookies will perk you up afterwards. There’s just one restaurant on-site, but plenty of excellent choices on the opposite side of the river in Ottawa’s Westboro neighbourhood. A car will make exploring much easier.
Unless you’ve arrived by bike – the hotel is accessible via Quebec’s 5,000km (3,107mi) Route Verte cycling network and has Bienvenue cyclists certification – you’ll very likely want a car when staying at 88-room Hotel V. After all, it’s across the highway from a shopping mall and on the edge of a residential neighbourhood in north-central Gatineau. Rooms are modern and chic and have an iPhone docking station, some have a rainbow of throw pillows across the bed. The onsite bistro’s menu is mostly French and you can eat indoors or on two summer terraces. The spa has two outdoor Nordic baths with waterfalls, relaxation areas with a fireplace, plus a sauna. One way or another, you’ll warm to this place.
It may be a mid-range hotel, but the 119 contemporary rooms step out in style, with sleek laminate flooring, handy minifridges and microwaves, even blackout shades. Rise and shine and you’ll be ready for a great day after the hot breakfast, included in the room rate. Travelling with four-legged friends? Two pets under 20lb are welcome to check in with you for a fee. There’s a fitness centre and heated indoor pool, but no onsite restaurant. A couple of decent dining spots are nearby (it’s a short walk to Hotel V’s bistro) and several casual places are across the highway in Les Promenades Gatineau mall.