From the cobblestones of charming Rue Saint-Paul to the jaw-dropping interiors of the Notre-Dame Basilica, Old Montreal is one of the most picturesque and well-preserved historic spots in Canada. Here’s our pick of the top hotels – and you can book your stay on Culture Trip.
The district sits between the St Lawrence River and downtown Montreal, and the best way to discover some of the highlights is undoubtedly on foot. We’ve picked some of the best hotels in the area so that you can maximize your time exploring.
Behind the modest whitewashed 18th-century brick facade of Hotel William Gray stands an architectural surprise, a soaring three-story plant- and light-filled atrium. The 127 guest rooms and suites are entirely modern in design, with queen or king beds and rain showers in the bathrooms, and offer Old Montreal and St Lawrence River views. However, the best vantage point may be from the eighth-floor terrace, where you can watch the lights come up over the dome of the Notre-Dame Basilica. Alternatively, tour the old town in a BMW X5, the hotel’s car service vehicle.
This former Merchant’s Bank arguably holds the title for the most luxurious collection of rooms and suites in Old Montreal. The 60 guest rooms at this property are sumptuously outfitted with antique plush velvet furnishings, clawfoot tubs and miles of brocade draperies. Original wood floors in the heritage suites are blanketed in tasteful Asian rugs. Cozy up in a leather club chair next to the ornate fireplace in the library with a book from the curated collection, or break the bank at RÉSO, Montreal’s pedestrian underground city with hundreds of shopping, entertainment and dining options.
LHotel Montreal showcases a pleasing mix of traditional style and modern art. The 59 guest rooms have soaring ceilings, and some feature French period antiques befitting this 1870 building. Paintings by Miró, Warhol and Lichtenstein also grace the king suites. Instagram-worthy sculptures by Botero and Robert Indiana are just outside the front door. The hotel is two blocks from the Notre-Dame Basilica and a short walk from the Musée d’art contemporian de Montréal (MAC).
Canada’s original boutique hotel opened in 2001 in this beaux-arts-style historic building. Tastefully designed with accents of white marble, burled wood, velvet upholstery and shades of purple, artichoke and tangerine, the 119 rooms offer chic comfort to the discerning traveler. The black suite is of particular interest, with its charcoal walls, 13ft (4m) vaulted ceilings and floor-to-ceiling shutter-clad windows that serve up spectacular views of Old Montreal. The Hambar restaurant and bar is a popular local haunt for its vibrant outdoor terrace and collection of rare vintage wines.
Le Petit Hôtel is a romantic boutique property exuding historical charm in the heart of Old Montreal. Housed in a 19th-century structure, it sits on Montreal’s oldest street, with many fine-dining spots and independent stores on the doorstep – wake up early to snap a photo of it before the tourists arrive. While the 28 rooms retain original architectural features such as brick walls, arched windows and iron railings, it also has custom-designed furnishings, adding a modern touch. Amenities include free wifi and a complimentary continental breakfast.
Auberge du Vieux-Port sits inside two 19th-century warehouses along the St Lawrence River. You can enjoy exclusive views from the rooftop terrace or one of the rooms that face the waterfront. All rooms feature exposed brick or stone walls and antique or modern furnishings, with the larger premier suites including electric fireplaces and more spacious bathrooms. The auberge also has a few dining options, including the gastro-pub Taverne Gaspar.
Hôtel Gault offers guests four levels of comfort in its 30 clean, contemporary suites. Lofts offer an open-plan concept with exposed brick walls and large windows, while the suites add a maple workstation and spacious baths with heated floors. True to their name, the terrace rooms are even larger and have outdoor spaces overlooking Old Montreal. Elsewhere, the apartments add kitchenettes and living rooms. Many furnishings are mobile, allowing desks to be placed where needed, and you can plonk the Eames-style chairs where you please. The concierge desk is open 24 hours, with suggestions for visiting nearby museums, the Old Port and attractions further afield.
Le Saint-Sulpice is beautifully situated in the Old Port, offering 108 comfortable and spacious suites that include kitchenettes, so it’s a great option for an extended stay in the city. It’s a stone’s throw away from some of the best sights, including the Notre-Dame Basilica, and it’s just two steps away from the Montreal Convention Centre for those traveling on business. The hotel has teamed up with high-end spa and gym services in the area, so you can arrange massages, yoga classes and more via the concierge desk.
A local favorite, Hotel Nelligan tops 105 rooms and suites with a rooftop terrace bar complete with firepits. Rooms overlook either the brick-lined atrium or Old Montreal, where the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages echoes in the historic streets. Rainfall showers, rose-scented Le Labo bath amenities and soft cotton robes create a romantic atmosphere, and you can level up with jetted tubs in the suites. The one- or two-bedroom penthouses have kitchens and dining areas, and all guests have access to superior Clef d’Or concierge services.
Prepare to conquer Montreal from the Hôtel Bonaparte. Built in 1886 on a cobblestone street in the old city, this former judge’s residence now comprises 30 rooms and one suite. All have original hardwood floors, brick walls and large windows – some of which open to a view of the garden of the Notre-Dame Basilica. On the dining front, the hotel’s restaurant has been a fixture in the city for more than 30 years, with the duck confit, mushroom ravioli and wild game terrine among the dishes luring diners back for more.
A collection of four late-19th-century historic buildings is the foundation of the Hôtel Place d’Armes. The decor is contemporary in the 169-room property, with soft leather chairs, flowing draperies and business-ready work desks. Suites add private terraces and soaker tubs. A Middle Eastern hammam steam bath and spa occupy two eucalyptus-scented floors, drawing relaxed sighs from weary travelers. The rooftop patio offers outstanding curated cocktails and views of the Place d’Armes and downtown Montreal.
This all-suite hotel is a great choice for families, as each cheerful, bright suite has a separate living room, a pullout sofa and a kitchenette. The complimentary breakfast is heavy on fresh fruit, eggs and pancakes, while the lobby grocery store offers snacks and essentials around the clock. There’s also an in-house coin laundry facility, and cribs and playpens are available upon request. It’s also within walking distance of all the major attractions.