Disclaimer: Hotel Monville sponsored a portion of my stay, but as always, all opinions are my own.
Location is the most important factor I consider when choosing where to stay in a new city. In Montreal, I knew I wanted to stay in either the downtown area or Old Montreal for sight-seeing and photo purposes, and luckily I found Hotel Monville—which sits on the border of both neighborhoods.
Hotel Monville was undeniably one of the most comfortable and design-centric hotels I’ve stayed in throughout my travels. Walking in, you’re met with an industrial chic, high-ceilinged lobby whose walls are plastered with black and white photos taken by a local urban photographer. The lobby is quite big, with enough couches and lounge chairs thrown about so that the space never feels crowded. There’s ample room to get work done, and in the back, you find the lobby’s best asset: an extremely cool-looking oval-shaped bar.
But enough about the interior design. Let me tell you why you should choose Hotel Monville for your next stay in Montreal. Read on for additional information on what to do near Hotel Monville and what to eat in downtown and Old Montreal.
Why stay in downtown/Old Montreal?
Most of the city’s big hotels are located in downtown Montreal, making it one of the primary regions where visitors stay. The downtown area is home to a lot of high-rises and all the amenities you’d expect in a big city, including restaurants, subway stations, cafes and convenience stores.
Old Montreal is the historic center of the city—if you want to feel like you’ve been transported across the Atlantic to Paris, then you should stay here. Its cobble stone streets are lined with clothing boutiques and French cafes, making for a very charming neighborhood. It’s also where a lot of the must-see sites are located, including the Notre-Dame Basilica, the Old Port of Montreal, the Clock Tower and the Observation Wheel.
Why choose Hotel Monville?
Hotel Monville is located right on the border of downtown and Old Montreal, an ideal location for someone who’s interested in having all the amenities of downtown while being walking distance to the picturesque streets of Old Town.
The Notre-Dame Basilica is only a 10-minute walk from the hotel—which makes easy to get there early enough to avoid the crowds.
Aside from its location, the hotel has incredibly spacious rooms. I stayed in the Deluxe Suite with a king bed, two TVs, a big dresser, and a living room separate from the bedroom, including a divider with a desk to work on. The best part, though, was the view: floor-to-ceiling windows in both the bedroom and living room areas looked over Montreal’s downtown area.
Hotel Monville also has a restaurant on site, where I had a savory breakfast of smoked salmon and poached eggs, as well as a bar that’s open from 8 a.m. to midnight. Like I mentioned before, there’s plenty of working space in the lobby. Plus, there’s a gym available 24/7.
The final piece (and one of my favorites) is the terrasse, as rooftop patios are called in Montreal. The hotel eventually plans to add a bar up there, but for now it’s open for guests to enjoy the skyline views and watch the sun set behind Montreal’s resident mountain Mount Royal.
How to get here from the airport?
One of the cheapest ways to get to Hotel Monville from the airport is via the 747 Express Bus. The bus runs 24 hours a day and can take between 45 to 70 minutes to reach downtown depending on traffic. It costs $10 CAD, and you should purchase the ticket at the airport upon your arrival.
The bus dropped me off about three blocks from the hotel, an easy walk as I mainly travel with a carry-on. Of course, Uber and Lyft are always options, too.
What to do near Hotel Monville?
Montreal is such a vibrant city with countless neighborhoods to explore, restaurants to dine in and historic sites to visit. Luckily all of the must-see sites in Old Montreal are within walking distance of Hotel Monville, while others are just a quick Uber or subway ride away.
Visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral
Montreal has its own version of the famed Parisian Notre-Dame, and though much smaller in scale, the basilica is beautiful from the outside and even more stunning inside. There’s an $8 CAD fee to enter.
Come early (before 8:30 a.m.) to get photos without the hordes of tourists. It gets really busy!
Wander around Old Town
I spent hours aimlessly wandering through Old Town’s cobblestone streets. There are shops, cafes and restaurants on every corner. Though most of them are probably overpriced, since it’s a very touristy area, the European architecture and atmosphere make it worth your time.
Head to the restaurant-lined Jacques-Cartier Square for live music, street performers and plenty of photo ops.
Continue down St. Paul Street until you hit the impressive dome of the Bonsecours Market — but skip the market itself. I found it quite underwhelming.
Visit the Old Port
Take a walk along the river to witness Montreal’s Old Port area. Make your way to the Observation Wheel and continue on to the Clock Tower. If you visit in autumn, as I did, this area will be lined with gold and red trees by mid-October. It’s absolutely beautiful.
Watch the sunset from Hotel Monville’s rooftop
Grab a bottle of wine at a local liquor store or even the grab-and-go cafe at the hotel and head up to the terrace for sunset. Take it all in — you’re in Montreal! When the light fades, it’s time to head out for dinner.
Where to eat in downtown/Old Montreal?
Eating was my favorite thing to do in Montreal. Every meal I had blew my expectations. Here are a few of my favorites near Hotel Monville.
Chez Delmo ($$$)
This seafood restaurant is elegant yet unpretentious, a true date night spot. The oysters were divine, as was everything else my boyfriend and I ordered, including a lobster roll, a creamy shrimp dish and calamari.
Olive et Gourmando ($$)
Pastries on pastries on pastries. This popular sandwich spot was a great breakfast option. The coffee was strong and smoky, and there were plenty of non-pastry options on the menu like a yogurt parfait. We also stopped by for lunch, though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the famed sandwiches.
Cafe Tommy ($)
I noticed a few of these sprinkled about Old Town but I found the one near the Notre-Dame to be the most Instagrammable. And yes, that’s the main draw for this cafe, though sweet pastries like a Nutella cronut are still worth ordering. My matcha latte was also on point.
This pizzeria, which sits only a block away from the hotel, was one of those places that totally blew away my expectations. Coming from New York I know a good pizza when I see one. First, the modern decor and buzzy vibe (it was packed!) reminded my very much of a New York restaurant. The crispy wood-fired pizza was exactly what I was looking for on a chilly autumn night.
And that’s that! I hope you enjoyed learning about where to stay in Montreal, and if you have any questions about Hotel Monville, please let me know in the comments.
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