Montréal’s accommodation scene is blessed with a tremendous variety of rooms and styles. Though rates aren’t particularly cheap, they are reasonable by international standards – or even compared with Canadian cities such as Toronto or Vancouver. French- and Victorian-style inns and independent hotels cater to a variety of budgets.
Need to Know
- In Montréal, the average room rate is around $150, with some seasonal fluctuations (in January to March, rates fall by about 30%).
- Prices listed are for high-season travel (June to September) and do not include taxes – another 19% or so.
- Hotels charge a premium during the Grand Prix (late May and early June). Check websites for details.
We quote rack rates, but prices can vary drastically. Most business and high-end hotels offer discounts, often significant ones, for reservations made in advance – typically on online booking sites or by phone.
The universities offer good deals from May to August, though you should not expect much more than dormitory amenities for the longer-term options.
The modern high-rise Trylon Apartments are a plush alternative to top-end hotels at a fraction of the price. The small studios (36 sq meters) and one-bedroom apartments (51 sq meters) have contemporary furnishings with kitchenettes, and guests can enjoy the indoor swimming pool, sauna, exercise room and rooftop terrace. Some rooms have balconies.
The B&B Connection
For an overview of the many charming B&Bs across Montréal, visit B&B Canada (www.bbcanada.com). It currently has more than 40 Montréal B&Bs listed on its network, with photos, room descriptions and reviews.
If you show up in Montréal without a reservation and don’t feel like making the rounds, you can always book a place through the city’s main tourist office, Centre Infotouriste. Keep in mind that it can only book you a room in a guesthouse with which it has an affiliation.
Any guesthouse in the Village will be gay-friendly – welcoming gay as well as straight travelers. A few perennial favorites include the following:
Montréal has many choices when it comes to high-end lodging. You'll find top names such as Ritz-Carlton, Sofitel, Fairmont and other luxury brands. But you'll also find plenty of homegrown places such as the Hôtel Le St-James and the Hôtel Nelligan. The big full-service luxury hotels are largely downtown.
For more of the boutique experience, Old Montréal has the best selection. Many of the best are set inside 18th-century buildings and blend original details – stone walls, timber ceilings – with updated interiors (big windows and marble-filled bathrooms). While prices tend to be high at these places, you can find some great deals. This is especially true in low season even if you book at the last minute. Keep an eye out for cut-rate weekend deals and online specials.
Small Hotels & B&Bs
Small, European-style hotels are a Montréal specialty. Located downtown and in the Quartier Latin, they occupy Victorian-era homes that are plain and functional or comfy and charming. Prices are graded by facilities (eg with sink, toilet and/or full bathroom), but not all places have air-con.
B&Bs are a wonderful alternative. Many of them are set in attractive, 19th-century stone houses close to the Plateau’s bar-and-restaurant strips of Blvd St-Laurent and Rue St-Denis, or near Rue Ste-Catherine Est in the Village. The many B&Bs offer heaps of character – the precious commodity that can make all the difference – and their owners are often invaluable sources of travel advice. There are many comfortable but bland chain hotels in town, which may be useful in peak season when the B&Bs and guesthouses are booked solid.
Montréal has an abundance of good budget accommodations. Apart from the usual dorm beds, hostels may offer basic single and double rooms – though these are often booked out weeks in advance. In addition, the universities throw open their residence halls to nonstudents in summer; prices are competitive.
Planning in advance is key to finding accommodations during big events. The summertime festival season, from late June to the end of August, is the peak period, and conventions can crimp availability in late summer.
- Tourisme Montréal (www.tourisme-montreal.org) Excellent tourism website.
- Lonely Planet (lonelyplanet.com/canada/montreal/hotels) Dozens of author-reviewed hotels, hostels and guesthouses.
- Experience Old Montréal (www.experienceoldmontreal.com) The Antonopoulos Group’s collection of hotels, bars and restaurants in the old city.
Finding a place to bunk in Montréal is easy thanks to the many hotels that have opened in the past decade. Summer is peak season, so if you’re traveling to see a festival, book well in advance.
Boutique hotels in historic places such as Old Montréal have some of the most sought after rooms, but you can also experience culture at B&Bs housed in heritage buildings in other neighborhoods.
Accommodations range from cheap, no-frills hostels and generic hotels to charming B&Bs, boutique hotels and deluxe suites.
Sleeping With Locals
Sites such as www.airbnb.com have hundreds of listings in Montréal. You can stay with locals either by sharing an apartment or having a whole place to yourself. If you don't mind sharing, this is a great way to meet locals and get an insider's take on the city. And if you're after a flashy apartment for your stay in the city, renting local is one of the best ways to go.