8 Best Boutique Hotels in Montreal
Montrealers take spring and summer seriously with a host of outdoor festivals and events meant to make the most of the warm weather. Whether you’re heading up north for the Montreal Jazz Fest in June or just want to spend a weekend exploring the city, you’ll find plenty of great accommodations full of character. Ahead, we survey the city’s best boutique sleeps.
An avid Italophile, Laura is always on the hunt for the next great travel trends, luxury hotels, best places to eat and drink, and hidden gems. Her writing has appeared in dozens of publications. She also co-wrote "New York: Hidden Bars and Restaurants," an award-winning guide to the city's speakeasy scene.
The William Gray
Comprising two 18th-century buildings topped by an eight-story modern glass tower, this 127-room buzzy bolthole in the heart of Old Montreal is the perfect blend of historic charm and up-to-the-minute mod cons—making it one of the best boutique hotels in Montreal. You'll still find the maisons' original stone cellars and fireplaces in the newly launched 5,600-square-foot subterranean spa, but the ground floor has been completely overhauled to accommodate hip restaurant Maggie Oakes (an outpost of local favorite Café Olimpico) and street-smart boutique OTH. The best of the 127 rooms look out onto Old Town's alleyways and the Bonsecours Market, but you'll find an ever better view at the rooftop bar—a favorite local spot for sundowners.
Le Petit Hôtel
This intimate 24-room boutique sleep benefits from an unbeatable location in Old Montreal, surrounded by great restaurants, bars, and shops and within easy walking distance of the Place Royal and Notre Dame Basilica. Inside, historic architectural details abound (think stone and brick walls and wooden beams) but the overall design skews modern, with clean-lined furniture and amenities like LCD TVs and iPod docks. While there's no spa or full-service restaurant on property (Le Petit Café serves great coffee and pastries), it’s the kind, friendly staff and complimentary breakfast for hotel guests that sets this place apart.
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Auberge du Vieux-Port
The atmosphere inside this former warehouse turned charming hotel overlooking the Saint Lawrence River is expectedly rustic-chic—we're talking wrought-iron bed frames, exposed brick, and plush bedding—but it's the warm, welcoming staff guests rave about most. Come in any season: in the summer, you can enjoy alfresco bistro classics at the Taverne Gaspar, which has sidewalk seating overlooking the river, and savor cocktails on the rooftop terrace; in winter, a fireplace in the lobby enhances the cozy vibe.
Design fans will love this midcentury-inspired hotel inside a 19th-century cotton warehouse, whose Parisian Beaux Arts exteriors gives way to minimalist design inside, punched up by colorful Arne Jacobsen swan chairs, a sleek cast metal check-in desk, and a floor-to-ceiling oak-paneled library straight out of an episode of Mad Men. The loft-style suites are extra spacious, with freestanding bathtubs and large windows overlooking the city's cobblestone streets. Looking to stay while? Families (and their pets!) can spread out in Gault's huge apartment-style suites, which feature kitchenettes with Bertoia chairs.
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Le Mount Stephen
Rooms and suites at Le Mount Stephen are located in a modern tower with appropriately contemporary interiors—but its the public spaces, housed in an original neoclassical mansion in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile, that truly wow. It's here you'll find a restorative spa in addition to the wood-paneled Restaurant Bar George, where chic locals come to see and be seen while dining on classic English fare like Scotch eggs and beef Wellington—a nod to the original owner George Stephen’s British roots.
Hôtel Le Saint-James
The hotel of choice for politicians, tycoons, and A-list celebrities, Hotel Le St.-James, in Old Montreal's former Merchant’s Bank, is a feast for the eyes. Opulent chandeliers, dark wood paneling, gilded frames, and leather-bound books all add to the classic Old World atmosphere throughout this grand dame—as does the former banking hall turned swanky XO Le Restaurant, which serves refined cuisine like oysters, foie gras, and steaks alongside an extensive wine list.
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Headed to Montreal for the annual Jazz Festival or the Just for Laughs comedy festival? Stay in the thick of things at this ultra-hip hotel in the Quartier des Spectacles (the city’s entertainment district). The modular rooms are like mini-apartments—think kitchenettes and washer and dryers—and channel an industrial-chic vibe with their exposed concrete, clean-lined furnishings, and high-tech amenities. Don’t feel like cooking? Head to Café Nomad for healthy meals and snacks before swinging by Galerie 175B, which hosts yoga classes and art exhibits by Quebecois and Canadian artists. Another highlight: the rooftop terrace has a hot tub with excellent views.
Hotel St. Paul
Canada’s first member of Design Hotels has been a magnet for aesthetes since it opened in 2001. While its Beaux Arts façade may seem ornamental, interiors are all about pared-down elegance with a glamorous touch, from the translucent alabaster fireplace in the lobby to the gauzy curtains and canopies, fluffy bedspreads, and suede headboards in the 119 guest rooms. Don't miss a meal at Hambar, the stylish on-site restaurant dedicated to ham and wine that's known for its talented sommelier.
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