Stately and distinguished inside a 19th-century building, Bonaparte kept all its charm when it recently renovated the romantic inn upstairs and the main-floor restaurant for fine French cuisine. It strikes the perfect balance of antique accents and modern comfort.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Consider leaving rambunctious children with their grandparents. The auberge is more suited to unencumbered travelers.
Airy with lots of daylight, the rooms feel like a sanctuary. Oak doors, hardwood floors, brick walls, working desk, and comfortable beds help create that feeling. A few rooms have private terraces and the rooms in the inn near the rear have views over the private gardens of the Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal.
There are eight king-sized beds in this property, which is rare in the Old Port.
In keeping with the scale of the day, the bathrooms aren't very big. But they're smartly outfitted with modern fixtures, subtle tiles, glass shower stalls, some tubs, and upscale bath products from ProTerra. Try the honey and vanilla cleansing bar.
New wooden floors and black leather accents breathe new life into the lobby lounge and eating area, where booths and walls were removed to create more breathing room. Still, the hotel section of the lobby is small and discrete.
Ask Luc, the kindly concierge, for sightseeing and dinner suggestions.
The Bonaparte's restaurant has had the same French chef for 26 years. He's a steadfast champion of traditional French cuisine, such as escargots, and lobster. His dining room is quiet and the preferred location of the business elite's power lunches.
A full three-course breakfast is included in the room rate!
On a narrow but busy side street, the Bonaparte is in the center of the Old Port--not too far east, not too far west. If possible, leave the car at home and take the hotel's luxury car service to the airport ($50) or grab a cab. Once there, walk everywhere or take taxis. The Place d'Arm metro stops is convenient, if you use the side exit.
For classic Canadian comfort food, book a table at L'Orignal (10-minute walk). Alternately, there's a fusion bistro called Mechant Boeuf (5-minute walk) inside the Hotel Nelligan. There's great international flirting on the weekend.
Right across the street, facing the hotel, is Venice (1-minute walk). It's a Californian tapis and cocktail place with great energy and creative cocktails. For a well-edited selection of exclusive craft beers, try Brewskey (5-minute walk), located under Marché Bonsecours. They also serve whiskey, as the name implies, and classic cocktails.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Understated, like old money, this auberge has champagne flutes full of class. Quiet and small, we love the restful ambiance, the renovated rooms and the clubby lobby restaurant that's famous for its classic French menu--you won't find any botched fusion experiments here.
As for the hotel, who doesn't love free Wi-Fi, fluffy white bedding, a full breakfast included in the room rate, and complimentary turn down service? Yes, you have arrived.