Near the Oratoire St-Joseph, this serviceable hotel in a busy neighborhood attracts tourists and families who enjoy ethnic markets and restaurants where you can dine cheaply and well. Getting downtown is easy, with a métro station just across the street.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Don't judge this book by its cover. The grim facade is no reflection of the renovated rooms--and the Wi-Fi is free, which is always great.
The rooms are fresh, clean, and generous is size. They come with kitchenettes, plasma TVs, free Wi-Fi, white linens, gleaming bathrooms, and safes big enough to hold laptops.
Check-in is early, at 2 p.m., which suits guests from overseas.
The hyper-clean bathrooms are wheel chair accessible--"roll in"--and renovated with white tiles and glass shower stalls.
Curious--there's a stylish little chocolate shop in the lobby. What a delight! A continental breakfast can be purchased there. The reception desk is small and low-tech, but friendly and efficient.
Bistro and bookstore Olivieri serves organic French and Quebecois-Canadian family dishes, in a tavern-style setting in the lobby area. For a full breakfast, guests are directed across the street for home fries and eggs.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Room service runs during very limited hours, with limited choices.
Close to the Jewish General Hospital, universities and shopping on Cotes-des-Neiges, the hotel is set apart from downtown, yet not isolated. There is a metro (on the blue line) and speedy buses downtown.
There is a Quebecois institution right next door--Rôtisserie St-Hubert (2-minute walk). There chicken and fries are often requested by visiting hockey players. For authentic Chinese dishes, try the famous and affordable Cuisine AuntDai (7-minute walk). Order extra gong pao chicken.
For a friendly Irish Pub, you can't beat the McCarold (7-minute walk). Their summer terrace wraps around the building, down a more quiet side street. Or, there's the hip Tabascobar & Co. for Texas-inspired grub, pool, and sports on television.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Let's see--there's a chocolate shop and a bookstore on site. We like their priorities. This low-key hotel in a six-story building services an eclectic neighborhood, Côtes-des-Neiges, full of new Canadians and universities, and hospitals. We appreciate the hotel's residential vibe, with fruit stands and boutiques nearby. There's a casual class to the rooms, which aren't trying too hard. Remember, downtown is just a $12 taxi ride away, depending on traffic.