It’s hard to find such a casual auberge outside of the youth hostel system, but here it is, full of color and life. This is where young families and travelers can relax and enjoy the heritage architecture without the aspirational pressure of a boutique hotel.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The auberge is located right beside a dodgy corner store that’s a blight on the otherwise lovely, turreted Victorian manor.
All six rooms are radically different in size and layout, offering perks that range from private balconies and whirl-pool tubs to exposed stone walls and Union Jack throw pillows. Everything is fresh and clean. The suites are well appointed for families who need many beds for shifting sleep configurations. Bedding is hypoallergenic.
YOU SHOULD KNOW There are no king-sized beds on offer, which isn’t shocking in a historic building with smaller rooms. Also, there’s no elevator, but staff will assist guests who need help lugging their suitcases up the stairs.
Surprisingly big for a heritage building, some of the bathrooms have modern fixtures, floor space and ceramic tiles, while others have glass showers with high-tech plumbing.
Don’t expect a huge vestibule in a heritage property. The lobby is intimate, with warm wooden banisters and an exceptionally friendly staff.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The door and buzzer on the ground floor are easy to miss. To reach the lobby, guests must first climb a very narrow staircase--but, hey, at least the stairs are indoors. The lobby and hallway carpet runners are is worn, which drags down the look a bit.
The indoor parking lot is two blocks from the auberge, but they’re short blocks. It’s easy to walk around Montcalm and Upper Town from here or take the many frequent busses. Taxis are also an easy option.
There’s a celebrated gourmet burger destination, Chez Victor (5-minute walk), which has homemade ketchup and many fancy mayonnaise options from the chef. As a bonus, there are old stone walls and great art.
For a wild night on the town, Dagobert (10-minute taxi) is a castle-themes nightclub with celebrated guest DJs and rivers of vodka, among other drinks.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Looking out from the roof-top terrace, with its panoramic views, this turreted mansion from 1898 doesn’t have anything to prove. It’s a gem. The vibe is laid back and friendly, with a young staff. Because of the building’s age, the floors, doors and walls all seem a bit crooked--but that’s part of the charm.
It’s a treat to get a full breakfast included in a room rate. It’s doubly special to eat it in a bright, spacious room with other smiling guests, eager to chat. While the rates aren’t particularly low, the auberge is great for families who need breathing space and distance from critics.