When traveling in Montreal look no further than the historic district known as “Old Montreal” for beautiful shops, cafes, and of course historic hotels. Many are considered “boutique” hotels – small, stylish, and situated close to some of Montreal’s richest historical and cultural attractions. The following hotels are among the most storied historic hotels in Montreal.
Opposite the exquisite Notre Dame Basilica and just blocks from the Old Port of Montreal, Hotel Place d’Armes is a beautiful historic structure built in 1870. It gained its official historic designation from the government in 1975.
Place d’Armes means “parade grounds” in French as the grounds of the hotel was a seventeenth-century square where locals would go to watch the military perform maneuvers1. Less than a decade ago the square was revitalized and is now a tourist hotspot. During the renovation, the remains of 200 souls were unearthed and relocated. They had been buried at the site of the square’s original church 2.
Considered a small “boutique” hotel, the Hotel Place d’Armes has 169 rooms and suites. Rooms have brick walls and hardwood floors which help to preserve the historic feel of the hotel. A standout amenity is the spa’s hamman which is a Middle Eastern steam bath.
Also overlooking the Old Port of Montreal, this 45-room hotel preserves its historic feel with wood beam ceilings, stone and brick walls, wrought iron beds, and wood floors. Some rooms overlook the St. Lawrence River. The building’s beautiful stone façade brings you back to the nineteenth century.
This boutique Montreal hotel is actually housed in two building – both former warehouses. One of the building was a nineteenth-century leather factory abandoned until the mid-nineties when it was transformed into its present glory. Rustic yet luxurious, this hotel provides a true traveling experience with its inviting fireplaces and old-world charms.
Hotel Nelligan is another boutique hotel situated in the heart of Old Montreal. Reflecting old-world European charm, it has 105-rooms and suites. Hotel Nelligan features classical fireplaces, wrought-iron railings, and exposed brick walls. The rooms and rooftop terrace offer scenic views of the cobblestoned streets of Old Montreal.
Located one block from the Old Port of Montreal and St. Lawrence River, Hotel Nelligan has a one-hundred-year-old history. It is named after the great Canadian poet, Émile Nelligan, who was born to a Quebecois mother and Irish Father. Nelligan worked and lived in the area. Quotes from his poems flutter across the walls of the hotel3. The Montreal hotel was converted from four nineteenth-century historic buildings.
Hotel Le St-James was formerly a nineteenth-century Merchants’ Bank building located in an area once known as the wall street of Montreal. Today is it located a short walk from is Montreal’s contemporary financial district. Celebrities like Mick Jagger and Madonna have stayed at Hotel Le St-James and it continues to attract celebrity travelers.
Hotel Le St-James has 60 guest rooms and suites each decorated in their own style with antique hardwood furniture, four-poster beds, and marble bathrooms. The spa is located in the old bank vault and the hotel houses a large European style library. Hotel Le St-James is one of the most luxurious Montreal hotels.
The Ritz Carlton Montreal opened in 1912 and has hosted some of Canada’s most prestigious visitors including the British royal family, Winston Churchill, and Charles De Gaulle. Known as “la Grande Dame” the Ritz Carlton is located in the Gold Square Mile section of Montreal. It has 129 guest rooms.
Housed in an old-world palazzo-style building, the Ritz’ luxurious lobby is artfully adorned with marble and brass. The Montreal hotel was designed by New York architectural firm Warren & Wetmore who also designed Grand Central Station and the Ritz hotels in New York City4.
The Ritz Carlton’s signature restaurant, Maison Boulud, uses local ingredients in its French-inspired cuisine. This hotspot continues to attract prominent visitors and celebrities from around the globe as well as prominent locals for meetings and gatherings.
Hotel Gault was created from a late nineteenth-century property originally owned by Gault Brothers & Co. The brothers were Irish immigrants who started a dry goods (namely cotton) company. The property was considered an architectural gem in the early twentieth century and was eagerly restored. The five-story building is carved in limestone.
The present-day building is flooded with natural light and each floor has its own color scheme. Its lobby features the buildings original cast iron columns. The Gault Restaurant features the buildings original brick walls. The Montreal hotel houses 30 loft-style suites.
Hotel William Gray is housed in one of the oldest properties on the list. Located in two historic buildings with their original facades intact, the hotel has 127 rooms. Hotel William Gray was built in 1785 by Sheriff and merchant Edward-William Gray. The property was used as a warehouse and shop. Then by the mid-nineteenth century, it became a small barracks and lawyers’ offices. Following a fire and restoration, the buildings were classified as historic monuments in 1969.
Overlooking Place Jacques Cartier (city square), the Montreal hotel opened recently – in July 2016. Some of the most interesting features of the rooms include vaulted walls and stone ceilings. With a coffee shop, store, and communal sitting area, the hotel seeks to attract locals and tourists alike.
Auberge Bonaparte was built in 1886 and its’ first owner was Judge Joseph-Amable Berthelot. His name is still imprinted in stone in the front of the hotel. Ausberge Bonaparte hotel retains its antique feel with oak doors, hardwood floors, and brick walls. The Montreal hotel houses a romantic suite and 30 rooms. Its charm is multiplied by quaint rooms with wrought-iron beds and French-style furnishings
This antiquated gem is located close to all the wonderful antiquities Old Montreal has to offer, including other historic buildings. It’s also located close to Montreal’s Museum of Archeology and History and the Notre-Dame Basilica.