This lovely B&B is in a very nice, quiet neighborhood, close to the subway, and right next to a small park in which guitar players and singers frequently perform. That's the good part.
Parking is problematic. I didn't have as much of a problem as an earlier reviewer, as I was able to find on-street parking a block away, but I did have to keep moving the car each morning to the other side of the street (after the streetcleaning truck passed) to avoid getting fined. This was a generally mild inconvenience, as I always lucked into a spot, but it did put a crimp in my activities knowing that I had to be in the neighborhood to vulture for a new parking place each morning. Although I inquired in advance via email about the parking situation, the B&B did not respond, so this situation was a surprise to me.
The building itself has a lot of character and is well-maintained, with a balcony on the top floor overlooking the garden in back, and a stoop out front overlooking the square. There are lots of thoughtful touches throughout, including books and travel guides, fridges, tea kettles and tea in the common areas.
However, the caretaker seemed pretty lackadaisical about keeping things stocked: all the light bulbs were burned out in my room, and the batteries in the alarm clock were dead. There is free internet on an outdated first generation bondi-blue iMac upstairs, but the connection was down at least half the time I was there (and the caretaker wasn't particularly responsive about re-setting it, even when I had a time-sensitive work-related email to send).
I was going to give the place a positive review despite these inconveniences, as the location was so great and the B&B itself so obviously a labor of love for the owners... but things went downhill the longer I stayed.
Pierre and Dominique themselves were not present during my stay (in July 2006); instead a young Mexican girl was in charge of everything from cleaning and preparing breakfast to handling the reservations. This caretaker has a newborn infant whose lung capacity is startling. If you are a light sleeper, beware (or bring earplugs). Even though I was on a different floor of the building than the infant, I was woken by her screaming every night and, whenever I would try to catch up on my sleep by napping during the afternoon, I would be woken by her screaming then, too.
More frustratingly, there was no hot water at all during the last three days of my stay. The caretaker did nothing to restore it -- she didn't want to check the breakers or call a plumber or anything. After a few days of ice cold showers, I asked her if she planned to do anything about it. "I am not a plumber!" she snapped at me. In short, by the time I left I was exasperated from sleep deprivation and having to take ice-cold showers.
As for breakfast, the caretaker insists that every guest arrive for breakfast by the stroke of 8:30. If you aren't there then -- even if delayed a few minutes by dead batteries in the alarm clock or having to suffer through an ice cold shower -- she locks the door in your face. That's what happened to me (and another guest who had a dead battery in her room's alarm clock, too), believe it or not.
Ironically, if you do show up at 8:30, she will make you sit around a table twiddling your thumbs while she struggles to prepare food for everyone: she just can't handle making breakfast for half a dozen people simultaneously. Most mornings, you might get a cup of coffee after 5 - 10 minutes' wait, but the food itself might take another 15 - 20 minutes. For the record, the breakfasts and coffee were always very tasty (whenever the caretaker would allow me to actually have them).
When the caretaker tried to justify rudely locking the door in my face, she claimed that she had "an important appointment and couldn't be late." It was an obvious lie -- through the door, I could hear her and other guests lingering over breakfast for the next hour. It left a really bad taste in my mouth to be treated this way on my last morning in Montreal, after the numerous inconveniences I had already endured at the B&B.
In conclusion, I have really mixed feelings about this B&B. I loved everything about the building and location, but I find the caretaker's attitude absurdly unprofessional and completely unacceptable. I can't recommend a place that treats requests for hot water as unreasonable and refuses to provide a meal for which you have paid in advance. Who knows, though? You might have better luck if the owners themselves are there.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 14, 2006
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I will start by saying I am very sorry for your bad experience at my place. I am finding out (bit by bit...receiving letter, and reading commetns on this site) that my choice of replacement was not a good one.
I have been running this place for 14 years now and I am very troubled to read you.
Parking is like in the big city not always easy . I always go with one to park his car in the best spot!
No hot water.!!!!...very disturbing.
As for my outdated blue Imac.....you do not like it?!?!?! You will be happy to know that now we are wireless!
For the situation with the baby I am mixed (is this a good word?). I did raised 2 kids doing this but the settings were not the same.
Having been myself in other B&B as a guest, and experiencing not fun stuff, I do understang your "mécontentement".
I thank you for writing in this site and writing me a personal letter . In september, I was planning to rehire the same person..but all these enlightments have me thinking otherwise.
Merci, à une prochaine peut-être.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.