I recently returned from my second stay at the Auberge du Vieux-Port an am happy to report it was just as good as the first time.
The staff is so willing to make your stay as pleasant as possible, and are always inquiring as to the quality of your stay. You are met with constant smiles and greetings. Last year there were 'the 3 Fred's' as I called the Bell Hops. This year, 2 remain and it was incredible that they remembered me and it was great fun to catch up with them. The same is true of Michael at the front desk who met me with a big hug and huge smile when he saw me. All 3 were so eager to make my stay as wonderful as possible. Being able to chat with them and share many laughs truly does make the experience that much better!
I should also mention that when I had originally booked my stay several months prior, I was not able to book a room for the nite that I arrived in Montreal as the on line reservation tool showed that there were no rooms available that nite (with a River View). I called the hotel about a month before my stay and lo and behold to my surprise & joy, I got Michael on the phone. He was able to indeed get me a River View room so that I would not have to stay at another hotel for one nite, and then move to the Auberge.
This year new/additional friends are Oliver and Veronique at the front desk.....again, what great people! The first 2 days I was there it was cold and raining and I spent quite a bit of time chatting AND laughing with the 2 of them when they had free time. I felt like we were old friends, it is people like Fred, Fred, Michael, Oliver and Veronique that add that additional magic to a hotel and play a huge factor in my choice on my next visit. All of them could not be more helpful, gracious and welcoming, and yes a LOT of fun!!!! Oliver and Veronique even helped me learn a few French phrases since I do not speak French.
My room was on the 2nd floor this year as opposed to the 5th floor that I had last year. It was the same location, and still had a view of the river, but because of trees, the view was not quite as good. However, this is not a complaint - just to point out that the 5th floor, and most likely the 4th, will give you a less obstructed view of the river and the Quays.
The rooms are magnificent. Old Montreal is just that, old! The building is early 19th century and maintains much of its original charm. You will not find windows like you do in modern buildings, and as such, you will get some outside noise. It was never too much, as a matter of fact, there is something very soothing about the clip clop of the horses as they pass by - (horse drawn carriages abound in the city). The floors are wood, the walls brick, my room this year had a very high ceiling and very large (tall) windows. Just beautiful.
The rooms are quite large, there is a small space in front of the window with a table and chairs to sit and watch all that goes on outside and just relax. There is a more than adequate space with a desk and chair if you must "work" or whatever. A very large closet, including a safe, ironing board and umbrella. The armoire holds a flat screen TV as well as a stocked refrigerator. Unlike so many hotels that provide a stocked mini bar, you CAN remove these items, and put your own in withOUT being charged for the items. Unless of course, you don't return them. Very nice touch.
The bathroom....ah.....the multijet shower is divine! The water pressure is fantastic, and the hot water comes on almost instantly. There is a small table to use as a vanity, I could see where more than 1 person may want more room - but it is more than adequate for one. However, there is also a fixture holding the towels and amenities, that you can use as well. (see picture). The bed is a bit on the soft side, but I found it very comfortable.
With the price of the room, breakfast is included each day in the onsite restaurant. You get your choice from the menu that includes eggs, crepes etc.. as well as juices, cereal and the usual assortment of offerings. More than enough to satisfy. I have only had dinner here twice, and had the Fish n Chips both times and it was fantastic. There is outside seating like so many places in Old Montreal to take advantage of on nice days. The rooftop lounge is very nice and offers an excellent view of the city.
I have read some complaints about the slow elevator. Yes, it is quite slow. You are on vacation... what's the hurry? You can always use the stairs! I also read complaints that there are steps into the hotel. Yes, that is true, however, every building in the Old Port has steps to get in. There is always a bellhop to help with luggage however. I have not seen any places that are wheelchair accessible, which would be my only complaint of the city. Again, it is OLD Montreal and everything about it is old. The streets and sidewalks are very old and cracking in various states of disrepair and some streets are cobblestone. As someone with a disability, I had a certain degree of difficulty, and I can see that it is perhaps not the most Physically Handicapped Friendly city. But this should not be something that is held against the hotel, as again, the entire city is like this. I am told many cities in Europe are the same.
The location is fantastic as it is the only hotel on the river. You are about 1/2 block from Place Jacques Cartier, the crossing to Quai Jacques Cartier, Quai King-Edward and Quai Alexandra and The Science Museum. I block up is Rue Saint Paul which is lined with restaurants and artists. Notre- Dame Basilica, Chomp de Mars, Notre-Dame-De-Bon Secours are all just a few blocks away. Pretty much everything is within very close proximity, as is a subway station.
Getting from the airport by taxi, costs $40.00 - which by the way, was the same last year. It is about a 20 minute drive. I believe by bus would be cheaper but not nearly as convenient.
As I said, I don't speak French, but this is not a problem as the entire city is bi-lingual. I will mention that it might be a good practice to inquire in restaurants if they take US currency before you dine. I found out the hard way last year that some do not. Thank goodness for a credit card. But if you like to pay with cash, and don't have Canadian currency on you, it is best to ask. 99% accept US, but there is that very small percentage that do not.. including the hotel itself.
All in all, the location, the property and the staff are all what make the Auberge du Vieux-Port my only choice for a visit to Montreal. I cannot say enough good things about it. I feel like a part of the family when I am there and as a solo traveler, this only adds to my experience. Kudos to you all and thank you again for a fantastic stay!!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A symbol of Old Montreal's rich history, Auberge du Vieux-Port is the area's only hotel settled along the Saint Lawrence River. The two structures that house its 45 rooms are over a century and a half old and once operated as warehouses, back when the waterway still forged city's life vein. With a classic, skillfully crafted make up, the idyllic inn's decor and architecture breathe an air of authenticity. Embrace time-honoured scenery, complemented by our team's warm, personable services. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Auberge Du Vieux-Port Hotel Montreal