When it came time to select a hotel I already knew exactly where I wanted to stay-Vieux Montreal, the city’s old section. However, choosing between a dozen great sounding and looking boutique hotels was another matter entirely. If you want unique accommodations in Vieux Montreal the choices are endless. I had read that after the old section went through a period of rejuvenation and refurbishment, many former warehouses and other older businesses were converted into hotels and restaurants. The Hotel Nelligan is just one of those cases.
I booked our stay as part of an air/hotel package through Expedia. And while I found Montreal packages to be a bit more expensive than relatively nearby Quebec City, the package rate for the Hotel Nelligan seemed a good deal, especially since booking a room directly through the hotel I know would have been considerably more expensive.
This is typical for a lot of buildings in Vieux Montreal , but from the outside the Hotel Nelligan is relatively nondescript so it’s easy to pass by it without knowing its number on Rue Saint Paul (Saint Paul Street). We arrived at the hotel about 2 PM and thankfully could check into our room, which was a blessing. The airport bus we took into the city was not air-conditioned so between that, the excessive heat, and our having to walk about 10 minutes with our luggage from the bus stop to the hotel, we arrived feeling pretty gross as well as tired from our early wake up that morning.
The hotel is named after one of Quebec’s most famous poets, Emile Nelligan. It occupies two adjoining buildings dating from the 1850s and features five floors. The hotel offers standard rooms and penthouses; the former overlooks the four-story brick-walled atrium, while the latter offers views of the St. Lawrence River. Ours was a standard room and located on the fourth floor. Standard, though, is an understatement. The room had a king size bed and was massive. But the best part was the radio that was playing upon entering the room. As I mentioned previously we were hot and tired, so hearing the pleasant sounds of classical music greet us was utterly delightful. Vestiges of the hotel’s past, when thick stone and brick walls were de rigueur, were present in both the room and the spacious bathroom. A full array of bath products were also offered.
Probably what impressed me the most about the hotel was the housekeeping service. We left Saturday morning at 9:30 to head to the Atwater Market and by the time we returned a couple of hours later the room had already been made up. This was excellent service in my opinion since I have been to numerous hotels where on the weekends housekeeping service sometimes doesn’t start until the PM.
The front desk staff was extremely courteous and welcoming and asked us how our stay was, which to me is an indication that they are greatly concerned with meeting and fulfilling the needs and expectations of their guests, There are also porters who, although it was not needed, opened the doors to go outside every time.
The hotel is host to several restaurants, including one with a rooftop terrace on the fifth floor offering views of the port and the rest of the old city. As our visit was short and I had already made other dining plans, we didn’t get to try out any. My only negative of the hotel, and it was relatively minor, was that with our room being on the fourth floor we seemed to be directly below the rooftop terrace bar/restaurant, so in the afternoon and evening of our second day we could hear every single chair and table being moved. Thankfully it seemed to abate at bedtime. As Montreal had experienced terrible rain and storms on our first day there, the rooftop terrace was closed and this noise wasn’t an issue then.
Every guest is also given a complimentary drink card that is valid for up to $11 Canadian at its bar which is adjacent to the lobby. While all cocktails were over $11 ($14), having to pay only $3 for a cocktail was a pretty nice deal. D got a local Québécois beer which cost him nothing with the card.
Overall what I loved most about it was that even though the hotel seemed to be quite busy (especially on the Saturday as there was a wedding reception taking place), no noise from the outside was ever heard inside of our room. We could shut the door and essentially block out the rest of the world. This, paired with the fact that I saw very few children, made our stay at the Hotel Nelligan wonderful, especially considering my last hotel stay was a semi-nightmare.
One has a multitude of lodging choices but were I to return to Montreal in the future, I would definitely want to stay here.
More in this series!
Montreal, Canada-a sneak peek
Montreal’s Atwater Market
Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica
Vieux Montreal-a photo essay
Montreal’s Mount Royal Park
Chateau Ramezay-attraction review