Sign up to get hotel news and reviews delivered to your mailbox!


Doug Wallace

Contributing writer

Editor and publisher of TravelRight.Today, Doug Wallace is a habitué of hip hotels worldwide. Current clients include the London Telegraph, Fairmont Magazine, Trivago.ca and Today’s Bride.

Anchoring one of the numerous street corners of Place d’Armes, adjacent to Notre-Dame Basilica and many other historic buildings, the venerable Hôtel Place d’Armes is a true gem in Old Montreal. Comprising four different 19th-century neoclassical buildings, it has a stately vibe overlayed with a modern veneer and warm, old-style service.

Photo credit: Nesrine

Street cred: It’s all about location

The hotel’s location is inarguably one of its biggest draws. Comb the streets of Old Montreal or wander the riverside quays nearby and pop into the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, the Montreal Science Centre or Bota Bota floating spa. The Metro and Place des Arts are a five-minute walk away, as are the dim sum restaurants of Chinatown.

Who hangs here: Is this hotel for you?

People who want to be in the centre of town – in particular in the thick of Old Montreal – choose the Hôtel Place d’Armes to be close to the action, and not too far away from “The Main,” aka St. Laurent. Most everyone is well-dressed. Business travelers who check in like the property’s proximity to downtown and on-site function rooms.

The straight goods: What’s in the room?

Guests find a comfortable bed, brick walls, wood floors and relatively little noise. These walls are thick. There’s also a solidness to the decor that lends a comfortable gravitas to the rooms. Nice big windows and heritage styling are tell-tale signs you’re in Old Montreal. Room configurations vary from building to building, but you can expect large cabinetry and ample space.

Bragging rights: What else has it got?

The 275-square-metre hammam Rainspa provides a traditional Middle East experience. And the above-mentioned, old-school service extends throughout – from room service to the concierge desk. The concierge staff are more like hosts here than social convenors. We were given a ride to the train station, simply because the concierge took the time to ask where we were going and summoned the house sedan.

Good eats: Cocktails and cuisine

Serving contemporary French food, Brasserie 701 on the main floor is a hub of activity from morning to night. The all-day menu includes oysters and charcuterie, salmon and beef tartare, housemade foie gras, onion soup, lobster, mussels, bouillabaisse and steak frites – you can’t get much more French than that. Kyo Bar Japonais on the lower level is more casual, famous for its izakaya fare. And the Terrasse Place d’Armes is one of the top rooftops in the city to enjoy sunset cocktails. The hotel’s proximity to many, many other dining choices is also a big bonus.

A few of our favorite things: What stood out?

There’s something indulgent about the aura of this hotel – a combination of its exterior elegance and traditional interiors – that lends a sense of security, a homey feeling of sequestering, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a retreat in the truest sense of the word.

Parting shot: If we could change one thing

The shower in our room was big enough to have accommodated five or more people, and as such as rather chilly. The jetted tub was deafening and has seen better days.

Featured photo by Freddy Arcinieg

Doug was a guest of the hotel during his stay. The hotel had no editorial input for this review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want to see your hotel listed here?

Contact us to find out more!