The Auberge du Vieux-Port is housed in a 19th-century leather merchant building and faces directly onto the St. Lawrence River, with its summertime cruise ships and wintertime snowy beauty. The hotel opened in 1997, with a second building—another old warehouse—added in 2001. Original beams, brick, and stonework give the lobby a historic feel, as does the gorgeous, wood-framed fireplace. The rooms combine original features such as large casement windows with ultra-luxe touches like marble bathrooms and multi-jet showers. Breakfast is complimentary and goes far beyond the usual buffet to include a full à la carte menu (the eggs Benedict are sublime); it can even be delivered to guests' rooms for an indulgent breakfast in bed. The old port location puts guests right in the thick of things. Camera-toting tourists on horse and carriages clip-clop past by day, while at night the streets buzz with the city’s fashionable inhabitants chatting in French and English on their way to visit the latest bar or restaurant.
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Montreal’s Vieux-Port neatly straddles the past and present of the city: Cobbled streets packed with glam boutiques, galleries, and restaurants are housed in the old warehouses and stone-and-wood buildings that made up the merchants’ houses hundreds of years ago. After a morning exploring the area, Auberge du Vieux-Port guests should try the superb sandwiches and pastries at Olive at Gourmando—the quintessentially Montreal Old Port café experience. The city has a decided fondness for illuminations, and walking the city streets at night is a rare treat. After dark, guests should stroll past the nearby Palais des Congrès, which lights up to show off its arresting modern architecture.
Need to Know
Rooms: 45 rooms; from $230. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Taverne Gaspar serves old-school brasserie and pub favorites like duck confit poutine and slow-cooked Jim Beam barbecue ribs. It also attracts a cheery crowd of locals, pulled in by the bourbon-heavy cocktail menu and the regular indie, folk, blues, and rock nights. Spa and gym details: There is no spa or gym on-site, but massages can be arranged in-room and guests have 24-hour access to the Hotel Nelligan fitness room, just five minutes' walk away.
Who's it for: Travelers keen to connect with historic Montreal; couples on a romantic city break; anyone seeking luxury and superb service. Our favorite rooms: The Premier King, in the hotel’s original building, looks out over the St. Lawrence River and has original pine floors, post and beam ceilings, brick walls, and an ultra-romantic brass bed. The new wing from 2011 still retains plenty of character; the Deluxe Queen looks out over lively St Paul’s street and has original brickwork from the 1800s teamed with modern bamboo floors. Roof terrace views: The pub’s summer roof terrace features some of Montreal's best views of the city and the river, thanks to the lack of high-rises in the Vieux-Port area. It's the perfect vantage spot to watch the summer fireworks celebrations.