Hotel Le Crystal Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Hotel Le Crystal, located in downtown Montreal, is convenient for both business travelers and families, thanks to its big suites with kitchenettes and pull-out sofas. Room decor is clean-lined and contemporary, with lots of wood accents, while the lobby delivers more of a wow factor with its sleek, trendy style. The lovely indoor pool offers great views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows, the French brasserie is elegant, and the fitness center is big and modern.
Hotel Nelligan Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This 105-room historic boutique captures the charm of Old Montreal, with attractive details like fireplaces, wrought-iron railings, and exposed brick walls. It offers multiple eateries, including the popular summertime Nelligan Terrace, situated on the hotel's roof, and a charming bar/art exhibit in the hotel's atrium. The fitness center is 24-hour, but the hotel doesn't have a pool or full-service spa (just a "massage room" attached to the gym). Its obvious strengths are its historic, European elegance and its location in the heart of Old Montreal.
Auberge du Vieux-Port Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Situated across from Le Vieux-Port, this 403-room hotel reflects the charm of Old Montreal. Its beautiful, airy rooms -- some with water views -- feature details like wood beam ceilings, exposed stone and brick walls, wrought iron beds, wood floors, and lovely bathrooms with big glass showers or soaking tubs. The larger, apartment-style "lofts" are in a separate building, and designed for long-term stays. The hotel's seasonal rooftop terrace restaurant offers phenomenal water views, and the free full breakfast each morning is a perk. But because of the location near restaurants and bars, noise in the rooms may be a problem, especially during the summer months.
Le Petit Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
The 24-room Le Petit Hotel is a chic boutique housed in a 19th century building. With only four floors and a small lobby cafe, the hotel offers an intimate feel, while providing up-to-date amenities like free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and iPod docks. Rooms blend historic charm (stone and brick accent walls, wood floors, the occasional exposed wood beam) with stylish, contemporary decor (dark wood furniture, orange, retro-style chairs, crisp white bedding). The hotel lacks the amenities of a larger hotel -- like a business center, spa, and fitness center -- but free access to a nearby gym is available.
Le Place D'Armes Hotel & Suites Rating: 4.0 Pearls
This 133-room boutique, located in a historic building in Old Montreal, blends contemporary design with old-world charm. The large lobby, with a pool table and modern leather seating, is stylish yet cozy. The rooms follow suit, with crisp white bedding, hardwood floors, and upscale bathrooms; some have extras like exposed brick and big soaking tubs. There are a few flaws, though -- outdated tube TVs in many rooms, some visible nicks and scratches on the wood furniture, and some rooms with tight quarters. But perks like free Wi-Fi, a free downtown shuttle, and an excellent Clef d'Or concierge add value.