A visit to Montréal in any season feels like a celebration, with its many festivals, museums, varieties of architecture and sophisticated cuisines that reflect both its unique multicultural past and its commitment to an innovative future. Located on the Île de Montréal, the largest of the over 200 islands that make up the Hochelaga Archipelago, the city takes its name from the wooded Mount Royal, which provides a spectacular backdrop for the downtown, especially in September and October when dazzling fall foliage transforms the landscape. Vibrant and cosmopolitan Montréal takes pride in its diversity, embracing indigenous populations as well as its rich French colonial history.
The center of Vieux-Montréal, also referred to as the Old Port, is a slice of France with crisscrossing cobblestone lanes, neoclassical buildings, the grand Notre-Dame Basilica and bustling cafés. This part of the city was the first to be settled because of its strategic location along the St. Lawrence River. Its quaint main street, Rue Saint-Paul, was first paved in the late 17th century and is lined with former warehouses that serve as a reminder of the city’s long industrial history.
Most lodging options in the Old Port are small two- and three-star hotels tailored to tourists simply looking for a place to rest their heads for the evening. As our current recommended property in the Old Port — Hôtel Le St-James, a stylish 60-room property housed within an ornately restored 19th-century bank building — is closed for an indefinite period due to COVID-19, we went in search of a worthy, if not superior, counterpart.