Auberge du Vieux-Port Hotel

It's day seventeen (for me) in the A-Z blog challenge! This month I'll be sharing all about my Christmas/New Year travels to Canada – providing insight into the places I went, reviewing the hotels I stayed at, and telling my story. Today's letter is V for the Auberge du Vieux-Port Hotel on the Saint Lawerence River in Montréal, Canada.

Auberge Du Vieux-Port Hotel in Montréal, Canada

Destination: Montréal, Canada
Date: December 2016- January 2017
Hotel: Auberge du Vieux-Port
Address: 97 Rue de la Commune East, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1J1, Canada
Brand: none
Elite Status: none
# of travelers: 2
nights: 2

Making the Decision

This hotel was the very first hotel I picked for our time in Montréal. I booked in October without knowing for certain if we would actually be visiting Montréal for New Year's eve. However, even at that time, the hotel was requiring all guests to book two nights if you had any intention of staying there for the New Year's Eve celebration. The price was quite high, but I had done research; this was a good hotel to stay at if you wanted to see the New Year's eve fireworks from your room.

Of course, as with all hotels, you make a gamble even when you book the best possible room available. And with my gamble, I lost. Kind of. Read on to find out how and why this gamble did not quite work in my favor…

Getting There

Justin and I took a taxi to our hotel. We were starving and knew we had very little time to see the sights in Montréal.

This particular hotel isn't incredibly close to anything aside from the Saint Lawerence River. The airport is a good 30 minutes away (by car), the train station is maybe 10 minutes away (by car), and the metro is about a ten-minute walk. (Of course, keep in mind that every walk felt longer because of intense snow! Blizzard-like conditions had just passed through a day before!) If you drive, the hotel offers a valet service.

My recommendation:
+ Take the cab or brave the snow in the winter. Use the subway system.
+ In better weather conditions, consider walking. The city is large but mostly flat in comparison to Québec City. The subway system and cabs should get you where you need to go without the additional valet parking fee.

There is no direct shuttle to and from the airport, but TripAdvisor reviews seem to suggest that you can take an airport shuttle to the subway system and get *close* to the Auberge du Vieux-Port Hotel. We did not try it, so I can't comment on it.

Checking-In & Concierge

Our early lunchtime arrival had us at the hotel too early for check-in, but the staff were more than happy to hold our luggage for us. At this point, we requested a room on a high floor (we had already paid an extravagant amount for a room with a "view") and to speak to the hotel concierge about booking dinner reservations for New Year's Eve. The hotel staff gave us a kind small and indicated that if there were any available rooms on a high floor they would keep our request in mind.

While waiting on the concierge to finish up with another client, we helped ourselves to some hot chocolate and coffee in the hotel lobby. Tea was also an option available to us.

Minutes later, after we introduced ourselves, she recalled that she had left a message on my husband's cell phone indicating that if we needed anything prior to our stay to let her know including New Year's Eve dinner reservations.


Either way, it made us feel special that she remembered calling us.

Upon sitting down at her desk, she gave us a run through of options. Multi-course or single course? Expensive or cheap? … What kind of cuisine did we want? Within walking distance perhaps?

We made it easy for her and agreed with almost everything she said.

Then, she gave us a map, explained that the ferry was currently out of service for the winter and explained how best to get to different places around town.

We were set free until it was time to return to the hotel and check-in!

Elevators & Room Availability

After exploring for a bit (on a search for a raclette warmer and getting lunch), we returned to the hotel just in time for check-in just after 3 PM. Our room still wasn't ready. In fact, our room wasn't ready for check-in until 5 PM! Ridiculous much?

As if I wasn't irritated enough by that, they gave us a room on the BOTTOM floor (of rooms, that is).


I was fuming.

We pressed the button for the elevator and as we were waiting, the front desk staff suggested we take the stairs instead. Because somehow I would be able to release all of my anger on the stairs, perhaps?

Needless to say, the elevator was so incredibly slow that we never once used it. We also used the stairs even if it meant dragging heavy luggage behind us. (And if anyone is going to have the patience for using an elevator when there is heavy luggage involved it's me!

Deluxe King Bedroom with view at Auberge Du Vieux-Port Hotel in Montréal, Canada

Room & View

Our particular room was in the smack dab center of the hall. There were approximately three rooms facing the river and only a laundry room on the other side of the hall. Seeing this made me feel ridiculous for having paid extra for a "view". Hello! If everyone has a "view", then that "view" isn't actually special or worth the extra you pay for it, is it? Especially if the room you are assigned is on the bottom floor. (I'm still irritated.)

However, the room we were in was spacious with plenty of floor-to-ceiling space. The hardwood exposed beams and the brick gave the hotel a boutique feel. My husband and I, however, did not understand the NYC themed artwork we saw everywhere in the hotel; why didn't they choose Montréeal themed artwork? They are their own city. (Maybe they romanticize NYC like Americans romanticize Paris?)

Bedroom at Auberge Du Vieux-Port Hotel in Montréal, Canada

The furniture in the room was lovely, and we had more than enough room to spread out. There was a small table with two chairs, a bench just in front of the bed, two bedside tables, an armoire, a work desk, and even a shelving unit in the bathroom for soaps, towels, etc… Of course, my favorite feature was the oversized window seals, which I made a point to sit on as often as possible to people-watch from our room. There is nothing better than people-watching from oversized window seals!

Unfortunately, the whole reason for the "room with a view" was so that we would be able to see the fireworks on New Year's Eve night. While it's true that we could see them, we felt we were taking a gamble staying inside and not venturing out onto the docks or publicly accessible viewing spots. (But it was cold!) We could, in fact, see the fireworks just behind some trees between our hotel and where they were shooting the fireworks from. You'll be able to see what I'm talking about when I get to letter X (in two days!).

Bathroom at Auberge Du Vieux-Port Hotel in Montréal, Canada


Atypically large for a hotel, Auberge du Vieux-Port offered plenty of space for showering, changing, and getting ready for the day. If you have a large bedroom and master bath in your current home, you will feel at home when staying here. The hotel offers a rain shower with multiple body jets in the shower. You will definitely feel spoiled when staying here.

Amenities at Auberge Du Vieux-Port Hotel in Montréal, Canada

Food Options & Amenities

Auberge du Vieux-Port has breakfast and rooftop bar options, neither of which we tried. The breakfast hours started later than we wanted to eat, and the rooftop bar isn't open during the winter.

The hotel also felt stingy on amenities. While soaps were offered, water bottles and snack bar items cost. And while other reviewers on TripAdvisor suggest that they had free breakfast provided for them, we did not. We even found the internet spotty and hard to connect to! Aside from the spacious and gorgeous rooms, we did not feel pampered in any way by the hotel.

There was no fitness room, pool, or business lounge that we saw. They did offer terry cloth robes, an iron and board, a mini-fridge, and a TV.


After a late night watching the fireworks, we checked out just before 7 AM the next day to head to the Montréal Justin Trudeau Airport. We walked about 5 minutes from the hotel up a hill in the snow to a taxi cab stand, so that my husband could feel like he had saved money. The hotel staff did offer to call us a cab, though.

One thing of note: be sure to check your bill. On our bill, we found a charge for food that we had no consumed. We informed the front desk staff who let us know that they would track down the person who did eat at the restaurant and take the charge off our bill. We will grateful, but we left feeling like Auberge du Vieux-Port had done the absolute worst job at personalizing our hotel stay experience and making us feel at home than any of the other hotels we had stayed at while on this trip. (See letters D, H, and L)

Ice skating in Montréal, Canada

Overall Review
★★ (below average)

The room was beautiful and ornate creating a unique and fun boutique atmosphere, but the customer service and amenities offered were a complete let down from what we would expect for the price we paid for this hotel.

While I might consider staying at this hotel again for its view of the river (assuming I actually received a view!) or for the rooftop bar (during the summer), I doubt I would ever have such high expectations as to return for New Years eve and expect a view of fireworks from my room. In other words, at this hotel you are paying for the pretty room and vicinity to the river; that's it. Supposedly, some people have even been bothered by a loud train that goes by the hotel early in the morning. (We didn't hear it, probably because we were up so late watching fireworks!).

If you go, expect problems and be delighted if everything goes as well or better than expected. This hotel certainly has potential; they just need to live up to it.

Your Turn

Have you ever gone into an experience with high expectations only to be disappointed? … Am I the only one that tends to be disappointed in boutique hotels?

If you've been to Montréal before, what's your favorite hotel?


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