L’hôtel Le Germain Montréal

It's day eight (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 H for the Hotel Germain in Montréal, Canada. Feel free to follow along as I make my way through the alphabet this month! :)

exterior L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada

Destination: Montréal, Canada
Date: December 2016
Hotel: Hotel Germain
Address: 2050 Rue Mansfield, Montréal, QC H3A 1Y9, Canada
Brand: Le Germain Hotels
Elite Status: none
# of travelers: 2
nights: 1

Making the Decision

Continuing along in my "cheap stay" planning for Canada (do you recall Justin's aggravation which I described in this post?), I knew the optimal hotel choice for my husband and I would be through the use of our Ultimate Reward points. The key was breaking them up in such a way that I could get a flight out of those points too. We had just under 50,000 Ultimate Reward points, and our flights required 30,000 (approximately $200-ish). Given that the Canadian dollar was worth less than the American dollar and hotels, I found, were relatively cheap in Montréal, I wondered exactly how much value I could get out of our remaining points. Was it possible to book a nice boutique chain hotel (so I didn't lose out on points) for a decent "points price" so close to our arrival date?

Before booking, I found myself carefully analyzing every aspect of each hotel. Le Place D'Armes, Hôtel Nelligan, and Hotel Gault all appealed to me… But as the dates got closer and I still hadn't decided, prices began rising and hotels began selling out. In fact, at one point, I had made my decision, decided to book after work, then upon returning home discovered that option was no longer available! So, back to the "drawing board" I went.

Finally, Justin was just like "Make a decision already!" After a week of my indecision, he was sick of hearing about the perks and downfalls of each individual hotel. This late in the game, it wasn't like we were going to "get" any more Ultimate Rewards points toward our stay. And the likeliness of my chosen hotels still being around the longer I procrastinated? … Probably not very good.

L’hôtel Le Germain Montréal seemed well and good and it was on "sale" on the Ultimate Rewards website, so why not?

Getting There

Even though our arrival time via Amtrak was supposed to be around 5 PM, we found ourselves stuck at customs for at least an hour longer than was scheduled. We didn't disboard the train until 7 PM. It was too late in the day to discover the city and we were HUNGRY after a day of not eating. (Yes, Amtrak offers food for sale, but it's not the kind of food you really want to pay for … or eat.)

As usual (for me), I relied on my husband's natural GPS instincts to kick in after he suggested we walk the few blocks to the hotel. Unfortunately, due to hunger, those instincts lacked. (Or maybe the word is lagged?) We ended up arguing the whole way to the hotel. Me saying we should have taken the cab, him getting confused as to which way to go next. Finally, we found it. 8 PM. Our day was getting away from us…

exterior L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada


Despite our irritation for the world at large, the front desk staff was extremely considerate upon check-in. They "upgraded" us to the smallest room on the sixteenth floor where we had a view out over the city of Montréal. There was free flavored water available in the small lobby and we were offered free breakfast with our room. :) Overall, my first impression of L’hôtel Le Germain was that it was very quaint, very personable, and ideal for our one night stay (and first stay ever!) in Montréal.

interior L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada


We didn't get much of a view of the lobby during our initial entrance to the hotel, mostly because we were irritable, hangry, and ready to relax after the long ten-hour Amtrak ride; however, upon return, we noticed how modern the entrance to the hotel was. Upstairs and directly over the front desk is a restaurant where we could hear people talking and having a good time. Glasses clinked, silverware dinged as it hit the plates of hungry customers; I could see the restaurant and bar as being a great place to unwind after a busy day, whether that involved a ten-hour train ride from New York City, a busy work day, or time spent sight-seeing.

Of course, you can't see the restaurant from the lower lobby floor, you can only hear it, and it sounds amazing.

The downstairs portion of the lobby isn't quite so relaxing. They have a fake fireplace that looks like the perfect place to prop your feet up, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the company of your fellow travelers, but there are so few seats in the lobby (and therefore very few hotel guests) that you almost wonder if the front desk staff will be watching you and listening in on your conversations. In my opinion, that's not quite ideal. Close, but not quite.

There is a seating area to the left of the fireplace hidden a bit by the staircase, also with few seats all of which were filled when Justin and I went through. I guess these people were all concerned that the front desk staff would be watching them wait too which is why they opted for the more "hidden" spots.

So, ultimately, not the ideal lobby.

Beautiful? Yes. An attempt to make guests feel welcome? Obviously. Actually being successful at that goal? Not so much…

L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada room view

Room, View

One of two elevators escorted us from the hotel lobby to the 16th floor where we emerged to find a decent-sized room with a view of the city. We were quite happy with this room and upgrade until we noticed, upon looking at the map on the back of the hotel room door, that we had the smallest room on the whole floor.

 L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada property map

No matter.

We would only be here for one night.

 L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada room
image from the L’hôtel Le Germain website
And free water is always a plus; we had two bottles sitting on either side of the bed in this very modern style room (to match the modern aesthetic in the whole hotel).

Upon entrance to the room, we were shocked (and almost comforted) to discover classical music playing so quietly on the alarm clock radio (with iPod dock) that you could barely tell it was on. Was this a decision made by the hotel to comfort and relax guests? Or did the cleaners miss turning the radio off from the last guest? … We will never know. (I hope it was a decision made by the hotel because I liked it.)

L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada room amenities

The room consisted of a bed, chair with foot rest, desk, Nespresso maker, wine glasses (but no wine!), fully stocked mini-bar and fridge, free wi-fi (important for out of country visitors without sim cards!), and a large screen tv.

Inside the closet, we fund a safe, hangers for clothing, and an umbrella (ideal for cold, rainy nights).

Opposite the bed, you could look straight through into the shower…

 L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada bathroom


Now, an important note for families considering a visit: The shower can be seen right through from the bedding area. There are blinds available, but I imagine little hands, mean siblings, and rude guests might take advantage of this design "flaw". Be aware before you book a night here.

 L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada interior

Aside from that, the bathroom is very well accommodated. There is a lot of room for getting ready, a hair dryer (because what hotel doesn't have one at this day in age?), a variety of soaps necessary for your stay, fluffy robes, and an iron + board for any straightening you need to do. There is no tub in the room, but overall I believe the lack of tub gives the hotel and bathroom a somewhat cleaner appearance.

 L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada breakfast

 L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada restaurant

Buffet Breakfast

Given that our train the next morning was leaving at 9 AM, I was a bit concerned that, yet again, our breakfast time allotment for any free hotel buffet would be limited. Luckily, the restaurant opened just in time, and we were eating by 7 AM. We were the only ones in the restaurant, but that was okay with us. :)

The free breakfast buffet consisted of meats, cheeses, yogurt, hot and cold cereals, croissants, muffins, juices, and an espresso machine. While there was wait staff running around setting up the buffet and occasionally coming the table, we weren't entirely sure if we were supposed to expect to be waited on for certain things (like coffee refills, tea) or if we were supposed to get it ourselves. Either way, the staff was courteous and when they noticed we needed them (or at least more often than not), they were happy to come to our assistance.

Because the buffet breakfast is free for all guests, after you finish, you can simply leave your table. This is ideal for a couple in a hurry to get to the Via Rail Canada station, even though we felt the need to confirm before leaving. :)

Hours for the hotel restaurant are as follows:


6:30 A.M. – 10:30 A.M.
7:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M.


11:30 A.M. – 2 P.M.


6 P.M. – 10:30 P.M.

Room service

6:30 A.M. – 10:30 A.M. AND 5:30 P.M. – 10:30 P.M.
7:30 A.M. – 11:30 A.M. AND 5:30 P.M. – 10:30 P.M.


Because Justin and I were there for so little time, we were unable to review the amenities. From my understanding (based on TripAdvisor and the hotel website), there aren't many: a fitness center, a business center, dry cleaning, and in-and-out parking at a cost for hotel guests.


When it was time for check-out, we weren't ready to leave! Our experience at this hotel was fantastic, and we would have contentedly stayed for another day or two if we didn't have to move on (due to travel plans) to Québec City.

The staff was just as courteous at check out as they had been at check-in. Their system was running a bit slow and they ended up double charging us (which we discovered when we returned home after our trip to Canada, which they quickly righted within a day or so of us realizing it.) The man checking us out, though, offered us water bottles for our journey and asked if he could get us a cab. He said he hoped we would consider L’hôtel Le Germain in our future travels both to Montréal and to Québec City.

 L’hôtel Le Germain in Montréal, Canada exterior

Overall Review
★★★ (average)

Even though L’hôtel Le Germain wasn't my first choice for Montréal, my husband and I found ourselves enjoying our stay here as much as if it had been a top contender. The location, about 5 minutes from the train station, is in the middle of downtown and close to a variety of tourist stops (as we would later discover). We enjoyed our view from the 16th floor of the hotel, loved that the staff was super friendly, enjoyed our free waters, and were more than content with the free breakfast provided to us.

Now, when I rate a hotel, I always try to think of what I would do make the stay better. While the stay was definitely one of the better stays I've ever experienced, I think I would liven up the hotel lobby and make it a more friendly, happy place to be. No one wants to be watched by the front desk staff. I would also have the doormen take a more active role in the welcoming of hotel guests. Finally, the view, which isn't really something the hotel can do much about given its current location, but ideally every hotel would have an amazing "view" for guests. :)

Montréal, Canada

Your Turn

Do you ever procrastinate with decisions only to have your decision "sell out" or become unavailable? … Would you ever consider booking a hotel last minute, if it wasn't somewhere you had to go (like for business or last minute family things)?


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