Hotel Nelligan is a mainstay in Montreal’s Old Town. In fact, together with its sibling Hotel Place d’Armes, it offers tourists great proximity to the river, great shopping and dining, Chinatown and the central business district. Fresh on the heels of opening its renovated rooftop terrace for the summer, it is also beginning a full-scale renovation project that will overhaul every aspect of the hotel. Even before that’s finished, this lovely property delivers comfort while also featuring some of the neighborhood’s most celebrated eateries. In celebration of Canada Day, here are the five reasons why a visit to Hotel Nelligan in Montreal should be on your travel list.
Home to three popular dining venues, Hotel Nelligan is already familiar to locals that enjoy the Old Town’s European feeling. Mechant Boeuf Bar-Brasserie serves top-quality aged beef, an oyster bar, tasty cocktails, a wide variety of wine labels, and on weekends, DJ tunes. From the outside, the eatery may seem small, but it extends to the back of the building and is often full with those in the know.
It only opens for dinner, but its menu is more eclectic than your average steakhouse. For starters, there’s poutine (this is Montreal, of course), a red beer onion soup and fried pork dumplings. The butcher’s cuts reign supreme including everything from spicy Italian sausages and burgers to every imaginable cut of steak.
The bistro and brasserie, Nelli Café, sits opposite reception and serves three meals a day plus coffee, wine and dessert. This is one of the hotel’s next big projects to capitalize on its corner spot with enormous windows overlooking the street. The plan is to redesign the restaurant and décor, which will begin soon.
Up on the roof is Terrasse Nelligan, which underwent a total redesign since last year. Recently opened for summer 2023, the space has catapulted itself to one of the top rooftop bars and lounges in the city. From this vantage point within the Old Town, you can see the river, the city’s skyline (beautiful at sunset) and the charming cobble-stoned streets below. On the menu is a range of delicious appetizers and light bites including everything from caviar to shishito peppers.
Reservations are a must on weekends, but the lucky visitors to score a spot at the bar can enjoy colorful cocktails and an impressive wine list while enjoying the DJ’s talents. This a see-and-be-seen spot in Old Town as visitors tuck into burgers, salads and other tasty dishes.
The brick-lined walls of these guest rooms show off the building’s history and come beautifully furnished with mahogany-hued pieces. All have a work desk with swiveling chair and full-length mirror. The beds have cloud-like pillows plus twistable reading lights ideal for reading in bed, and in some suites, an electric fireplace and whirlpool tub add to the ambiance. High ceilings and tall windows survey the neighborhood streets, although there is a subset with atrium views.
At the top of the pack are the one and two-bedroom penthouse units that come with their own kitchenette facilities as well as an outdoor terrace with beautiful views. All accommodations have thoughtful touches like Le Labo Santal-scent toiletries in bathrooms, Bluetooth speakers with USB power ports, Nespresso machines, and bottled water (replenished during turndown service).
While the location is ideal for tourists, the hotel is well-versed in catering to a variety of clientele. From wedding events and parties to corporate groups in its five meeting rooms, the hotel is a repeat-traveler favorite. In fact, the city’s convention center is just a short walk from the front door.
On the fifth floor, a 24-hour fitness room has modern equipment, yoga mats, medicine balls, towels and complimentary bottled water. If you need help planning your day exploring the city, the hotel has a Clef d’Or concierge on staff.
Lined with stone and brick, the property is within four historic buildings, which have undergone fires and been rebuilt nearly two centuries ago. They have served as a warehouse for various goods as well as the Canada Paper Company. Eventually purchased by a family owned company (renowned in the city for their top-notch dining venues), the hotel is now under the aegis of the talented daughter of the Greek entrepreneur who grew the business into one of the city’s premier hospitality brands. Known as the Corner Collection, it is known for its hotels, restaurants and bars around town.
A short walk from the hotel are city landmarks like Notre-Dame Basilica, bustling St.-Paul Atreet, Chinatown, the Clock Tower and Place Jacques-Cartier. A short walk from the front door at Hotel Nelligan is sibling Hotel Place d’Armes with its picturesque architecture on the corner of the street. Stop in for brunch at its atmospheric bistro or save time for the Asian fusion restaurant and outdoor terrace that is one of the city’s most popular outside of Chinatown.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.