Friday, November 18, 2011

Residence Inn - Marriott (Montreal)

I stayed at the Residence Inn on a day trip with a buddy of mine back on the last weekend in August. (guys weekend away type of trip) The overall experience wasn't bad, but when I weigh the value there's definitely pros & cons.

Due to full disclosure, let me say that this stay didn't cost me anything. My friend, I was traveling with, has an enormous amount of Marriott Reward Points and offered to treat for the room provided I drove. Obvious choice on my part. So after doing a little bit of research I've discovered that the value of the 1 Bedroom Suite we stayed in on that weekend would've been about $275/night (according to the Marriott's website, for 2 people, in that room, on that weekend). So based on that here's my thoughts...

Initially we had booked a 2 Double Bed Studio, but while talking on the drive up we decided the 1 Bedroom Suite would be a better fit. My friend called from the road and had no problem switching rooms.

We were on time to hit Montreal at about 1pm on a Sat. afternoon, but then we ran into the always aggravating "random selection" at the border. Just over 2 hours later we were back on the road, which put us at the hotel at about 3:30-4ish. They have an underground garage ($25/night, added to the hotel bill on arrival), and like most in the city it was extremely narrow with low ceilings (I wouldn't suggest an large SUV). So we parked and went to the lobby to check in. Unfortunately we were informed that the room wasn't ready yet, which was mildly annoying seeing as which Check In time is 3:00 and after the drive from Boston (including the border hassle) all I wanted was a shower and a change. But we had the girl behind the desk take our bags, did a quick wash in the lobby bathroom, and headed down to Peel Pub for some lunch & a few beers.

Back to the hotel, and we could finally check in at around 5:15pm. The room was your basic 1 Bedroom Suite... It's very comparable in size & comfort to the Quality Inn on Crescent St., but the Quality Inn is about 1/2 the price.  Everything worked just fine. Both TVs, AC, bathroom, hot water, etc. The WiFi was very limited, we were barely getting 1 bar on any of our devices (1 Droid, 1 iPhone4, an iPad & 1 laptop). The pull-out bed in the couch was as comfortable (or uncomfortable) as most sofa-beds.

Overall it was a very nice place, perfectly located for those looking to stay downtown... but normally it would be out of my price range. Based on only that fact, I can't see myself staying here in the future.  I'd recommend it for families on vacation (clean & very quiet at night), people traveling for business, or couples looking for a bit more of a upscale hotel.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Quality Inn (Montreal)

I've stayed at this location on 3 separate occasions and it's on my list of go-to places when in Montreal.

The room was clean and the bathroom looked recently renovated. Last time I was there a friend & I were in the 2 Queen Bed suite, which was pretty large & roomy with a nice sitting area. The size and comfort of the room is comparable to the 1 Bedroom Suite at the Residence Inn on Peel St. but for 1/2 the price, and you get a balcony here.

We arrived at around 12:30pm, but unfortunately couldn't check in until 3pm. The woman at the front desk took my request for a Crescent St. facing high floor (for the balcony/view) and told us she could hold our bags until we check in at 3... which was very helpful.  For the price and location this hotel is a steal. There's a outdoors parking lot located next door to the hotel (it has been $20 per night all 3 times I've stayed).

Being located on Crescent St. is huge for those of you looking for some fun nightlife. You're literally right in the center of everything. That being said, if you're not the type that is into late nights (including the noise that goes with those late nights) I wouldn't recommend it, just saying. I definitely intend on staying here again in the future. I would recommend it for a guys weekend / hockey game trip, couples looking for a no frills getaway (very simple, not romantic), or a single person on a budget.