*By Natalie Taylor*
Alt Hotels, part of Group Germain Hotels, is one of my favourite hotel brands. They’ve successfully managed to distill the luxury you’d get at Le Germain Hotels into the essentials without compromising the modern, minimalist style. For me, that means a bed you can sink into after a long day of exploring and a good shower. Alt goes one step further to give you a TV, comfortable reading chair, and grab and go items in their lobby. The no-frills-chic approach enables them to offer the same affordable room rate year-round and across all of their hotels…
Alt Hotel Montreal is the third property I’ve visited within the brand and the first that is within the city centre; other locations like Toronto are located near the airport. Its subsequent hotel in Ottawa follows the cheap and chic model but is downtown (hooray for that option!). Alt Hotel Montreal is also one of the only few hotels near Griffintown, a booming area alongside the Little Burgundy and St-Henri neighbourhoods that are home to some of the city’s most popular restaurants like Nora Gray, Joe Beef, and Le Vin Papillon (all a 6-7 minute cab ride or 20 min walk from the hotel).
I can say with confidence that the Alt brand is very dependable in how comfortable the beds are, how great the wifi is and the consistent water temperature of the showers that make getting ready in the morning a breeze.
What is different about this location is that it’s a great hub for business travellers. The seventh floor is home to a number of conference rooms with an adjacent area of tables if you want to eat or work. Also on this floor is a balcony with a lookout where all guests can hang out, a nice feature since the hotel’s south location offers a great view of the city. Concert or Convention attendees are close to the Bell Centre. Fitness enthusiasts are close to the bike paths on the St. Lawrence River where you can run or bike all the way to Lachine, a beautiful and historic suburb of Montreal. Can’t get outside? They have a gym at this location!
Make sure to hang out in the stylish lobby. It kind of doubles as a place to work with a long table and a few comfortable chaises near the window. The manager, Julie Brisebois, was there to answer my questions and even check me out as I was in a hurry. It’s so refreshing to have a manager that’s so accessible to the guests and she’s a lot of fun to talk to, ready with recommendations on where to go in the neighbourhood.
Another thing I love about the Alt is the way they work with local communities. You’ll notice colourful murals consisting of photos of local points of interest and icons to liven up the lobby. In this one, Alt worked with a local charity called Déclic that supports the education and social reintegration of troubled young adults.Group Germain has donated $8,000 to Déclic to support “Focus,” their intensive photography program where 15 students were responsible for taking nearly 500 of the images on the ALTexpo wall, contributing the the majority of their training. The mural covers three wall of images and a screen which displays photos in real time using the hashtag #altexpo.
I also wanted to touch on Alt Hotel Montreal’s excellent customer service. I had to change the number of guests and rooms a few times before my arrival and they did so seamlessly and quickly. I also ended up booking the wrong date for my hotel and only found out the day I got into the city. In a panic, I called the hotel and the front desk was so calm about it all. I was worried that there wouldn’t be any room availability given it was high season (they were at 90% occupancy rate). Luckily, they accommodated me without hesitation!
Thank you Alt Hotel Montreal for being a customer service focused hotel that gives back to the community while making sure your guests get a good night’s sleep! It’s why I visit this chain again and again.
A huge thanks to Alt Hotel Montreal for hosting us. As always, reviews and opinions are our own.