HotelWhut

Like a Sir: My Stay at Novotel Montreal Centre

Like a Sir

There was a lot riding on my stay at Novotel Montreal Centre this past weekend. More than anything else it was a test-drive of the Novotel brand itself; Thanks to a credit card perk I have a Platinum membership in Accor’s Le Club loyalty program, but after a less-than-ideal experience at an Ibis property in Hong Kong I wasn’t sure if Accor was for me.

I originally had a highly-rated boutique hotel in Old Montreal booked for this trip, which I ended up cancelling for a prepaid stay at Novotel instead. That decision turned out to be a good one.

This Novotel’s location is just about perfect—the hustle and bustle of Rue Ste-Catherine is less than a block away, and if you’re a hockey fan Centre Bell lies 2 blocks to the south. For adventures further afield there’s a Metro station that’s maybe a five-minute walk from the hotel. Or you could just take a taxi—there always seemed to be at least one waiting just outside the lobby.

Online Check-in

My Novotel experience actually started before I left Toronto, with an advance check-in feature available on the Accorhotels.com Android app (also on iOS). I still had to provide ID and a credit card when I showed up at the front desk, but my room keys were already activated and waiting for me, at least. The person who checked me in also gave me her business card, which I thought was a nice touch.

Executive Room

I stayed in one of the newly-refurbished executive rooms, much more lavish than the bare wooden floors and generally cramped quarters at Ibis. The highlight for me was something you might not expect—a Nespresso machine!

Nespresso Machine

It seems like such a small thing, but being able to start my day with the same coffee that I’m used to at home made all the difference in the world.

The drip coffee downstairs in the restaurant wasn’t bad, either. On my second morning there the waiter thoughtfully left me a full pot to imbibe at my leisure, while enjoying the expansive breakfast buffet included in my rate. The highlight for me was the crepes, a nice local touch and perfectly executed for this self-proclaimed pancake snob.

Chain hotels aren’t for everyone, I know, but if you’re looking for a consistent experience and good value then Novotel might be as good a fit for you as it seems to be for me. Based on my experience this past weekend I’ll likely be staying in a similar executive-level room at the Novotel Century in Hong Kong next winter. And the next time I’m in Montreal I’ll definitely be staying at this Novotel again.

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A quick note to management about some (very) small inconsistencies in service:

  1. Platinum Le Club members get a welcome drink, right? I wasn’t offered one.
  2. Nespresso capsules weren’t replenished on the second day of my stay.
  3. I got a full pot of coffee at breakfast on one day but not the other.

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