For our final stay on our spring break trip to the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates, we spent two nights in Montreal. We stopped here for two nights to attend the Prince of Travel Signature Event Montreal 2022.
I had stayed at this hotel during previous visits to Montreal, so I was familiar with what to expect. It was particularly important to have realistic expectations after staying at Le Méridien Maldives and Al Maha Desort Resort Dubai.
Let’s have a look at the Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown and how it stacks up against some of the city’s numerous other Marriott properties.
Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown – Booking
We booked our stay around a month and a half prior to arrival. I secured an excellent cash rate of $87 per night using a corporate code I was eligible for. This was a considerable bargain compared to the regular cash rates of around $200 in off-season or around $300 in peak season.
Redemption bookings tend to hover around 25,000 Bonvoy points per night, although this may change once Marriott switches to fully-dynamic pricing in early 2023.
Therefore, paying with cash proved to be the best option here, as redeeming points would have fallen well short of our target valuation of 0.9 cents per point when redeeming Marriott Bonvoy points.
I knew that we’d be spending the majority of our time in Montreal visiting with friends and at the event, so we decided to settle on a lower price point versus enjoying a nicer property. Had we planned on spending more time in the hotel, I likely would have opted for one of the city’s fancier options.
Furthermore, since I had stayed here before, I knew that the hotel fit some of my requirements for a stay: being quiet and comfortable.
Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown – Location
The Fairfield Inn is located just outside of Montreal’s downtown core at Rue Berri and Boulevard René Lévesque East.
The hotel opened in 2019 and features 154 rooms over nine floors.
While not in Montreal’s poshest neighbourhood by a long shot, the hotel is ideally situated close to major transit hubs and is within walking distance to some of Montreal’s best areas.
The 747 bus from the airport drops you off one block from the hotel and, depending on Montreal’s notorious traffic, takes around 30 minutes to an hour.
The closest metro station, Berri/UQAM, services the green and orange lines, which run east to west and north to south, respectively.
From this station, you can also access the yellow line, which stops at Parc Jean Drapeau, an island on the Gulf of St. Lawrence and one of my favourite spots in Montreal, as well as Longueuil (whose pronunciation still baffles me even after having lived in the city for three years.)
Old Montreal is just a few minutes by foot, where you’ll find spas, restaurants, bars, the Notre-Dame Basilica, and some excellent places to explore near the waterfront.
Downtown Montreal is easily accessible either by foot or by riding a few stops on the green line.
Hop on the orange line or enjoy a leisurely stroll for some time in the Plateau, Mile-End, or Little Italy before or after visiting Mount Royal.
The green line also takes you down to Verdun or east to Hochelaga-Maisonneuve to get away from the crowds.
If you’re looking for a hotel to base out of while you spend most of your time exploring Montreal, I’d argue that the Fairfield Inn is definitely worth considering.
Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown – Check-in
Our friends were kind enough to pick us up from the airport after our short flight from Washington. We had a fantastic lunch together at Isle de Garde in La Petite-Patrie before they dropped us off at the hotel in the early afternoon.
There was no line-up when we arrived, and check-in was swift. Behind the check-in desks is a black-and-white map of Montreal and its surroundings, which I found to be visually appealing as the hotel staff worked through my booking.
We were assigned a standard room with a king bed. Apparently, the hotel actually has a few suite options available, but I was neither offered an upgrade with my Platinum status nor did I engage in any “suite-talking“.
I opted to save my Suite Night Awards for future consideration at a property where they’d go a bit farther.
There is a small pantry for grab-and-go items immediately to the left of the check-in area.
The lobby lounge has some seats around a faux fireplace and a television. I spent some time here waiting for an Uber later on that day, but the lobby is otherwise unremarkable.
After receiving our keys, we headed up to the our room on the top floor of the hotel.
Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown – King Guest Room
We entered Room 1004, which is far enough from the elevators to not be affected by bothersome noise.
The room is set up in an entirely open fashion, with the bed, work desk, television, and cabinet all visible immediately upon entry.
The king bed, which was comfortable but not memorably so, is flanked by hanging lamps and shelves with a phone and an alarm clock on either side.
Opposite the bed is a flat-screen TV and a desk. I spent a few hours working at the desk, and found it to be functionally comfortable.
Next to the window and to the left of the work desk is a padded wooden chair. The view from the window looks out onto a neighbouring hotel and apartment building.
Turning back toward the room entrance, there is a small luggage rack, as well as a mini-fridge and safe housed below the coffee maker. These two pieces of furniture are to the right of the work desk.
Next to the door is a small closet with an ironing board and a handful of coat hangers.
The bathroom is just to the left of the room’s entrance. There is a sliding door with a large mirror on it.
The bathroom is simple, but functional. A circular, LED-lit mirror sits atop the single sink.
The amenities are found in a circular storage unit above the toilet, although it appears that the hotel has fixtures for refillable amenities that were perhaps curtailed due to pandemic-related sanitary policies.
The walk-in shower had decent water pressure, but wasn’t as strong as I usually prefer.
Overall, the room is simple and functional. As I mentioned before, we spent the majority of our time in the city, and just needed a quiet place to rest at night, which our room was perfect for.
Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown – Breakfast
One feature of Fairfield Inns is that they offer complimentary breakfast to all guests. At other properties, I’ve seen fairly decent hot buffet spreads, but this hotel had yet to reintroduce them due to ongoing COVID-19 related measures.
Breakfast is served on the main floor of the hotel just next to the lobby.
It appears to be set up for in-person dining, although I have yet to see this be the case over my several stays here. The room is cordoned off, but guests can pop in to grab coffee, tea, and their breakfasts.
The hotel offered bagged grab-and-go breakfasts during our stay, which left us relatively uninspired. Inside the bag, we found an apple, a boiled egg, cheese, yogurt, breakfast cereal, carrot poundcake, and a small container of milk.
There are coffee and tea stations set up, which guests may access throughout the morning and day.
It even looks like there is a beautiful, lonely espresso machine that is begging to treat guests to something other than the coffee-flavoured water in the coffee station.
We nibbled on parts of the breakfast, but saved our appetites for coffee and breakfast from one of Montreal’s many (and vastly superior) cafés and boulangeries.
Fairfield Inn Montreal Downtown – Other Facilities
The hotel doesn’t have too many other facilities to offer guests.
There is a fitness centre on the main floor of the hotel, just down the hall from the check-in desks. It is accessible 24 hours per day.
In the fitness centre are treadmills, free weights, and several other cardiovascular and bodybuilding machines.
The hotel’s website advertises the Fairfield Bistro Bar, which offers hot food and cocktails, but this was not yet operational during any of my stays at this property.
Our two night stay at the Fairfield Inn in Downtown Montreal was fine for what we needed: a quiet, comfortable place to rest at night.
The room was simple yet functional, and the workspace was conducive to getting a few hours of work in without any issue.
The grab-and-go breakfast left much to be desired. I would enthusiastically welcome the return of a full hot breakfast, as well as making use of the espresso machine housed in the dining area.
The hotel’s location is great for anyone who is looking to get around the city, and is one of the hotel’s best selling points.
I would consider another stay at the Fairfield Inn on my next visit to Montreal. There are definitely other, more luxurious hotels in the city, but unless I have time to enjoy their added amenities, this hotel offers a quiet, comfortable, and affordable place to rest after a busy day.