by Kitty Bean Yancey
While not the most ritzy or cutting-edge Montreal lodging, families say an enthusiastic “oui” to the Le Square Phillips.
Its 164-foot high-ceilinged, non-smoking rooms and suites in a former textile warehouse boast what’s rarely seen in Montreal lodgings: full kitchens with pots, glasses, dinnerware and cutlery.
Breakfast, Wi-Fi, cribs, playpens and highchairs are included in daily rates that are reasonable given the space and opportunity to prepare in-room meals. Families also enjoy the indoor heated pool (under glass on the roof), and outdoor sundeck with city views, plus laundry facilities open 24 hours a day. Pets are allowed at no charge.
The location is ideal, too, with easy walking distance to downtown shops, restaurants, museums and Old Montreal attractions.
Lack of a bar and presence of a loyal, long-stay business clientele translate into a dearth of the late-night revelers seen at other properties in this destination heralded for its lively nightlife. Le Square Phillips is known for its tranquility.
Little visitors will enjoy the wagon rolled out at check-in laden with toys and other kiddie treats, signaling the start of a family-friendly stay.
Our Editor Loves
- Suites with kitchens
- Rooftop pool
- Center-city location
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Expect spacious digs in the 10-story Le Square Phillips. Virtually all rooms and suites have tubs in an era when many hotels are going shower-only. Ongoing updates began in 2015 with second bathrooms being added to suites.
Furnishings are comfortable and updated, with bathrooms and kitchen areas renovated in 2014. Wi-Fi is free in rooms and throughout the hotel, and high-definition TVs are featured in all accommodations. DVD players are available upon request. Some suites have impressive columns left over from the factory days.
Kitchens go beyond the usual. Full-size refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, microwaves, toasters, electric kettles and coffeemakers are standard.
The two-bedroom Family Suites offer the best value. While connecting rooms are not available, the exceptionally friendly staff tries to honor requests for adjoining quarters. Options are many, including a few unadvertised first-floor rooms with roll-in showers suitable for those with disabilities.
Double Bed Studios
These large rooms offer two double beds, a kitchen, dining table, TV and desk, sleeping up to four people.
This room has the same amenities as the double bed studio, but with one king bed instead, sleeping only two guests.
Junior Suite Queens
These have two queen beds in alcoves without doors, a double sofa bed in the living room, two TVs, a kitchen and dining table.
One king bed is separated from the living area by a partial room divider. A double sofa bed and TV are in the living area, and the room has a kitchen and dining table.
A bedroom with a door that closes is furnished with one king bed. There's one double sofa bed in the living room, a kitchen and dining table, plus two TVs.
One bedroom has one king bed in a room with a TV and door that closes. A queen bed is in an alcove, and the living area has a double sofa bed and another TV. The kitchen has a table for six. This room can sleep up to six guests.
An apartment-like configuration, the two-bedroom suites have a master bedroom with one king bed and a TV, a second enclosed bedroom with one queen bed, a sofa bed and TV in the living room, a kitchen and dining table for six. Two-bedroom suites can sleep up to six.
What a find. The suites are incredibly spacious with a king bedroom with a half bath, a double bedroom and a big living/kitchen space with a sleeper sofa and a full bath. You can walk to the port and so many great restaurants and sites. Free breakfast was good to start the day.
We chose this hotel mainly for its central location: close to the Palais des Congrès. I had a spacious room (about 40 sg m) with a complete pantry. The bed was of a fine quality. So far so good.
The design of the rooms, the lobby and the breakfast room was to say the least a bit coarse. The breakfast was not too good, of a quality that would fit a European highway hotel. Dry bagels, tasteless cheese etc..
I cannot understand the level of the ratings, my experience was a bit lower.
The rooftop, 40-foot-long indoor pool makes a splash with guests of all ages. However, there's no wading area. It's 5 feet deep throughout and there are no lifeguards. Kids ages 12 and under must be supervised by adults. It's open 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round.
The Le Square Phillips does not offer a playroom or kids' club, but its spacious quarters with kitchens and dining tables make it easy to replicate life at home. The hotel also is close to multiple family attractions, from museums to horse-drawn carriage rides in Old Montreal.
The Breakfast Lounge
A complimentary cold spread is served from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays and 7 to 10 a.m. on weekends, including fresh fruits, cereals, croissants and yogurts. Food can be taken back to rooms, where some families cook up eggs and bacon as accompaniments.
Adjacent to the lobby, the intimate Italian-themed eatery with an open kitchen is not run by the hotel and does not have a formal kids' menu, but it welcomes children with pizza and simple pasta dishes. Highchairs are available. Adults savor ossobuco, penne arrabiata, Chianti and cappuccino. It's generally open from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 4:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday.
Trattoria Zia also provides room service for the hotel, including movie-time pizza.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Pets, even large dogs, are welcome at no charge. A carrier is suggested if dogs are left alone in the room.
Free newspapers are available at the front desk.
Le Square Phillips has a babysitting service on call.
The hotel has a small workout room, which can be used by kids under 12 if accompanied by a parent.
The onsite laundromat costs about $4 CAD to wash and dry a load.
You can stock your kitchen simply by making a list. Edibles arrive at your room, and you pay a delivery charge on top of the food cost. However, grocery stores are also within an easy walk of the hotel.
Valet parking with free in-out privileges is $22 CAD per day.
The Art of Smart Timing
All facilities are open year-round, but lowest rates are generally found from January to April. High season runs May through October. Montreal weather is notoriously changeable, so pack an umbrella and layers of clothing. Average daily temperatures range from about 16 degrees Fahrenheit in January to 72 in July.
Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport is about 12 miles away or a 20-minute cab ride. Cabs cost a flat rate of about $40 CAD. A bus stop is a block from the hotel, but a taxi is cheaper for large parties.
The hotel is located within a few minutes' walk of the efficient Montreal metro and an easy stroll to main attractions and Old Montreal. The central train station is nearby. Le Square Phillips provides no shuttle service, but it's not really needed. Renting a car is not a good idea in the congested, compact tourist areas of Montreal, except for day trips outside the city.
For Mom and Dad
Parents can relax with a book on the sundeck with city views, use the small workout room, shop at Eaton Centre or enjoy dinner at the many nearby eateries. They include hotel-recommended Restaurant Andiamo, which serves Mediterranean cuisine, and top-rated Montreal gourmet splurge Europea.