Petite Auberge Les Bons Matins
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Great place for a romantic getaway that won't
I had read all the previous reviews before I booked a room in this auberge and to be honest, I had my doubts because of the negative reviews. We just came back from our little getaway in Montreal and I feel obliged to write a detailed review to set things straight, because the auberge turned out to be a great place and we had a most pleasant stay. The auberge isn't a single inn, it comprises, I believe, 4 townhouses side by side. We stayed in the building where the reception was. The breakfast was served in the building right beside ours. We had access to a very nice & complete kitchen (inc. dishwasher), and an honor bar where your first drink is free. After that, alcoholic drinks are $2 and juice & pop are $1. We also had access to two laptops with high-speed satellite access in the reception area. The whole place was designed very very tastefully and close attention had been paid to details. This was something that we really appreciated during our stay. Oh, and it couldn't have been any cleaner either. The walls & the floors looked like they had been done fresh. As for the room. We didn't want to pay 180+ for a suite but we wanted a room with a whirlpool. So, (having visited their website) I thought my only option was the room #401. It turned out that half their rooms aren't shown on their website. We ended up staying in a room (#504) with a fireplace & a double jacuzzi for much less (no separate sitting area though). I won't mention the price because we got a good last minute deal on a Sunday night and I don't want to hurt their business, but definitely ask if your could get a deal if you're going during the week or last minute. As for the breakfast, that was great as well. It was just as they described it on their website. Last but not least, their location is amazing for access to downtown. You can walk anywhere. And they have free parking. There's only two things you should be careful about: 1. The washroom. Make sure you ask about the washroom door. The reason why we chose not to stay in room #401 was the fact that it only had a curtain and no door for the toilet. Our room had the jacuzzi in the room and the shower & the toilet in a separate area behind a frosted glass pocket door. I don't know why they chose to use frosted glass but we didn't really mind it. Besides we also had access to the washroom in the reception area so we used that one if we thought the smell was going to be an issue :) 2. Noise level. I read the other reviews where some had complained about the inappropriate noise level. I can see how this could be an issue. You could definitely hear the footsteps above you and the doors aren't soundproof either. But we were right underneath the reception area so had noone above us, and I don't think there were many people at the auberge given that in was a Sunday night anyway. We found the noise not to be a problem but again, this is not a hotel, it's an inn so don't expect the same amount of peaceful silence. On the other hand, we didn't find the highway or the train mentioned by some other reviewers to be a problem.All in all, we had a wonderful time and would definitely recommend this place to anyone. We had also stayed at Auberge de la Fontaine in a previous visit, and liked it a lot as well. But if I were to pick between them, I'd go for Les Bons Matins (we also got a better deal).
A mixed place with pros and cons
Having read a variety of comments about this place I felt I too should add my twopennies worth.I stayed at Bons Matins for 5 nights in early September 2003. We booked room 502 although when we arrived after a late flight we found we had been allocated room 802. There was no-one to ask due to the late hour and by the morning it didn't seem important as the rates for both rooms were the same. We decided not to persue the unexpected and unacknowledged change.The room. The L shaped room was a reasonable size with fireplace, sofa and coffee table as well as queen size bed in the main area and a Jacuzzi, shower and basin in the smaller area. The television was wall mounted and could be swiveled to watch from the bed or the Jacuzzi but not the sofa. Although the Jacuzzi was advertised as 'two person' we had to shoehorn ourselves in and it was not comfortable two up. The toilet was in a small room off the bathroom area with a frosted glass sliding door that interestingly had no handle on the inside. We did not find the close proximity to be a problem however I can see how this could offend a less intimate couple. If you had a stomach upset it could be a bit awkward too!The shower was cute but small. The entrance 'hole' would not be good if you were very wide and there was no way you could stand away from the water which meant for a cold blast at the start or a contortion to turn it on from outside. There was a good head of water though and plenty of towels but no robes.The food. Breakfast was lovely. Served in a sunny room with a small patio (a trellised off part of the car park) at the rear. There was a buffet that had a fantastic choice of pastries, breads, fruits, cakes, meats, cheeses, cereals, & yogurts. The orange juice was freshly squeezed which made a refreshing change. Waitresses with hot waffles and French Toast circulated filling your plate as often as you could want. You could also have eggs any way you wanted. The eggs Benedict (with either ham or smoked salmon) was the best I have had.On the down side the bread I got from the buffet on our last morning was green with mould. The second slice I tried was rock hard. There were different varieties of home made muffins each day but all five mornings the bases were blackened where they had been overcooked. The staff were courteous but not friendly and there seemed to be a new set each morning which meant we were unable to build up the rapport that you would expect with a longer stay at a B&B.The positives The food (apart from the mouldy bread)Decor. All the buildings (of which there appeared to be three) have a lovely Moroccan feel with lots of large oil paintings and warm colours. The furniture is all antique style, lots of interesting wood and the reception has a wonderful large leather sofa.Location. Couldn't be more convenient for the metro - only a hundred yards away - and the heart of the downtown area is walking distance - just a couple of blocks away. It was also extremely handy for route 20 which leads to Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport (formerly Dorval) and is one of the main routes west out of Montreal.Free Internet connection. There is a laptop with high speed internet connection in the hotel lounge which was really useful and a nice touch.Parking. There is ample free off-street parking at the rear of the hotel, which was useful.The negatives Room 802 is on the top floor so we didn't have the noise issues regarding people overhead however I have to agree that the noise levels are borderline acceptable. All the floors are floorboards which look lovely but do not offer any sound insulation. Each time we climbed the two extremely long and very steep flights of stairs to our room (not for the unfit or feint hearted) we were acutely aware of the noise we were making on the creaky boards and tried to keep it down but still felt we were probably noisy enough to upset people. On our arrival we made a terrible, unavoidable, noise dragging cases up the stairs late at night, which must have disturbed everyone in the building.The walls between rooms were very thin. Our first night we listened to the person next door snoring. Our second night we had our new neighbours TV for company. We then had two nights of another neighbour talking loudly on the phone. Room 802 is at the back of the building so away from the road and railway. It should be noted that the railway is a commuter line that offers a VERY limited service outside of morning and evening rush hour. The road is on the other side of the rail-track and the windows are double-glazed so I can imagine these would only be a problem if you were unaccustomed to the noise of a city.Our top floor room had a door and 'balcony area' that lead to the top of the fire escape. There was sloped lead covered roof with an old wooden palette wedged across. It looked unsteady and unsightly so we did not venture out there. It was nice having a door to open but it was a surprise when opening it brought the curtain rail crashing down. Closer inspection showed that it had been re-hung a number of times. We re-hung it again ourselves and opened the door more carefully, avoiding closing the curtains.Although there was a fire place were unable to locate any logs or fire lighters. The matches left for us would not light as there was no paper to strike them against and they were safety matches that did not spark against a brick. Although the weather was warm enough not to want a fire we were unable to light a candle owing to the match problem and it would have been nice to think we could have had a fire if we had wanted.There is a kitchen for guests to use which had a small hob and microwave as well as fridge and freezer which was very useful. There was also cookies, teabags, coffee and a kettle. There did not appear to be any milk or saucepans so it was more of a decorative kitchen than a functional one. On our last night we were told about the free bar in the main building. I felt that it was a bit of a con to offer something that is hidden away and only tell your guests about it when they are leaving. We would have enjoyed a few drinks.If you are looking for somewhere in the heart of Montreal that has more character than your usual large corporate then this is your place however don't expect the same corporate standards.Overall we enjoyed our stay as we are not especially fussy people however there were things that should have been better (the bread, curtain fixings, welcoming feel) and things that could have been better (noise levels, bathroom design).
Not to recommend
I stayed at the auberge beginning of September. First of all it took us ages to find it since the information on how to reach there not too precise. We also found the place not too suitable located with a huge highway and railway trach leass then 100 from the place.Even though we booked a room only we ended up in a cellar appartment some 100 meteres from the mail building(s). the place was huge and tastefully furnished but darkish and somehow it was not what we asked for. Additionally, and that is actaully the most annying thing, our accomodation got debited twice on my credit card. one time by the internet agancy through which we made the reservation and by the place itself even though we were assured that the only a small fee was charged by the select accomodations internet reservations. I am now still working on that issue, have to send faxes, etc and try to get the cach back.In short: avoid that place!
Nice place but service not so good
The auberge itself is beautifully decorated and in a great near-downtown location. However, if you are a light sleeper this is not a good place for a relaxing getaway unless you can get a room on the top floor. We were in a basement room and the ruckus from upstairs was incredible. When we asked to move to a different room (none were available), the desk staff person offered to call the upstairs room and ask them to be quiet, but he also said that it was a party of four and he doubted they would be quiet. After a very poor night's sleep it was hard to enjoy the breakfast, though it looked marvelous. The service in general is lacking; no robes in our room and friendly but clueless and ever-changing staff (I don't think we saw the same staff person twice in our 3-day stay).
We love this place! And so will you!!
FRIDAY: We had a wonderful trip through the city of Montreal until finally reaching the B&B. We spent the night in room 601 (at 1393 Argyle) the first night. It was a basement room, very vibrant colors on the walls. The room had a small living room, a hot tub, and a door to the outside. The room smelled as if someone snuck a dog in, but I believe it was because of the humidity. The A/C unit was a floor model and may have contributed to the smell. Nonetheless, everything was immaculate. SATURDAY: We woke up to the smell of bacon outside after opening the rear door to get some cool fresh Canadian air. The second night we moved to room 501, which is in the basement of the main office area. The staff was very pleasant and helpful. The decor was the same.
Very modern, french antiques along with contemporary styling. We were impressed. The room was smaller, but had all the same ammenities as the previous room. Now, each morning you get a huge breakfast. We had eggs benedict to start along with fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh (tasty) coffee, crossaints, various jams, cheeses, deli meats, fruit salad, french toast, and belgian waffles. The food was awesome. SUGGESTIONS: Le Paris was a decent restaurant. I gave it 3/5 stars. The AMC 22 movie theatres is a great place to go. Very clean and better than any theatres I been to in the northeast (Other than Le Loop in Methuen, MA). We shopped at a mall down near the corner of Maisonneuve/Union? It had like 5 levels...and connected to other underground malls. Talk about insane shopping! We also visited the Botanical Gardens, Olympic Park(Biodone and Tower). Everything is within a few miles of the B&B.
Also, the Metro is about 200 ft down the street. OVERALL: The price was bargain basement. The location is 2 blocks from St. Catherine street where you can go nuts at the clubs, shops, etc. You cannot go wrong.
Enjoy your stay. I know we'll be back again and again. :>
What a breakfast!
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Petite auberge Les Bons Matins. We stayed in one of the budget rooms -- tiny with a private bath in the hall. I would opt for one of the larger rooms on our next stay. The room was adequate for our stay, the staff was helpful and the breakfast was superb! Cappucino, fresh squeezed juice, waffles, fresh fruit...what a treat. The location was great -- close to the metro, restaurants, and shopping. We had no problems with noise from outside or from other guests -- we slept like babies!
My family and I stayed in an apartment complete with a working fireplace. The location reminded me of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, an area in NYC being reclaimed by artists. Rue Argyle was rather industrial but the street of row houses of this B and B were charming. The location is excellent. One can walk everywhere and there is a Metro stop just a few paces away. The best part of this B and B is the staff. Very friendly and considerate service. It's a lovely place. My family and I will return again and again.
Wonderful and Charming!
We have stayed at this B & B on numerous occassions and have had a wonderful experience each time. Though the rooms are a bit smaller than they appear on the website, they are tastefully decorated and the service is wonderful.
The breakfasts are to die for! Freshly squeezed OJ, lovely croissants and gorgeous eggs. The train is just at the end of the street - literally 1 minue away and the folks at the inn are always helpful to give you ideas where to go and how to get there.
I highly recommend Les Bons. You won't be dissapointed.
I had to write a review in defense of this B&B because the previous review "Great Place, Big Drawbacks" commented on the lack of a bathroom door. When I read this review before our trip I almost canceled our reservation! I called to verify the accuracy of this and it was indeed untrue. There is a pocket door on the bathroom. The previous reviewer must not have ever used a pocket door. Please don't let the last review stop you from going!
The best things about the B&B are the location and the wonderful breakfast. The street is quiet and the metro is visible from the sidewalk. We didn't have to drive at all our entire stay! We are very much "country folk" and the idea of taking the metro scared us a bit at first, but Montreal was so easy to navigate!
The breakfast is wonderful. First off you have your choice of coffees, latte, cappucino, and a selection of teas. There is fresh squeezed orange juice as well. The baked goods are fresh each morning and are delectable. The waffles are the best we've had! You have your choice of eggs cooked any style as well as a selection of cooked meat as a side.
The only drawback is that you can definitely hear your neighbors. We take this in stride however as it is a B&B and having been to several of them, this is almost always the case. I would suggest bringing a white noise machine (like one of those little things that plays rainfall sounds or something) or a small fan with you to drown out the conversations of the neighbors if that kind of thing bothers you.
In regards to not knowing who to speak with, we had very much the opposite experience. We spoke with Lynn the first night and she was very knowledgeable about things to do and advised us quite well according to our interests. The next day we had a question about where to go for dinner and we were given cards for several restaurants along with tips on the style and atmosphere of each.
I think the previous review was unfair and I would definitely advise people to go to Petite auberge Les Bons Matins for a romantic weekend in a city that is clean and has so much to do for everyone.
Good place, but big drawbacks
Bons Matins has potential to be a very charming little B&B in the heart of the city. We stayed there for my birthday the last weekend of September 2002.
Best feature is it's prime location, on a quiet street but just two blocks down from the bustling rue Crescent neighborhood and about a 1 minute walk to the Lucien L'Allier metro station. If you choose to walk, you can get to Vieux Montreal in about 45 minutes. From Bons Matins, you can get anywhere in Montreal quite easily.
Second good feature: very nicely decorated. The inn occupies a few townhomes. Rooms are done with bright paintings, antiques, and beautifully tiled bathrooms.
Now the unfortunate downsides....
The noise level inside the room is completely and utterly unacceptable. It's a bunch of old townhouses, so it's expected to hear some creaky floors and muffled conversations next door. But during our stay, we hear blaring TV sets from two different neighbors. And each step the upstairs neighbors took sounded as though they would crash through the ceiling (the light fixtures even rattled). It kept us up until 2 a.m.
Second big downside was the service. It was unclear who exactly was in charge of the place. Each day there was a different cadre of men milling around. One morning, an unwitting guest put a croissant in the toaster and smoked the dining room out. A stupid thing to do, yes, but one of the managers (assuming that's what he was, and not a member of the clique of men with lots of hair gel that seemed to hang out there) totally berated this poor woman in front of everyone. Later that day, we complained to a different manager about the noise. His response, literally, was to don a puzzled look and say, "Hmm."
Third negative was the bathroom. A very nicely tiled, spacious bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. However, there was just a flimsy curtain and no door for the bathroom. That means absolutely zero privacy on the crapper, which is in the front of the bathroom about 5 feet from the foot of the bed. DO NOT go to Bons Matins for a young relationship's first weekend getaway! Also, the shower stall was so tiny, you cannot step out of the path of the water to soap up.
So, a halfway decent place. Don't stay unless you are guaranteed a room on a top floor and unless you don't mind crapping in front of your girlfriend/spouse every morning. (we stayed in 705...ask to NOT be put in that room!)
TripAdvisor Reviews Petite Auberge Les Bons Matins Montreal
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