Hotel Review – Hotel Zero 1 in Montreal, Canada

Continuing my review of my time in Montreal (I started the posts in May here), I thought it would be good to write up a review of the hotel I stayed at, Hotel Zero 1.

As mentioned in my previous post, I was in Montreal for a conference. I didn’t book my hotel until a few days before I was leaving (that wasn’t my fault, I swear). Naturally, all the budget hotels in the area around the conference center were full. The only hotel I could find for a reasonable price was Hotel Zero 1. There weren’t many reviews of the hotel at the time on the various travel sites, but their website (http://zero1-mtl.com/?lang=en) had a lot of pictures of amazing looking rooms. So I took the plunge and booked a room for the nights of the conference.

One thing to note is that the hotel was still being remodeled during my stay. I never heard any of the construction, but there were still portions of the lobby and some floors that hadn’t been finished. I assume that the hotel is now completely remodeled.

Location

Hotel Zero 1 is located at the northern corner of Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Boulevard Rene-Levesque, right at the northeastern entrance to China Town. Being located on Boulevard Rene-Levesque is a huge plus as it’s one of the major streets running through downtown Montreal. It’s easy to catch a bus to anywhere you need to go, but it’s also within walking distance of a lot of places to visit, such as China Town, The Latin Quarter, Old Montreal, UQAM (L’Université du Québec à Montréal [the University of Quebec in Montreal]), Complex Desjardins (a huge shopping mall), and Palais des congrès de Montréal (Montreal’s convention center), to name just a few (more on those in future posts). To top it all off, it has a 24 hour convenience store called Couche-Tard on the ground floor!

There is one potential downside to the location. Groups of homeless people and their dogs tend to hang around on the corner opposite of the hotel, near the entrance to Chinatown. I didn’t find this to be a problem since they never beg for money or bother pedestrians. And by nightfall, they tend to disperse. You can also simply avoid them by using the other side of the street, but it really isn’t that big of an issue.

Security

I found the security in the hotel exceptional. I felt completely safe when walking around the hotel and exploring its public spaces. I never arrived late enough at night to test it out myself, but the main entrance had a buzzer. My guess is that the door is locked late a night and you can use your card to enter or have someone at the front desk buzz you in. The convenience store can be reached through a hallway from the lobby. To make sure only guests enter the hotel through the convenience store, you need to swipe your room key.

The Room

I was extremely surprised when I entered my room. As a budget traveler, I’m used to very small and simple rooms. Hotel Zero 1’s lowest priced Zero 1 Pop rooms were all taken during my stay, so I had to get a Zero 1 Hip room. Take a look at what I was greeted with as I entered my room (I apologize for the poor image quality):

The room’s modern decor was amazing, and the bed was extremely comfortable. The large window behind the bed looked out northwest over Montreal and opened easily, and the side table was useful for eating meals. On the right side of the bed was a lamp, a phone, and my room’s wireless router (yes, each room has its own wireless router). An iPod dock sat to the left of the bed. And those drapes behind the bed were excellent blackout drapes. It made for a completely dark room for the one day I got to sleep in past sunrise.

On the wall opposite of the bed, you see a typical hotel setup: some doors (for what I assumed were closets), a coffee/tea maker, and some glasses (including two wine glasses).

I found the closet and started to hang my clothes. I was again surprised when I opened the other doors:

I found an empty mini-fridge (no overpriced mini-bar items taking up space), a microwave, bowls, plates, silverware, and a kitchen sink. In the cabinet under the sink stood a garbage can and a recycling bin. Everything was clean and tidy. And that big TV on the wall? It’s mounted to a swinging arm, making it easy to reposition it for viewing in bed. If you have any electronics with HDMI output, be sure to bring an HDMI cable to connect to the TV.

The modern design of the room continued into the bathroom, which again was meticulously clean and included plenty of towels and various bottles of grooming products:

The bathroom was very functional. My only complaint was that the shower area was a bit narrow, as the shower head was located on the wall to the left of the toilet. Luckily it was one of those shower heads with a handle that detaches from the wall, which did improve the usefulness of the shower area.

The Service

The employees at Hotel Zero 1 were all great. When I first arrived, the front desk attendants immediately checked me in, even though I was a few hours early. And throughout my stay the staff was always friendly and helpful. For instance, I noticed that my room didn’t have a remote for the TV. After a call down to the front desk, the manager on duty for the night brought up a remote within minutes and programmed it for my TV. I was even surprised to find out that the daily housekeeper washes your dirty dishes. I had planned to clean my bowl from cereal after I returned for the night, but I found my bowl cleaned, dried, and placed with the other bowl and plates.

My only complaint about the room was that the heat was cranked up pretty high. I couldn’t figure out how to turn down the temperature, and the front desk attendants couldn’t figure it out either. It seems there were still a few kinks to work out with the new rooms. It wasn’t a big problem since I could simply open my window to cool down.

Conclusion

Overall, the hotel was perfect for my stay. The room was more than large enough for the few days I was staying, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for a much longer stay. Each night I enjoyed falling asleep to the sounds of the city. Even during the day the sounds of the city were enjoyable whenever I got a break from my busy conference schedule. And since the walls between rooms are concrete, you can’t hear anything from other rooms. The service was great. The location was great. It’s definitely one of the best hotels I’ve stayed in during my travels.

Ratings

Room: 5/5

Location: 5/5

Service: 5/5

Overall:  5/5

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