Looking for good, modest hotel in downtown Ottawa
July 10, 2011 1:30 PM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for a modest hotel in downtown Ottawa, Ontario - preferrably with a kitchen or fridge & microwave.

We're three adults and one child looking to visit Ottawa in mid-late August. We'd like to find a modest hotel (about $75-150 CND/night) or other accommodation to share, but we'd especially like to find somewhere within walking distance/a short bus ride of the major museums and other attractions. We know nothing about the layout of the city.

Ideally, we'd like an apartment-style hotel with a kitchen or kitchenette so that we could cook for ourselves part of the time. My preference is for smaller places and independent hotels, but we'll consider chain hotels too.

Any recommendations on what to see in Ottawa would also be welcome - we're planning on the Museum of Civilization and the War Museum, but haven't gotten farther in planning. We'll have one eight-year old with us, so we should humour her with some fun kids stuff in between the museums and art galleries.
posted by jb to Travel & Transportation around Ottawa, ON (11 answers total)
We stayed at the Best Western Victoria Suites (I'm pretty sure Best Westerns are independently owned and operated), which had a kitchenette and even dishware. It was moderately priced, parking cost extra, and was close to some museums and such, and the bus was very very close. Downtown was maybe 10 blocks - walkable, or not, depends on your activity level (bus is very easy and cheap). We did the Currency Museum, and the Diefenbunker was REALLY AWESOME but you'd need a car.
posted by kpht at 1:40 PM on July 10, 2011

Les Suites might be a good option for you, though it would likely be towards the top end of your budget. It's right downtown (tourist downtown, not financial/business district like a lot of the other hotels, though those areas are pretty close together), very very close to the Transitway (main bus route), close to Parliament Hill and other downtown attractions, etc. I just looked on their site and they do have some deals on, so it would be worth checking out. They are apartment style suites, so include full kitchens, separate bedroom, etc.

You should definitely check out the Museum of Science and Technology if you have a kid with you, though its location is not the best to get to without a car (though certainly not impossible). There is a sound and light show on Parliament Hill in the evenings every night during the summer, which I haven't been to since I was a kid but which might be cool for her, and there are often lots of interesting buskers in the Byward Market, as well as ice cream, etc. :)

If you want any other Ottawa tips, feel free to memail me!
posted by sabotagerabbit at 1:50 PM on July 10, 2011

Consider the university dorms - rates are as as cheap as $30/night, with good connections to public transit routes.
posted by HLD at 2:26 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Since I live in the city I don't actually know much about hotels, but if I were a kid I would want to go to the museum of nature if only to see their blue whale skeleton.
posted by fso at 2:28 PM on July 10, 2011

This family package is exactly at the top end of your range, but it's on the "wrong" side of the river, which is a bit annoying since it means no supermarket nearby, and few attractions save the Museum of Civilization and old Hull. One thing it has going for it is that it's not far from the STO's main bus stop, so you should be able to get to Ottawa pretty quickly. On the weekends, the whole family will be able to share a Daypass on the Ottawa side, but it will only count for one admission on the Gatineau side. The Passe-temps pass will get one person on the bus, on either side of the river.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 2:29 PM on July 10, 2011

We like the Auberge des Arts. It has at least one room with a kitchenette, and the breakfasts are great.
posted by scruss at 2:34 PM on July 10, 2011

The University of Ottawa also rents out their dorms in the summer: http://www.reservations.uottawa.ca/en/summer.html

I've stayed there plenty of times - make sure you get one of the suites with a kitchenette and two bedrooms, though. The rooms on floors with shared bathrooms are absolutely terrible. Both UofO and Carleton rent out dorms, but U of O is a much better location if you're bussing (right downtown, near the market and almost every museum.) The U of O also has a breakfast buffet included in your stay.

As far as what to see - Deifenbunker for sure, and the Museum of Nature is super cool. Kids would love it.

Ottawa also just had a bunch of Bixi bike stations installed (https://capital.bixi.com/) - at various points around the city you can grab a bike for a small fee and use it for the day. If you're looking for a break from museums, I'd recommend taking a nice ride along the canal or river - both have great, beautiful bike paths.
posted by drycleanonly at 3:52 PM on July 10, 2011

Thank you all for your suggestions - right after I posted this, my mom found a suite via expedia for $75. It's a bit away from the centre - 2.something km from Parliament Hill. But the price was excellent. I think it is one of the universities - I'm not sure which.
posted by jb at 5:28 PM on July 10, 2011

Is it UQO? If it is, be aware that there just isn't much around in Val-Tétrault (where UQO is located): like in Old Hull, there is no supermarket for a couple of kilometers. Also, there are major slopes on Alexandre-Taché (most people have to get off their bikes) if you want to walk to take Bus 8 to Ottawa.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 6:59 AM on July 11, 2011

It's Saint Pauls, on the Ontario side of the river.
posted by jb at 9:04 AM on July 11, 2011

Oh, good. If you go the Museum of Civilization on a Thursday, you might want to get vegetables at the Marché du Vieux-Hull, on Laval St. It's open from 10 to 15. It you don't bring your own lunch, the food court at the Museum is fine, and there's a typical mall food court in the Portage complex (use the entrance at Hôtel-de-ville and Portage) that's open for lunch. When I'm in that part of town, I often eat at Le Troquet. Their sandwiches are good and pretty affordable, and it's not a cafeteria.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:49 PM on July 11, 2011 [2 favorites]

« Older Which version of the Nintendo DS should I get?   |   Help me pick a large(r) format flatbed scanner Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.