Ottawa is the capital of Canada and nestled into Ontario's Niagara district, making it a magnet for business travelers and vacationers alike. In many ways, Ottawa is still a charming small town, despite its population of more than 850,000. While the city has many hotels, the diversity and selection among Ottawa's hostelries is not quite what one might expect from a place of its size and importance.
Two factors shape hotel choices in Ottawa. The area is enormously popular in the summer months, so bookings at that time of year should be made well in advance. Also, Ottawa has mostly midrange and upscale hotels, so reasonably priced choices within the city limits are few and far between. Frommer's recommends that budget travelers look to the motels outside Ottawa or the city's few bed and breakfasts for accommodations.
Auberge McGee's Inn
Set in a red brick Victorian mansion dating to 1886, the Auberge McGee is only a few minutes' walk from the University of Ottawa. Each of the 12 rooms has period antiques and reproduction furniture, often with a piece or two reflecting the Peruvian origins of the inn's owner. The rooms also come equipped with modern touches such as their own refrigerators and Internet access, although Fodor's described the accommodations as "cramped" and the hotel lacks an elevator. Breakfast is included and is served either in the mansion's dining room or its bright parlor.
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
A New York Times Travel Pick with an "exceptional" rating from Frommer's, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier is one of the top hotels in Ottawa. Erected at the same time as and designed in the same style as the famed Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, the Chateau Laurier is the sort of place that treats hosting celebrities and dignitaries as routine. The hotel has a central location between the Parliament building and the Rideau Canal, with the upper floors offering views of the Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills beyond. The guest rooms at the Laurier are spacious and decorated with late 18th-century French reproduction furniture, and the hotel sports all the modern amenities one might expect from such a top-ranked establishment.
This hotel is part of the Casino du Lac-Leamy leisure complex. As the name implies, the property has a casino, as well five restaurants and three bars and access to Lake Leamy and its freshwater beach. The decor of the hotel's public spaces combines modern whimsy, such as in the multicolored chandeliers, with an otherwise conservative decor full of dark wood furniture and earth tones. The guest rooms provide the Hilton chain's signature features, plus floor-to-ceiling windows that brighten the room and allow views of the water.
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