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The 9 ½…A different kind of B & B
What makes us different? Well from what our customers say as well as tourist guides, we have a “je ne sais quoi” that makes us original. The idea behind the making of the 9 ½ comes from our travel experience. Every time we went to a B & B we would always feel like intruders. So we thought: “Hey let’s make a place where people will really feel at home…”.
Our motto is ‘Make yourself at home”….That’s what we tell our guests when they enter the guesthouse. First you’ll be greeted by Jean, the boss, or sometimes a member of the 9 ½ family. We’ll show you around, explain how the house works, give you an overview of the city, then you’ll be on your own. Of course we are on the premises…not too check up on you but rather to help you make your visit to Montreal the most enjoyable.
Since 2016, breakfast is only available during high season: Usually from June to September, but coffee and tea are always available. The difference from a regular B & B breakfast is not served, it’s a self-service buffet. Inspired from youth hostels, we set out the goods the night before (bagels, bread, cereals, yogurt, jam, fruits, coffee, tea, etc….) and you serve yourselves at whatever time suits you…and best of all you even clean your dishes, just like home! We decided on this formula to lower the costs, and to be perfectly honest, we had absolutely no wishes of cooking breakfast for 10-12 people every morning! This way, it allows us to be available for you and also it creates a sharing-type atmosphere conducive to meeting other travellers.
Which guesthouse is for you?
In March 2011 we opened a second guesthouse, Le 9 ½ St Denis! Both guesthouses are identical in terms of set up, ambiance, and spirit. They are however a little different in certain aspects. To help you make the right choice, we’ve outlined the most important differences.
Getting around : « These shoes are made for walking….”…. Then 9 1/2 St Laurent seems more central, which is kind of true…However when you consider that Montreal is a big city, spread out in many little neighborhoods, this fact becomes less important. Take for example, getting to the old part of the city, le Vieux-Montréal, a popular tourist attraction. It is closer in distance from the St Laurent location however you’ll get there faster leaving from the St Denis location because the subway is 1 minute away whereas it’s 10 minutes away from the St Laurent guesthouse.
So in a nutshell, if you are the “urban walker” type who likes to walk a lot, hang out in cafés, restaurants and boutiques, as well as parks, then the St Laurent location is maybe more appropriate. However, if you are the type “I want to see all of Montreal in 2 days” therefore wish to get around faster and more efficiently, then maybe the St Denis is more appropriate.
Any way you look at it, you’ll enjoy your stay here and we’ll have the time to visit the city, however, the way you go about it and the energy you spend will differ.
Sleep : « Sweet dreams are made of this…. ».
The main reason why you looked us up is that you are looking for a place to sleep. Therefore we thought we’d help you make the right choice.
The 9 1/2 St-Laurent, as said previously is more central, on the Plateau, a very lively neighborhood by day and by night, therefore, we’ll be honest, can be a little noisy at times. As for the 9 1/2 St Denis, although it’s the most important french artery in North America, it is much quieter because it is just outside the commercial area. Also, there is air conditioning at the St-Denis (there aren’t any at St Laurent) which might be worth noting during the summer months
Again, in a nutshell, if you are a light sleeper and are sensible to heat, opt for the St-Denis location, but if you want to be in the middle of the action and don’t mind the inconveniences, then the St Laurent guesthouse is the place for you.
Frequently asked questions:
Car and parking
We do not offer parking. It is however pretty easy to find free parking on the side streets…but it is hard to figure out parking signage. When possible, we will help you find a spot and give you a crash course on the signage. The other option is to pay 8$ in a private parking lot (until noon) which is not too far from the St Laurent guesthouse.
How to get to the guesthouses from the airport:
The easiest way but also the most expensive is by taxi (30-40 min.). It’ll cost you between 45$ and 55$ (tip included).
Cheaper but time consuming (1h-1h30) is the 747 shuttle (8$, includes a 24h bus/subway pass).
9 1/2 St Laurent: Take it up to St Laurent boulevard (ask the driver), from there take the bus 55 (with the same pass). Look at the addresses until you see 4133, then get off (Rachel street).
9 1/2 St-Denis: Take it to the end of the line, being the Berri-UQAM subway station. From there take the subway, direction Montmorency, to Beaubien station. St-Denis street is 250 ft away, ask a passerby, they are quite helpful. You’ll find the guesthouse right after the schoolyard.