While Ottawa may have formerly held the reputation of a sleepy government town, the captivating capital city has more than outgrown that dated misconception. In fact, it’s become quite the opposite. As of 2018, Ottawa currently welcomes an average of 11 million visitors annually—a striking number when you consider the population of Ottawa is just under one million residents.
As such, the tides have turned on boutique and luxury hotels in the city—while there are a handful of century-old properties that have been serving government officials and travelers for decades, the city has also become home to more modern and sophisticated properties to house its discerning influx of travelers. In fact, in recent years, Ottawa has seen an influx of international and domestic brands opening up new and hotly anticipated hotels across the downtown core and beyond.
Whether you’re staying the night or booking a proper vacation in the Canadian capital, we’ve rounded up a selection of the city’s absolute best hotels—from prestigious UNESCO heritage properties to affordable boutique hotels in the center of the city, there’s something for every type of traveler in Canada’s capital city.
Fairmont Château Laurier
There’s only one address to consider if top tier luxury and historical relevance is your beat—and that’s the Fairmont Château Laurier. Considered the Grande Dame of the city, this towering castle is literally perched off the side of the Rideau Canal and is one of the most striking architectural structures in Canada.
Originally commissioned in 1912 by the Grand Trunk Railway in tandem with the city’s downtown Union Station, this UNESCO heritage property is the ideal intersection between old world luxury and modern comforts; featuring cozy rooms, white gloved guest services, and high end seasonal dining options.
Le Germain Hotel Ottawa
Looking for a boutique hotel feel but don’t want to sacrifice all the little luxuries that come with a high-end hotel? Consider dropping your bags at Le Germain Hotel Ottawa. This unique hotel features a modern, artful design with spectacular views of the downtown core. It also happens to be very close to all the typical Ottawa attractions—including the Parliament Building, which is an easy 10-minute walk away.
The elegant boutique hotel is pet-friendly, offers in-room continental breakfasts, and also includes a flexible late check out time if you tend to be a slow riser or want to indulge in one last espresso before hitting the road.
The Westin Ottawa
A stay at The Westin Ottawa is a vastly underrated experience—especially if you’re planning a visit come wintertime. The modern hotel is directly accessible from inside the Shaw Centre convention facility and the Rideau Center Shopping Mall—which means much less time spent walking outside. In fact, the Rideau Center connects a neat three-block radius in the busiest part of the downtown core, which is a huge lifesaver during inclement weather of any type.
In terms of amenities, The Westin Ottawa offers spectacular views of the city’s top attractions, late-night room service, and an indoor saltwater pool and squash court for anyone hoping to let off some steam before heading out to explore the city. Skate and bike rentals are also available directly from the hotel for anyone hoping to take advantage of the city’s many bike paths and the Rideau Canal Skateway.
Ottawa Marriott Hotel
Conveniently located on the edge of downtown, the Ottawa Marriott Hotel is an ideal option for anyone hoping to escape the downtown core by foot to check out neighboring Chinatown and The Glebe. The business-focused hotel features colorful rooms, a 24-hour snack pantry, and large windows that give way to great views of the city’s skyscrapers.
While you’re there, try to plan for an evening of room service—the selection and quality of the in-room dining offerings at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel is surprisingly robust and delicious, with seasonal and local ingredients and plenty of vegetarian options that go above and beyond average.
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market
Whether you’re steadfast on receiving your World of Hyatt member points or you’re simply looking for a no-frills luxury hotel to drop your bags before you head out to explore, Andaz Ottawa Byward Market, a Hyatt concept, is it.
This charming hotel on the edge of the popular indoor-outdoor Byward Market features 200 guestrooms (including seven suites), all of which are elegantly decked out in Canadian-inspired touches. The floor-to-ceiling windows allow for a flood of natural light to wake you in the morning and a picture-perfect vantage point for watching the sun set on Parliament.
Lord Elgin Hotel
Striking a happy balance between historic and affordable, the Lord Elgin Hotel is an extremely economical option for anyone who wants to experience a piece of Ottawa history on a budget.
Constructed in the early years of World War II by the same architecture firm as the prestigious Fairmont Château Laurier, the elegant hotel could easily be mistaken for an old-world chateau thanks to its French Gothic design and imported Scottish masonry.
Arc the Hotel
Striking the perfect balance between old world comfort and modern design, Arc The Hotel is a great budget-friendly option for discerning travelers who want to be in the middle of it all without spending their entire travel budget on their accommodations.
Known as Ottawa’s first lifestyle boutique hotel, Arc The Hotel features 112 contemporary rooms that offer great views of the surrounding high rise buildings—and it’s also one of the best pet-friendly properties in the city with pet-specific amenities available upon request.
Hilton Lac-Leamy Hotel and Casino
While technically not within Ottawa's confines, Hilton Lac-Leamy is well worth the short drive across the Rideau Canal and into neighboring Gatineau. Only about a 10-minute drive to downtown Ottawa, this high-rise hotel features everything you’d want from a luxurious hotel stay—without the typical big-name prices.
Amenities and services range from a classic cigar lounge to a gorgeous seasonal pool, but the real draw is the breathtaking views of Ottawa and the surrounding area in almost every guest room and suite.