My picks are well-liked hotels in the downtown Ottawa district that offer good experiences to their guests. Some were picked for value and some are picked based upon great amenities on offer or for being in a convenient location.

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Editor's Top 7 Picks

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$156 CAD
Great value downtown Ottawa hotel with full-size kitchens & balconies, restaurant & lounge
Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi, free local calls
  • Excellent service from staff, according to guests
  • Convenient location, in walking distance to a number of attractions, according to guests
  • On-site fitness centre and 24-hr business centre
  • Spacious, well-equipped suites, said guests
Cons
  • Some guests objected to paying for parking
  • A few guests were bothered by street noise
  • Exterior of hotel dated, according to some guests
  • Underground parking is $24 per night
Albert at Bay Suite Hotel is my choice for exceptional value. Guest rooms are really comfortably furnished condos, with full-size kitchens and balconies for the price of a hotel room. Wi-Fi and local calls are included in the rate, and the hotel provides a fully-equipped fitness room and 24-hr business centre on site for guest use. (Parking is underground, for an additional $20 per day.) Guests can also enjoy the convenience of on-site dining at the Bay Street Bistro and unwind at the hotel's Black Bear Lounge. Albert at Bay Suite Hotel is conveniently located only a 9-minute walk from Parliament Hill.
Editor's Picks
Book from ~$199 CAD
Popular downtown Ottawa hotel with indoor pool, restaurant, suites with kitchen & jacuzzi 
Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi, free local calls and pets stay free
  • Many guests found the location convenient for exploring Ottawa on-foot
  • Many reviewers described their rooms as clean and quiet
  • Several guest thought the hotel, in general, was well maintained and well appointed
  • The customer service was complimented by several reviewers for being friendly and helpful
Cons
  • Valet parking is $28 per night plus taxes
  • A few reviewers encountered inconsistent Internet access
  • A few guests complained about the price of the breakfast buffet served at the on-site restaurant
The Lord Elgin is in an excellent downtown location near the Rideau Canal. It’s an easy walk to attractions, shopping and restaurants in Ottawa including the Byward Market, National Arts Centre and Rideau Centre. Guests can take peaceful and scenic strolls along the Ottawa River Pathway and also enjoy Confederation Park directly across the street. This is a slightly more expensive, full-service hotel with luxurious accommodations, on-site restaurant and lounge and leisure facilities, including a lap pool, sauna and hot tub.
Editor's Picks
Book from ~$160 CAD
Classy downtown Ottawa hotel with impressive views, indoor pool and fine dining
Pros
  • Many reviewers found their rooms to be clean and spacious
  • The customer service was complimented by many guests
  • Several guests were impressed with the views of Parliament and the city skyline from their rooms
  • Many guests described the location of this hotel as convenient for visiting downtown attractions on foot
Cons
  • Some reviewers found the elevators slow
  • Several guests found the wireless Internet service slow, unreliable, and the fee of $15.95 per 24 hours expensive
  • Valet parking is $32 per day or $40 for oversized vehicles
Editor's Picks
Book from ~$157 CAD
Popular downtown Ottawa all-suite hotel with kitchenettes, free breakfast and free Wi-Fi
Pros
  • Free amenities: Wi-Fi, breakfast, local calls
  • Many guests found the staff to be friendly, helpful, and efficient
  • Many reviewers described their rooms as clean and well appointed
  • A few guests complimented the kitchenettes as a value added feature
  • Guests thought the hotel provided good value
Cons
  • Underground parking is $18.95 plus tax per night
  • Some guests missed having a restaurant on site
  • Some guests thought the hotel was a little far to walk to the downtown attractions
Editor's Picks
Book from ~$126 CAD
Great value downtown business Ottawa hotel with many amenities and freebies
Pros
  • Free wireless Internet, free movie channels, free in-room coffee and tea, free local calls, in-room desktop computers with free printing, free breakfast, and free guest laundry facilities with free laundry detergent
  • Most guests found their rooms to be clean, spacious, and well appointed with modern amenities and full kitchens
  • Guests said the staff were courteous and friendly
  • Ideal location in walking distance of parliament, Rideau Centre, Sparks St, restaurants and pubs
  • Guests enjoyed the varied selections of the free breakfast
  • Several reviewers said they were likely to return to this property
  • The on-site restaurant, Maclaren's on Elgin, serves lunch and dinner
Cons
  • A few guests were disturbed in their rooms by street noise
  • A couple of reviewers thought the property could use minor upgrades
  • A few guests found the parking facility small and cramped
  • Parking is $11 per day or $13 for underground
Editor's Picks
Book from ~$163 CAD
Well-liked all-suite downtown Ottawa hotel with indoor pool and suites with full kitchens
Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi and free local calls
  • Clean, comfortable rooms according to guests
  • Guests appreciated the well-stocked kitchens
  • Guests liked the staff of this hotel and considered them to offer professional and friendly service
  • Guests liked being centrally located near the Byward Market
Cons
  • Parking costs $20 per night with in-and-out privileges
  • A few guests were bothered by street noise
  • Dated decor, according to guests
Editor's Picks
Book from ~$287 CAD
Luxury landmark hotel in downtown Ottawa renowned for its fine dining and classic elegance
Pros
  • Guests liked the historic charm of this hotel
  • Excellent service from staff, according to guests
  • Guests found the location convenient to a number of attractions
  • Clean, comfortable rooms, according to guests
Cons
  • Decor needed updating, according to guests
  • A few guests found the beds uncomfortable
  • Wi-Fi is $14.95 for 24 hours
  • Self-parking is $28 and valet parking is $38 per night

3 Other Frequently Booked Hotels in Downtown Ottawa

Editor's Picks
Book from ~$181 CAD
Dated downtown Ottawa hotel with well-liked restaurant and suites with full kitchen 
Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Many lodgers praised the hotel's central locale and proximity to local attractions
  • The hotel's staff were complimented on their friendly and helpful service
  • Several guests were pleased with their spacious and well-equipped rooms
Cons
  • Parking is $12 per day
  • Some guests complained of worn rooms and dated decor
  • Noise transfer was reported by a few reviewers
Editor's Picks
Book from ~$138 CAD
Older downtown Ottawa hotel with free breakfast and free parking but mixed room reviews
Pros
  • Free Wi-Fi, free continental breakfast, free parking
  • Many guests were pleased with the hotel's rates and good value
  • The hotel was found to be close to downtown, the University of Ottawa and shopping
  • Some travellers were satisfied with their spacious and functional rooms
Cons
  • Some guests reported worn rooms and noise transfer during their stay
  • The hotel's free breakfast was found to be limited with no fruit or hot items
Editor's Picks
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Downtown Ottawa hotel near Byward Market with restaurant, free Wi-Fi & pet-friendly rooms
Pros
  • Free high speed Internet, free local calls, free daily newspapers, and free in-room coffee
  • Many reviewers complimented the friendly and helpful customer service
  • Several guests found their rooms to be clean and comfortable
  • A few reviewers thought this hotel offered good value for the price they paid
  • Many guests found the location convenient for accessing local tourist attractions on foot
Cons
  • Several guests were unhappy with the cramped parking facility and the parking fees of $20 per 24 hrs
  • A few reviewers complained that the Internet service was unreliable
  • Several guests were dissatisfied with the quality of food and the menu prices at the on-site restaurant
  • Some reviewers thought the hotel could use minor upgrades

Tips For Staying In Downtown Ottawa

Downtown Ottawa offers a selection of attractions, restaurants and nightlife that is as diverse as Canada itself. History buffs and party-goers alike will find their brand of entertainment near ByWard Market hotels, while business travellers will find rooms specifically designed to accommodate their needs within walking distance of major offices.

Choosing Your Downtown Ottawa Hotel
Consider what attractions you want to see and how you plan to travel around the Ottawa region when choosing your hotel. There are different groupings of downtown hotels, each with location benefits and drawbacks.

Hotels in the Albert, Slater and Elgin Street areas are closest to business offices and shops on Bank Street. This is not the most scenic area of downtown Ottawa, but hotels in this area know how to cater to their business traveller clientèle. The area is home to high-rise office buildings and a string of restaurants, cafes, small grocery stores and family-run businesses on Bank Street. Walking to the Parliament Buildings is easiest from hotels in this area.  

The Albert at Bay Suite Hotel, in the business district, is our Editor's Pick for value in downtown Ottawa. This property offers suites with full kitchens and separate living areas for the same price that other hotels charge for a standard room. Additionally, business travellers will appreciate the 24-hour business centre, fitness centre and on-site restaurant. The Parliament Buildings are about a 13-minute walk from this hotel.

More tourist-friendly hotels are found in the charming ByWard Market and Sandy Hill areas. These hotels are best for guests looking to walk to shopping, entertainment and attractions. When the weather is nice, locals and tourists alike can be found roaming these areas on foot. Sandy Hill is also home to many students who attend the University of Ottawa.

If you enjoy being in the centre of the action, the recently renovated Courtyard Ottawa Downtown puts you in the heart of the hip and happening ByWard Market. Guests frequently compliment this hotel for clean rooms and competitive room rates. Additionally, this hotel offers many on-site amenities, including free Wi-Fi, an indoor pool, on-site dining and a boarding pass printing station.

While technically west of Sandy Hill, the Lord Elgin is conveniently located for accessing the National Arts Centre, Ottawa City Hall, Rideau Centre and the Ottawa Convention Centre, as all are within an 8-minute walk. This hotel is one of our Editor's Picks and is recommended for its competitive room prices, luxurious room appointments and a relaxing indoor pool and hot tub.

Almost all downtown hotels charge additional fees for parking, ranging from $5 to $25 per night. However, free Wi-Fi is common among downtown hotels. Given the frigid winter weather, summer is the prime tourist season for Ottawa and room rates in downtown are especially high on and around Canada Day.

User-Friendly Public Transit
Driving in downtown Ottawa can be a bit of a nightmare for travellers. There are many one-way streets, heavy traffic and few parking facilities. Your best bet for accessing area attractions is on foot or by bus.

There is a bus terminal at Rideau Centre, with some stops on Rideau Street and some stops behind the centre on the MacKenzie King Bridge. Routes 1 and 7 travel down Bank Street, while Route 97 provides access to the airport. Single rides are $3.45, while a day pass costs $8.10.

Parliament Hill
No trip to Ottawa would be complete without a trip to the Parliament Buildings. Free guided tours are offered multiple times daily and the tour includes visits to the Senate, House of Commons and the Library of Parliament. While tours are free, group sizes are limited and you will need a ticket. Tickets are available across from the Parliament Buildings at 90 Wellington Street during the summer and at the base of the Peace Tower during the winter.

If visiting Ottawa in the summer, return to Parliament Hill at night for the light and sound show, Mosaika. Images projected onto the Parliament Buildings, in concert with music, illustrate the history of Canada. This show is completely free, and worth catching!

ByWard Market
Far from an average farmers' market, the ByWard Market is several blocks of trendy boutique shops, fresh produce stalls, artisan booths, specialty shops, bars and restaurants. This must-see destination has more than 100 restaurants, 24 bars and 48 fashion shops.

For a casual lunch or dinner and the city’s best margaritas, I recommend the southwest-inspired Blue Cactus. This restaurant features floor-to-ceiling windows perfect for watching the bustle of the market. If you’re up for a night of partying and dancing, head to the historic and hip Zaphod Beeblebrox. This live music venue has hosted Ben Harper, Alanis Morissette, Jewel and Ani DiFranco. The Rolling Stones even filmed a music video at this bar.

Other Highlights in Downtown Ottawa
The National Gallery of Canada has stunning glass architecture and a rich collection of Canadian Art, contemporary art, photography, indigenous art, and sculptures. The museum offers free admission every Thursday evening from 5 pm to 8 pm and on select holidays.

Opera, symphony, dance and other performing arts presentations frequently happen at the National Arts Centre. This is a popular venue among locals and tourists alike and I suggest buying your tickets online when planning your trip.

In the wintertime, bring your skates down to the Rideau Canal and enjoy the world’s longest ice rink. Many locals skate the frozen waterway in the winter as a mode of transportation. There are skate rental shops, warming huts and BeaverTails kiosks serving hot chocolate at several points along the canal.

Whether you're visiting during at the height of summer tourist season or during the frozen winter, there's no place to feel more Canadian than in downtown Ottawa!
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