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Wondering Where To Stay In Ottawa, Canada? Here’s Our Knowledge!

Are you considering a trip to Ottawa? That’s a great idea because Canada’s capital city is full of things to do and see! However, figuring out the best area to stay in Ottawa for sightseeing can be a challenge! With so many great places to stay – like downtown or in ByWard Market –  it’s no wonder that choosing a hotel, Airbnb, or bed and breakfast is a daunting task!

Luckily, you’ve got a Canadian here to help! We’ve explored Ottawa numerous times – in the summer and winter seasons – and scouted out the best hotels and areas in the city that you should check out. So, our guide walks you through the Ottawa accommodations by style – and then tells you about the best areas to stay in Ottawa for nightlife, tourist attractions, and more!

From the Alt Hotel downtown or the famous Chateau Laurier to the suite-style aparthotels you can call home during an Ottawa trip with the family, let’s find you an Ottawa accommodation in a great area that works best for you!

If you need more Ottawa travel tips or information on travelling to Canada, check out these other posts on the subject!

Where to Stay in Ottawa – Ottawa Accommodation Options

Ottawa isn’t as big of a city as Toronto – but it’s certainly spread out with many different areas that sprawl. These areas – being so different – generally have different accommodation types specific to them. Hotels are downtown, bed and breakfasts are in the Glebe, etc etc. We will cover that more below.

So, if you are looking for a specific accommodation type – hotel, apartment, etc. – let’s jump into the different accommodation types in Ottawa. This way, you can get the type of accommodation you want if you aren’t too picky about the area. That said, we will get to areas down below in this post!

Hotels in Ottawa

tall hotel overlooking bar on street corner in byward market where to stay in ottawa
The Andaz has incredible views of Parliament, ByWard Market, everything!

It is no surprise that – as the nation’s capital – Ottawa is a very touristy city as well as a very business/diplomatic-focused city. Ottawa has all the embassies and government officials so it’s a hotel-heavy city for international travellers.

Since this post is catering to tourists and people who want to see the top sights, we are going cover the best areas to stay in and around downtown Ottawa and some of the best hotels you’ll find in those areas. We will cover hotels in other areas – but they serve a different purpose (like flying from the airport).

Having said that, there are loads of hotels in Ottawa and – luckily for you – they are really only concentrated in the downtown core and ByWard Market area. They vary in price range but are generally more affordable than hotels in Toronto – which is a GOOD THING. Below you’ll find hotels by price/style which you can get started checking out.

>> Get started searching for hotels in Ottawa here.

Budget/Cheap Hotels in Ottawa

There are actually a handful of cheaper hotels in Ottawa – and you can actually stay pretty central. Many budget hotels are on the outskirts of the city and if you have a rental car or plan on using public transport, you can stay at these hotel options.

As for these “cheap” hotels, there is nothing “bad” about them – you can just expect fewer amenities than the top hotels. So, if you need a budget place to stay for a few days, consider these hotels in great areas!

Boutique Hotels in Ottawa

hotel entrance sign with sidewalk in front arc the hotel where to stay in ottawa
You need to check out Arc The Hotel right downtown…

Even though Ottawa is kind of a boring business city, there is actually a handful of hotels with a unique and boutique style! These hotels are in the more central areas downtown or in ByWard Market. We walked by some of them while we wandered around and they were all close to the Parliament, the Market, and more!

  • The Metcalfe Hotel – A stunning boutique-style hotel with an indoor pool right downtown (Our Pick)
  • Arc The Hotel – A clean and simple downtown hotel with a lounge and restaurant
  • Swiss Hotel – A bright hotel with buffet breakfast and terrace close to ByWard Market

Luxury Hotels in Ottawa

gold lettering of hotel entrance with flags chateau laurier ottawa luxury hotel
The name “Fairmont” says it all…

As a hub for travellers from all over the world, Ottawa is no stranger to high-class and luxury experiences. As a result, there are a handful of hotels in the downtown area that are considered to be luxury! Below are a handful of the best luxury hotels in Ottawa – complete with excellent services and top amenities:

Bed and Breakfasts in Ottawa

Even though Ottawa has a downtown core with attractions and hotels, there are a few quiet areas and neighbourhoods surrounding it. As such, you can actually find a bunch of bed and breakfasts or inn-style accommodations scattered around the city centre. So if you want a more homey stay in a historic house or traditional home, you’ll have options in Ottawa!

Generally speaking, these bed and breakfasts are in quieter, more residential, more green areas. However, you can actually find some close to ByWard Market – so you don’t have to sacrifice a great location for a B&B stay! You can check here for bed and breakfasts in Ottawa.

Some of the B&Bs are in The Glebe – but we will get to that area of Ottawa in the “areas section” down below. Since there are a few to choose from, we’ve included a handful of the best ones to get you started:

Hostels in Ottawa

Although Ottawa is the nation’s capital, it’s not really a backpacker-friendly city. There are really only a small handful of hostels to choose from. You can check here for the top hostels in Ottawa. The one we list below is actually a really cool hostel experience.

Aparthotels and Suite Hotels in Ottawa

Because Ottawa attracts a lot of families travelling with kids and international travellers staying for longer than a few days on business, apartment-style (or suite-style) hotels are very popular.

These hotels provide guests with a full apartment – usually with full kitchens and living rooms – to make a “home away from home”. They usually also offer a reception and restaurant for breakfast – which is a nice bonus!

>> Get started searching for aparthotels in Ottawa here

If this style of accommodation suits you, check out some of the top suite-style hotels in Ottawa. These are all downtown or close by:

  • The Carlton Suite Hotel – A classic suite-style hotel in the heart of downtown with a great breakfast
  • SMR Lisgar Ottawa – Upscale apartments on Lisgar Street (central location) with an outdoor pool (Our Pick)
  • Albert at Bay Suite Hotel – A suite-style hotel right downtown with balconies and fitness area
  • The Business Inn – A popular hotel on top of a popular pub (MacLaren’s) steps from downtown

You might also just be looking for an Airbnb in Ottawa in which case you might find a great room or apartment to set up a base for a few days while exploring the city.

Where to Stay in Ottawa – Ottawa Neighbourhoods

boats in canal locks in ottawa ontario
The Chateau Laurier is right beside the famous historic Locks of the Rideau Canal!

Now that we have covered the different styles of accommodations in Ottawa, let’s cover the best areas to stay. Now, these aren’t ALL the areas you can stay in/around downtown Ottawa. However, there are really only so many accommodations tightly packed into a handful of places and we’ve covered those areas for visitors below!

Our Accommodation Top Picks By Neighbourhood/Area

If you know you’re heading for Ottawa and aren’t too picky, you might want to just get started looking for accommodations. In that case, here is a brief breakdown of the featured Ottawa neighbourhoods in this post and a top pick accommodation for each one!

To be as helpful as possible, we also included hotels around/near Ottawa International Airport (YOW). The airport is located close to Nepean – an area to the south of downtown Ottawa. Many downtown hotels have airport shuttles – or can easily call a taxi for you.

However, if you didn’t want to mess with Ottawa morning traffic and want peace of mind, you can stay very close to the airport! We’ll tell you about a few hotels close to Ottawa airport down below.

Areas Outside Downtown Ottawa

blue river with bridge over it and buildings on shore ottawa river
There’s Hull, Quebec – you can actually see the Four Points by Sheraton on the left…

Just so we are as helpful as possible, we also wanted to cover two areas that are NOT downtown Ottawa – but still have a number of hotels or accommodation options. You might choose to stay here if you find an accommodation and price that works for you! These areas outside downtown Ottawa are Kanata and Gatineau/Hull.

Kanata

Kanata is technically a suburb of Ottawa. It’s about 20 minutes southwest from downtown if you’re driving. Kanata is along Highway 417 – which is part of the Trans Canada Highway (a route that crosses the entire country). Kanata is likely most known as the home of the Ottawa Senators, the NHL Team. They play at the Canadian Tire Centre. 

>> Check Here For Hotels In Kanata

You’d stay in Kanata if you were planning on attending a Sens game or if you were perhaps heading out of town the next day. Otherwise, even if you find a hotel deal in Kanata, you’ll have to pay for a rental car and gas or public transit to get into the downtown core for sightseeing each day. 

In any case, check out these hotels in the Kanata area:

Gatineau/Hull, Quebec

If you want to stay closer to downtown Ottawa, you could technically stay in Quebec. The city of Gatineau (and the small island of Hull) are located just across the Ottawa River from downtown Ottawa. You also don’t need a passport to cross provincial borders (in case you didn’t know that).

In fact, the Canadian Museum of History (a top attraction) is located here. You could walk across one of the many bridges or take a water taxi – but only in the summer season.  That said, the massive winter festival called Winterlude is in February and one of the main areas for that is Jacques Cartier Park – which is in Hull!

So, the choice is yours. Here are two hotels that are right by the history museum, park, and beautiful riverfront area.

Areas to Avoid

Ottawa is generally a very safe and welcoming city. That said, with any city – especially the capital city – there are bound to be areas that you wouldn’t venture into or plan to stay in as a visitor. One such area is Vanier.

This neighbourhood is located to the northeast of the ByWard Market area. The area isn’t necessarily unsafe – but it’s far from the centre and simply not optimal if you are staying in the city for a few days.

Where to Stay in Ottawa – Featured Places to Stay

In the section below, we will cover the areas we’ve already outlined above. After telling you a few details about the area to stay in, we’ll mention a few great properties for you to check out. Generally, we start with central locations (downtown) and work our way out. Let’s get exploring!

Downtown Ottawa – For Location and Attractions

building with green roof and city intersection in front where to stay ottawa downtown
This is Bank Street (downtown) looking at Parliament Hill. Very close!

If you want to stay in the most central location, then downtown Ottawa is for you. Great for sightseeing couples and families as well as business travellers, downtown is where you find all the bigger buildings Ottawa has to offer.

It’s basically the only area with anything close to skyscrapers! This area is known to be central, good for business, and touristy.

pedestrian street with patios in ottawa where to stay downtown sparks street
Sparks Street is in the heart of downtown Ottawa!

The downtown core itself isn’t huge. It’s really only a few blocks long by a few blocks wide. That said, it’s located just south of Parliament Hill and north of Centretown. You’ll find the Rideau Canal and ByWard Market defining the eastern border of the area.

A popular place – Sparks Street (shown above) – runs the length of downtown and is loaded with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and more.

clock tower with other green roof towers parliament hill ottawa
You are always steps from Parliament Hill if you stay downtown!

Of course, staying central means you have great access to coffee in the morning, attractions throughout the day – and you are only a quick walk home if you go out in the evening!

There is no shortage of historical attractions that Ottawa is known for like Parliament Hill, the Bank of Canada Museum, Rideau Canal, Sparks Street, The National War Memorial, Confederation Park, and MUCH more!

>> Check Here For Hotels In Downtown Ottawa

Featured Hotels in The Downtown Ottawa

Below are some featured properties that are located in/around the heart of downtown Ottawa. There are loads of great attractions around and the location cannot be beat if you are sightseeing in the city – so have a look below:

Alt Hotel Ottawa – Check Now

glass and steel alt hotel ottawa entrance where to stay in ottawa canada
The Alt Hotel looking all pretty in downtown Ottawa.
  • Style: A Trendy and Stylish Hotel
  • Price Range: Affordable Mid-Range
  • Location: In the heart of downtown Ottawa – can’t be more central!
  • Featured Amenities: Coffee machine in the room, cafe/restaurant/bar onsite, friendly staff.

>> Check Out The Alt Hotel Here

Delta Hotel Ottawa City Centre – Check Now

tall delta hotel entrance downtown where to stay in ottawa
The Delta is also in a great location!
  • Style: A Bright and Upscale Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: In the west end of downtown Ottawa – just west and south of Parliament Hill
  • Featured Amenities: Restaurant/Lounge/Bar onsite, great buffet breakfast, gym, and sauna!

>> Check Out The Delta Hotel City Centre Here

Lord Elgin Hotel – Check Now

large luxury hotel entrance where to stay in ottawa lord elgin
The Lord Elgin faces Confederation Park and the Rideau Canal!
  • Style: A Charming and Classy Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: To the east end of downtown Ottawa, close to the Rideau Canal and ByWard Market a short walk away
  • Featured Amenities: Its location is the key feature, along with lap pool and Starbucks in the building!

>> Check Out The Lord Elgin Hotel Here

Fairmont Château Laurier – Check Now

castle looking hotel with patio where to stay in ottawa chateau laurier
The one – the only – the Fairmont Chateau Laurier!
  • Style: A Historic and Elegant Hotel
  • Price Range: Upscale
  • Location: Between ByWard Market and downtown – right beside the Historic Locks of the Rideau Canal
  • Featured Amenities: Amazing restaurant and lounge onsite, “high tea”, indoor pool, pet-friendly, health club, and more!

>> Check Out The Fairmont Chateau Laurier Here

ByWard Market – For Nightlife

large red market building with square and flowers in front byward market ottawa where to stay
The ByWard area is FULL of things to check out!

If you are heading to Ottawa with the intention of being entertained, then staying in/around the ByWard Market area is for you. Located just minutes from downtown and Parliament Hill, ByWard Market is an area known for nightlife, bars, food, and more. 

The area gets its name from the historic market building in the centre of the area. From there, restaurants, bars, shops, clubs, and pubs have moved in around it – claiming the space to be a fun part of Ottawa!

bars with patios and street in front byward market ottawa where to stay
ByWard Market is also full of bars and pubs…

We’ve wandered around ByWard Market a few times – and Eric has been out there a few times before he met Lisa. Together, we’ve been there for dinner and drinks, live music, and patio beers in the summer.

The area is definitely known to be busy and loud – during the day and late into the evening essentially – but it’s peaceful at night – especially in a high hotel like the Andaz (see below).

In the end, the proximity to top restaurants and places to go out for drinks is unparalleled. You’ll find Ottawa attractions nearby like: ByWard Market building, The National Gallery of Canada, Major’s Hill Park, the Rideau Canal – and much more just a quick walk away.

>> Check Here For Hotels In The ByWard Market Area

Featured Accommodations in The ByWard Market Area

Below are a few of the top properties in ByWard Market. The area is unique in the sense that there is a healthy mix of hotels, bed and breakfasts, upscale, and even cheaper accommodations to suit all styles and budgets!

Some locations in the Market area will certainly be quieter than others – and we just wanted to let you know all of this so you can choose a place that works best for you! 

Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market – Check Now

tall glass hotel overlooking smaller hotel with blue sky where to stay in ottawa byward market
The Andaz overlooking the Market – could stay at the Courtyard, too!
  • Style: A Trendy and Modern Hotel Experience
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: In the heart of the Market – cannot be more central and with incredible views around
  • Featured Amenities: Restaurant/lobby bar onsite, rainfall showerheads, very pet-friendly, rooftop lounge bar with stunning views of the city.

>> Check Out The Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market Hotel Here

ByWard Blue Inn – Check Now

  • Style: A Quirky and Functional Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Basically in the middle of the ByWard Market area – just northeast of the main bar scene
  • Featured Amenities: Balcony rooms, great daily breakfast, afternoon tea, coffee maker in all rooms.

>> Check Out The ByWard Blue Inn Here

The Westin Ottawa – Check Now

tall hotel towering over buildings and street below where to stay in ottawa the westin
The Westin straddles the border of downtown and ByWard Market perfectly!
  • Style: A Classic and Lovely Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Basically beside the Rideau Canal – south of ByWard and so close to downtown/Parliament Hill
  • Featured Amenities: Big clean rooms, restaurants onsite, room service, incredible views of the city

>> Check Out The Westin Hotel Here

Novotel Ottawa City Centre Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: A Popular and Boutique Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: Just south of ByWard Market – steps from a shopping mall and a short walk downtown
  • Featured Amenities: Trendy bar/restaurant onsite, pool and hot tub, great breakfast.

>> Check Out The Novotel Ottawa City Centre Hotel Here

Auberge des Arts Bed and Breakfast – Check Now

  • Style: An Authentic and Traditional Bed and Breakfast
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: Just north of the ByWard Market area – a quick walk to the Rideau Canal and more.
  • Featured Amenities: Air conditioning, free parking, great breakfast, friendly host!

>> Check Out The Auberge des Arts B&B Here

Centretown – For Food and Social Vibes

man crossing street beside cafe where to stay in ottawa centretown
There’s Eric in Centretown heading for brunch!

If you’re after a more residential area with loads of shops, cafes, and pubs around – then look no further than Centretown! Located just south of downtown but north of The Glebe, this large area kind of makes up the “meat and potatoes” of the downtown Ottawa core. It also backs onto Chinatown in the west. As such, this area is very social, lively, and fun. There’s almost a peaceful busyness to it. 

reflective rideau canal with trees lining it ottawa ontario
Looking downtown from the Corktown Footbridge over the Rideau Canal in Centretown…

The main intersection that runs through Centretown is the corner of Bank Street and Somerset Street West. It’s actually where we went for morning brunch, coffee, and more. Centretown is great because it includes this great residential area called “The Golden Triangle” which is a triangle neighbourhood carved out by the Rideau Canal. 

Because of the central location, you’ll find loads of pubs on Elgin and Bank Street (which we’ve written about here) and many of the embassies are located here, too. We honestly really like Centretown because it feels the most “normal”. You can check out attractions like: The Rideau Canal, the Canadian Museum of Nature, many shops, pubs, eateries, and more!

>> Check Here For Hotels In Centretown Ottawa

Featured Accommodations in the Centretown Area

Below you’ll find some of the best accommodations in Centretown. While there isn’t a ton of places to stay – the places available are great and there’s a variety of styles to choose from: hotel, B&B, suite-style hotel, etc.

Best Western Plus Ottawa Downtown Suites – Check Now

  • Style: A Classic and Lovely Hotel (with some suites)
  • Price Range: Lower Mid-Range
  • Location: In a quieter area between popular streets – across the street from the Canadian Museum of Nature!
  • Featured Amenities: Daily continental breakfast, kitchenettes in some rooms, a sauna onsite!

>> Check Out The Best Western Plus Downtown Suites Hotel Here

Rideau Inn – Check Now

  • Style: A Traditional and Comfortable Bed and Breakfast
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Steps from Elgin Street (pubs + restaurants) in a quiet area across from a lovely green park (and the Canal)
  • Featured Amenities: Lovely staff, good continental breakfast in the morning, a common terrace.

>> Check Out The Rideau Inn Here

The Business Inn – Check Now

  • Style: A Simple But Popular Aparthotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: By the Rideau Canal on Elgin – on top of the MacLaren’s Pub!
  • Featured Amenities: Kitchens in all suites, restaurant/pub onsite, free continental breakfast every day.

>> Check Out The Business Inn Here

SMR Lisgar Ottawa – Check Now

  • Style: An Upscale and Modern Aparthotel
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-Range
  • Location: In the heart of Centretown on Lisgar Street, very close to downtown
  • Featured Amenities: Seasonal outdoor pool, balconies, kitchen facilities, simple breakfast and coffee in the morning.

>> Check Out The SMR Lisgar Ottawa Here

The Glebe – For Peace and Quiet

If your stay in Ottawa is primarily to relax as a couple while doing some sightseeing, then a stay in The Glebe is definitely for you. Located just south of Centretown, this whole area of Ottawa is known to be very quiet, residential, and peaceful. 

The nice thing about the Glebe is that you can walk downtown along one single street – Bank Street – and be there in about 35 minutes. You could also take public transit easily.

The Glebe is actually shaped by the Rideau Canal as it snakes through the city – ending at a beautiful lake area that you can enjoy. As such, some of the top attractions in the Glebe area are The Canadian Museum of Nature, Dow Lake, paths along the Rideau Canal, and TD Place.

>> Check Here For Accommodations In The Glebe

Featured Bed and Breakfasts in The Glebe

Below are a number of bed and breakfasts in The Glebe. These properties will definitely allow you to have a quiet base to return to after a long day exploring. There aren’t too many to choose from – but these ones are all top-rated!

Angela’s Bed and Breakfast Ottawa – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright and Lovely Bed and Breakfast
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: In the heart of The Glebe, steps from Bank Street shops, cafes, etc.
  • Featured Amenities: A room with a private terrace, friendly hosts, free bike usage, Full English/Irish breakfast.

>> Check Out Angela’s Bed and Breakfast Here

Glencree House B&B – Check Now

  • Style: A Charming and Quaint Bed and Breakfast
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Just steps from the Rideau Canal – behind the Canadian Museum of Nature (a great attraction)
  • Featured Amenities: A full English/Irish breakfast, free private parking, and a terrace to be enjoyed!

>> Check Out Glencree House B&B Here

Ashbury House Bed & Breakfast – Check Now

  • Style: A Traditional and Cozy Bed and Breakfast
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Walking distance to Dow Lake and “central” Glebe along Bank Street
  • Featured Amenities: Vintage decor, great breakfast, friendly hosts, homemade apple pie with tea/coffee!

>> Check Out The Ashbury House B&B Here

Ottawa International Airport – For Flying

As we mentioned above, we wanted to include hotels near Ottawa International Airport in case anyone was looking for some. The airport is close to the Ottawa suburb of Nepean.

To be clear, you can definitely make it to the airport from downtown in about 15/20 minutes (even with traffic in like 25/30 minutes) – but some travellers might want to stay closer for peace of mind.

>> Check Here For Hotels Near Nepean/Ottawa Airport

Featured Hotels Near Ottawa International Airport

Below are a handful of great hotel options for staying close to the Ottawa Airport. Two are very close by while the other is further – but highly rated to stay at!

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Ottawa Airport – Check Now

  • Style: A Clean and Modern Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Basically at the airport property
  • Featured Amenities: Pool, free airport shuttle, breakfast included, and free onsite parking

>> Check Out The Fairfield Inn & Suites Hotel Here

Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright and Spacious Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper-Budget
  • Location: Also right at the airport – basically on the airport property.
  • Featured Amenities: Great breakfast/onsite restaurant, free airport shuttle, indoor pool

>> Check Out The Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport Hotel Here

Adam’s Airport Inn- Check Now

  • Style: A Highly Rated Motel/Inn
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: In a quiet area, a quick drive/taxi to the airport
  • Featured Amenities: Free parking onsite, fabulous Continental breakfast

>> Check Out Adam’s Airport Inn Here

And there you have it – a simple rundown of where to stay in Ottawa! In the end, there is no “one” great place/area to stay in Ottawa. Each area has its advantages and each one will appeal to different travel groups. You’re sure to find something that suits your needs – and let us know how you like Ottawa when you visit!

As always, Happy Ottawa Hotel Waddlin’,
-L&E

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    Where to stay in Ottawa

    Author

    Eric is a Canadian & Hungarian content writer with over 45 countries under his belt. From volunteering in Australia to studying his Master's degree abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, his travel experiences have taken him across the globe. Next to writing on Penguin and Pia, he has been quoted by the BBC, the Travel Channel, USA Today, and Mashable and contributed to companies in the travel space such as Matador, AirHelp, GoOverseas, and Spot.

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