OK, I've had ENOUGH! I am tired of this hotel risking my safety and health regardless of their reasons or causes. Right now part of this hotel is being used to house the homeless overnight. A city bus from the Old Brewery Mission drops them off around 9pm and leave around 12 hours later. They all seem to be segregated on the second floor. However, it is contacts in the elevator, lobby and front door area that have me concerned and honestly...upset.
The scene in Montreal is dire as I write this. There is a lockdown and an 8pm-5am curfew, due to the hospitals becoming stretched to the brink during the pandemic. It is also the middle and coldest part of winter and the wind chill temperature this morning was -28 degrees C. Hotels are mostly empty as business travel is close to zero and tourists would literally not be allowed do anything or see anyone.
The pandemic has apparently also forced the closure of several overnight homeless shelters, or a mass reduction of capacity. The city has taken over two large, empty hotels to accommodate some. Other large venues have also been used. It's not enough. The old Brewery Mission and others like it are doing God's work. Everybody deserves a warm place to sleep. But putting an at risk population like the homeless in a hotel with the travelling and essential public is a recipe for disaster. Unless, you can get them into the hotel, onto their floor and keep them there for 12 hours, in which case I have no issue. In reality that is not the case.
Tonight I was going outside to smoke when the bus arrived. A mass of humanity got off the bus. Half of them were not wearing masks properly as they filed into the hotel and filled the lobby. I darted outside and halfway up the block to get away from the growing number of people exiting the bus. A mostly verbal fight broke out between two girls which eventually became four. It went on as the bus emptied until one of the last passengers got off and seemed to admonish the group which calmed things down. After the bus departed there was still about 20--25 people outside smoking, arguing, laughing and mask-less, blocking the door, which made me not not want to go anywhere near the front door. But I can't wait outside on one of the coldest days for a crowd of careless people to disperse. Any gathering this size indoors or outdoors is illegal. So, as I walk through a mass of humanity, god forbid super spreading the deadliest disease on the planet, I also get called an expletive by a women who was overtly flirting with me outside over the weekend (I declined...she was coughing) and was apparently with this group.
My two big issues:
The elevator stopping on the second floor to pick someone up half the time going down and, sometimes as many three people get on. The elevators are tiny. This is a vulnerable population with questionable hygienic practices. I am a six foot, 210 pound White male who can tell someone commandingly to 'keep or put your mask on', 'Don't get on the elevator with someone if you're coughing' and to 'take the next one you three'. I don't enjoy it however.
Also this group has access to my floor and some people are quite sketchy. This is not a place for women or children under the current circumstances.
Front door Area
There are usually people smoking in groups, passing cigarettes while spitting and coughing during the deadliest pandemic in 100 years. An almost constant super-spreader event right outside the front door. Enough said.
I complained the first morning and got a pretty terse response from the lady at the front desk. She asked if Someone had "talked to you". That's the rule... leave the guests alone; don't panhandle here. Nobody has, except the coughing girl who asked if I would take her home with me. They wouldn't answer if this was a goodwill, charitable gesture, or if they were receiving private or government funding. She then referred me to the manager, which I declined fearing I'd push the issue too far. Accept it or leave I said to myself.
This is my third stay at this hotel in the last six months. I am Best Western Diamond Select member who stayed over 120 nights with the brand in 2020, at different hotels, mostly during the Covid-19 pandemic. I have never felt unsafe for my health until this third stay here, where I am now writing this from. I'm scheduled to leave the day after tomorrow, which can't come soon enough. The only I stay here: low amount of points. This is a no frills, get 3 nights free here instead of one free night down the street. This hotel was always 'good enough' until now. Whether a charitable gesture or a last ditch financial desperation thing, PICK ONE. There are good reasons hotels don't do this in normal times...profit and reputation. Desperate times call for desperate measures but remember this: Logically, a hotel that won't put their guests health first during a deadly pandemic must always be pretty disgusting. Stay. Somewhere. Else less
Anthony Nguyen, Guest Services / Front Office at Best Western Plus Montreal Downtown-Hotel Europa, responded to this review
Thank you for staying with us and taking the time to leave a comment. On behalf of our entire team, I'd like to apologize for not exceeding your expectations. Your feedback will help us implement improvements to our procedures to ensure a better experience in the future. I hope you will consider staying with us again so that we can have another chance to provide you with a superior experience.