Situated at the corner of Rene-Levesque and Crescent in downtown Montreal, the greatest selling point of the Women's Y Hotel is its amazing location -- less than a 5-minute walk to the bustling Rue Ste-Catherine and underground shopping malls, Bell Center, and the Metro stop (Lucien L'Allier) and 20-30 minutes to Chinatown or Vieux-Montreal. For solo female travelers, the Y provides a feeling of security with the doors locking by 10 pm; beyond that time, front desk lets you in only if you show your guest key. The building and elevators appear clean yet slightly dim, although one is almost sure to find friendly fellow travelers around the lobby area or in the common kitchen areas that help brighten the atmosphere.
Rooms with private shower are clean and come minimally furnished with TV, bed, desk, chair, lamp, and nightstand. Alarm clocks are not included, so come prepared with some kind of alarm to make sure you don't miss any breakfast dates! The bedroom floor is incredibly spacious--almost too spacious--as it would have been better to transfer some of this space over to the extremely cramped shower. Beds are a bit on the soft side but not unbearable. Street noise is not a nuisance if you avoid staying on the Crescent or Rene-Levesque sides.
Common kitchen areas are kept clean and tidy with plenty of refrigerator space for personal groceries and leftovers. The indoor pool is open to women only, but was closed at the time of this reviewer's stay. The staff is courteous and may store belongings for travelers who arrive prior to check-in; however, make sure to bring your own restaurant info as staff were surprisingly not helpful in recommending local establishments at which to eat.
The Y is essentially offering a no-frills college dorm at an asking price that seems a bit high. Other than the price, the Y is a good option.