The Crystal Hotel was originally opened as the Grand View Hotel on New Year's Day, 1883. The following is from The New West, written by George Ham and published by the Canadian Historical Publishing Co. in 1888:
“Grand View Hotel, A.F. Boisseau, Proprietor, Brandon, Manitoba – This is one of the leading hotels in Manitoba, in all that pertains to a strictly first-class house. Constructed within the past few years — being built in 1882 — it has achieved a position in the consideration of the public that ranks it equal to any contemporaneous establishment in Canada, reflecting credit upon the enterprise that designed it and the ability that conducts it. The house was opened on New Year's Day, 1883, by the present proprietor, and since that time has been universally
regarded, not only as the most pleasant and convenient resort for the travelling public, but as one of the most home-like and comfortable hotels in the Northwest. In everything that pertains to the comfort and well-being of its guests, this house is unequalled. In the matter of sumptuous, elegant furniture, heating and ventilating arrangements, spacious ordinaries, airy hallways, prompt and polite attention, with confessedly the best menu in this section, the popularity and reputation of the Grand View, in the light of these advantages, is not surprising. The building fronts on both Pacific avenue and 9th street, directly opposite the C.P.R. Depot; three stories in height and contains thirty sleeping apartments, with spacious and elegant parlors, all handsomely furnished, a large dining-room furnished in the most tasteful and appropriate manner. A billiard parlor and a first-class bar are connected with the house, also good sample rooms for the accommodation of commercial travellers. The rates are from $2 to $3 per day, according to location of room. Special rates are made to troupes and large parties. Mr. Boisseau, the proprietor, is well known as one of the most successful and efficient hotel managers in the country, combining in himself qualities that have made him a favorite with the travelling public; widely known and esteemed, not only as being connected with this hotel since its opening, but also his former engagement with the Russell House of Ottawa, where he held forth for eleven years prior to his removal to Brandon. The Grand View is officered, from host down, by considerate, genial gentlemen, never neglecting the comfort of guests, but always promoting their ease and enjoyment, adding to the esteem they richly merit and possess of the public.”
A.D. "Tony" Doerksen wrote about Brandon's hotels in his article "The Brandon Wheat Kings - 1887 Vintage" in Manitoba Pageant, Winter 1977:
"One of the most important assets to a city - especially a railroad centre - is good hotel accommodation. Brandon beamed with pride every time she ushered guests into the Grand View Hotel. The "handsome" three storey brick structure, with over thirty bedrooms "large, bright and airy" had in 1882 undergone extensive renovations. New improvements were introduced such as connected sample rooms, electric bells and baths, and every room was completely refurnished. It featured first class cuisine "with the choicest and best that the season affords." It stood in a beautiful position facing the Assiniboine River and almost right in the centre of the business section. The proprietor, Mr. F. A. Boisseau reported a brisk business."
The Crystal Hotel has undergone a number of transformations over the years, the most notable being the complete removal of the third floor. Today, the hotel offers more permanent housing for its guests/tenants, as opposed to traditional hotel rooms. And the beverage room serves as a hub of entertainment and activity for the hotel's loyal patrons.