Boutique Accommodations in the Maritimes (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I.)
If you really want to get to know some of the residents of the East Coast – and you should because they are friendly and super-hospitable – a B&B is a great way to go. And in some cases, it may be the only way to go, especially if you are looking for boutique accommodations close to Hopewell Cape in New Brunswick. (There are very few options close to the actual Park where you can photograph the famous Rocks at high or low tide).
Of course, larger cities offer the usual hotel fare, but where’s the fun in that when you can stay in a pretty, unique lodging instead? Here are a few across Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. (Stay tuned for P.E.I.!)
THE MAPLE GROVE INN, 5 Maple St., Riverside Albert, New Brunswick
Trying to find a nice place to stay near Hopewell Cape is near impossible, but a mere 15 minutes further down the road is an excellent option that makes a perfect base if you are also planning to see other parts of the Fundy Trail (a scenic drive and home to a gorgeous National Park). The rooms are pretty and the breakfast is gourmet and filling (often these two adjectives are mutually exclusive!). And if you give them 24 hours notice, they’ll also prepare dinner for you, which, if you are staying several days would be a good option since restaurant options nearby are limited and require driving. And that means no wine. (and this is a vacation after all!)
THE RODD MONCTON HOTEL, Moncton, New Brunswick
There’s nothing particularly distinctive about this property’s amenities as hotels go, other than the fact that it is an East Coast chain. But the one advantage that this hotel does have is its location: built literally on the bank of the Moncton River, it’s the perfect location if you’ve ever wanted to see a unique natural phenomenon specific to this river – the tidal bore, where the ocean literally flows backwards UP-river! This hotel is the place to see it. Why? Because if the tidal bore happens at midnight the day you happen to be there (tides change every day, remember), you can jump out of your nice cozy bed, walk 50 meters or so, and watch it all happen right in front of you.
The hotel is a perfectly fine option, and close to downtown restaurants, too, and if you book using booking.com, the rates are even cheaper than the front desk (a tip that the assistant manager actually gave us – how’s that for Maritime hospitality!)
THE PEBBLE B&B, Halifax, Nova Scotia
This B&B’s Pebble Suite had me at its bathroom!
But that’s clearly not the only reason the Pebble is rated Halifax’ number 1 B&B (thank you again, Trip Advisor). The owner, Elizabeth O’Carroll, has a true designer’s eye and is equally meticulous about the quality of her bathroom finishes and she is the quality of her linens – both of which are top notch. The property has only two suites, so book early if you want to secure one and prepare to feel pampered.
An added bonus is that in the true tradition of her Irish roots, Elizabeth is always up for a bit of ‘craic’ by the giant fireplace in her kitchen, and she’ll be only too happy to tell you the story behind the Pebble, along with plenty of suggestions if you are looking for restaurants or things to do in the city.
Private and luxurious, this costs a little more than your typical B&B, but that’s because it feels more like a boutique inn.
THE LORD NELSON HOTEL, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Originally built in 1928, the Lord Nelson has almost a century of history to go along with the famous guests who have stayed here, including musicians like The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney. (That might be because they liked the fact that there is a pub right in the lobby, The Arms Public House!) Or it could be the hotel’s locations, just south of the Citadel and overlooking Halifax’s beautiful 17-acre Public Gardens.
Regardless, the Lord Nelson is a tasteful choice that puts you in the centre of downtown, and a recent multi-million dollar upgrade means all the amenities and decor are up to snuff. Rooms are large (with windows that actually open!), beds are luxe and comfortable, and there’s always a uniformed staff member at the door to say hello.
THE WESTIN NOVA SCOTIAN, Halifax,
For those who like a name brand hotel with all the comforts and service you have come to expect, you can’t go wrong with the name Westin. And the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax has just undergone a renovation to upgrade its rooms and completely re-imagine its main floor lobby to include a lively restaurant and bar.
The Westin’s location close to the harbour means you are within walking distance of many of Halifax’s attractions (like the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21) and a few blocks’ walk from the happening harbourfront buzzing with restaurants and shops. Request a room overlooking the harbour and Georges Island, or better yet, try for a corner room and you’ll have more space and great views.
THE KITCH’INN, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia
The description on the website starts with “Not your grandma’s B&B”, and the Kitch’inn certainly lives up to this irreverent, fun-loving promise. This tiny boutique property is the opposite of a fuddy-duddy home in terms of aesthetics and clientele, with modern furnishings, spa-like bathrooms and a sense of humour that comes through even in the notepad on the desk.
The location is great, within walking distance of all the cute shops and bars on Mahone’s main street, and practically next door to a popular craft brewery. The added bonus is that the Kitch’inn’s partner restaurant, Betty’s, is right downstairs, serves pretty great pizza, and is just as fun and youthful as its clientele. Don’t believe me? Just read their menu! We loved it here.
YE OLDE ARGYLER LODGE, Lobster Bay, Nova Scotia
The name may sound ‘olde’ fashioned, but there’s nothing dated or unfashionable about this charming boutique property and its idyllic location. With only 6 rooms,’The Argyler’ (as the locals call it) spoils its guests with its uniquely-decorated rooms, luxurious linens and a warm, cottagey feel from the book-lined shelves in the upstairs hall to the expansive front porch with gorgeous sunset views onto Lobster Bay.
The dining room is known for its award-winning cuisine, using fresh ingredients including some which are grown in their own garden, and some of which are caught in the waters right off the shore.
Settle in, pull up a rocker and sink in the views.
Want to read more about our experiences in the Maritimes? Click here.