The Five Star Experience
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Everton House owner, Roma Edwards, describes her Inn as elegant and old world. Everything is handmade and every room is designed to create a different and welcoming atmosphere which makes Edward's Inn a completely different experience than your standardized hotel. The House itself has an elaborate history and was built on land owned by the Imperial Government. All the rooms have a private bath, and hand-picked furniture and there is much attention paid to creating a feeling of luxury. There are lush bath robes provided, six-hundred thread count sheets, custom made gift baskets of cheese, coffee, and bath products. Visitors can even buy the art on display at Everton House. There are romantic honeymoon packages that include dinner, flowers and champagne upon arrival, and a private balcony. Everton House is also available to host functions such as reunions, dinner parties, private luncheons, lobster boils or barbecues. "It's like being at home, but a first class home," says Edwards. It is no wonder then that a gourmet breakfast is served to guests in the morning
Celebrity Guests: American magicians Penn and Teller; Costume designer Deborah McGuire, whose work has been featured on TV's Friends and Crossing Jordan, and the movie The 40-year- old Virgin.
Cost: $109-$299 (call for off-season rates and specials)
Contact info: 1-866-754-1326
Adams House is nine years-old but appears much older because of its colonial-style charm. The quaint B&B, and first Canada Select 5 star accommodation in Newfoundland, is nestled adjacent to the Humber River and is perfectly located to showcase the wonderful sights and sounds of Newfoundland's unique West Coast. Owner Nelson Adams and his wife Carla built the B&B themselves and furnished the four rooms with antiques while still paying close attention to modern amenities such as ceramic floors, heat lights, brass fixtures, and individually controlled air-conditioning units. Nelson says "people go away happy and most of them come back to us." There are various tour packages here such as golfing, hunting fishing, and the Adams' recently purchased four new ATV's for their guests to go off roading and back country fishing. One definite perk is the deliciously relaxing outdoor hot tub. Another popular feature is the honeymoon suite which has a canopy bed and a wood burning fireplace. And if these romantic comforts don't warm you up, then there are complimentary picnic lunches for those who stay multiple nights.
Cost: $110-$140 year round
Contact info: 1-888-279-0064
Spa at the Monastery
This twenty one suite luxury Spa was built in 1931 and was once the Holy Cross monastery for Irish Christian Brothers. The current owner, Paul Madden, has stayed true to the original architecture and philosophy of the building by creating a relaxing environment of spa treatments which combine the latest technologies in body care with ancient Indian and Chinese relaxation methods. "It is quieter and more intimate than a bigger hotel, says Michelle Melee-Bessell, general manager of the Spa. Many of the spa services can be done in-suite such as massage therapy, pedicures, and facials. If guests want to venture out of their suite, all they have to do is take a short underground tunnel to the nearby Spa which is literally just a few steps away from a hair salon, reflexology therapy, Reiki treatments, body wraps, body scrubs, a cardio room, a sauna, a gym, and soaking pools. Every suite also contains a two person air-massage tub with special lighting effects meant to relax bathers and also a fireplace. The Spa at the Monastery is open to private parties and functions.
Celebrity Guests: American actresses Meg Ryan and Carrie Fisher
Cost: $99-$249 ($99-$149 off-season)
Contact info: 1-877-NFLD-SPA
Homeport Historic B&B is located on a hill overlooking the Bay of Fundy in St. John, New Brunswick. Ralph Holyoke, owner of the B&B, says there is an awe inspiring view from every window on his premises. "We have discovered this is what tourists want. They don't want to be looking at the house next door," says Holyoke. The property was originally built as twin homes in 1858 by a prominent shipbuilding family in the St. John area, and the Holyokes have tried to remain true to the buildings nautical beginnings by decorating it with art which reflects its beginnings. Holyoke says they offer very affordable rates for a five star property because they want appeal to as many visitors as possible while still providing services which leave guests feeling pampered. "We treat all of our guests as if they are the travel writers for the New York Times," says Holyoke. "Everybody gets handled with care."
Celebrity Guests: Former governor general Adrienne Clarkson; the Queen's cousin, Colonel Blackmore and Mrs. Eliot.
Rates: $95 ($90 off-season)
Contact info: 1-888-678-7678
The Very Best-A Victorian Bed & Breakfast
Sam Rubenstein says the name of his historical B&B, built in 1840, can sometimes give quests the wrong impression. They think it is a form of snobbery but "It is called "The Very Best" because I have Miramichi roots and the most common expression on the Miramichi is, How's she going? and the only right answer is "the very best," says Rubenstein. The Very Best is steeped in Acadian charm and storytelling, and offers bilingual service. Located in the historical heart of downtown Fredericton, it is within walking distance to local shops, museums, art galleries, pubs, and the scenic St. John River. The B&B also has a heated pool, an outdoor sauna, and a games room with a billiards table. A gourmet breakfast is included in the price, and can be served in the gazebo which overlooks the premises' lush gardens and pool. The rooms are furnished with period antiques typical of the Victorian era, but there are only three, so book fast.
Cost: $119 ($109 off-season)
Contact info: 1-506-451-1499
Kingsbrae Arms: St. Andrews by-the-Sea
Located on a 27 acre lot overlooking the resort town of St. Andrews, this hotel is much more than a hotel. It is advertised as a hamlet of rest and relaxation. "The whole concept of the hotel is the ultimate country house experience. The house was built 1897 and was a family home until I bought it 10 years ago," says owner Harry Chancey. This hotel is a member of the luxury hotel chain of Relais & Chateaux which is based in Paris. There are only 13 in Canada and 470 world-wide. This hotel chain places prominence on high quality service and mouth-watering cuisine. There is a French Canadian chief at the Kingsbrae Arms who serves delicious meals every night of the week and these meals are no ordinary affair for your palette; they can be a seven or eight courses long with various types and flavours of wine. There are two rooms, and eight suites which are furbished with replicated period furniture built locally. In-suite massage, VIP passes to the Kingsbrae horticultural gardens, golf packages, and a concierge that routes people to whatever destinations they wish to make during the day. The hotel also has a family wing with three rooms which includes an airpool tub and a steam shower. Every bathroom is marble appointed. Group bookings or houseparty bookings are welcome.
Celebrity Guests: The 38th annual Premiers' Conference was held here in 1997.
Rates: $320-$1189 (call for off-season rates and specials)
Contact info: 1-506-529-1897
Tel: 506-854-6494 / 1-888-833-7177
Country Lane B & B
Tel: 506-385-2398 / 1-866-385-2398
Fox Harb'r Resort
Wallace, Nova Scotia
"My father Ron Joyce has owned this property since 1988," says Steven Joyce, CEO of Fox Harb'r Resort. "He decided to turn it into a golf course for his friends and family... it kind of evolved..."
What began as a personal project has become, for the most part, a five-star playground of the wealthy. The resort includes a luxurious spa, the finest dining experience and - the jewel in its crown - an immaculate 18-hole golf course along the coast. Twelve manor-style guest homes each has six suites that come with heated marble bathroom floors, soft robes and free Tim Horton's coffee. The resort is north facing so that many rooms have a window on the sunrise and the sunset. Of the view from the private balconies, Steven says it's breathtaking: "The only thing between the room and the ocean is the golf course."
Resort staff have only 72 guest rooms to watch over; therefore, extra time can be taken to get to know each guest, "so we can cater to individual needs," Steven says. Every guest can expect free valet service, as well as a personalized greeting from the manager along with fresh flowers and chocolates upon arrival. There are several vacation packages, from spa treatments to romantic escapes and golfing getaways - something for anyone who likes to live the high life. Even if it's just for the weekend.
Celebrity Guests: "We don't discuss that."
Cost: $325-$400 per night (discounts in off-season)
Victoria's Historic Inn and Carriage House B&B
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Their guests must feel like they're staying with family. After all, it's run by Steve Cryan, his sister and their parents, who've been in this business for 16 years.
The Cryans spare nothing in the way of modern comforts, yet the accommodations have an old-world charm befitting a house that is more than a century old. "It is a registered heritage property built in 1893 for an apple baron," Steve says.
The historic inn has nine rooms, including five honeymoon suites, and "from the third floor there is a great view of the Bay of Fundy," says Steve. The Carriage House offers seven themed rooms with private entrances. "The Hunt Room" has a queen-sized wrought-iron bed and a cathedral ceiling with exposed beams. The gardens - which include antique rose bushes, pear and apple trees, and a rare English chestnut tree - are so exquisite that they are a stop on a Wolfville area garden tour. "My dad's the resident gardener," Steve says with pride.
Aside from esthetics, the inn also offers complimentary afternoon tea and a hot breakfast every day. There are special package vacations offered throughout the year, such as the Victoria Picnic package and the Winery Package (which includes a winery tour and a champagne breakfast).
Celebrity Guests: Christopher Plummer, Sissy Spacek, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Gov-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson
Cost: $108-$245 per night (10-15% discounts in off-season)
Baddeck, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
This beautiful 200-acre estate is billed as a romantic and enchanting getaway. And no wonder. "My husband build me this castle for an anniversary present," says Castle Moffett's owner, Linda Moffett. You can't get much more romantic than that. Each room, with its feather pillows, antiques and original artwork, looks out over the Bras d'Or Lakes. Guests are treated to fine dining, Swedish massages, choice beverages from the wine cellar, a sauna and a fitness gym, walks in the garden inhabited by woodland creatures, and pure mountain spring water in your glass and in your Jacuzzi. Castle Moffett was the first Nova Scotia inn to receive Canada Select's five-star rating and AAA/CAA 4 Diamond award, and is the only such designated inn between Nova Scotia and Quebec. It is an adult environment, so it's not a place for a family vacation - but if you're looking to get away from the kids and stoke the fire in your relationship, Castle Moffett could be just the storybook location to do that.
Celebrity Guests: Officially the line is, "We do not divulge anything about our guests." But Linda will say that they've had high profile guests from Canada and the United States and that one in particular was NHLer Darryl Sittler, who she said was very down to earth and friendly with the other guests.
Cost: $250-$1,000 per night (single or double occupancy)
MacKenzie House Bed and Breakfast
Sterns Mansion B&B
Tickle Trout Lodge
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Elmwood Heritage Inn
Carol Macdonald and her husband Jay moved to PEI from the United States more than 30 years ago. Jay's grandparents were from PEI and he spent many summers on the island. Carol says they chose this province to raise a family because of its quiet, easy pace, but her husband laughs as she says that because they're busier now than ever before. They bought Elmwood 18 years ago and turned the 18th-century home into a five-star bed and breakfast. "We were the first five-star in PEI of any sort, and the sixth five-star B&B in Canada," Carol says.
The inn is in a tranquil neighbourhood, its entrance marked by iron gates and a long, elm-lined drive. The structure, Carol explains, "was built for Arthur Peters, who was Premier of PEI from 1901 to 1908."
To be a five-star location, Carol says "Everything you provide, you try to make it the top of the line." So attention is paid to every detail of their guests' experience, from the convenience of wireless Internet, to the elegance of 1800s-era furniture and the luxury of whirlpool tubs and breakfast served by candlelight. They even offer concierge service, such as arranging for tickets to a local show or dinner reservations at their guests' request. What is most important to Carol and Jay, though, is that their clientele feel at home, and guests have commented that staying with them is like being looked after in their own parents' home.
Celebrity Guests: Gov.-Gen. Adrienne Clarkson; the late Alan Maitland, CBC Radio host (aka Fireside Al); Alan Frew of Glass Tiger
Cost: $125-$265 per night (also special occasion packages, call for details)
Fairholm National Historic Site Inn
In the heart of Olde Charlottetown, travellers can rest their weary heads in the luxurious comfort of the Fairholm National Historic Inn, set on 200 acres of mature grounds. The Fairholm was built around 1829 in the Picturesque style for former Charlottetown mayor T.H. Haviland Sr. It was subsequently owned by lawyer and one-time Attorney General Charles Young, and then the Rogers family of merchants until 1999. It was bought by the current owners five years ago, and so incredibly they are only the fourth owners of a 123-year-old house. "It has a lot of the antique artwork and furniture that came with the house originally," says Terry O'Malley, the innkeeper.
There are seven spacious suites and they include some or all of the following: exposed natural beams and hardwood plank flooring, dormer windows overlooking the gardens, fireplace, king-sized bed, Jacuzzi or Victorian clawfoot tubs, and a sitting area. Each night's stay comes with a complimentary hot breakfast. Staff are trained to assist guests interested in touring the Charlottetown area and can even arrange a picnic basket lunch. For special occasions, the inn offers a Romantic Getaway and a Golfer's Dream vacation package.
Celebrity Guests: former prime minister Paul Martin, Rick Mercer, and Paul McCartney and Heather Mills McCartney (they didn't stay overnight, but they held press conferences and dined there)
Cost: $165-285; off-season $125-175 (also great deals for last-minute bookings and walk-ins)
Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort
What began as a few small cottages alongside the PEI farmhouse of Wally and Sally Rodd in 1935 has become Atlantic Canada's largest privately owned hotel and resort chain with 10 properties in the Maritimes. Its most recently developed property, the Rodd Crowbush Golf & Beach Resort, is the only five-star, 4 Diamond resort in Atlantic Canada. Built on the famous Crowbush Cove 18-hole golf course, the main hotel has 49 rooms and suites, some of which look out over the links and the ocean beyond PEI's North Shore. There are 32 executive cottages with one or two bedrooms and Jacuzzi tubs. The two-bedroom units also have fireplaces, screened porches and barbecues. The resort also features an indoor pool and outdoor whirlpool, tennis courts, a fitness centre, fine and casual dining, plus a spa where guests can treat themselves to facials, aromatic massages, manicures, pedicures and more. As well there is 24-hour room service, and golf club storage and daily club cleaning services.
Aside from the great golfing, this Rodd resort also takes in Lakeside Beach, a spectacularly long stretch of white sand on PEI's famed North Shore. The location of this getaway holds its greatest appeal, says Crowbush resort manager Tim Arnold, "The location is unique. We are on a beach that you can walk for miles and a 4 1/2 star golf course. Not many resorts in North America have both."
Celebrity Guests: Though he wouldn't deny that famous people are sometimes guests of the resort, Tim insists: "We respect the privacy of all our guests."
Cost: $188-$509 (discounts and package deals available, call for details)
Tel: 902-368-8323 / 1-877-766-6439
Silver Fox Inn