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Niagara-on-the-Lake

HOTEL INSIDER: Prince of Wales

By LINDA LUONG

The Prince of Wales Hotel

ABOUT THE HOTEL
From the horse-drawn carriages parked in front to the bellhop attired in a red jacket, it’s clear that guests staying at the Prince of Wales hotel are treated like royalty. Named for King George V and Queen Mary, who were guests here in 1901, this property is owned by Vintage Hotels, whose other holdings include Queen’s Landing, Pillar and Post and the Millcroft Inn & Spa among others. This establishment in picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake is the crown jewel however, meticulously decorated with Victorian-era furnishings but with modern conveniences like LCD TVs, Bose Wave music systems and Keurig coffee machines.

Rich dark woods, ornate wallpaper and mouldings, wood-carved and embellished sofas and chairs upholstered in rich fabrics and embroidery nod to the historic charm here. (Be sure to take note of the beautiful stained glass scene in the lobby.) Cosy seating arrangements and fireplaces are inviting spots for quiet conversations and solitude.

Choose from a range of accommodations whether it’s for a romantic getaway, a mother/daughter bonding weekend, business retreat or even for a wedding party. Book The Royal Suite for the ultimate experience, which has a four-poster canopied King-sized bed, a walk out balcony, a separate seating area, fireplace and a pampering bathroom with a jetted tub.

BY THE NUMBERS
Rooms
110, including pet-friendly rooms
Price Rates vary by season and are dependent on the day of the week. May to October $290 to $640 per night; November to April $220 to $540 per night.
Conference Facilities Seven meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of up to 90 people.


AMENITIES
Named by Spas of America as one of Canada’s Top 50 Spas in 2013, the Secret Garden Spa is an ideal spot for pampering. Choose from individual treatments like manicures, pedicures, facials, body wraps and massages, or day packages, and treatments for couples and mothers and daughters, which exclusively uses the Babor line of face and body products. Choose from signature treatments that are inspired by tea such as the Beau-teas facial or body wrap, or the green tea pedicure. Spa guests are can also relax in the salt water pool.

FOOD
Three restaurants—Escabèche, Churchill Lounge and the Drawing Room—means that guests can enjoy an assortment of dining experiences right on the premises. Upscale Escabèche is a beautiful restaurant with panoramic views of Simcoe Park. Executive chef Chris Smythe utilizes fresh, local ingredients for a seasonal menu inspired by French cuisine, while chef sommelier Fred Gamula—who has been with the Prince of Wales for more than 20 years—can provide expert pairings from the wine cellar, which has more than 8,000 bottles representing Niagara wineries, but also France, Australia, Italy and California.

Churchill Lounge is a more casual spot for tucking into pub-style fare in a library-inspired space with bookcases and leather wingback chairs.

Of local renown is the afternoon tea service in the hotel’s Drawing Room. A cheery space in an elegant palate of crimson and ivory, guests can indulge in this midday treat served daily from noon to 6 p.m. Sip a variety of teas from beautiful fine bone china cups and saucers, while nibbling on housemade scones with strawberry jam, Devonshire cream and butter, pastries, cookies, finger sandwiches or a selection of cheeses.

6 Picton St. Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1-888-669-5566; vintage-hotels.com/princeofwales/.

Niagara-on-the-Lake: 10 Things You Need to Know About This Getaway From Toronto

By KAREN CLEVELAND

Getaway From Toronto: Niagara-on-the-Lake

Getaway From Toronto: Niagara-on-the-Lake (Photo: Theodore C)

If you’re going to invest 90 minutes of driving for a getaway from Toronto, fewer places net a higher return than a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The charming town is home to breathtaking views, excellent restaurants, amazing vineyards and some of Canada’s most treasured heritage sites. Whether you fall in love with Niagara-on-the-Lake for a long affair, or just a fleeting tryst, be sure to consider these 10 tips when making your getaway plan. (more…)

19 of Canada’s Most Unusual Museums

by CARISSA BLUESTONE

Canada’s Most Unusual Museums: the world-famous Gopher Hole Museum (Photo: Colin Smith)

Did you know that Vancouver has an entire museum devoted to corkscrews, that diehard Anne Murray fans can devour every detail of her life and record a CD with her in Nova Scotia, or that a tiny town called Vulcan in the Alberta Prairies is home to a Star Trek–themed tourist “station”? From the über-Canadian to the downright kooky, these unusual, one-of-a-kind and just plain weird museums earn the moniker “cabinet of curiosities”.

Start the slideshow of Canada’s most unusual museums »

Hotel of the Week: Harbour House Hotel—Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

By SHANNON KELLY

The pretty Victorian-era town of Niagara-on-the-Lake has no shortage of impeccably designed accommodations, but the Harbour House Hotel has something just a bit special. A boutique hotel with 31 rooms and suites, it is an excellent option if you’re seeking the coziness of a B&B—where staff go above and beyond and often greet you by name—without intimate breakfast-with-the-owner chats. (more…)

Weekend Getaway to Niagara-on-the-Lake

By ALINA SEAGAL

Queen Street (Photo: Sean_Marshall)

As one of the best-preserved 19th-century towns in North America, Niagara-on-the-Lake has a lot to reveal—beyond its many nearby wineries. Pretty Victorian architecture, a great lineup of summer festivals, and sidewalks made for strolling and window-shopping are just a handful of the attractions in this charming southern Ontario town. (more…)

Niagara’s Best Winter Wine Events

By Waheeda Harris

Like chocolate? Like wine? The perfect pairing can be discovered during the upcoming Days of Wine and Chocolate in Niagara on the Lake, held on weekends in February. (more…)

Winter Wine Tour: Experiencing Niagara’s Icewine

Icewine tasting at Peller Estates Winery

By Pamela MacNaughtan

Icewine originates in 18th-century Germany, but it has been perfected in the Niagara region, and people travel from all over the world to try icewines from this southern Ontario appellation. Today Niagara is the only place on earth where the full-flavoured dessert wine is produced annually.

See the slideshow.

(more…)

Foodie Excursion: Niagara-on-the-Lake

By MARCELLA DEVINCENZO

© 2011 Creative Media

A foodie adventure is always a great reason to travel. The pretty waterfront Victorian town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, at the heel of Ontario’s greenbelt, has a wealth of wonderful restaurants and shops that make use of local produce and wineries—especially during the autumn harvest. There is a lot you can learn from a city just by the food and the people who create the dishes.

Get the map. (more…)

10 Amazing Canadian Fall Vacations

Okanagan Valley ©Tourism BC/JF Bergeron

Fall is the perfect time for forest hikes, Sunday drives, wine tours and tucking into autumn harvest meals. But did you know it’s also prime polar-bear-viewing season? From our favourite foliage tours to some unexpected adventures, we’ve rounded up the best fall getaways Canada has to offer. (more…)

Hot Date: Peep Shows

Monique Lund and Juan Chioran in Kiss Me, Kate (photo by Andrew Eccles)

Ontario’s finest annual stage events open in earnest this month with previews for a number of anticipated plays. At the renowned Stratford Shakespeare Festival, audiences can start humming on April 10 as Kiss Me, Kate offers a musical interpretation of the Bard’s The Taming of the Shrew, while Peter Pan begins his magical flight on April 16. A short trip from Toronto, the Shaw Festival in quaint Niagara-on-the-Lake offers previews starting April 9 of Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, in which a government minister must choose between a public scandal and shaming his wife. Also on the fest’s spring schedule are Mary Chase’s Harvey, as of April 1, and Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard, on April 20. An early-bird bonus: tickets to preview performances often come at a discounted price.

Niagara—Take a Tour

See all that the region has to offer, including the awe-inspiring natural world wonder that has royalty, celebrities, honeymooners and globetrotters all hankering for a view.
—By Viviane Kertész

SHOESTRING OPTION
Chariots of Fire Niagara Falls Tour offers a $60 round-trip excursion that includes visiting either the Maid of the Mist or the Skylon Tower, free time at the Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake, picture stops, plus a complimentary tasting at Magnotta Cellars, returning to Toronto by 5 p.m.

EXCLUSIVE LUXURY
Gray Line Niagara Tour operates several first-class sightseeing packages from $95 including a drive through the orchard-laden Niagara Peninsula, boarding the Maid of the Mist and a winery stopover in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Pricier options feature helicopter trips.

FAMILY BUSINESS
In operation since 1978, the
Niagara Falls Day Tour lets you explore either Pillitteri Estates Winery or Reif Estate Winery, scenic stops for photos, a ticket to the Maid of the Mist and two free hours at the Falls for $69.

GET HERE YOURSELF
By train, hop aboard VIA Rail Canada from Toronto’s Union Station (65 Front St. W.). By car, take the Gardiner Expressway from downtown Toronto, which becomes the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) outside the city and stretches all the way to Niagara Falls.