Step into the Victorian era at the Prince of Wales in Niagara -on- the- Lake
Sometimes it takes an outsider to glimpse the potential of a place. And the Vintage Hotels in Niagara-on-the-Lake seem a prime example of that. The Prince of Wales, where I stayed, and its sister properties Queen’s Landing and Pillar and Post were developed by a Hong Kong family and are now among the top hotels in the Ontario home of the Shaw Festival. You’ll read about the town and the wonderful plays being presented there in the June 9 Travel section, which will go up online at www.News-Herald before that.
The Prince of Wales was built in 1864 and is in the heart of the historic village. Known at first by other names, it got its Prince of Wales designation in 1901 after a visit there by England’s future George V and Queen Mary.
It had always been a landmark but had seen better days when its new Hong Kong owners refurbished it to its Victorian elegance. Each of its 110 guest rooms is individually designed and decorated with brocades, tapestries and antiques so the experience is never the same twice. That’s possibly the reason why so many of its guests become regulars.
|The drawing room at the Prince of Wales Hotel is a vision of Victorian era comfort. It's where afternoon tea is served.|
|Bowls o fresh roses are everywhere around the Prince of Wales Hotel.|
We found a trio of perfectly shaped oranges poised on china plates beneath a Tiffany lamp in our room and quickly peeled and ate them.
It’s not often that overnight lodging sets the tone of a place so exquisitely, but the Prince of Wales Hotel is spot on. To find out about the many packages offered, including some with theater tickets, contact the hotel directly at 888-669-5566 or go to www.Vintage-Hotels.com.
Step out the front door to continue the Victorian immersion with a horse drawn buggy tour of the village, which is awash in history for the War of 1812 — when today’s Ontario was an outpost of Britain and we were the aggressor. While you’re in town, consider a visit to the nearby Laura Secor Homestead to learn the story of an 1812 heroine who ran through the forests to warn British troops of the impending invasion. It’s an interesting take on the war considered by Canadians as leading to the birth of their nation.