I love to travel. Being in a new place, experiencing new surroundings, culture + people feeds my soul!
And part of the experience of going somewhere new, is where you stay. I love to put in a little extra work to find hotels that are remarkable and unique. Hotels with character and stories and interesting & thoughtful design. I may, or may not pick hotels based on their furniture..;)! But really.. When I am going somewhere, I like to put in some research time to find the hidden gems wherever we’re travelling.
For example, when we went to Prague last year we stayed here, and it was AMAZING. Hotel Sax is a Vintage Design Hotel FILLED with incredible decor from the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s. It was like hopping in a time machine. Our room was so interesting with crazy orange patterns allover the walls. Our bathtub was massive with floor to ceiling RED tiles and all the hallways were layered with art and hanging installations.
(We meaning myself and my incredible boyfriend Bo who I’ve been dating for over ten years. I know. So far we’re at 7 countries together!)
I could have easily picked one of the first hotels to show up on Trip Advisor, but instead I spent time digging. And it was worth every Google search!
I am big on experiences. At the end of the day, I would rather save a couple extra bucks by not going out every single weekend, or pass on the expensive designer handbag to have $ for travelling zee world.
Splurge on experiences not things! Shop vintage + go travel people!
There’s a few boutique hotels in Ontario that I am DYING to stay at. As soon as I’ve checked them out I’ll be sure to share my experience, but for now, here’s my dream list!
Whether you’re looking for a cozy crash pad or an XL suite, you can be sure to find something packed with personality, art, and heaps of character at The Drake Hotel. Every centimetre of The Drake has been thoughtfully designed from floor to ceiling. It’s pretty much a vintage furniture lover’s dream come true. (aka mine). Throughout all of the Drake properties (yes, there’s more!!).. you’ll find hints of natural materials like wood, cork, metals & leather. (The light fixtures in the bar are fantastic- I’ll have to grab a photo during my next visit.) With a mishmash of contemporary pieces and antiques, the Drake is unique in every way. You could say, a perfect blend of modern, timeless and vintage.
I dig the throwback vibes – and with award winning cocktails (I tried a “Zombie” during my last stay), yummy eats, events, art exhibits and more, I think that The Drake Hotel is definitely worth adding to the bucket list! See the rooms & sleep with Drake here.
Surprise Surprise, it’s The Drake again. I would get married to the Drake Devonshire. But seriously, I think I hyperventilated the first time I laid eyes on this miracle of a hotel (I might actually pass out when I finally stay here..). Every room at the Drake Devonshire has been meticulously designed mixed with custom furniture, artwork, antiques, nature and vintage pieces. Everything that I love. There are permanent art collections & rotating exhibits alongside specially commissioned local and international artist pieces that enhance the Devonshire experience both indoors and out. Like this jaw dropping installation by Kirsten Hassenfeld.
This is a hotel you could visit hundreds of times and you would encounter new rich experiences each and every time.
Excuse me while I redecorate my entire house. This looks like a great place to spend Valentine’s Day.. ahem…Bo.
3. Hotel Ocho
Bo and I stayed at Hotel Ocho last year for Valentine’s Day. We were on the hunt for a cute boutique hotel that didn’t come with an impractical price tag. (I believe our stay was around $110 for the night, not bad at all!) It’s a very cute hotel with lots of great architectural interest.. steel windowsills, original floor wood paneling & exposed brick. Built in 1986, the building was once a cigar, and a textile factory.
I particularly liked the mid-century tables & chairs in the dining room, it reminded me of our trip to Amsterdam. With only 12 rooms, the service was great! Another great aspect of this hotel is their support of local artists. In the dining/common area local artists work is featured on the walls. It was a cozy loft-like retreat in the heart of the city. I plan to visit again!
Okay, but seriously HOW CUTE IS THIS TREEHOUSE?! What child hasn’t dreamed of heading outside with all their blankets and their flashlight to stay in a treehouse? Actually, one time.. when I was probably 13.. I ALMOST spent an entire night with one of my girlfriends sleeping in a empty chicken coop that I had deemed to be my fort. (Like, a real chicken coop. Where chickens used to live…laugh cry emoji.) We cleaned it.. and painted it..the only appropriate thing left to do was sleep in it… obviously MOM. Well, we did.. for like, three hours. Until the smells, the spiders, the scary country noises and giant hornet nest spooked us back inside to safety.
I have a feeling Lynne’s impeccably designed treehouse might be the treehouse I’ve always dreamed of.. sans old chicken feed.
I had the pleasure of working with Lynne last year on a project for Leon’s , through that relationship I found out about her lovely treehouse that she rents out during the warmer months. It. is. stunning. What is really funny that I didn’t know is that the treehouse is actually near my home town of Walkerton.. Small world! The cabin is nestled into 100 acres with hammocks, a pool and so much fresh air!
And FURTHER to that- Lynne just recently also got an Air Stream. Before she got it, I actually didn’t even know what an Air Stream was. It’s basically a trailer that she’s completely gutted and renovated into a mini-paradise on wheels!
Check out this awesome video from Jon Simo’s stay in the airstream. Press Play!
Ahh, the Gladstone Hotel. Last in this post, but certainly not least. I have spent lots of time at the Gladstone.. Checking out art galleries and taking advantage of their creative Get School’d workshops. The Gladstone Hotel is internationally recognized as Canada’s favourite boutique art hotel. Supporting 37 artist designed hotel rooms, over 70 art exhibitions a year, 4 diverse event venue spaces and 2 restaurants…Gladstone has got it GOING ON. I would love to stay in each and every one of those incredibly curated and designed artist rooms!
That’s it folks- 5 boutique hotels in Ontario on my hit list! Have you got any secret gems to share? Comment below! If you stay at one of these hotels I would love to hear about it. Thanks for reading!