The Vibe: Halifax, Nova Scotia, is known as a destination filled with small-city charm and friendly locals. So it’s no surprise that both of these traits can be found in abundance at the Prince George, a downtown hotel that’s focused on “luxury, sophistication and style.”
With an elegant, modern look, the hotel stands out in a city that’s dedicated to preserving its extensive history. But while the Prince George has an undeniably urban, cool feel, the service is classic East Coast: helpful, chatty and yes, accented.
The Facts: Though it has over 200 rooms, the Prince George feels almost like a boutique hotel, in large part due to its sophisticated décor that includes a lobby outfitted in cool colours, funky lighting and eye-catching fresh floral arrangements. While this contemporary design didn’t extend to the hallway of our floor (it had a rather dated red and gold colour scheme), our sense of design was relieved to see that our room was simply and tastefully updated in a neutral colour palette and modern features.
We stayed in a Deluxe Guest Room, which was equipped with a very comfortable king-sized bed that was topped with four perfectly fluffy pillows. While the room wasn’t exactly spacious, did offer ample square footage for two people and included everything one needs while travelling: A combo desk/dresser, TV with a full cable package, in-room coffee maker, a mini-fridge and for a fee, full-sized bottles of wine.
The room’s best feature though was its large walk-in shower, which had marble on the wall, beautiful metallic tile on the floor and perfect water pressure. We were also quite pleased to find that our room was very quiet. Street noise was non-existent while the only internal noise we heard was when our neighbours were paid a late night visit by some possibly intoxicated friends (this incident didn’t take us by surprise as we’d already heard multiple times about how Halifax supposedly has the most bars per capita in Canada).
All rooms come with free Wi-Fi, which unlike some hotel Wi-Fi we’ve tried, actually works and doesn’t require that you login in every 20 minutes. While the bathroom amenities could have been a bit more luxe, they did include mouthwash, which we always appreciate.
Hotel amenities include a business centre, an attractive outdoor patio and a gym. There is also a hot tub and pool, which, while on the small side, is perfect for splashing around in. It was also never busy when we checked in on it. Also available on-site is parking for an additional fee.
The Prince George is quite proud of its pet-friendly nature though if you’re sensitive to fur or animal dander, the fourth floor is animal-free.
The Experience: With a rather plain brick exterior, the front of the hotel doesn’t look like much. Thankfully, the elegant lobby quickly makes it clear that the Prince George is a step up from your typical hotel.
Of course, pretty décor doesn’t mean much if the service is medicore. Thankfully, service is where the Prince George shines. Staff members were always smiling and even maids who were clearly in the middle of cleaning recently vacated rooms gave eager hellos. Whenever we entered or exited the building, we were greeted by a friendly doorman who we witnessed happily providing guests with directions.
We were also quite impressed by the check-in process. Somehow the front desk attendant was able to be warm and talkative while also being quite efficient. Within minutes of arriving at the Prince George, we had our room key and an offer from the conceige to answer any and all of our Halifax-related questions.
While the Prince George is surrounded by a variety of dining options, one of the city’s best choices can be found right on the hotel’s main floor. Gio Restaurant has a four-diamond rating and an ever-changing menu that focuses on “combining the best in local and global ingredients.” Not surprisingly, it was regularly packed during our stay.
While we didn’t manage to make it to Gio, we did try one of its dessert offerings while spending an evening at the Prince George’s LevelBar. Our treat was a rich chocolate brownie concoction and was positively delicious. Besides dessert, LevelBar has its own food menu that is geared towards more casual fare such as nachos and fish tacos. It also offers a variety of alcohol and while its beer selection It nowhere near as vast as at some of Halifax’s other bars, it does have several local ales available, all of which can be served at the bar’s chic indoors location or outside on the relaxing patio.
We also induldged in the Prince George’s daily breakfast, which includes à la carte offerings and its “smörgäsbord” buffet. Practically a steal at only $16 a person, the buffet features among other items: an egg bar, smoked salmon and croissants so good that we went back for seconds. On Sundays, a more elaborate spread is offered that features Belgium waffles, eggs Benedict and even sushi. Room service is also available as is a “travelling gourmat” option that includes custom-made sandwiches, ideal for a daytip out to the nearby Peggy’s Cove.
While we were at the Prince George, we witnessed two weddings, and were informed that it’s a popular choice for nuptials. We consider this a true sign that the hotel that can be depended on to deliver consistently top-notch service.
Good To Know: While many of the city’s hotels are located right by the water, the Prince George is located a bit further up the hill that makes up downtown Halifax. Thankfully, the city’s small size means that reaching the waterfront takes less than 10 minutes. The hotel’s location is also minutes from two of the city’s other top attractions: The serene Halifax Public Gardens and Citadel Hill, a former military fort turned national historic site.
Room To Book: While we were quite comfortable in a Deluxe Guest Room, the Prince George does offer several upgrade options including the Crown Service Rooms, which are stocked with Aveda bath products, goose down duvets and have exclusive access to the hotel’s Six:Seventeen lounge, a modern-style space that serves a complimentary continental breakfast as well as free snacks and refreshments until 10:30pm each night.
Need more space and more luxury? Then look into one of the hotel’s suites. The Prince Suite is designed to make you feel like you’re staying in urban condo, one that comes with over 1,000 squre feet, a two-person Jacuzzi and complimentary breakfast in both the Six:Seventeen lounge and the hotel’s main breakfast restaurant.
Price: While rooms often start at around $185 Canadian, lower prices can sometimes be found.
Where To Find:
The Prince George Hotel
1725 Market Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia