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The Best Hotels in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Atlantic Canada

By Barbara Peck

Feb 18, 2020

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Built in 1889, the Algonquin Resort in New Brunswick has a classic Maritime feel. 

Courtesy of New Brunswick Tourism

Built in 1889, the Algonquin Resort in New Brunswick has a classic Maritime feel. 

Embrace the low-key vibe of the Atlantic provinces—Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador—by staying in the region’s storied inns, antiques-filled cottages, wilderness lodges, and more.

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Don’t expect glitzy accommodations in Atlantic Canada. The Maritime provinces are where you escape for rest and relaxation in cozy inns, B&Bs, and lodges. Instead of high-end concierges and Michelin-starred dining, you’ll find friendly proprietors happy to offer tips about what to see and do, and fresh seafood paired with local produce. Traveling this North Atlantic region means visiting sandy beaches and national parks, witnessing the world’s highest tides at the Bay of Fundy, or wandering the historic streets of both small fishing towns and busy capital cities. Happily, the types of accommodations in the region can be as charming and as varied as the landscape.

Read on for some of our favorite places to stay across New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, from historic resorts and glamping sites to Victorian-style inns and casual cottages.  

New Brunswick Hotels

Algonquin Resort, Saint Andrews 

The venerable Algonquin Resort has a lot going for it: a location in a seaside town filled with handsome Tudor-style buildings, things to do, and the province’s best golf course. Built in 1889, the hotel was last renovated in 2012, when it reopened as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Though it now has 233 rooms—and even an indoor pool with a waterslide—it retains the rustic flavor of the Maritimes. The spacious porches are perfect for lazy afternoons.

Quartermain House B&B, Fredericton

The charming Quartermain House B&B occupies a Gothic revival building from the 1830s.

Visitors to New Brunswick’s capital city of Fredericton often marvel at the beautifully restored houses along historic Waterloo Row, overlooking the wide Saint John River. But few know you can actually stay in one of them. The top-rated Quartermain House B&B, located in an 1830s Gothic revival building, offers three guest rooms decorated in period style, but with modern conveniences like Wi-Fi, Keurig coffee makers, and Turkish bath robes. Guests can also look forward to a garden terrace, a library stocked with board games, and breakfast treats like maple-peach upside-down pancakes. The city’s many attractions are a short walk away along leafy streets.

Cielo Glamping Maritime, Shippagan 

The geodesic domes at Cielo Glamping Maritime feature skylights for stargazing from your bed.

Cielo Glamping Maritime opened in January 2019 to immediate acclaim. Five luxurious geodesic domes (three one-bedroom, two two-bedroom) are set on a secluded cove on the relatively undiscovered Acadian Peninsula. Each has its own private bath, patio, and a wood-fired hot tub for watching the sunset light up the bay. Guests can take standup paddleboards out to dig for clams and gather La Saint Simon oysters. Paddle the day’s catch back with you to be prepared at the Hub, the property’s gathering area with a bar and restaurant. Evenings might bring impromptu jam sessions (the proprietors love to sing), after which you can retire to your queen-sized bed with a skylight view of the stars.

Nova Scotia Hotels

Trout Pond Lodge, East Kemptville

Go off the grid at Trout Pond Lodge, located within the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve.

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Trout Pond Lodge enjoys a loyal following for its secluded, woodsy location in the Southwest Nova Biosphere Reserve. Self-described as a luxury wilderness resort, the retreat features a main timber lodge that could have been airdropped from a U.S. national park, complete with eight suites done up in handmade log-and-twig furniture, original artworks, and Italian tile or stone bathrooms. Nearby on the property Beaver Hall offers three rooms and a grand lounge with a stone fireplace, while two-bedroom Black Bear Cottage has a full kitchen. Two acclaimed restaurants showcase local fare like scallops served with herbs fresh from the on-site garden; the cellar holds more than 170 wines. Expect to unplug here—there’s no cell service.

The Halliburton, Halifax

The boutique Halliburton was created from three historic townhouses in downtown Halifax. Its 29 rooms and suites are all different, some with wood-burning fireplaces and balconies overlooking the garden. From the hotel, it’s a short walk to the busy waterfront, where you can stroll the 10-block boardwalk, visit the Canadian Museum of Immigration, and take an amphibious Harbour Hopper tour. Stories, the Halliburton’s elegant dining room, is considered one of the city’s best restaurants for its “East Coast fusion” dishes of regional game and seafood. In summer, enjoy your cocktail in the courtyard patio. 

Mariner King Inn, Lunenburg

Stay at the majestic, Victorian-style Mariner King Inn when you visit the great fishing port of Lunenburg, named a UNESCO World Heritage site as “the best surviving example of a planned British colonial settlement in North America.” Close to all the town’s attractions, the inn—a charming clapboard house built in 1830—has three guest rooms and two suites, plus nine nautically decorated accommodations in two nearby buildings. Continental breakfast is included in your stay, and there’s even an exercise room.

Prince Edward Island Hotels

Inn at Bay Fortune, Bay Fortune

The Inn at Bay Fortune offers cozy rooms and local fare courtesy of celebrity chef Michael Smith.

Built in 1913, when Fortune was an artist’s colony for Broadway and silent film actors, the Inn at Bay Fortune began as the summer home of playwright Elmer Harris. It was later owned by Anne of Green Gables actress Colleen Dewhurst and her husband, George C. Scott, before becoming the legendary retreat it is today. Now, the handsome, wood-shingled main structure features 15 rooms, decorated with a mix of modern furnishings, country antiques, and works by island artists. Many rooms feature wood-burning fireplaces. Current proprietor Michael Smith, a star chef on the Canadian Food Network, oversees the kitchen—or rather, the open fires over which every dish is cooked—at the inn’s destination restaurant. Here, guests dine at long banquet tables during the nightly FireWorks Feast, a multicourse dinner of local ingredients.

Dalvay by the Sea, Dalvay

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History and romance come alive at Dalvay by the Sea, a classic inn that’s also a National Historic Site. Built in 1895 as a summer retreat for a Cincinnati oil tycoon, the sprawling Victorian house features an exterior and massive fireplaces made from the island’s red sandstone. The main building includes 25 guest rooms with period furniture, but no televisions, phones, or radios. Eight rustic three-bedroom cottages, added to the property in 1990, have pine interiors, large seating areas, and glass-fronted propane fireplaces. Outside, the inn is surrounded by Prince Edward Island National Park, revered for its white-sand beaches and historic sites. No one familiar with the charming inn was surprised when Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, chose Dalvay as a stop on their honeymoon tour.

Shaw’s Hotel, Brackley Beach

A National Historic Site, Shaw’s Hotel has been in the same family for four generations.

If a casual cottage stay is on your agenda, consider Shaw’s Hotel, operated by the same family for four generations. It all started in 1860, when John Shaw opened the inn on his pioneer farm; 145 years later, the hotel was designated a National Historic Site. The main building, with its white clapboard siding and red mansard roof, holds 14 rooms and suites outfitted with antiques. Guests can also choose from 15 chalets with full kitchens and large decks, as well as 10 traditional cottages with picturesque views. In the on-site restaurant, expect chowder, mussels, scallops, lobster, and other island treats. From the expansive grounds, it’s a five-minute walk to Brackley Beach in P.E.I. National Park, which has one of the longest dune systems in the Western Hemisphere. 

Newfoundland Hotels

Fogo Island Inn, Joe Batt’s Arm

Watch the ocean waves out your window at Fogo Island Inn.

The one-of-a-kind Fogo Island Inn broke all the rules when it opened in 2013, not least for its location on a remote island at the edge of the North Atlantic. Its striking modern architecture, including rooms that float on wooden stilts above the landscape, quickly gained international acclaim. And its social enterprises—the inn reinvests all its surpluses into the community through charitable organization Shorefast—have helped sustain the rural island while leaving a light footprint. Book one of the 29 rooms and suites and settle in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows to watch the roiling ocean waves. Guests can also spy icebergs drifting by in spring, hike island trails and go whale-watching in summer, pick wild berries in fall, and go ice-fishing in winter. There’s even an on-site movie theater, art gallery, and well-stocked library, plus a restaurant with an ultra-sophisticated menu. Access is by plane or ferry.

Murray Premises Hotel, St. John’s

A National Historic Site, the buildings known as the Murray Premises were built on St. John’s waterfront in 1846 to serve Newfoundland’s fishing industry as warehouses, machine shops, and mercantile offices. Several floors of one of the buildings were converted into a boutique hotel in 2001, and the hotel slowly expanded to 69 rooms as more floors were renovated. Interiors throughout feature original wooden ceiling beams, as well as rock walls, exposed brick, harbor views, and custom-made maple furniture. From the hotel, it’s only a few minutes’ walk to the city’s top attractions.

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>>Next: Plan Your Trip With AFAR’s Travel Guide to Atlantic Canada

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