When you visit a city like Kingston
(don't forget to enter our Best of Kingston contest
by December 30!) – with some of the best limestone architecture in the province, half a dozen excellent museums, a compact downtown made for window shopping, and youthful, casual restaurants – you’ll easily imagine yourself living there. Maybe an apartment in one of those romantic, ivy-covered buildings within walking distance of downtown, and enough room to spread out your shopping bags, lounge on a plush couch in front of the fireplace, or sip a cup of morning coffee on your bedroom balcony. You can indulge this fantasy when you stay at the Frontenac Club Inn
Found in the renovated building belonging to the real first Bank of Montreal in Upper Canada (and later a men’s club which hosted Alexander Graham Bell and Prime Minister Mackenzie King), this inn offers suite-style rooms that feel more pied a terre than boxy hotel. I thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere of the rooms and common areas as well as the healthy, multi-course breakfast.
The signs of the Frontenac’s past are clear – the overstuffed leather chairs next to a piano and built-in bookshelf in the sun-lit front common room, the vintage fleur-de-lis wallpaper and checkerboard floor in the lobby, and the original bank vault door in the sitting room. The historic charm continues in the 15 rooms and a business meeting room that span two buildings.
My friend and I stayed in the Miller Suite in the adjacent, but just as lovely 1826 Cartwright House. The room was equipped with an antique tile-trimmed fireplace in a living room with a pull out couch and television, a separate queen bedroom with a balcony, and a small, but clean bathroom. Some of the décor in the living room was perhaps a little dark and dated, but we hardly noticed given the relaxing atmosphere and spacious accommodations.
In the morning, we had breakfast in one of three small, modern breakfast rooms serviced by a bright, open concept kitchen. We were served bowls of fruit, delicious porridge, and gourmet omelettes with pear and brie. This nourishing breakfast was perfect for fueling our future adventures.
After we checked out, the hospitality continued as we were invited to continue using the common rooms (and the free WiFi) to plan out our day. We could also use the Inn parking lot while we spent the day exploring the city.