Each room is individually decorated, balancing period furnishings (canopy beds, oil paintings) with modern touches (gas fireplaces, rainforest showers)
The petite queen rooms are indeed quite small
It’s on prime Queen Street but a block or two past the historic district’s shops and eats
Elegant historic manor house with a top-rated restaurant in a charming resort town near Niagara Falls and 27 wineries
Built in 1832, this Georgian-style manor house once served as the residence of Charles Richardson, a prominent Canadian statesman. The 12-room property is still distinguished by its bright white hue and elegantly-chiseled portico; the gorgeous wrap-around verandas were added later. The interiors are predictably filled with antiques, but you’ll find the occasional outlier—bold paint choices are used throughout (amethyst, persimmon, lipstick red) and one guestroom stars a life-size statue of a pink tutu-clad English bulldog. The lounge has a more muted, masculine, and vaguely 1920s vibe, a cozy spot for pre-dinner aperitifs (including a nice selection of martinis). The restaurant is perfect for romantic or special-occasion dinners, with meticulous service, delicious French-inflected fare prepared by Chef Steve Sperling (we had seared foie gras from Quebec followed by Ontario beef tenderloin served with oxtail ragout and hollandaise) and local wine for days (we tried a Trius sparkler that was excellent).
In the Area
Located right where Lake Ontario feeds the Niagara River, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a picturesque hamlet about 30 minutes from Niagara Falls. Specializing in Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, the region’s 27 wineries are a year-round attraction, while a January Ice Wine Festival draws oenophiles who don’t mind the cold and like their wine very sweet (ice wine is Niagara-on-the-Lake’s culinary hero). The Shaw Festival Theatre—six months of quality summer stock—is another popular annual event. Locals love Ravine Winery Estate Vineyard’s wood-fired pizzas and the house-made charcuterie at the Stone Road Grille (don’t be put off by the strip mall location); visitors like to bring home jams and marmalades from Greaves (the Four Seasons hotel chain’s brand of choice); take afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel and pick up gifts for tony tots at The Owl and the Pussycat .
The Charles Hotel
209 Queen Street
How to Get There
Flights are available to Buffalo International Airport (BUF) and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Transfers to/from BUF, about 45 miles away, can be arranged through the property and costs vary. Taxis are approximately $100, each way. Transfers to/from YYZ, about 80 miles away, can be arranged through the property and costs vary. Taxis are approximately $140, each way. If you’re renting a car for the transfer, self-parking is free.