The Bruce Hotel
What We Love
- Everything is new — the hotel opened in May 2014
- Indoor lap pool and state-of-the-art gym
- New Canadian Cuisine by Chef Arron Carley is served in the on-site restaurant
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Ontario
What To Know
- Most rooms have either a private balcony or private garden
- Every bathroom features hand-tiled mosaic
- It's just a quick stroll from the Festival Theatre
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
William Shakespeare would truly be at home in the Canadian sister city of his hometown, Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford, Ontario, is a leafy Victorian burg two hours from Toronto that for the last 60-plus years has hosted one of the world’s premier Shakespeare festivals — and even has its own River Avon. Opened in May 2014, the Bruce Hotel offers 25 guestrooms and suites just a quick stroll from the Festival Theatre, one of the festival’s top venues. Almost every unit in this two-story estate opens onto a private balcony or garden, and all have spacious spa-like bathrooms, each hand-tiled with unique mosaics by the Bruce’s theater buff owner, Jennifer Birmingham. The hotel also features a gourmet locavore restaurant with Arron Carley at the helm and a state-of-the-art gym with a lap pool.
In the Area
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival stages more than a dozen productions per season (April through October) in five theaters. Buy your tickets well in advance, and don’t miss the festival courses and lectures on Shakespeare. Also, this neck of Ontario is the breadbasket of Ontario, and a good way to get a taste of it all is with Flavors of Stratford’s guided walking tour with local food fanatic Kim Thompson.
How to Get There
From the time we pulled up to thd car park.ane hotel, there was something special about the place. Staff greeted us promptly and saw to luggage and car park. The owner, Jennifer, happened to be present to greet us and tell us about her hotel. There are 25 guest rooms and suites. They also mentioned they did wash and fold, at no chaarge, and were glad to accomodate. This was a first!
We dined there both nights we were at the hotel; night one was in the lounge since there was no theatre. Night two, in the dining room. Service was very professional and comfortable. Breakfast was included and it was amazing as well. There was also a pantry for guests with cookies, fruit, additional coffee and tea. Coffee was delivered each morning.
Most wonderful experience ever. Rooms are Shakespeare’s themed, robes, slippers, coffee, jelly beans in colors that match the room. But not kitschy. Just quiet elegance. Live piano musician lobby, a game area, food that is second to none, walking distance to Festival Theater. And espresso and cookies!
My boyfriend brought me to Stratford for my birthday and we stayed at this phenomenal hotel. We had a young man valet park our car who was extremely kind. We went to check in and were greeted by two young ladies who were amazing and sweet to talk to. The owner of the hotel was also there to greet us and give us a tour of her amazing hotel and bring us to our room.
My boyfriend, who is a special needs support worker, was blown away by how accessible this hotel is. Down to the detail that there's a second peep hole on the door at wheelchair height. No detail was missed in making this hotel very accommodating.
We decided to go out for dinner and asked the ladies at the front desk if they have any recommendations, and they were on it.
Went back to our room later in the evening and our room was topped up with gourmet fortune cookies on the bed, slippers beside the bed and water bottles restocked. We left the lights off when we left and the staff turned the lights on for when we returned. A small thing to do that didn't go unnoticed.
Later I went to make a coffee at their coffee bar outside the room, I may have gotten too excited grabbing cookies and coffee and couldn't carry it all. One of the housekeepers happened to be walking by and was quick to help me carry everything.
I have worked at "luxury hotels" when I was younger, and after my stay at The Bruce, those hotels have a lot to learn!