The Great George Hotel
While visiting PEI (Prince Edward Island) I had an opportunity to stay a few nights at the Great George Hotel, a remarkable and historic property located in the heart of Charlottetown.
Built back in the mid-1800s, the Great George is unlike any historic hotel I’ve ever stayed. The property is not a single structure, but rather a compound of old homes clustered together to make up the overall hotel. The Great George also doesn’t feel like a hotel, but rather a large intimate inn, with a hospitable staff and an evening reception where guests can mingle and get to know each other.
The lobby flows into a series of large sitting areas that plays duty to the evening reception, as well as the morning breakfast. Within this large and lavish area is a cornucopia of design elements blended together into a tapestry of casual, yet elegant comfort. Rich leather sofas and chairs mixed with benches and other seating configurations provide intimate areas for couples, as well as larger areas for those interested in socializing.
One evening during my stay at the Great George, live entertainment was scheduled… a dynamic duo named Nathan and Katie. Nathan played the guitar, while Katie strummed a ukulele. Both took turns leading in vocals while also singing harmonies. Most of the songs they performed were covers of iconic tunes like “Don’t worry, be happy,” and a Pink Floyd song, but there were a few tunes I did not recognize, so perhaps they also write their own music. I’m also not sure how often these two perform, or how often the Great George offers live music, but if you are staying at the hotel for any given period of time, be sure to inquire if Nathan and Katie are performing as you will not want to miss them.
The accommodations are also not what I would expect from a historic hotel, at least that is how I felt staying in the D.A. Bruce house—one of the newly renovated parts of the property. The house has five rooms spread throughout its 3-story structure. The top floor has a communal deck overlooking the property to enjoy a cup of coffee or an evening glass of wine.
The rooms are oversized with a partial wall in the middle, separating the living and bedroom areas. There is a faux fireplace as well—not some cheap display, but rather a mesmerizing light fixture to look like a simulated fire…but in a really modern way.
Vibrant furnishings and artwork adorn the interior of the living area, while a pure white king sized bed, white walls and white oversized desk make up the bedroom area. Hardwood floors run throughout, but once you enter the bathroom, the floor surface is covered in a beautiful tile that looks to be from the early era of modernism, which are warm to the feet thanks to radiant heat.
The bathroom continues the modern theme with design subtleties you don’t expect in a hotel, but rather a high-end home. Even the curtains and accents, like the floor lamps, all remind me of something from a mid-century modern home, not a hotel. It’s really masterfully decorated and provides a spectacular and comfortable lodging experience while in Charlottetown.
My only complaint is that the hardwood floors easily transfers the sounds of walking guests from the room above, and that the main house door closes too aggressively, causing a loud bang each time one enters or leaves the building. If you don’t mind walking a couple flights of stairs, I would recommend requesting the top floor unit.
Overall, the Great George Hotel is one memorable place to stay while visiting Charlottetown, PEI. The proximity of the Great George is also fantastic, right in the heart of the historic district, where everything can be accessed on foot, or by one of their complementary bikes. Wonderful restaurants, parks, a farmers market, and a boardwalk waterfront are all within reach. You will likely need, and want, to stay at the Great Gorge Hotel for several days to soak up all there is to see and do in the area.
If you’ve ever stayed at the Great George Hotel in downtown Charlottetown, please leave a comment below and share your experience.
The Great George Hotel Information
Address: 58 Great George Street, Charlottetown, PEI, Canada C1A 4K3
Rates: $170-$369/night depending on accommodations.