The Orient Hotel is one of two places that you can stay in Victoria-by-the-Sea. We chose to stay at the competing Victoria Village Inn (see separate tip). However, I wanted to leave a tip for the Orient as well. We paid a short visit, just to look the place over... and you'd be well-served staying here as well.
In the whole of Prince Edward Island, there are only TWO hotels that have been in continuous operation for over one hundred years. The Orient Hotel in Victoria-by-the-Sea is one of them. This is a charming little place with something like 12 rooms available for guests. There are smaller cozy doubles, and a few larger "suites". All rooms are sold on a bed and breakfast basis, hence my designating this as a B&B, instead of "hotel".
Sharing the same building as the Orient is "Mrs Proffit's Tea Room", which serves (surprise) tea and cakes from mid-morning to mid-afternoon most weekdays. We happened to miss Mrs Profit's "open days" so I can't tell you about the service or food - but it looks like another nice and cozy little place in this perfect little town. So, if Mrs Proffitt is open, you might want to have a cream tea and a muffin.
The Victoria Village Inn is another B&B that I selected for our maritimes trip using the splendid http://www.bbcanada.com/ site. (I can't recommend that site enough).
If you've been reading my Victoria-by-the-Sea notes, you've learned that this is a placid, tiny and quite intimate little village. It's a town that actually only has two "hotels" or "inns", one being the Victoria Village. The Village inn is the smaller of the two. The reason that I chose it involved its ownership. Chef Stephen Hunter is the owner and proprietor of the Victoria Village Inn, and the opportunity to enjoy his outstanding cuisine along with the ambience and charm of his 100+ year old Victorian home was too much to resist.
We chose Stephen's "two room suite", which we shared with our daughter. The rooms are pleasingly eccentric in shape, as one would expect in 100+ year old homes. The bathroom has retained an old clawfooted tub, which always brings a smile - so long as the water is hot - which it is at Victoria Village.
There are about four other rooms of varying size, and after an early afternoon (before the guests arrive) peek at most of them, I can assure you that you'd be pleased with any choice.
If you plan to do "the community theater" while you're in town, it's right next door. And, Chef Stephen does "theater dinners" to tie-in with curtain time, should you choose to eat at the inn. (It's a good choice, eating at the inn).
Unless you are visiting during the severe off-season, you DO need to make advance reservations. Contact the Victoria Village Inn directly, via the means listed below. They do accept most major credit cards, but like most of Canada, they'd PREFER to not take American Express. (AE has much higher fees than the other major cards)
Well, this is a B&B, so... breakfast is always a point of focus. Here at the Village, Chef Stephen goes above and beyond the standard B&B fare, giving one an epicurean start to a day of maritimes exploration. From poached eggs with bernaise to freshly baked muffins - not to mention EXCELLENT fresh squeezed juices, this is a fine place to start your morning. And, this is all table service by Chef Stephen himself.... no quasi- buffets for certain items. Not surprisingly, the coffee is damned good, too. If you get up a little "early for breakfast", wander into the kitchen and say hello to Stephen - he usually already has a pot of coffee and will share.
The inn has free wi-fi, but while we were there, Stephen was having problems with his LAN wireless. Not to worry, he said to just take my laptop to the parlor and "feel free to plug the DSL line into my computer." This is a very accomodating place.
Nice parlor, books and such. Sara also loved Monica, the local cat - who paid a visit out front every morning.
Besides being just a B&B, Chef Stephen does a dinner menu - at least some nights of the week. We had dinner in his tiny "bistro" on our second night there, and it was superb. From the PEI mussels and pan-seared scallops, to the breathtakingly fine desserts, dinner was fabulous. FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF WHAT WE ENJOYED DURING CHEF STEPHEN'S BREAKFASTS AND DINNER, SEE MY SEPARATE RESTAURANT LISTING FOR THE VICTORIA VILLAGE INN.
When you're at the Village inn, you'll notice a neighborly aspect of Victoria itself. Whenever Stephen needs to go somewhere, he usually just gets a friend or neighbor to watch over things. We were checked in by a sweet local girl named Jen, who commented "he's handsome" when she noted a photo we had of our oldest son. :) The night that we had dinner, table service was being supplied by Emma, the lady who owns the nearby Island Chocolate Shop. Local talk shared with us that Stephen and Emma were "sweet on each other", shall we say. :)
This place takes relaxation to another level.
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