With our wedding only six months away and planning to start to ramp up, Dan wanted to give me an extra special valentines treat this year. He kept everything a secret (which of course was killing me) and only told me what to pack and how long we were to be gone for. And where did we escape to? Niagara-on-the-Lake! I have never been to Niagara-on-the-Lake. I had passed through many times and gone to the Falls, but never stayed in this enchanting little town. Dan booked our nights stay at the Prince of Wales Hotel. As soon as we pulled in, I could feel tingles of excited but never in a million years did I expect what I saw when we walked in the front doors.
No exaggeration, this is the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in. Last Fall we stayed in a 5-Star hotel in Beverly Hills, and although that was posh beyond belief, this place was MADE for me.
Prince of Wales stands as a landmark in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake. It has stood in this exact spot since 1864! It is a part of a chain of hotels called "Vintage Hotels" that features some of the best preserved hotels that retain their historic charm.
The hotel is known as the "Prince of Wales" in honour of the 1901 visit of the Duke and Duchess of York, who were later crowned King George V and Queen Mary. And their legacy can be seen all over the hotel. Painting of their reign are hung throughout the hallways, and guest rooms and the essence of Victorian charm covers the floors, walls and even ceilings.
Its architectural style was that of the Second French Empire, seen most clearly in its mansard roof. Everything felt so regal. It was as if you became the same kind of royalty that his hotel was named after when you entered. Our suite was in the building the furthest away from reception, but I didn't mind. It was a treat walking down all the corridors and exploring every little corner of this place.
Our hotel room was the cutest little place. Even the rooms are decorated in the Victorian style with Tiffany stained glass lamps on either side of the room and paintings of young girls in frilly petticoats all over the place. We even had our little fireplace that was the perfect thing to curl up in front of after coming in from the cold outdoors.
One of my favourite things about this place was the corridor into the reception area. It was lined with replica paintings from famous Flemish painters and other grandmasters. Even the wallpaper was luxuriously embellished! The ornate frames seemed to grow and swell with overgrowth as if they were living within these walls.
After settling in, we headed off for a dip in the pool. Even the swimming area was decked out with Victorian designs. The shape of the pool reminded me of European bath houses.
After a dip in the pool and a soak in the hot tub, we were off for our couples massage in their world class spa! We changed into our robes and made our way down to the spa. There we sat in lush leather chairs and sipped tea and coffee while we waited. Even the bathrooms down here were gorgeous. Delftware inspired porcelain sinks, and wall tiles sparkled, and real wooden doors with etched glass made up each stall.
The room where we had our massage was sumptuously decorated. It was perhaps the largest room I'd even been in for a massage, but the opulence of the place simply added to the relaxation. After our massage and our little outing, we came back to the hotel for a 4-course Valentine's Dinner. Everything was perfection, but we perhaps had the best time being entertained by a couple fighting with the waiter beside us. We came him our condolences as they were the worst kind of people but it made for a very entertaining dinner.
After too much wine and indulgence we tottered our way back to the room where there were roses and chocolate covered strawberries awaiting us. We ate them in front of the fire as night poured itself over our eyes.
The next morning we ordered food to our room, not wanting to escape the warmth of our fireplace. I ordered a simple English Breakfast with a side of cinnamon biscuit and Dan chowed down on peanut butter pancakes.
But like all things, there must be an ending. We begrudgingly packed up our things and headed out. It was no doubt the most romantic and luxurious weekend of my life - and I got to spend it with my favourite person in the world.