The Royal Hotel: Stay for the Summer

Thanks to its restaurants, spa and other amenities, The Royal Hotel is an ideal pied-à-terre to explore Prince Edward County.

Situated in the heart of Prince Edward County, The Royal Hotel is in a prime location. With a history that dates back to 1879, it’s a 33-room property surrounded by the district’s wineries and charming nature and has been restored by a local family. Its location — away from the city — and the nearby farms, which produce its local ingredients, adds to its charm.

The establishment has several eating options. The Counter Bar is open all day for guests and passersby. The Garden is more intimate, hidden among the trees. The Parlour is described as a lobby lounge for drinks and small snacks, and the Dining Room and Terrace is where most of the culinary inspiration comes to fruition.

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At the time of writing, the menu includes pastas and pizzas, as well as mains such as rainbow trout, duck confit and kale salad. There’s also a dedicated dessert menu as well as one for cocktails and wine. All promise a farm-to-table experience, an effort to support both the community and the planet.

The ideas come from the mind of Executive Chef Albert Ponzo, who has a passion for sustainable farming and has been working with food for more than two decades. The Royal Hotel’s website states how Ponzo’s love for food dates back to his childhood in Sardinia, spending countless hours in his nonna’s kitchen. Since then, he’s worked in kitchens across Toronto, including at Le Sélect Bistro for 11 years.

The hotel has earned a reputation as a calm retreat, and much of that is the result of more than just food.

Its rooms and suites, each named after a local apple or pear variety, reference the land around the property. Its rooms are split between two neighbouring buildings: The Hotel and The Annex. Where The Hotel leans more into warmth, The Annex, with its Scandinavia design, is meant for more extended stays. Farmers markets and wellness therapy sessions take precedence on the hotel’s event calendar.

The Royal Hotel also features a spa and gym. Taking inspiration from traditions of 19th-century European health centres, it offers personalized treatments focused on wellness and relaxation.

The Royal Hotel is located at 247 Picton Main St. in Picton, Ont.

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Josh Walker

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