In October of 2012, my husband and I, with my brother and his wife, had the opportunity to stay at the Queen Anne Inn in Annapolis Royal. This was the second time I had stayed there, and I must say that I am in love with this stately and grand old mansion. Although we did not attend in our historical duds on this trip, I deemed it worthy to write a blog about this wonderful place!
The Queen Anne Inn is designated a Provincial Heritage Property and this applies to both the building and the land upon which it sits. It is located at 494 Upper George Street. This is the main road running through Annapolis Royal. You will find the Inn just outside of town and set back from the road, in a beautiful garden setting. One of my favourite things about the gardens, are indeed the stately old Elm trees that still grace this property. In Nova Scotia, we have lost many of our Elms to the Dutch Elm disease; it is certainly a special treat to see these glorious stately trees, all awash in the golden glow of fall, towering even taller then the center tower of Queen Anne herself.
If you love old architecture and historical places, this is the place for you! Considered an excellent example of the Second Empire style, this Inn was built as a private residence by William Ritchie in 1869. He had it built for his son Norman as a wedding gift, however, and very unfortunately, Norman’s wife Fanny died only 10 months after they were married, and before the house could be completed. Norman never lived there and the house stood vacant for a period of time. After several years William Ritchie and his wife opened the house as a an upscale boarding house. In the years ensuing, after the Ritchie’s deaths, and to the present time, the house has been used a parsonage and in 1897 it became St. Andrew’s school, a private school for boys. The school closed it’s doors in 1906 and again the house stood vacant for a time.
In 1921 the building was converted into a hotel called the Queen Hotel and it has served as such for over 90 years and with various owners operating it. Today it is called “The Queen Anne Inn”, the Proprietors or Inn keepers are Greg and Julie. They are friendly, fun, laid back, and full of information about the surrounding area. Greg is also a chef, so the food is of course delicious, served beautifully in the large dining room, and with good humour to boot. They go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and offer many unique and personal services to their guests, such as special food requirements and so on.
Upon occasion you can also rent the entire Inn for a special event, such as a wedding or business conference, which they will cater. The rooms are large and elegant, most with private sitting areas, and each one beautifully furnished with antiques and curiosities of all sorts. The bathrooms are modern and well equipped with large jacuzzi baths as well as showers in many of the rooms.
Considered one of Nova Scotia’s finest, plan to stay here for a night or two if you are coming for a visit to the Maritimes. The Queen Anne is open from early May to late October, and there is lots to do and see in Annapolis Royal, and the surrounding communities. We found the rates very reasonable, and you just can’t beat the ambiance and historical appeal of this wonderful Inn!