Hotel Belvedere – A Classic Hotel Near Kingston’s Waterfront
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There are many high-quality hotels in Kingston. After researching and comparing the prices, I eventually chose to stay at Hotel Belvedere. I was a bit nervous upon arriving as this was my first time in Kingston and Belvedere is an antique and classic hotel—there were probably different rules for guests to follow. However, this hotel made my Kingston trip easier.
How to get to Hotel Belvedere
If you are coming from Kingston via rail station, it is 15 minutes’ drive or a taxi ride for $25. If you prefer to save on public transport, you can take bus number 18, which drops you off four minutes away from the hotel.
First impression of Hotel Belvedere
The hotel is in a quiet residential neighborhood. As soon as I entered the hotel, I had this old charm feel as if I was about to visit someone’s old mansion.
There is a beautiful area at the front that is decorated with plants and trees, and the front desk is in a short and narrow hallway. Check-in was smooth and efficient, and the front desk staff greeted me and took a few minutes to give me the history of the hostel.
It was there that I learned that this hotel was built in 1880 as a private residence, and then it was turned into a hotel four decades later. Unfortunately, the first owner of this hotel is bankrupt. After transition and refurbishment, the hotel again has been restored to fashion and is managed by the current owner, Donna Mallory.
After sharing the history of the hotel, the front desk was also generous enough to upgrade my room and gave me the key. My room door was already opened as a welcome.
I stayed in room 103 and it was absolutely beautiful and full of old charm. I felt as if I was transported back to the grand Victorian mansion in the 18th century. It was a spacious room with a queen-sized bed, a hearth, two antique chairs, a flat-screen TV, central Asia rugs, and an en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower and a bathtub. There were two wine glasses if you need to drink wine and cold beverages.
My room was close to the front desk and faced King Street, so I was a bit concerned about the noise, but it turned out to be surprisingly quiet at night and I had the best sleep in weeks.
The hotel has a beautiful terrace that guests have free access to. The terrace has several tables and chairs and you can invite your family and friends to join you for drinks and a picnic. It faces King Street, which means you get to have a panoramic view of this peaceful residential neighborhood. I fully enjoyed spending a few hours there.
People at the hotel
The main reason I loved my stay at Belvedere was the people there. Shortly after I checked in, I was invited by the regular guests to the terrace and joined them for beer, wine, and fun conversation. They have been living in Kingston for years and returned frequently. They offered me their favorite places to visit and haunted stories of the city and the hotel. As the conversation flowed, Donna also came and sat with us and offered us more wine.
Speaking of breakfast, you can have it in your room, in the sitting area, or on the terrace. I had it in the sitting area located on the first floor with antique furniture, a high ceiling, and newspapers and books on the table.
The breakfast comes with a tray of toasted English muffins, orange juice, and your choice of coffee or tea, and it was a nice presentation. Instead of being offered a cup of tea, my tea was placed in a pot with a separate glass of milk, cream, and sugar. If you order coffee, they will serve it in a pot to make sure you have enough of it. A fruit platter was placed in the entrance of the sitting area and you can have them as much as you want.
The breakfast portion is not big but the staff will offer you a second round of English muffins and tea if you need it.
To be honest, I had a difficult time choosing hotels in Kingston. I have a preference for staying at waterfront hotels or the ones in the city center, but these hotels were way too expensive. I was worried about the location of the Belvedere as it was not in the center but the location was just perfect.
The hotel is in walking distance to everything, but it feels like a world away from the busy streets. The waterfront is only two minutes’ walk away and it is a beautiful site to visit in the late afternoon. As it is not close to the city center or any tourist hotspot, the waterfront appears to be peaceful and you can find an empty space to enjoy the solitude.
Queens University is also down the road. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars in walking distance, and I have not found one that I did not like.
The hotel is also a 15-minute walk to the terminal of Thousand Island cruise tour and Wolfe Island III, which takes you to Wolfe Island for free. During the walk, you bypass the waterfront, city hall and tourism office, which I recommend that you take time to explore.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at Hotel Belvedere and wish I could have stayed longer. The service was friendly and the rooms were grand and beautiful. The quiet ambiance was perfect for me, as an introvert, looking forward to escape from the daily stress. I would return there in a heartbeat if I visit Kingston again.
Have you stayed at Hoel Belvedere before? Share your experience below.
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