Inside the Royal Hotel’s five-year restoration

Inside the Royal Hotel’s five-year restoration

Left derelict for more than a decade, Prince Edward County’s the Royal has been given a second life with a thoughtful restoration. For the hotel’s grand reopening in early 2022, new owner and first-time hoteliers Greg Sorbara and Sol Korngold painstakingly redid the exterior with imported bricks. Inside, the decay was too far gone, and architects Giannone Petricone Associates reimagined the space, blending sleek design with gentle nods to the building’s Victorian heritage. Now, the hotel is a nexus for spontaneous adventurers: the concierge can arrange local excursions, including foraging trips and wine tastings. Here’s a look inside.

The façade was repaired with bricks from the Netherlands to match the 1879 originals:

Here’s the lobby, which features cross-stitch, doily and tartan motifs as a nod to the building’s heritage:

And the reception desk:

The Counter Bar is open for all-day snacking:

Sit-down meals can be procured at the elegant Dining Room, the chef-d’œuvre of the hotel’s main floor. The 120-seat space is presided over by a folded porcelain chandelier, hanging from a fin ceiling:

Toronto escapee Albert Ponzo (formerly of Le Sélect) heads up the kitchen, cooking elevated Italian plates using hyper-local ingredients (most of the restaurant’s ingredients are grown at the hotelier’s family farm):

Try the beef polpette, topped with fennel ($15):

And wash it down with the County G&T, with barrel-aged Kinsip gin, house tonic, soda and lime ($20):

The inn has 33 rooms, starting at $369, with a cozy, quiet place to recharge—far, far away from city sirens and construction—with modern touches including gas fireplaces, herringbone white oak floors and wooden rocking chairs:

Large sash windows flood the Royal Gala Suite with natural light. Exhibitionists will delight in the window-adjacent soaker tub:

For longer stays, guests can decamp to the annex—originally a stable on the grounds—where the suites have wet bars and living rooms:

Overnight guests get complimentary access to the Royal’s gym and spa, which includes a traditional Finnish sauna:

Patrons can sluff off traffic-induced tension with a 60-minute Tuscan Thermal Mud Wrap at the on-site spa ($165):