Hotel Review: Smuggler’s Cove Inn, Lunenburg, NSPosted by in Travel
Lunenburg is a lovely little town on the Nova Scotia coast and is convenient to Mahone Bay and Peggy’s Cove, as well as being not far from Halifax, making it a great location. You can also drive a few hours and get to the Bay of Fundy or out to Digby. I had a lot of difficulty finding available lodging in Nova Scotia for the September week we visited. I soon learned that’s because the place is overrun with tour groups all fall. Many of those buses deposited people overnight in Lunenburg, making it tricky to find a room. I found success with the Smuggler’s Cove Inn though.
I didn’t have high hopes for this inn based on their website. Although the rooms themselves looked comfortable, one of their main photos is of a view of other buildings which did make me worried since they had no other photos showing a view (note to the inn: change that photo). The room I reserved was with an ocean view, so I was hopeful. Our rate was $199 per night, Canadian (a bargain with the exchange rate).
The Inn itself does not look inviting from the outside. It’s in a large corner building that is lacking in character (and in UNESCO World Heritage Site Lunenburg, this is unusual). The lobby is on the main floor, sandwiched between a restaurant and a shop. The rooms are all on the upper floors. There are stairs and an elevator.
I was pleased with our room. The bed and furnishings were attractive and comfortable. We did have a view of the harbor, slightly obstructed with some buildings, but it was enough to make me happy. The room had a mini fridge, coffee maker, and a window-style air conditioner built into the wall (and we did need it even though it was September). The bathroom was very small (toilet, corner shower, and pedestal sink), but bright and clean. Overall I would rate the room as quite comfortable but not luxurious. However, I’ll call them out for the ugly poster that was on the wall in our room. It didn’t fit the style and character of the room or the inn and it was just ugly and out of place.
The best part of the inn is its location. You can easily walk to the harbor, to the shops and restaurants, or to the historic area. The town is quite small and walkable and the inn is positioned well to take advantage of it. The inn does have parking kitty-corner across the street as well as an unloading spot in front of the lobby. Parking can be tricky in town, so this is an important feature.
I found the inn a bit lacking in a few other ways. There is no breakfast included, although we were given one day’s worth of coupons for $3 off our breakfasts at the restaurant next door. Fortunately, several of the restaurants in town offer breakfast, so we were able to fuel up easily each morning. While the inn has an elevator, on our floor there were a couple sets of small stairs in a few places where we had to haul our luggage up and down to get to our room. Our room opened off of a living room area with chairs and a couch. Unfortunately, the day we arrived it had been co-opted by a large group of rowdy guests who had made it into their person cocktail party area. They were loud and messy. Although they left for dinner, they were also loud when they returned at night. There was a wide swath under our door that let in noise and light from this common area. After the first night, I stuffed pillows in front of the door to stop the light from shining into our room and to try to stop any noise from bothering us. We also had some trouble with noise outside on the street. One night we slept with windows open and were awakened several times by shouting, music, sirens, or cars starting up. With the air conditioner on, we didn’t notice the outside noise.
The front desk was closed when we checked out at 8 am in the morning, so we had to just leave our key on the desk and head out on our merry way. If you’re looking for accommodations in the area, the Smuggler’s Cove Inn is an affordable and comfortable solution.
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