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Travel + Design: The Royal Hotel

Prince Edward County’s restored, Victorian-era hotel has a modern Annex that’s perfect for a private getaway

By Christy Wright

The Annex, along with The Royal’s bevy of bespoke perks – you know, a blissed-out spa, toothsome polpette, a fireside library – boasts another rather delightful commodity for a hotel: privacy. “We designed The Annex for a more discreet experience, and for those who wish to be away from the public areas of The Royal,” says Pina Petricone, principal at Toronto’s Giannone Petricone Associates (the firm behind the rebuild and restoration of the Victorian-era hotel in Picton, which opened its doors in spring 2022).

The Royal Hotel in Picton, Prince Edward County
The historic Bosc room offers everything you need for a relaxing night in, including a lounge area and dining table.

At 6,800-square-feet, The Annex is set behind The Royal Hotel on the spot once occupied by the Prince Edward County hotel’s original, and long-since demolished, stables. “Unlike the heritage structure of the hotel, nothing of the original stables building remained, so we decided that it was essential to create a contrast between The Royal and this auxiliary building,” says Petricone. The result is a mix of street-level gallery/exhibition space and five second-floor guest rooms imagined with longer, lingering stays in mind (each has a wet bar and toaster oven, some have dining and sitting areas). It’s also a design feat – think a contemporary reiteration of cocoon-like coziness.

The Royal Hotel in Picton
Stay-in breakfasts are made more comfortable with an in-suite kitchenette.

“The exterior is our clean and modern interpretation of a barn,” says The Royal general manager Sol Korngold. “The unfettered lines and uniform materials allow the building to stand out. It’s a modern approach that moves away from the hotel’s Victorian history and follows a more Scandinavian sensibility.” Inside, hyper-mod meets hygge for a mashup that is dynamic. Clean lines and concrete floors share the space with plush drapery, tactile chandeliers crafted from industrial wool-felt, custom quilts hung behind headboards and wide-weave rugs that layer in softness underfoot. Walnut panels in rich toffee shades act as room dividers.

Reading Nook
A cozy reading nook makes a great place for a splash of colour.

For all its undeniable appeal, The Royal Hotel’s Annex is more than an alternative to traditional guest rooms. “We had already bought The Royal Hotel when the building where The Annex now stands came up for sale, so it was an obvious purchase,” says Korngold. Bonus: the new acquisition also opened up space for guest parking and some resort-like amenities, including a garden and pool area.

Bathroom sink in the Annex room in Picton
Scandinavian-inspired design elements make for a spa-like ensuite experience.

All of the hallmarks of a reassuringly comfortable inn are firmly in place at The Royal Hotel in Picton. There are Italian bed linens, duvet-wrapped feather pillows, blackout blinds and Dyson hair dryers, along with PEC touches such as locally made, all-natural Telford Basics toiletries. The mix of features feels in step with the design. Petricone says, “The Annex was envisioned as a romanticized shed, so it’s anchored to the farming context of the County, but in a fresh way that expands and solidifies a new contemporary voice.” And, luckily for travellers, offers a stylish getaway worthy of repeat bookings.

Bartlett suite
At the Royal Hotel in Picton, guests can enjoy the comfort and elegance of the Bartlett guest rooms, which feature your choice of a queen or king-sized bed dressed in Italian linens.

For more information, visit THEROYALHOTEL.CA

IF YOU GO

The Royal Hotel Main Street Shopping

Picton’s Main Street delights with an array of shops. Bibliophiles will flock to Books & Company; and Field Made Goods is a must for contemporary ceramics and all-natural scents.

PEC Maison Depoivre Gallery

MD Gallery, located in WWII barracks, offers a roster of rotating exhibits showcasing works from photography to paintings by local and visiting artists.

Prince Edward County coffee

Luso Bites

In Main Street’s Armoury building, this snack bar/café will make you feel like you’re in Porto. It’s a perfect spot to refuel with a coffee and enjoy a traditional rissóis de camarão.

bottle of wine graphics

Parsons Brewing Company

Complete with a taproom, bottle shop and food menu, Parsons prides itself on locality and sustainability — serving a menu of unmissable pours.

Picton birdhouse city

Birdhouse City

A short walk from downtown, this is a unique outdoor space with nearly 100 working birdhouses. Each is handcrafted and most are models of famous local or landmark buildings.


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