GODERICH – A surprising hotel in a great Ontario beach town.
I’d somehow never set foot in Goderich until last weekend, when I spent a night at the lovely Samuels Hotel. But it’s a place I’d return to for certain; a charming hotel with very good food and friendly staff in a fantastic part of Ontario.
The hotel, part of the Ontario’s Finest Hotels, Inns and Spas collection, is located on a quiet street a two-minute drive from downtown, an old-style neighbourhood where homes have front porhes and owners proudly fly their Canadian flags. It also backs onto the Maitland River. Our room had a small patio with a couple of comfy chairs so we could enjoy the solitude and the wildflowers dancing in the wind along the river’s edge.
The room was bright and modern, with orange-red accents and a big, leather sofa and Neutrogena soap and shampoo and skin lotion in the bathroom. Rooms range from a Queen Village room to a King Jacuzzi Suite and a two-bedroom suite; ideal for families.
They had DVD’s and books you could borrow and plenty of information on the local scene, and all rooms have fireplaces, refrigerators, DVD players, free Wi-Fi and other goodies. If you like, they’ll arrange a bottle of wine and/or appetizers to be in your room when you arrive; a sure-fire way to hike the romance factor.
The Maitland Trail is a terrific hiking trail that runs very close to the property. It’s ideal for winter snowmobiling, too.
Of course, I was here in summer to enjoy my private terrace and the patio, where my wife and I tried some wonderful Ontario wine and a truly sensational appetizer; dumplings filled with duck, mushrooms, ginger and other goodies.
We had our continental breakfast indoors the next morning (the breakfast is included in your room rate) and enjoyed the décor; with deep red walls and colourful, funky art work. They had a nice selection of bagels, fruit, muffins, coffee and more. You also can order a hot breakfast for an extra charge.
The staff and owners are helpful and knowledgeable about the area, and you get very personalized service. With summer rates from $145, it’s a great deal. And a lovely property.
We poked around the town and checked out some nice shops, especially Louise’s Cottage and Home. The town is laid out in a spoke around a central square, where they were having a beer festival.
We also treated ourselves to some of the legendary crème puff donuts at Culbert’s Bakery and tried some awesome butter tart squares. One of the locals sat down and chatted with us about the town and how things have rebounded since the devastating tornado that badly damaged the downtown three years ago.
We topped our evening off with a fine meal at the Beach Street Station, an old train station that they recently moved a couple hundred feet so they’d give patrons a fine view of the Goderich beach and smashing sunsets. They’ve done a great job renovating the place, and it looks great with its polished interior and high ceilings and old-time charm.
We tasted a very nice chicken curry and also some excellent fresh perch and chips and caught a great sunset afterward.
Like I said, a great Ontario town. And a wonderful place to lay your head, too.