A bell-ringer punch of cultural history and contemporary beauty, The Royal Hotel in Picton is special indeed. The 1879-built charmer was meticulously restored by the Sorbara family to tick every travel box. Riveting décor, farm-to-table food and a commitment to sustainability are just a few of the many reasons to reserve now. Read on to take a quick peek at this gorgeous Prince Edward Country hotel’s stunning interior.
Look up! The Royal Dining Room’s custom-made ceiling exudes convivial energy and its sophisticated fins recall the intricacies of a humble mushroom cap. A sprinkling of pendant lights feels warm and inviting, an effect furthered by the large-scale mirrored artwork. The open archway offers a view to the kitchen where the focus is on regional terroir (more on that yumminess later).
Your Own Empire
All of The Royal guest rooms are named after a local apple or pear variety. This beauty is the Empire Suite and you may never want to leave its charms. The fireplace (clad in fluted Panbeton, a lightweight concrete) offers high-impact style and easy warmth. The cozy, neutral sofa is the perfect perch for enjoying the glow or watching a movie, and the exposed claw-foot tub, well, that’s just the cherry on top. Imagine holing up in here during a snow storm – pure bliss.
The Empire’s bathroom scales up shape and simplifies design. The shower’s privacy window is a genius way to let in natural light, while the mosaic’s mix of warm and cool tones lends a dynamic edge. Signature all-natural hand soaps and lotions are handcrafted locally and presented in reusable glass containers (bye-bye, single-use plastics). As for the olfactory appeal, these unguents have the most subtle note of natural bergamot and smell incredibly clean and uplifting.
Breakfast is Served
A designated breakfast nook is just another reason to luxuriate in your room. A built-in banquette and sculptural pendant light layer in contemporary style that’s softened by ample drapery. The veined marble tabletop feels bespoke.
Project Lead Sol Korngold knew that The Royal had to have broad appeal. “We designed the Counter Bar as a meeting place for locals and visitors alike, and it’s really flourishing,” he says. This section of it, chock-a-block with local goodies (hello, Cressy Mustard!), is a snazzy take on open-shelving – note the neat pegs and the how the veined stone punctuates the pale wood.
There is something so inviting about ample seating, especially in a guest room. Here, we see options abound, from sleek built-ins and easy-to-move chairs to a cushy sofa. A nubby rug is a nice foil to all the wood and stone.
This roomy shower offers plenty of decoration ideas, including thinking beyond the all-white bathroom. Pink and peachy tones are a neat way to fend off a chilly edge and the burnished brass hardware warmly furthers the effect. Tiling all the surfaces with this floor-to-ceiling mosaic certainly makes a mark.
The Light Stuff
There are so many eye-catching details to take in at the Parlour Bar, but the light fixture may just steal the show. The Royal’s architect and interior designer Pina Petricone, of Giannone Petricone Associates, says, “It’s by Bocci, a Canadian company, and it’s an armature arrangement of 11 blown-glass spheres in a combination of earth tones.” A perfect way to warmly illuminate County-inspired cocktails and local pours.
Executive Chef Albert Ponzo excels at celebrating regional bounty and dishing up the most comforting of comfort foods. His pizzas (dressed with local cheese and toppings) are on offer every day and, if I were you, I’d order one. Lake-to-plate fish, house-made pastas and locally raised meat round out the crowd-pleasing menu. Much of the seasonal, organic fare is grown at the hotel’s nearby Edwin County Farms.
The Cortland guest room packs a pared-down kind of aesthetic heft. The details are subtle but thoughtful – note how the green of the sconces is repeated in the headboard embroidery and blanket. The earthy tones of the fabrics give the space a rich countenance.
Yawning freestanding tubs, in plain sight no less, are one of the hotel’s most compelling design features. Here, it’s a muscular piece that holds its own, yet its sculptural presence is soft and inviting. Throw in that view to branchy nature and feel the stress start to melt away.
“I love the little, unique details that are reminiscent of The Royal’s Victorian heritage and history,” says Project Lead Sol Korngold. “One of my favourite examples of this is the scalloped edging of the guest room vanities, a nod to the doilies of the time.” The herringbone floors and wooden shutters are a strong counterpoint to this whimsical finish.
The Gala guestroom features a showstopper fireplace clad in stunning Golden Raddix marble. “We added custom-fluted ribbing that wraps around the stone from the living room to bedroom,” says architect Pina Petricone. “The fluting runs deeper as it turns the corners so that the scallops are more visible when sitting in the living room.”
A classical backdrop of extra-wide double-sash windows and traditional wooden shutters is enlivened with distinctively contemporary furniture and lighting. The mix is seamless and inviting.
The charming Russet room layers in a mix of fabrics and candy-apple-red pops of colour to a lively effect. The space feels both rich and fresh, and mod accessories keep the look dynamic. The Royal also offers a full spa, traditional Finnish sauna, library, swimming pool (hello, summer!) and private terrace reserved exclusively for overnight guests.