Travel

Travelling with Pets: Halifax

The 4.5-Star Westin Nova Scotian is likely the nicest and most central hotel in Halifax that welcomes four legged folks like me. Having said that, this particular Starwood property needs a makeover inside and out. Proper lighting would do wonders to make this hotel shine like it did in its glory days as a CN Hotel.

What surprised me the most is they had no idea I was coming despite advising them during our reservation. They kept us waiting until they were able to sort out a new room on one of their pet-friendly designated floors.

What it lacks in organization and in style, it makes up for in friendliness of its staff and in amenities for animal guests. A number of the hotel staff greeted me every day. Facing the hotel is Cornwallis Park, named after the British founder of Halifax who had a questionable stance against Mi’kmaq aboriginals. 

Our Harbour-View corner room, on the north-east side, is decorated in muted colours and is spacious but looks a little tired. I did find cruelty-free hotel toiletries, a pair of courtesy dog bowls and a “Heavenly Dog Bed” which is almost as heavenly as the bed for my dads.

There’s also a nice long chaise for me to perch on to enjoy the scenery from the comfort of my Westin day bed. The windows need a good cleaning but they do open to let in fresh coastal breezes – even if the exterior mechanicals are a tad noisy when the windows are opened!

My dads tell me that the pool here is not as nice as the Chateau Frontenac’s but the gym is bigger and better equipped. The chilled and hot breakfast buffet with omelette & waffle station are well priced for a hotel restaurant.

The top feature of this hotel may be its location. Within short walking distance is a supermarket so, my dad can get me whatever I need.

Behind the hotel is the Halifax Seaport with a vibrant market on Saturdays with farm vendors, baked goods, local crafts and food stalls. This market is Canada’s longest running –  since 1750.  Next to that is Pier 21 where my dad’s great grandfather arrived in Canada. To the north of the hotel is a wonderful harbour boardwalk with ships, museums, shops and restaurants.

The Westin Nova Scotian has a special place in one of my dads’ heart. One of his first interior design job was this very hotel over 25+ years ago. I think Mr. Westin should hire him again to make it hip and happening, and worthy of  Starwood Preferred Guests.

Westin Nova Scotia

Room Rate: Harbour View Corner Room $159 (low season) or $219 (high season)
In Room Wifi: Free
Parking: Valet $22/day, Self Parking $18/day
Pet Policy: Small pets. No pet housekeeping charge. Designated pet-friendly rooms are located from 1st to 5th floor.
Roxie’s Review: 3 paws up out of 5 for the hotel. And as for Halifax, 4 paws up out of 5.

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