Affordable Travel Guide to Gingerbread House Inn

Charm and Character in One of Nova Scotia’s Prettiest Towns

Gingerbread House Inn

Built in Victorian times as an apple barn, the Gingerbread House Inn has long since evolved to be an eight-room classic, popular accommodation (seven rooms are in operation at this time). The inn’s trademark image is its gingerbread trim, painted in white, salmon pink, lavender and grey, stops passersby in their tracks; many a photograph has been taken of this dramatic property. What lies within is what draws people to hunker down at the inn.

For a town of 3,500, central to agricultural zones in the eastern Annapolis Valley, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, stands as a unique place; in September, the population doubles thanks to the influx of eager young minds who arrive to attend Acadia University. The university is Canada’s oldest, and boasts small class sizes, but what it gives to the culture of Wolfville is what distinguishes it from other maritime towns of this size. Equally unique is the Gingerbread House Inn, situated at the western edge of the university property.

Very Personal Service

The current owners hail from Bermuda, and have operated the Gingerbread House Inn for 11 years. Knowing their clientele comprises two distinct sectors of travel, they have three standard rooms that serve university visitors and families, and their big draw, four suites with in-room hot tubs, ideal for a romantic getaway. Indeed, a huge amount of the inn’s guests are couples from Halifax, and Moncton and Fredericton (New Brunswick), who want an escape from the daily grind.

A Unique Room for Everyone

Each room is different, all decorated with a theme, and guests enjoy repeated visits, staying in a different room every time. But the largest, and accordingly most costly, room is the Gaspereau Suite (named after the adjacent, stunning, Gaspereau Valley); it’s huge, with a king bed, extra-large hot tub and wet bar. Once the carriage house, it retains that sensibility and it’s a top choice for couples, especially for honeymoons. And it gets booked out well in advance. The Gaspereau room can be cheaper if you stay mid-week, off-season (and yes, winter here is normally quite mild by Canadian standards).

If Gaspereau is booked, then try the Annapolis suite, an elegant, understated room at the far end of the inn, very quite and with a sun-lit south façade. It, too, boasts a hot tub, as do the Country and Sunrise suites. Guests will enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, prepared by chef Alan. If you have a pet, the standard room called l’Acadie provides pet-friendly accommodations.

Easy Access to Everything!

The location of the Gingerbread House Inn is one of its strong points. Guests can walk downtown for shopping in the superb boutiques (you won’t find many chain stores in this place!) like Wild Lily and Casa Bella. And the galleries, the best of which is Harvest Gallery; this is a haven for art lovers, and all of the works are for sale. Or dining at one of Wolfville’s fabulous restaurants like Privet House or Front & Central. This town is home to a gourmet food shop and green grocer called Pete’s; not to be missed! The old harbour is no longer in use, but a park and gazebo make it a great spot to watch the drama of the Minas Basin tides and go for a long walk.

The Gingerbread House Inn is not only well situated to serve downtown and the university, but it’s about an hour from many of the province’s most famous and delightful attractions and towns. In a one-hour drive, you can be in the city of Halifax, historic Mahone Bay, colorful Lunenburg or Annapolis Royal, the only town in Canada that is a designated heritage site. In a little more than that, you’ll be able to access artsy Bear River, Digby (be sure to get some fresh scallops!), Burntcoat Head, home of the highest tides on the planet, and the attractive small city of Truro. A mere 20 minutes away is the breathtaking Hall’s Harbour, home of one of the world’s largest lobster pounds, and with a view (and beach) to die for. The inn is a perfect spot to stay for an extended period; it is central to the best of Nova Scotia.

Even More Affordable at Certain Times

A place for lovers, scholars and travelers to rest and rejuvenate, the Gingerbread House Inn is rich with details, character and individuality. Cheap accommodations can be had by choosing a standard room, mid-week between November and April. While Nova Scotia is filled with opportunities for camera bugs, this inn is one of its most frequently photographed buildings.

The owners, Alan and Libby, are great explorers themselves, and they can suggest all sorts of day trips and outings, such as rock-hounding on the Bay of Fundy shore (you might find amethyst!), or hiking Cape Split, or touring the local UNESCO World Heritage Site, Grand Pré, once home to an Acadian village. While you’re there, be sure to visit one of the 15 local wineries, and try the fabulous sparking wines and world-class L’Acadie Blanc. You might want to tarry longer.

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