I had a business trip to Halifax earlier this winter. Its a city I’ve looked forward to visiting for some time, but I was hoping for a trip in the warmer months. Fortunately, when I visited, it was unseasonably warm, so I was able to explore the city during my limited free time.
view of Halifax Harbor from the Westin
There are various full service hotel options in central Halifax, including a Delta, Radisson, and some non-chain properties. I booked a stay at the Westin Nova Scotian. The property is an older hotel with some unique design features, and many rooms with odd shapes. Many of the rooms and the public areas have been renovated.
I was upgraded to a Harbour View suite at check in. It was basically just adjoining rooms with one room on a corner of the building configured with a couch instead of a bed.
TV/dresser/desk in bedroom
Same furnishings in the second room
couch replacing the bed in the extra room
While the extra space was nice, it wasn’t that functional. The door in the sitting room did not open. The bathroom was attached to the bedroom and was quite small, and not really updated.
The lobby bar was pretty typical of hotel bars, with overpriced drinks, although I did get a certificate for a free glass of wine when I checked in. I had breakfast at the restaurant, Elements a couple of the days. It was fine, and again, pretty typical of hotel restaurants, I go there for convenience rather than any special food.
There is also a small theater in the hotel that has comedy shows. This is more active on weekends, and my stay was mid week.
I had limited free time, and most of it was after dark, but I did my best to venture out and explore the city. I went for a nice run along the waterfront one evening and also tried some local restaurants.
Torch near the enterance to The Bicycle Thief
One evening a colleague and I went to a restaurant near the waterfront which was a short walk away. The Bicycle Thief was suggested to us by a client. The food was excellent, they describe it as “North American Food – Italian Soul”. I would definitely recommend this place if you visit Halifax. Another restaurant suggestion I would pass along for a much more low key experience is Shiraz, which is a tiny little place across Hollis Street from the Westin. They serve tasty Persian food, mostly for take out, as there are only a few tables available.
After my work was concluded, I headed back to the airport, about 40 minutes away from downtown. A toll is required for crossing either of the bridges across the harbor. I had a brief visit at the Maple Leaf Lounge prior to my departure. This lounge was quite small, but offerings are similar to what is available at other Air Canada hubs. I did have some difficulty finding the lounge, but eventually discovered it was one level above departures, accessible via an elevator above the security area.
Halifax Maple Leaf Lounge entry
In all, it was a nice trip to Halifax. I’d still like to return to spend some more time there, maybe for leisure, and definitely in the warmer months with more daylight to enjoy more of the sights.
The Queen is in Halifax! Do you know where she is?