Once known primarily as a steel town, the Ontario city of Hamilton now has a cool arts district, a great year-round farmers’ market, a worthwhile art museum, and several other attractions that merit a stopover if you’re traveling between Toronto and Niagara Falls. And while you can stay in the city itself, some of the most interesting lodgings are in the surrounding communities.
On a rural road in the village of Ancaster, between Hamilton and the nearby city of Brantford (where Canadian hockey legend Wayne Gretzky was born), owner Shane Burry and his business partner Alan Campbell Moscrop have transformed a suburban home into Serenity Ranch B&B. From the lovely porch overlooking the gardens and fields, to baskets filled with toiletries and lotions, they’ve outfitted this well-managed, centrally air-conditioned lodging with just about anything you might need for a comfortable stay.
While the five guest rooms with quilt-covered beds, pillow-top mattresses, and classic furnishings feel traditional, there’s nothing old-fashioned about the amenities, from complimentary phone calls and Wi-Fi, to flat-screen TVs with DVD players, to remote-controlled lights. A tablet tells you the weather, there’s a safe for your laptop, and plenty of electrical outlets next to the bed and adjacent to the desk let you plug in all your traveling devices.
Each room has a mini-fridge stocked with complimentary beverages and a microwave with free popcorn. Bathrobes, hairdryers, and clock radios are also provided.
Serenity Ranch has a complimentary guest laundry, too — a welcome benefit for long-term travelers and light packers.
Double room rates, which range from CAD$149-179 per night, include a freshly-made Continental breakfast. If you’d like to prepare other meals, you can use the separate guest kitchen, although you can also drive to downtown Hamilton — with plenty of dining options — in less than 20 minutes.
You really don’t need to go anywhere, though. At Serenity Ranch B&B, if there’s anything guests need that Shane and Alan haven’t thought of, well, I haven’t thought of it either. Make your reservations directly with the property or you can compare rates and book through a booking site like Travelocity.
Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, author of the books, Moon Handbooks: Ontario and Living Abroad in Canada. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Serenity Ranch B&B, in partnership with Tourism Hamilton, hosted my stay for review purposes.