The Smith Hotel: A Church Turned Boutique Lodging in Kingston, Ontario

The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada

The Smith Hotel in Kingston, Ontario

It would be easy to joke about sleeping in church, when you write about The Smith Hotel.

The building that houses this deluxe boutique hotel in the Canadian city of Kingston, in eastern Ontario, is a former 19th-century church, its stately limestone facade and arched Gothic windows still intact.

But The Smith Hotel is no joke. It’s a beautiful contemporary conversion of a historic building into a stylish urban lodging.

Here’s the scoop:

The Smith Hotel

Home to Queen’s University, Kingston is a gateway to Canada’s Thousand Islands region, in between Toronto and Montreal. It was Canada’s first capital, and for a small city, it has lots to do — from a unique tour at the city’s former federal penitentiary to historic sites, such as Fort Henry, to simply strolling its scenic waterfront or browsing its funky shops.

Located on the church’s lower levels, The Smith Hotel has ten loft units, all with full kitchens. Upstairs is a contemporary co-working space called Sanctuary, in a nod to the space’s previous use.

Entering The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada

Welcome to The Smith Hotel

The Smith has automated its guests’ interaction as much as possible. No one greets you when you arrive at the property. In advance of your stay, staff text you a code to access the front door and unlock a lockbox with your key inside. You can phone or text with questions, and staff reply promptly, but no one is physically located on-site.

A guest apartment at The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada

The living area of a Smith unit

Guest Rooms and Amenities

The guest rooms are gorgeous, the kind of space you’d be thrilled to visit if it belonged to your coolest, most design savvy friend. It feels homey, too, with a mid-century modern aesthetic in the living area and a kitchen that’s better equipped than in many people’s homes.

Living area, The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada

Original limestone walls in the units’ living rooms

Each unit comes with a notebook full of local recommendations — restaurants, breakfast spots, bars, music venues, outdoor activities, parks and trails — to help you plan your time in Kingston.

Kitchen, The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada

A well-equipped guest kitchen

The kitchens are stocked with complimentary coffee and tea (with cream in the fridge), as well as a pay-per-snack assortment of nibbles and alcohol, many sourced from around the region.

If you wanted to cook your own meals, you have pots, pans, dishes, glasses, utensils — essentially whatever you’d need. But you’re also just a short walk from downtown Kingston’s numerous restaurants and cafes.

Loft bedroom, The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada

A loft bedroom at The Smith

The units at The Smith Hotel vary in size and shape. Most have one bedroom, with either a queen or king bed; there’s a larger two bedroom unit with two queen beds and a terrace as well.

In general, the bedrooms are upstairs in loft-style spaces that are semi-open to the living area below. I loved the under-bed lighting that creates an inviting glow in the sleeping area.

Guest bath, The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada

Modern, spa-like baths

The bathrooms in the lofts feel spacious and spa-like, with Sangre De Fruta bath products in large, environmentally friendly bottles.

The hotel also has a guest laundry room, useful for longer stays or extended travel.

Note that if you’re not comfortable on stairs, The Smith may not be a good choice. There are stairs from the street to the guest room level, and stairs within each loft between the living area and sleeping space.

But you could easily settle in for a while at these comfortable, deluxe units. Because, yes, here at The Smith Hotel, it’s OK to sleep in church.

The Smith Hotel, Kingston, Ontario Canada


Double room rates at The Smith Hotel start at CAD$350/night, including Wi-Fi and parking in a lot behind the building, with a designated spot reserved for each unit. Compare hotel rates at or your favorite booking site.

Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Tourism Kingston, in partnership with The Smith Hotel, hosted my stay for review purposes.

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