The Drake Devonshire opened its doors in Wellington, Prince Edward County in 2014 for an extended preview of their guest rooms, lakeside restaurant, fireside lounge and glass cube recreation room. Although the hotel has not officially opened, they are already boasting a strong local turnout for weekly events and many city visitors. I stayed in the "Stargazer" room last week and Naomi and Afie joined me for a final day of county rambling.
The property was first developed as a foundry back in 1860 and in the late 1800's it was expanded and converted into a home by W.P. Niles. Many features from his Victorian-era renovation are still present today including the oak staircase and stained glass windows. The 20th century saw the house serve as bed and breakfast, nursing home and mink breeding business. In 1974, Larry and Karen Arbuckle christened the place Devonshire Inn, a name maintained by the Drake when they purchased the property in 2012.
The renovation and expansion of this historic building has been executed with care and precision. The mandate of the Drake was to meld the city into county style and this they have accomplished while respecting and referencing original features. I was particularly taken with the variety of floor treatments, especially the wool carpeting set into the hardwood. The extensive art collection on display was curated by Mia Nielsen, and we were thrilled to see a large piece by Jennifer Murphy in pride of place.