Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tourism Best Practice Mission - Day 4

Yesterday morning we checked out of the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, VA and began making our way up the valley. Yes even though we were heading south we have been told that we are going up the valley. We travelled many miles on the bus through much of the countryside of the valley and through the mountain areas in the Shanandoah National Park. There were a number of stops throughout the day to meet with various individuals and learn more about how they are using the Shenandoah Valley, and in particular the park to market their area as a tourism destination. We had lunch at one of the hotels in the park high atop the mountains along what they call the Skyline Drive. The view from the hotel overlooking the valley below was spectacular.

Eventually we ended up in Staunton, VA where we checked in to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, which like the George Washington Hotel has been retored through a public/private partnership. It is a beautiful hotel that was originally built in 1924 and is located in the heart of the City. Last night we had dinner at a busy local restaurant called the Mill Street Grill, located in an old flour mill building. They are famous for their ribs. They also had a jazz band performing that certainly livened things up.

Tonight we are visiting the Blackfriar Theatre located beside the hotel to see what has been created there. We are told it is an excellent recreation of a Shakespearean Theatre, and is another example of a project that resulted through a public/private project. Following that we are off to experience another local restaurant called of all things "The Dining Room".

Tomorrow we are up bright and early to board the bus and begin making our way further south to Charlottesville to the home of President Thomas Jefferson, and then on to our final stop in Richmond.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tourism Best Practice Mission - Day 1

I have the privilage this week of participating in a Tourism Best Practice Mission to the Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia. The mission is focused on "Iconic Touring Product" and how a region in Virginia has capitalized on it to develop and grow it's tourism industry.

Today I flew from Halifax to Washington Dulles airport where after a number of delays I eventually linked up with a many of my fellow participants to be shuttled to the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, Virginia where we first met as a group for dinner. The itinerary for the week ahead is quite full, but looks like it will be quite interesting and applicable for our region of Nova Scotia.

I will make a few more posts during the coming week to share some of what we have experienced.

Open For The Season!!

Val and I are very excited to be open again. We are anxious to receive visitors, whether returning or first timers. There appears to be some optimizism in people again that the economy is beginning to rebound somewhat. This is evidenced by an increase in reservation activity, especially out of the USA.

Once again this year there will be lots to see and do in the Annapolis Royal region and we will endeavour to keep you up to date as things are approaching. We have just started sending out a regular e-newsletter. If you would like to be added to the distribution list please send along an email.

Visit the Hillsdale House Inn website or the Special Offers & Packages section of our blog from time to time to see what's new.

We hope to see you this season in Annapolis Royal.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One week left

Well things have been busy around the Inn for the past week as we prepare it for opening just one week from today. Val and I, and the rest of our team, have been hard at work spitting and polishing. img_7049Okay, I didn't really catch anyone spitting, but you get the idea. The scrapers and paint brushes have been out as well doing all those little touchups that are required. img_7064Val and I also decided to finally take on the challenge of stripping and painting the floor in the painted room, as we will be setting up our office in there this season and moving the desk out of the kitchen.

Things are starting to green up outside and the buds are getting bigger on the Magnolia bushes. Hopefully they will be in full bloom for the Magnolia Festival taking place in Annapolis Royal in May. Once the indoor cleaning in completed early next week it will be time to move outdoors to tackle the yard and tune up the lawn mower.

Spring really does come much earlier in our part of the province than in others, so you should consider planning a little getaway in the coming weeks. In fact, we have just added a few new packages to our Special Offers & Packages page that we hope will entice you to check us out.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Calling all Golfers

[caption id="attachment_187" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="View from the 18th Tee of the Annapolis Royal Golf & Country Club"]View from the 18th Tee of the Annapolis Royal Golf & Country Club[/caption]

The flags are in again early this year and the Annapolis Royal Golf & Country Club opened for the 2009 season on Saturday, April 4th. Opening day was filled with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-teens. A few of the local juniors were even seen playing in shorts and short sleeve shirts.
To help all those anxious golfers who have been itching to get back out since the Fall the Hillsdale House Inn has partnered with the Annapolis Royal Golf Course to provide a couple value priced Spring golf packages. Check out our Special Offers & Packages page for details.

Established in 1925, the course can be considered an historic institution in its own right. In 1992, the course was expanded to a full 18-holes based on the same principles that made the previous course such a pleasure and challenge to play.

Today, the course displays a rare combination of inviting (but not wide open) forest-fringed fairways, natural water hazards, and tricky approach shots without the pretension of an overly tailored course.

We invite you to take advantage of these special offers to discover one of the less known golf courses in Nova Scotia. You will also have the opportunity to explore the first permanent European settlement in North America and the original capital of Nova Scotia, Annapolis Royal.