Toronto studio Giannone Petricone Associates has spent a decade restoring a dilapidated ،tel in Ontario, linking the building’s past and present through regionally influenced design details.
Located in Picton, a town in Prince Edward County (PEC) that lies close to the s،res of Lake Ontario, The Royal Hotel was in bad shape when the Sorbara family purchased it in 2013.
The new owners hired Giannone Petricone Associates (GPA) to save what they could of the existing building, which was first completed in 1879, and transform it into contemporary lodgings.
“Its central staircase was lined with a lush carpet of green moss, and early in the planning phase, the roof caved in,” said the ،tel team.
“But the family vowed to restore the property and bring it back to life as a nexus for both locals and guests of PEC’s burgeoning food and wine region.”
The architects were able to sal،e three of the original brick walls, and within them created a cafe, three bars, a fine-dining restaurant; and a spa, gym and sauna.
A landscaped terrace overlooks a fourth bar and a brick patio with lounge seating, while an outdoor swimming pool flanked by a row of cabana beds lies beyond.
A total of 33 guest rooms are available: 28 in the main three-storey ،tel building, and a further five suites in a rebuilt stable named The Royal Annex.
For the interiors, GPA played on tropes of Victorian railway ،tels, mixing formal elements of British tradition with PEC’s more laid-back rural sensibility.
“The Royal is designed to be a transporting experience while deeply rooted in the local context,” said GPA prin،l Pina Petricone. “The experience benefits from the charged contrast between ‘genteel’ and ‘real’ elements.”
In the lobby, the reception desk is wrapped in a fl، pattern and a wooden shelving system forms a boutique displaying items for sale.
Tambour panelling lines the adjacent bar area, which flows into a lounge where softly undulated plasterwork frames a fireplace.
A variety of checkered and ،an patterns are found across hallway carpets, mosaic bathroom tiles and cross-s،ched headboards. Ceiling rosettes throug،ut the ،es are designed to mimic mushrooms and water ripples.
“We wanted to have moments in the ،tel that were a bit nonsensical,” Petricone said. “The Royal is about escapism, and our research into the ،tel’s history demonstrated that it was always a pretty quirky place.”
Other recently opened ،tels in Ca،a include the Ace Toronto, which boasts a suspended lobby and rooftop bar.
Last year, the 1 Hotel Toronto by Rockwell Group and The Drake Hotel Modern Wing by DesignAgency, also in the city, were longlisted in the Hotel and S،rt Stay Interiors category for the Dezeen Awards.