Stratford, Ontario is the undisputed home of Canada’s theatre district, and with the newly opened The Bruce Hotel, there’s another wonderful reason to visit this summer. Nestled about an hour and change west of Toronto, this little city is perfect to explore for a weekend, with a vibrant dining and shopping scene only steps from The Bruce Hotel.

The Bruce Hotel Sets the Stage for your next Stratford Adventure

the bruce hotel-grounds
Beautifully landscaped, The Bruce Hotel offers ample outdoor opportunities

Named after the owner, Jen Birmingham’s father, The Bruce Hotel is a tribute to hospitality in its finest form. From the sprawling front lawn landscape, fountain and majestic doorway to the massive oversized rooms and common areas, The Bruce Hotel is a clear deviation from standard hotel spaces.

Of course, that was completely intentional. Twenty-one intuitively designed rooms and four suites comprise the building’s main lodgings. You’ll find The Cottage a very short stroll away, a site reserved for gatherings and groups with its two master suites and living quarters.

Rooms feature every comfort from home…with one notable addition…

The rooms are all gorgeous. Our oversized King Room boasted a bathroom so big you could almost get lost in it, a quiet terrace and cartwheel-worthy living space. It’s big. You gain a sense of airiness and light. It’s a decadent square-footage treat an instant invitation to relax and unwind.

And it is so peacefully quiet. While the hotel itself was buzzing, our room and space were preserved in a hush. Bliss!

Stratford Sets the Score for More to Explore

The landscaped lawns bring out the inner Heather in us all

The throwback notion of providing an intuitive stay, where everything is ready at your beck and call channels that vacation vibe. Grab-and-go pantries are scattered on each floor, making coffee, water and snacks a cinch. But the best signature touch has to be a dedicated cookie button on each phone. Cookies on demand? It’s true. And they’re served quickly, with a deliberate touch of class. And it’s an all-you-can-eat offering. Even a box to-go for tomorrow is part of the experience.

the bruce hotel-cookies
Daily cookies rotate but never disappoint

Executive Chef Jacob Leblanc and his team go to great lengths to impart this feeling to guests. Everything is baked in-house, from cookies to croissants, but even the English muffins crowning the benedict. The food is worthy of a trip here alone.

the bruce hotel stratford-benedict
Crowned with perfectly poached eggs, the Mighty Benedict is arguably the best I’ve ever had

And it is bold. A Spanish Tapas menu, an upcoming Oktoberfest event, or a custom menu for your gang in The Cottage, the team delivers a locally-inspired menu using Huron Perth County ingredients wherever possible. Tea is served with a triple-timer, silently alerting you to pour at the perfect moment. Every detail is an occasion to shine.

the bruce hotel-tea leaves
In partnership with Tea Leaves, The Bruce Hotel has a custom blend built for you

The Restaurant at The Bruce welcomes locals and non-hotel guests, too. Book a table here, through Tock.

Rent a Bike, Row a Boat, or Float in Paradise

Between shows, get your steps in at the gorgeous Shakespearean Gardens, Confederation Park or York Street with its underground walkway. We also stopped by the new Salt Cabin for an oxygen treatment before we caught a show at the world’s smallest cinema. Only in Stratford, it seems, can you do all this in just one day.

the bruce hotel-pool
The Oasis is real. Is this the prettiest pool or is it just us?

Meanwhile, back at the Bruce, a fantastic fitness space and adjacent pool area offer a second wind and a way to burn off all those cookies.

The Bruce Hotel is Ready for your next Stratford Staycation

Female-owned by a seasoned hotelier is just another perk. The details Jen has baked into each corner of this hotel are downright charming. From the artisan mosaic tile artwork in each ensuite to the restored and rehung chandeliers from Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel, the design balances the new build with old-world charm.

And the staff are beyond catering and courteous, and only too happy to help you explore the town. Stratford is home to some of Ontario’s best food, shopping and waterfront walks, so even if you’re not into Shakespeare, there’s still so much to see and do in any season.

Thank you to The Bruce Hotel for hosting. To learn more, or book a room, follow The Bruce Hotel @brucestratford

The Bruce is located at 89 Parkview Drive, Stratford, Ontario.

All images by Libby Roach.