Trout Point Lodge, Nova Scotia’s memorable luxury vacation experience…
By John and Sandra Nowlan
When safe travel resumes, there’s likely to be continued skepticism about boarding a plane, taking a cruise, or staying at a crowded resort.
But if the idea of staying in a remote, luxurious wilderness lodge has appeal, Nova Scotia may have the answer. The province is just a day’s drive from most of New England.
Trout Point Lodge was built in 2000 from giant white spruce logs, chiseled granite, and local sandstone. It’s located along the Tusket River system in the most remote part of southern Nova Scotia. There’s no cell phone service, and there are no room TVs for the lodge’s 24 pampered guests. But it does have good wi-fi and a fine library.
An Authentic (and Luxurious) Canadian Wilderness Experience
A member of the very exclusive “Small Luxury Hotels of the World,” Trout Point gives visitors an authentic Canadian wilderness experience. That unique experience comes with luxury touches like riverside saunas and hot tubs, Tiffany lamps, oriental rugs, handmade furniture (no two pieces alike), and large comfortable rooms with fireplaces. Best of all, it also includes creative cuisine by a great chef and an outstanding wine list.
Upon arriving, we were greeted with friendly smiles, a glass of red or white wine, and then given a brief tour.
We passed the Great Room with its cathedral ceiling, giant fireplace, comfortable but unique furniture, a well-stocked bar (being in New Scotland, the Scotch choices were excellent), and the entertainment area where Acadian and other local musicians perform on many evenings.
The large sun porch just off the Great Room (most suites also have a private porch) faces the pristine river, the large fire pit, and the boardwalk stretching along the riverbank.
Large and Comfortable Rooms
Our room was large and very comfortable with custom made furniture, a safe, bedside reading lights, bathrobe and slippers, and a well-equipped, bright bathroom with shower, tub, and L’Occitane toiletries.
The fireplace had already been laid for potential cool evenings, and a double door led to our riverside porch with chairs and a lounger. The lodge even provided us with a picnic lunch we could enjoy on our porch. We were told that tap water comes from a spring and was very safe for drinking.
Receiving a top rating from “Best Green Hotels” and “Best Eco Hotels of the World,” Trout Point Lodge offers a wide variety of activities, both relaxing and more active. The lodge has canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards which can be launched into a tranquil part of the river.
Trout Point Lodge: Certified by UNESCO
Located in a remote area far from city lights, Trout Point Lodge is the world’s first “Starlight Hotel,” certified by UNESCO and home to North America’s darkest skies. A resident astronomer guides guests on clear nights to a raised platform where a telescope is placed for observation of the wonders of the Milky Way, moon, constellations, and planets.
In the daytime, hikers are right at home, and we took one of the well-marked trails that meander along the edges of the Tobiatic Game Reserve, the largest remaining wild area in the three Maritime Provinces. Nothing but the sounds of nature.
The most popular and relaxing activity is called Forest Bathing. It’s an ancient, therapeutic Japanese tradition and was a perfect fit for our wilderness location.
Accompanied by a guide, we were invited to go barefoot, walk slowly and quietly over a small bridge, along a river and lakeside trail, listen for bird sounds, look around for unusual flora and fauna, and, finally, to stop by the river for tea brewed on a camp stove using fir tips and wintergreen leaves picked along the way. It was delicious and totally in harmony with our surroundings.
Superb Dining and Wining at Trout Point Lodge
Delicious also describes the Trout Point dining experience, with some of the most creative, fresh, and tasty cuisine we’ve ever enjoyed in Eastern Canada. The lodge has its own herb garden and gets supplies from local farmers (beef, pork, lamb, and vegetables) and Yarmouth area fishers.
In addition to unique cocktails and the superb wine list (a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past 11 years), diners can take the time to enjoy delicacies like ocean perch, pork belly and monkfish appetizers, foam soup of fall herbs, and entrees like wild halibut, seared duck breast and tender chateaubriand for two.
“Worth a Visit No Matter What the Season”
In 2018, the original owners sold the lodge to Pamela and Patrick Wallace. They had stayed at the property and loved its quality, charm, and remote location. In previous years the area had been scattered with a few small fishing camps, but the Wallaces realized that many North American and European city dwellers would love to stay “in the middle of nowhere” if luxury, pampering, and great dining could be a key part of their pleasure.
Until coronavirus hit, the lodge had been a great investment with solid bookings in 2018 and 2019. The Covid crisis, with restricted travel to Atlantic Canada, closed many hotels in the spring of 2020, but Nova Scotia residents discovered the unique property in the summer, so with proper sanitation, masks, and guest spacing in place, the lodge has been full all fall.
Trout Point Lodge will be closed this winter but will emerge in the spring of 2021 with several improvements in facilities and services. Pamela and Patrick Wallace have plans to make the lodge a year-round luxury experience, trusting that the vaccine will be finally bring tourism levels back to normal. They take guidance from a New York Times review of the property shortly after it opened: “Worth a visit no matter what the season.”
– John and Sandra Nowlan are travel and food writers based in Halifax
If You Go to Trout Point Lodge:
Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia
189 Trout Point Road
East Kemptville, Nova Scotia B5a 5×9
Tel: (902) 761-2142