I usually choose my accommodations in Halifax depending on what I want to do, but you must understand that Halifax is quite compact, and it really doesn’t matter where you stay. When I just want to have a nice place to stay at a good price with a few good restaurants just around the corner and with one of the city’s best pubs just two doors down, I tend to choose the Waverley Inn.
The Waverley was built in 1866 as the home of the Chipman family. Edward Chipman’s house was designed to reflect his success as a merchant, but, unfortunately, he went into bankruptcy and his house was sold at auction in 1870. It became the Waverley Hotel, a fine establishment that would attract notables such as Oscar Wilde, P.T. Barnum, George Vanderbilt and many Nova Scotian luminaries. It passed through a number of hands, but for most of its life, the Waverley has operated as a first-class hotel. Today, it is a 3½-star inn.
In booking the Waverley, you will find that there are a number of different price levels attached to the various rooms which range from luxurious to utilitarian. Having stayed at three different rooms in the front of the establishment and one at the back, I can say that they will all have antique furniture and a great ambiance, but I can’t guarantee anything. On this last trip we got the P.T. Barnum room. It was quite nice, with some wonderful furniture and the bathroom had been redone recently with a ceramic-tile floor and a new tub surround as well as a new Victorian pedestal sink. Needless to say, we slept like logs, perhaps encouraged by the hike up the stairs to the third floor (and that is something you might consider when you’re booking--there are three floors and no elevators). Another caveat may be whether or not you are devoted to level floors. There is often a bit of a "pitch" to the floors here.
The Waverley features a number of nice touches--there are cookies and coffee/tea in the lounge from about 4 until 9pm, and a typically European complementary breakfast is served in the Friendship Room in the morning. There seems to be no end of complementary newspapers and in the very-Victorian lounge there is a very un-Victorian computer with web and email access for guests. The "welcome" is always friendly, and the parking is free.
Needless to say, I like the Waverley, and I am very pleased to see that it is being kept up. The front entry, and my room for that matter, featured new birch strip flooring and the elegant stairway to the second floor from the lobby has also been redone. As much as I like Halifax, I find that it is getting a little "pricey". The Waverley is a way to keep it reasonable and still have a nice time. Go to The Waverley.