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Concierge Q&A

Concierge Q&A

Born and raised in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Ian lives to create memorable experiences for guests of The Great George, Charlottetown’s only Luxury Historic Boutique Hotel.  A proud member of Les Clefs d’Or Canada and recent winner of Tourism HR Canada’s Tourism Employee of the Year, Ian is overjoyed to be building relationships and gaining knowledge of Halifax and all that Nova Scotia has to offer. 

What’s one event no visitor to the Halifax area should miss this month?
A powerhouse performer with a giant soul-filled voice and commanding stage presence, Matt Andersen has built a formidable following the old-fashioned way: touring worldwide and letting his stunned audiences and new devotees spread the good word of his righteous tunes all over. Don’t miss this award-winning Canadian soul-bluesman performing at the Dalhousie Arts Centre on June 22–23 at 8pm.

Excluding your property, what spot do you recommend for a weekend brunch with friends?
Bistro le Coq pairs classic French comfort food with a large selection of fine wines in an atmosphere that can’t help but charm. Classic hors d’oeuvres from escargot to Ocean Wise-certified moules et frites are perfect for sharing, and the mains offer even more French flair. In the sunny dining room, Le Salon, the weekend brunch will put bacon and eggs to shame. You really haven’t lived until you’ve tried eggs benedict on a duck-fat rösti!

Where can visitors find a unique Nova Scotian gift?
Historic Properties is a balance between historic and contemporary. The spirit of Halifax is present within the site and modern restaurants, boutiques, and services offer unique local goods that can’t be found elsewhere in the city. With its charming historic buildings, the properties are a Provincial Heritage Site housed with hundreds of years of Halifax history. At Historic Properties you will find unique shops, dining, and true East Coast entertainment!

What’s a great way to spend a rainy day downtown?
Immerse yourselves in arts and science at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Discovery Centre . The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has over 17,000 works in its permanent collection, plus many exhibits featuring Canadian and international works throughout the year. At the Discovery Centre, “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) comes to life through fun, interactive learning experiences. The Discovery Centre includes exhibits, galleries, innovation labs and the Dome Theatre, where you can marvel at the wonders of the world and beyond.

What’s an off-the-beaten-path day-trip destination visitors should explore?
Arguably, there is no site more iconic in Nova Scotia than Peggy’s Cove, the small fishing village an hour west of Halifax. The lighthouse perched on top of the rocks, overlooking the rolling waves, is one of the most photographed and visited sites in the country. It’s charm not only comes from the rustic and mostly undeveloped appearance, but the local fisherman and shopkeepers who are more than happy to share their stories with you and make your trip to Nova Scotia all the more memorable.

Concierge Q&A

TrevorProude

Trevor Proude is head concierge at the newly renovated The Hollis: A DoubleTree Suites by Hilton. He’s a member of Les Clefs d’Or and the new director of the Les Clefs d’Or Atlantic region. The organization promotes guest-service expertise worldwide.

Q: What’s the best way to get into the holiday spirit in Halifax?
A: Neptune Theatre is performing It’s a Wonderful Life throughout the holiday season. It’s a great start to get the family in the mood for the holidays.

Q: What’s a great place to find a unique gift in Halifax?
A: Inkwell Modern Handmade Boutique and letterpress studio on Brunswick Street carries specialty printed paper products and handmade gifts. There is also Argyle Fine Art on Barrington Street; it’s one of the city’s most progressive contemporary galleries, showcasing emerging artists.

Q: What’s your favourite spot to enjoy a Nova Scotian craft beer?
A: The craft brewing scene in Halifax is exploding. I would suggest trying 2 Crows Brewing on Brunswick Street, Good Robot Brewing on Robie Street, and also The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar. They specialize in brews made in Prince Edward Island not to mention great food and friendly atmosphere.

Q: What do you recommend for a family whiling away a blustery day in Halifax?
A: Try the Seven Bays Bouldering cafe and rock climbing centre on Gottingen Street in the North End. It’s a fun place for the family for breakfast combined with a little extra adventure.

Q: What do you recommend for visitors who want to experience a unique attraction, restaurant, or shop that they won’t find in the guide books?
A: A couple suggestions come from my fellow Les Clefs d’Or concierges in Halifax. First we have The Kitchen Table on Gottingen Street: a unique dining experience offering an eight-course tasting menu using local and foraged ingredients. Great reviews from our hotel guests. Another best-kept secret is the Bar Kismet on Gottingen Street, a small 30-seat restaurant known for hand-crafted cocktails and seafood appetizers.