The B&B I had researched on TripAdvisor.com (Marigold) was booked, so they recommended the Blockhouse Hill B&B. I’ll never go anywhere else. Between the location, the hospitality, the breakfasts and the value - you can’t do better. I would actually plan my vacation around this place.
The good news is that they’ve only got two rooms, so it’s cozy. Hosts Marion& Fred Evans are like grandparents – the ones you liked. They’re warm and receptive when you feel like company, but know how to give you space when you want it. Having never been to Halifax and not wanting a car, I thought I should stay downtown and was worried that the Blockhouse would be a hassle. I quickly discovered, however, that the Blockhouse is MUCH better than downtown – just a hop, skip and jump across the harbor on the little passenger ferries (a $2.25 metro ticket buys you 90+ consecutive minutes anywhere in the transit system, including the ferries which depart every 15 – 30 mins). After spending the day hoofing around downtown, it’s wonderful to sit on the top ferry deck for the 10-minute ride across the harbor, and only 5 short blocks from the Dartmouth terminal to the Blockhouse (no sweat unless you are disabled, in which case I’ll bet Fred or Marion might pick you up). Going the other direction, you get to devour the Halifax cityscape and the ferry drops you at Halifax’s main focal point where you can easily walk or take buses to everything.
Marion loves to bake and the breakfasts show it – homemade jams, bread, rolls granola, omelets, bacon…I’m gaining weight just thinking about it. I guarantee that you won’t want breakfast anywhere else. Also, at breakfast, you can compare notes with the other guests to see what they’ve discovered – you might even end up going somewhere together. Fred is a retired CPA, so if you like numbers, knock yourself out.
Fast wireless Internet is included (faster than I get in Los Angeles). If you have a car, it looks like you could park it on the street for free and if you don’t have a car, buses seem to depart to everywhere from the Dartmouth ferry terminal. You can also rent a bike from Ideal Bikes (902-444-RIDE), in Halifax, and take it on the ferry.
If you want a break from downtown Halifax, stay on the Dartmouth side because the Blockhouse’s immediate neighborhood has good places within easy walk. A great coffee house (“Two if By Sea”), a spa (“Interlude”), and a neat restaurant (“Ma Belle’s”) are a block-and-a-half away on Ochterloney Street; the Celtic Corner Pub, across from the Dartmouth Ferry Terminal, is decent and I definitely suggest a meal on their open rooftop. As for the rest of Dartmouth retail, it seems to have been pretty much decimated by the Walmarts of the world and probably worth a miss.
Blockhouse, like most B&B’s, is not for everyone. Think of it as staying at your grandparents’ house so if you’re a party monster who likes to stay out late and come home drunk with a blind date, stay at the Marriott on Argyle Street, in Halifax, which is smack in the middle of the action. I’m told that the last ferry from Halifax to Dartmouth is around 11:30 PM and the last bus is around 1:30 A.M., so the Blockhouse probably isn’t the place for night owls unless you’re quiet when you get back.
The only thing I’m worried about in recommending it is that it’ll become so popular that I won’t be able to get a reservation.
Blockhouse Hill: Marion & Fred Evans (866) 873-1699; email@example.com; http://www.blockhousehillbedandbreakfast.com
- Also Known As:
- Blockhouse Hill Bed & Breakfast Dartmouth, Nova Scotia