A review of the Westin Nova Scotian

I had a business trip to Halifax earlier this winter.  Its a city I've looked forward to visiting for some time, but I was hoping for a trip in the warmer months.  Fortunately, when I visited, it was unseasonably warm, so I was able to explore the city during my limited free time.


view of Halifax Harbor from the Westin

There are various full service hotel options in central Halifax, including a Delta, Radisson, and some non-chain properties.  I booked a stay at the Westin Nova Scotian.  The property is an older hotel with some unique design features, and many rooms with odd shapes.  Many of the rooms and the public areas have been renovated.

Search Westin Nova Scotian Availability

I was upgraded to a Harbour View suite at check in.  It was basically just adjoining rooms with one room on a corner of the building configured with a couch instead of a bed. 


TV/dresser/desk in bedroom



Heavenly bed



Same furnishings in the second room



couch replacing the bed in the extra room


While the extra space was nice, it wasn't that functional.  The door in the sitting room did not open.  The bathroom was attached to the bedroom and was quite small, and not really updated.


The lobby bar was pretty typical of hotel bars, with overpriced drinks, although I did get a certificate for a free glass of wine when I checked in.  I had breakfast at the restaurant, Elements a couple of the days.  It was fine, and again, pretty typical of hotel restaurants, I go there for convenience rather than any special food. 

There is also a small theater in the hotel that has comedy shows.  This is more active on weekends, and my stay was mid week. 

I had limited free time, and most of it was after dark, but I did my best to venture out and explore the city.  I went for a nice run along the waterfront one evening and also tried some local restaurants.


Torch near the enterance to The Bicycle Thief

One evening a colleague and I went to a restaurant near the waterfront which was a short walk away.  The Bicycle Thief was suggested to us by a client.  The food was excellent, they describe it as "North American Food - Italian Soul".  I would definitely recommend this place if you visit Halifax. Another restaurant suggestion I would pass along for a much more low key experience is Shiraz, which is a tiny little place across Hollis Street from the Westin.  They serve tasty Persian food, mostly for take out, as there are only a few tables available. 

After my work was concluded, I headed back to the airport, about 40 minutes away from downtown.  A toll is required for crossing either of the bridges across the harbor.  I had a brief visit at the Maple Leaf Lounge prior to my departure.  This lounge was quite small, but offerings are similar to what is available at other Air Canada hubs.  I did have some difficulty finding the lounge, but eventually discovered it was one level above departures, accessible via an elevator above the security area. 

halifaxmll Halifax Maple Leaf Lounge entry

In all, it was a nice trip to Halifax. I'd still like to return to spend some more time there, maybe for leisure, and definitely in the warmer months with more daylight to enjoy more of the sights.

halifaxqueen The Queen is in Halifax!  Do you know where she is? 


The Maple Leaf Lounge?

gordon February 23, 2012 at 11:11 am

I stayed in the Westin Nova Scotian a few years ago during the summer and I enjoyed my stay. The Nova Scotian is one of the original "railway hotels" that the Canadian Pacific Railway built in the late 1800s and early 1900s along with hotels like the Banff Springs Hotel, the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City and the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.

One of the highlights of my stay was talking with one of the bartenders who had worked there for 40 or 50 years. He'd met queens, kings, presidents and other famous people and had lots of stories to tell about the hotel in its heyday.

Brad February 23, 2012 at 05:34 pm

@Matthew - very close.

@Gordon - Thanks for your message. Sounds like you got some great stories at the Nova Scotian.

I'm actually staying at the Chateau Frontenac right now, and intend to report back soon. Its quite impressive so far.

Moody February 23, 2012 at 07:26 pm

Picture of HM: At Canada Customs? It is the Diamond Jubilee year after all and she is also the Queen of Canada.

James February 24, 2012 at 09:00 am

Hi Brad,

We're very happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay here in Halifax. We hope to see you again when the weather warms up. @Gordon- That bartenders name is Roy and he has been with us since 1963. Our lobby lounge (Eve) has very recently been renamed "Roy's Lounge" in his honor.

Brad February 24, 2012 at 09:47 am

@Moody This photo was not at Customs, although it was at Halifax Airport. The photo caption does say Queen of Canada, although in my iPhone picture that isn't very clear.

@James. Thanks a lot for your note. Hopefully I can return soon and have the opportunity to hear some of Roy's stories.

gordon February 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

@James: That's a very nice way to recognize his many years of service! Very classy!