Stratford, Ontario Hotel recommendation

Jun 4th, 2010, 11:44 AM
  #1  
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Stratford, Ontario Hotel recommendation

I just spent two nights at Stratford at the Theatre Festival and for the first time stayed at Foster's Inn, right next to the Avon Theatre. What a delightful find. It's only a handful of rooms on the second and third floors above a nice little bar and restaurant of the same name. The real clincher was that after my arrival on Wednesday, I had lunch and then casually strolled next door ten minutes before curtain, only to discover I had misread it and I was at the wrong theatre. I was supposed to be at the Festival Theatre which is nearly a mile away. I ran back to my room and passed the owner of the Inn saying I screwed up and was getting my car keys. "no" he insisted without a missing a beat, and loaded me into his car sitting by the back door and zoomed me to the front door of the theatre just as they were about to close the doors. Now THAT'S service. This morning I also had one of the best breakfasts I've had in a long time -- local ham that was out of this world, with super home fries, two eggs, and their wonderful toasted homemade bread.

In Stratford where even the dingy old mom and pop motels cost upwards from $125 a night in season, this place was a steal at $125. High ceilinged room, nicely furnished with a mix of antiques and leather furniture, a super huge and newly done bath, and lots of extras.

Forgive me if this sounds like an ad. Trust me, it isn't.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jun 4th, 2010, 05:31 PM
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I love the Canadian hospitality
So glad you found a great place in a crowded town.
SuzieTrue is offline  
Jun 4th, 2010, 06:02 PM
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I was thinking just this morning I should go to Stratford this year so thanks for the report on Foster's.
Morningglory47 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2010, 06:51 AM
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Morningglory, to be honest, I've avoided Stratford for the past 5 or 6 years since seeing a particularly poorly done group of plays. But all four I saw this year (Kiss Me Kate, As You Like It, Jacques Brel, and Evita) were simply outstanding. I had heard they had reversed those week years and are back strong as ever -- perhaps even stronger than ever.
John Doyle's direction of Kiss Me Kate was so over the top funny and creative, I can't begin to tell you. That man is truly a genius. And of course if The Tempest has opened when you go -- with Christopher Plummer -- well. . .
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jun 5th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for the reviews - I'll check into tickets and so on this week.
Morningglory47 is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 05:48 AM
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Hi NeoPatrick -

Glad you enjoyed your visit to Stratford. I wish I had known you were coming as I enjoy your contributions here and It would have been fun to meet for a drink.

We run a B&B in Stratford but know that Foster's is one of the best boutique hotels in town. And Foster's is always on our short list of places to send guests to dine as their service and food is always of high quality. We also appreciate that Foster's stays open all year so we locals have a cozy place to go for dinner & drinks.

@Morningglory47 - if you want any other Stratford tips, just let me know.
G_Hopper is offline  
Jun 8th, 2010, 12:16 PM
  #7  
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Ah, wish I had known we had a Fodorite in Stratford! A drink between rain drops would have been nice!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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NeoPatrick - when you make it up this way again, give us a shout: nichrome50-at-gmail.com
G_Hopper is offline  
Jun 12th, 2010, 07:05 PM
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I saw Kiss Me Kate and As You Like It, as well as Peter Pan and agree with NeoPatrick's review : They are all excellent this year. Later in the season, we will be seeing Evita, Dangerous Liaisons and A Winter's Tale and know those will be just as wonderful. I've been attending the Stratford Festival since the mid 80s as a young graduate, but must give kudos and credit to Festival Director Des McAnuff's new style, vision and programming during the past 3 years, and for the great changes he has brought to the Festival. It has now become a place of exciting and creative theatrical diversity.
I was thrilled to have the man sitting 2 seats in front of me while watching As You Like It. It was in final previews and as its director, he was making final notes with his assistant beside him. I took the opportunity to introduce myself during the first intermission and tell him what a good job he was doing. We ended up having a prolonged and very pleasant chat. Later on, I met some of the cast members, several of whom I know from past seasons and productions. I was lucky to meet Paul Nolan from AYLI, and also Chilena Kennedy who plays in KMK and is the lead in Evita.

In September, our family - a group of 14+ - will return to Stratford for our 5th annual family theatre experience, which I organise. We spread ourselves over 3 or 4 B&Bs and see 2 or 3 different shows. Dinner at Rundles has also become a tradition. We are very much looking forward to our weekend once again.
G_Hopper, which B&B are you ? Some of us might have stayed with you in previous years for all we know.
Mathieu is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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@Mathieu - We've seen the same three plays you've seen as well. The staging and sets for "As You Like it" are so dense and weird that I'm looking forward to seeing it again (an advantage to living here...) to try to take it all in. This was my first exposure of any kind to "Kiss Me Kate" and they did a great job with the costumes, and the performances are wonderful but the play contains a lot of uncomfortable (for me) sexism and misogyny. But I'm probably in the minority as most of the audience laughed at the line "Women should be struck regularly like gongs." - although a friend said he was at one performance where there were a good number of "boos".

Our B&B is called Across the Bridge - and we got open late in the season 2008 - so last year was our first full year being open. We're already getting repeat guests and I am amazed at the number of people who visit year after year - sometimes multiple times a season. We've had several family groups which is always fun.

Another good restaurant to check out is Rene's Bistro. It's only been open a couple of years but Rene has worked at many of the better restaurants in Stratford and is a graduate of the local Chefs School. He serves high-end French/Italian inspired dishes at affordable prices.
G_Hopper is offline  
Jun 13th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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Thank you for the tips G_Hopper. I will keep Rene's Bistro in mind for this year's family trip. It sounds like the perfect place for us. We've eaten at a number of good restaurants over the years, and are always looking to try new ones as we're all pretty adventurous eaters.

I will also keep your establishment in mind as, apart from the big family do in the Fall, we're often in Stratford at other times of the year and in need of accommodation. We are repeat guests at several of our previous locations, but also like to try out new ones too.

Thanks again.

M
Mathieu is offline  
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