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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Condé Nast names NOTL among 50 of world’s most beautiful small towns
Kelly Exelby, manager at the Prince of Wales Hotel sits in the tea room. She’s excited and honoured that the hotel was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler. (Somer Slobodian)

The Prince of Wales hotel and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake have something that will likely inspire pride this spring.

The town is being recognized as one of the “50 Most Beautiful Small Towns in the World” by Condé Nast Traveler, with the Prince of Wales receiving a special mention. 

NOTL made the list published this month alongside just one other Canadian community, the small fishing village in Lunenburg, N.S.

Condé Nast Traveler is a widely respected lifestyle travel magazine published by American company Condé Nast.

The list doesn’t rank the destinations in any order but the magazine describes NOTL as a place “perfect for anyone who doesn’t want to choose between city life and nature.”

It encourages visitors to explore the region’s “gorgeous lakes, waterfalls and vineyards” on a rented bicycle and visit the town for Niagara wine and baked goods.

Minerva Ward, president of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and Tourism NOTL, said it is a “badge of honour” for the town to be included in Condé Nast Traveler’s list.

“It creates awareness for somebody who doesn’t even know of Niagara-on-the-Lake,” said Ward. 

She said what makes NOTL stand out from some other tourist destinations are its hotels, wineries and services, which she classifies as high-end.

Making the list also will inspire people who know of NOTL to finally visit.

“It does create that inspiration and get that interest and that buzz and excitement around Niagara-on-the-Lake as a destination,” she said. 

The Prince of Wales hotel is mentioned as the place where overnight guests will enjoy Victorian decor “without being fuddy-duddy,” “plenty of floral wallpaper” and afternoon tea service.

“Condé Nast is regarded as recognizing places that are of good quality. So, having their recognition means a lot,” said Kelly Exelby, the hotel’s general manager.

The mention could generate more revenue, she said, and a place where people want to work. 

She said she believes the people who work at the Prince of Wales help make it a unique spot. 

At a recent staff meeting, Exelby said she read a famous quote by Walt Disney that said, “You can design, create and build the most beautiful place in the world. But it takes people to make this dream a reality.” 

“We have the most beautiful property, but certainly for me, it’s the staff and team that we have here that makes such a difference,” she said.

Along with being singled out, the Prince of Wales is also in the running for the Condé Nast Traveler 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards. 

In 2017 and 2018, the hotel was named to the list and ranked as one of the top seven hotels in Canada. 

“It’s an honour to be on that list,” Exelby said.

Guests who stayed at the hotel can go to cntraveler.com/story/vote-readers-choice-awards and vote under the hotel option. Voting is open until June 30. 

“Just to be recognized, I think, means something on its own,” said Exelby. 

“It just sets us apart from those other places.”

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