Making Sure Your Adventure is Happy
As a major traveller I have stayed at everything from a hut in the jungle in Thailand to an invitation only palace in Italy. My stay at The Inn at Happy Adventure in Newfoundland was one of the most amazing and memorable I have ever experienced.
I was travelling alone to the Eastport Peninsula in Central Newfoundland for the weekend and was staying in a small town called Happy Adventure. I couldn't help but smile as I drove in, only in Newfoundland would a town be called Happy Adventure. The Inn at Happy Adventure was a white two story building that had a quaint almost fairytale look to it. Two big heavy dark wooden doors guard the entrance and add to the whimsical feel of the place.
Once inside I noticed the walls were decorated with beautifully detailed paintings that even in my tired state I couldn't help but stare at, they were just striking. I was greeted with a warm smile by a women in her late twenties at the check in counter. She greeted me by name and told me there were expecting me which made me feel incredibly welcome. She introduced herself as Shar-lett and asked me about my drive as she picked up my bag and told me to follow her up the beautiful, wide hard wood staircase. We walked down the bright hallway where lights that looked like antique copper oil lamps hung from the ceiling. Between the large windows on the walls hung more of the marvellous art work I had seen downstairs. The inn had a very eclectic feel to it that made me feel right at home. We were soon at the door of one of the five rooms at the inn. Shar-lett put my bag down and told me if there was anything I needed to please let her know. She then smiled a genuine and comforting smile and left me on my own.
Walking into a hotel room for the first time is like playing a TV game show where you can choose what is behind door number 1,2 or 3 and are stuck with whatever decision you make. It could be something fabulous like a new Corvette or it could be something incredibly disappointing like a muffin sheet. I have stayed in some five star hotels that have been as disappointing as the muffin sheet. I always hold my breathe opening a hotel door for the first time silently praying it's not a muffin sheet. This room was not! It was the Corvette. Huge windows at the far wall with doors that opened to a private balcony. A giant bed with a think cozy duvet that melted around you when you lay on it. I saw the keurig machine with a pleathera of every kind of hot beverage option one could hope for in the corner of the room. Having a good cup of coffee in a really comfortable bed is a guilty pleasure I rarely get to indulge. I smiled at the keurig machine.
Walking on to the balcony I took a deep breathe of fresh soothing sea air. Not only did I have a beautiful room, but a beautiful view as well. Rolling hills thick with lush green trees descended to the waters edge where a few houses sat, their docks reaching out to the ocean with well utilized fishing boats proudly bobbing tied to the side.
I watched the sunset as the sky turned from pale blue to soft pink to a vibrant deep orange to slowly fade into velvety black. I stand firm in my statement that Newfoundland hosts the world's best sunsets. After the sun went down I went downstairs for supper. The restaurant is just off of then main lobby and is open to the public as well. The owner/chef is a well know restauranteur from St. John's and it seems like his reputation has followed him to Happy Adventure as the restaurant was full. The same amazing view that I had in my room is what I get to dine to as the entire far wall is window and the view can be seen from every table in the place. A friendly young man in his late twenties with dark black hair and glasses greets me by name. Amazing attention to detail, remembering my name each time they greet me. It makes me feel incredibly welcome and much more at home.
After an extraordinary supper of the best halibut I have ever eaten I curled up in my giant cozy bed .I was over joyed to wake up to my keurig coffee that I had on my balcony, watching the morning fog roll of the water. When I went downstairs for breakfast I noticed the table was all set for me with my own personal coffee pot and juice all ready to go. Chuck, a friendly man in his early fifties with white hair and mustash came out of the kitchen and walked me to my table.
“Breakfast will be ready in just a moment” had said headed back to the kitchen.
Each morning an incredible, freshly made hot breakfast of your choice is included in your stay. Breakfast was just a delicious as supper the night before and gave me the fuel I needed for the day ahead. Chuck asked me if I had any questions or if there was anything I needed to know for my day. In true Newfoundland style he was extremely friendly and very chatty. I found out he and his wife were the owners. She was the one creating all of amazing art on the walls and it was all for sale! Shar-lett the kind women who greeted me when I first arrived is their daughter and James the friendly man from the restaurant the night before his Shar-lett's husband. They are training to take over the business. A family run operation, that explains the welcoming feeling that radiates off of each one of them.
During my time in Newfoundland I have come to realize that family run is very important. It adds to the kind, generous, welcoming feel of the province. In large cities in other parts of North America you can begin to feel like just a number; a credit card number, a reservation number, just one of many. Part of the allure and beauty of Newfoundland is that you are treated as a person, an individual, as you. It is pleasantly dis alarming as you realize you are more then just a number to these strangers who honestly and genuinely want you to have the best time possible while in the place they call home.
Each time I stepped through the large wooden doors for the rest of my stay someone was there to welcome me and ask me about me day and if there was anything I needed. Seeing that I was by myself each member of the family took extra time to talk to me. I did not feel like a guest in the hotel, I felt like a guest in this families home. I was there at the very end of the season it could have been very easy for them to just do their jobs and and no more. I am sure they were exhausted from working 14-16 hour days 7 days a week for five months straight, but they never showed it, or complained. They gave me as much attention and energy as if I was the very first customer of the season and went out of their way to always have a chat with me and see if there was anything they could do to help me have the best time possible.
When I stay in high priced five star hotels around the world, no one cares where I have been or what I have done. They wouldn't even notice if I just disappeared. Having someone genuinely care about you is an amazing and under appreciated feeling. When travelling alone away from home finding comfort and sincerity in a place you stay can be priceless.
I highly recommend when planning your trip to Newfoundland to include a few days in the Eastport Pennisula area with a stay at the Inn at Happy Adventure. It is a three hour drive from St. John's it is on right on the water where you can sea kayak or go boating and fishing or just sit on the beautiful deck and relax. The area also hosts some amazing hiking trails and beaches. The Inn is classic, elegant and comfortable and even if it is your very first time in Newfoundland as soon as you walk in the doors of the inn you will be met with the subtle feeling that you are home.