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Wines on the Wing

The Algonquin Resort Offers Family Luxuries in St. Andrews

by Barbara Rogers

Dec 15, 2017

© Carolbsokolow | Dreamstime


It was a short drive to St. Andrews from the U.S./Canadian border at Calais, Maine, where our girls asked to have their passports stamped, not the usual practice at this drive-across border. Less than an hour later we were checking into The Algonquin, on a hilltop overlooking the historic town of St. Andrews, New Brunswick. The town’s official name is St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, but hardly anyone calls it that.


The girls immediately went to the large windows of our third-floor room and discovered they could see Maine across the bay. Really cool, they proclaimed, to sleep in one country with a view of another. They were to find more U.S. connections in St. Andrews, including the fact three American presidents had stayed in The Algonquin.

Boats at Sunset St. Andrew, New Brunswick

Photo: Carolbsokolow | Dreamstime


Once we dropped our luggage in the bright, smartly furnished suite, we set out to see what else The Algonquin offered. Fresh from a two-year restoration and update, the hotel still has the aura of a historic grand hotel, with its large lobby and soaring ceilings. A deep verandah stretches the entire length of the façade with a view down onto the lawns and beyond them the swimming pool.


The girls had located that important feature as we arrived, and were anxious to dive in. The Algonquin is well-supplied with places to swim. Along with the large outdoor pool, there’s an indoor pool and a private beach at the adjacent Katy’s Cove. After trying all of these at various times, they settled on the newly added indoor pool as their favorite, largely because of the giant three-story waterslide that dropped them splashing into the pool.


The buffet breakfast was especially kid-friendly, as they could choose from a good variety of fruits, cereals, hot dishes and pastries, and most mornings we chose to eat at tables on the wide verandah where we could enjoy the morning sun. We returned here in the late afternoons for an aperitif — the genial waiter offered elegantly presented Shirley Temples along with the adult drinks — and to play one of the board games in the hotel’s collection. Touches like these — and of course the pools — endeared the resort to the kids, while we appreciated the family package rates.

Canada, New Brunswick, St. Andrews, Algonquin Hotel,

Algonquin Hotel. Photo: Stillman Rogers

St. Andrews had plenty to occupy our days. Just down the street is the beautiful Kingsbrae Garden, 27 acres of gardens in various themes and for different environments. Brilliant flowers and blooming shrubs were everywhere, and surprising features like a Dutch windmill, two Victorian-era play houses and a hedge maze were particular hits.


A special garden designed for younger children included a row of play houses and a climbing wall leading up the side of a miniature castle. The adjacent sculpture garden had several works that appeal to kids, as did the winding paths through the park, landscaped to show off the sculptures.


Beyond it was a café with a terrace where we had lunch and watched a pair of geese devour an entire pot of geraniums — a nature-watching experience we didn’t think the gardeners intended.


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