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History renewed as re-imagined Picton Royal Hotel reopens

Following years of restoration, The Royal Hotel has re-emerged in downtown Picton, with a grand opening slated for May.

“My family has been fortunate to be a part of Prince Edward County for many years. We are thrilled to bring back this iconic piece of Prince Edward County’s history. We see it as an important investment in our community and our province,” said Greg Sorbara, owner, along with his family, who purchased the building in severe disrepair in 2013. “Our community has shared many remarkable stories about personal connections to The Royal. Now we are ready to welcome both new and returning guests for years to come.”

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted construction by four to five months but the delays were the latest in a series of restoration challenges. In 2017, the east wall of the building subsided, causing work to stop while engineers secured the wall to the bedrock.

The new Royal Hotel facade blends old and new. Graydon Herriott photos

An Empire room at the Royal

The reimagined Royal Hotel honours the deep roots of the building, evidenced by painstaking, brick-by-brick restoration of the historically designated Main street façade. The Sorbara family purchased the building with a mandate to return the hotel to its former position as a destination. The initial design intent was to preserve as much of the original property as possible. Unfortunately, most of the interiors were too deteriorated to save.

“The hotel has been designed to be a welcome place for both locals and visitors alike,” said Sol Korngold, project lead and GM. “So much energy, thought and consideration has gone into every inch of this space. I can’t wait for people to walk through our doors and step into the full, immersive experience that is The Royal.”

The hotel and restaurant is open year-round with 28 guest rooms in the main building and five additional rooms in The Royal Annex, a separate building once used as stables for the original hotel.

The new Royal Hotel dining room area

Several dining spaces, including a bar, will host more than 200 guests (once provincial restrictions have been lifted). Executive Chef Albert Ponzo has created a menu with French and Italian influences, with a focus on using seasonal, locally available ingredients from Edwin County Farms – the Sorbara family’s organic vegetable farm – as well as PEC’s many producers.

Other amenities include a spa, sauna, gym, bakery, café, retail shop and a boardroom. An outdoor pool and garden oasis is to launch as part of the grand opening next May.

The Royal was first built in the late 1800s to coincide with the arrival of the railway to Picton.

 

Picton’s Royal Hotel before the restoration.

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  1. Don Montgomery says:

    I wonder if there will be a space in the Royal to spend a Friday or Saturday night, with a band playing, while people drink and dance ? Now that’d be a fun place!

  2. Bruce Nicholson says:

    Congratulations to the Sorbara family for this beautiful building on Picton’s Main Street. A landmark to be admired !

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