From the outside the hotel looked like a cute boutique hotel in a small town, but the moment I walked inside I was immersed in a world of funky retro collectables, cool art and interesting furnishings. How did I not know about this place? Often at the top of Trip Advisor’s top hotels in Ontario and Canada lists, this hotel is committed to preserving the architectural features of the century-old building it is housed in and in providing great customer service in suites that are designed to inspire and amaze any type of guest. That’s a tall order I know, but now that I’ve stayed here I see why those who know about this unique hotel don’t want everyone else to know about it!
Retro Suites Hotel Chatham Ontario
Located in downtown Chatham at the start of King Street, a few blocks from the Chatham’s Via Rail station, the Hotel is perfectly situated for any visit to the city. I walked outside the front doors and I was just steps from all the local boutiques, cafes, and shops in Downtown Chatham and I even found the beautiful Thames river walking path for a morning stroll along the water.
The hotel was the vision of Rob Myers the owner of the biggest specialty/fine-automobile auction house in the world, RM Auctions Inc. also located in the area. His very special clients of his classic car collectables needed a place to stay when they were in town for their car shopping expeditions and after taking over a historical block of old Victorian buildings the Retro Suites Hotel was born.
Retro Suites Hotel Chatham Ontario Funky Collectables Lobby
Classic cars are only the beginning of Rob Myers’ collection of things. The hotel is filled with cool items he’s collected including the famous Nutcracker statues that once sat outside the FAO Schwartz store in New York City.
Everywhere I looked I was snapping cool photos of the lobby’s funky decor.
I was having so much fun taking photos of all the retro vending machines, I had no idea what I was about to discover about this hotel!
Retro Suites Hotel Themed Rooms
Currently there are 34 suites in the hotel and each is designed with its own special theme. With names like The Study and the Chic Antique I was just awestruck as I entered a number of the rooms during a tour of the hotel.
At first I thought Ok this is a modern looking typical boutique hotel room. It was called the Den and it had a cozy feel to it and cool furnishings and a super cozy looking bed. But then we walked into another room and I started to understand why this hotel is so extraordinary.
I entered into “the Cowboy” and I knew this was a special place. Each room was completely different and had unique furniture, design and bedding but also the little details like bowls, art on the wall and other decorations that just made each room look like it was staged for an interior decorator’s magazine.
The hallways of the hotel are a maze that you can easily get lost in. I know I did many times as I walked down one hallway mesmerized by all the collectables and art on the walls.
We turn a corner into a little entrance with two or three room doors inside and all I’m thinking is how does this work? These rooms are spacious, with high ceilings, some have two floors, some have balconies but all of these rooms have a sitting area, kitchen and large bed, so how does this maze work?
Themes are calm and seasonal like the Autumn or regal and luxe like the King William.
One of my favourite rooms was the “Easy Rider” which had a Harley Davidson motorcycle hanging on the wall and many cool features like the Harley Davidson sink, shower and even an old flashing rotating light.
You can see all the suites at the Retro Suites Hotel website or you can let the hotel choose the suite that’s right for you! A few questions about your likes and dislikes and voila! The perfectly matched room!
My Room The Midtown
I stayed in two hotels during my stay in Chatham and boy was I pissed off when I realized that the cost of this room in the Retro Suites Hotel was the same price as the cheap chain hotel I stayed at the night before. Yup these luxury rooms, in this luxury boutique hotel, that is so highly rated are super affordable! In fact, the most expensive room is around $250 a night.
Unfortunately for me the first night I stayed in Chatham the hotel was fully booked, but after a day of touring the region I walked into my suite “The Midtown” perfectly picked for me as I just moved into midtown Toronto and I’m kinda a chic urban city girl.
The room was spacious and had a small desk to work at, a comfy chair and a super comfy Queen sized bed. The walls throughout were exposed brick including the full suite bathroom. My only disappointment was the old square filter in the round filter drip coffee maker in the kitchen. I wish all hotels would just make the investment into Keurig one cup coffee machines. I have had too many experiences now where old moldy filters were found in the coffee machines in my room that it is a major turn off for me when I see one.
The little kitchenette had a microwave, refrigerator and small dishes if you choose to eat in your room, however the hotel also features a cute little restaurant and included breakfast!
The Chilled Cork Restaurant
The hotel’s quirky character spills into the small restaurant accessible from the hotel lobby. The Chilled Cork Restaurant features some pretty robust lunch and dinner menus and I’m sad that I didn’t have a chance to indulge in fine dining experience in a pretty cool place!
The collectables were hung on the wall in the form of original move posters, cool art installations and each table had its own unique feel. I had the standard breakfast which was included with my room – and well there is nothing standard about it!
The staff throughout the hotel is friendly and happy, always smiling and super chatty when you have stupid tourist questions, or while you’re snapping photos of the cool art on the wall. It’s all part of the incredible charm of this amazing hotel.
The hotel is growing too! Construction is already underway on the expansion which will take this hotel to 45 suites. I can’t wait to come back and see the new themed rooms – I’ve only stayed in one and I can’t wait to explore some more. See you soon!
Read more reviews about The Retro Suites Hotel at TripAdvisor.