• Rob Hornberger

Kingsville's Grove Hotel wins Trip Advisor 'best of best' award for third straight year

Construction of satellite hotel in Colchester could begin later this summer

Grove Hotel co-owner/manager Jennifer Flynn says the pandemic has seen a shift in clientele from out-of-town guests to Windsor-Essex residents looking for a quick getaway.

KINGSVILLE — The Grove Hotel has been named a winner of Trip Advisor’s “best of best” award for small hotels in Canada for the third year in a row.

The 18-room boutique-style hotel, located in the heart of downtown Kingsville, is the largest hotel of its type in the area.

“To be considered as one of the top one per cent of all small hotels in Canada is an outstanding accomplishment, particularly during these difficult times,” said co-owner/manager Jennifer Flynn.

Flynn said the pandemic has forced The Grove to temporarily shift its business model from out-of-town guests toward attracting more Windsor and Essex County residents.

“We’re getting a lot of business travel and then on the weekends, it depends,” she said.

“I think there is increasing frustration with the way things are being handled. People are looking for a getaway just to get away for a night … they need a different place to hang out.”

On an encouraging note, Flynn said, Toronto pre-bookings are up as staycationers from the GTA look beyond the current stay-at-home order to more normal times later this spring and summer.

She said the local wineries are a big draw as wine aficionados from the GTA look for a change of scene from the Niagara and Prince Edward County wine districts.

“So, we’re actively trying to encourage that because I do believe confidently that they will be back because we have such a wonderful area down here.”

She listed Point Pelee National Park, the local breweries and the spring bird migration as other attractions in Kingsville and Essex County.

Flynn said it was rewarding to receive recognition from the travel website.

“It’s based on customer feedback or guest reviews and from that standpoint it’s even nicer to receive because it’s a direct recognition…. It’s what our travellers and visitors are saying about us as opposed to a voting panel.”

Flynn said this is an exciting time for the family-run hotel as she and her husband Jim look to build a satellite hotel in Colchester village.

The Flynns are awaiting site plan approval from Essex council and could begin construction on the 28-room hotel later this summer.

The hotel will also offer bike and e-bike rentals this summer, both from Kingsville and a station in Colchester village.

Jennifer Flynn estimated it would take 20 minutes on the electric- and foot-powered bikes to reach the first winery along County Road 50 from The Grove.

Between the hotel and station in Colchester there will be 20 e-bikes and six cruiser-style bicycles.

“Obviously, if all goes well, we are certainly prepared to increase that.”

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