- All accommodation was paid for by me and all opinions are my own.
Newfoundland is one of my favorite places in the world to visit. I’ve been visiting this Canadian Island for 10 years for both work and pleasure and I can tell you it still amazes me with all it’s beauty.
Over the years I’ve driven across the island from end to end, taking in all the sights along the way. This trip I decided to “spice up” my solo adventure by staying in some unique accommodations to add to the experience.
Finding Accommodation in Newfoundland
Newfoundland is the most eastern part of Canada and has the large capital city of St. John’s, followed by a few smaller cities throughout the island. It’s crucial to book your accommodation ahead of time. Tourist season is from mid May to mid Sept and places book up fast. Outside of tourist season a lot of hotels and restaurants outside major cities close, so make sure you check in advance of your arrival. Read my post on things to do in St. John’s if you want to find out more about my favourite city.
Primarily, I book hotels or bed and breakfasts for my stays in Newfoundland but this time I was going to be criss-crossing the country, looking for icebergs, visiting some small towns along the way. I thought I’d be adventurous and look for some non-conventional places to stay.
It can be hard to predict where the Icebergs will be months ahead of your trip but you usually have a pretty good guarantee of seeing them in Twillingate. I decided my first unique accommodation would be in the pretty village of Twillingate in a Salt Box house!
Twillingate- Salt Box House
A salt box house is a traditional type of house seen all over Newfoundland. The Salt Box style is named for its shape, which resembled the boxes used for shipping salt to Newfoundland. There are still a lot of people in Newfoundland who live in this type of house but unfortunately many houses have fallen into disrepair over the years and been abandoned.
One company, The Old Salt Box Company, has taken it upon themselves to buy and restore some of these houses to their original glory. This was my second stay in a Salt box Company house and it won’t be my last!
The houses are sprinkled over Newfoundland and really allow you to feel what it must have been like to live in Newfoundland 100 years ago. The views of the landscape will take your breath away as you look out the gorgeous wall to wall windows to the ocean. Each house is colorfully painted on the inside and has both modern and traditional touches.
I stayed for three nights in a Salt Box named “Daisy’s Place”. All of the houses are named after women and like all women, have their own personality. I loved the wall to wall windows, the claw foot tub and the Newfoundland quilt! It was a very remote area to stay but at the same time very peaceful. I loved watching the sunset from my living room.
These houses are all self catering and you don’t get any housekeeping so keep this in mind if you are wanting a more hotel feel. I loved staying here solo and would highly recommend this to anyone who wants some quiet reflection in a completely safe and beautiful environment. You will need a car to get here but that is really a requirement for anywhere in Newfoundland outside the cities.
Burlington-The Lighthouse Inn
After no success in seeing Icebergs in Twillingate (argh), I moved along to my next destination, Burlington Newfoundland. I picked this area as my second guess to where Icebergs might be hiding. The town of Burlington is about 30 minutes north of the main highway and there is no cell service once you arrive in the town. Yep, there are still a lot of places in Newfoundland that don’t have cell service so keep this in mind if it’s essential for you to be connected at all times.
Burlington Newfoundland, with a population of under 500 people, was put on the map by Canadian comedian Shaun Majumder, who grew up there and wanted to promote the area. He’s created The Gathering, a festival that is held each August in the town and attracts hundreds to the area.
Now on to the lighthouse. The Lighthouse Inn is by far the most unique accommodation I have ever stayed in and was a wonderful experience. Run by Gayla and Alonzo, the restoration of the lighthouse is a labor of love and will amaze you with all the wonderful mementos hung with care within the inn.
A full tour of the lighthouse included instructions on how to use the ladders to reach the top two levels. The first level has a kitchen and full bathroom, followed by the second level which has a comfy bed. You won’t want to have more than two people staying here though, it’s just the perfect size for one or two people.
After successfully getting the ladder down I was greeted with a cute third level, that had a vintage record player (that works) and some cozy seats. Perfect to enjoy a little downtime after iceberg hunting for the day. The lighthouse top level is where I had my coffee in the mornings and was rewarded with a stunning view of the harbor . The only thing missing was an Iceberg!!
Staying here solo was a wonderful adventure and I’d recommend it to anyone who has no mobility issues as there are a lot of stairs. There is also excellent wifi there so you will be connected with the internet world in no time. I felt very looked after at all times and had Gayla and Alonzo just across the way if I needed anything.
You couldn’t ask for a better welcome to the area and both Gayla and Alonzo love their town and want you to have the best experience while staying with them. While you are staying with them, make sure you check out Gayla’s store in her house where she sells bath bombs,sugar scrub,soapy bars, & lip balms as well as other local crafts. I loved the sugar scrub!
Oh, and I finally saw some Icebergs!
Port Rexton- Tiny House
On my way back to St. John’s I decided my last unique accommodation would be a Tiny house. I’ve always been fascinated by the prospect of having a tiny house that you could take with you to a plot of land and be self sufficient. So, on my search for unique accommodation, I made sure to book a stay in Port Rexton at Jon’s Tiny house.
Located very close to the Skerwink Trail, this tiny house sits on top of a hill on a property that has a lovely view of the ocean. Jon was there to meet me and immediately provided suggestions for dinner and called them to confirm they were still open. Turned out to be a fantastic spot- The Peace Cove Inn, try it if you are in town.
After a short tour of the house, I settled into my two day stay. As Jon describes the house on his airbnb site: ” The outside of the home is reminiscent of a traditional Newfoundland Saltbox with colourful clapboard siding, while the interior features modern architectural design with clean lines and warm accents, such as exposed wood cathedral ceiling and natural birch hardwood floors. The home comes fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, cozy loft bedroom with queen sized bed, a space that can be easily converted for dining, lounging or sleeping and plenty of unique storage solutions.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. I did some work from the lovely bench and table at the front of the house and watched a spectacular sunset from the picnic table.
All in all, I would stay here again and recommend this place for a solo or stay for two people in the Port Rexton area. Jon was very friendly and made me feel at home in my tiny home. Make sure you check out the Port Rexton brewery which you can technically walk to (I’m lazy so I drove) and the Two Whales restaurant which has amazing healthy lunches, snacks and coffee.
Life’s too short for regular hotels
Over all, staying in these unique accommodations allowed me to have not only have a unique experience in an interesting place but to also meet wonderful people who take pride in their creations and want to share their love of Newfoundland with others. Staying in hotels, you miss out on the unique places that make up part of the Newfoundland culture and provide you with fantastic memories of a trip to a beautiful place. I highly recommend you try something more unique on your next trip!
Have you stayed in some interesting accommodation?
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