Review: The Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax, Canada


The Westin Nova Scotian is located in a historic hotel located along the waterfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. It’s an older hotel that has been modernized to current business standards. While I typically avoid older historic hotels, this version of the Westin was reasonably appointed to modern standards making a good base for a two day stay.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Atlantic Canada on Air Canada. This trip was booked and credited to Aeroplan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: The Westin Nova Scotian

“Halifax’s Historic Hotel that has had a reasonable update to modern business standards but still feels like a part of history”

Planning and Booking:

There isn’t much tourist traffic to Halifax, Nova Scotia in the winter time. There were a choice of several Marriott branded hotels in the downtown area ranging all the way from a Four Points up to the plusher Marriott Waterfront. I ended up at this location, saving myself $20 a night off the Marriott rates. Being a weekend, there wasn’t much competition for rates. I had some Suite Night Awards expiring, so I plunked them down. They cleared me from a base level Traditional, into a Premium corner room.

Getting to the Westin Nova Scotian:

After arriving off Air Canada Business Class Ottawa – Halifax, and a quick trip to Moncton, I found my way by rental car to the Westin Nova Scotian. The Westin Nova Scotian is located in the waterfront area near Pier 21. It is within walking distance from downtown Halifax, although it’s not the nearest hotel to the downtown area.

The hotel itself shares a building with the historic train station. You could consider it a historic railway hotel that is mostly occupied today by Fairmont after they acquired them from Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts. The hotel is very grand in appearance, and you won’t mistake it for anything else.

The Westin Nova Scotian – Front Reception

Surprisingly, the hotel also contains the Dutch embassy; which is marked by it’s seal on the front columns.

The Westin Nova Scotian

The Room: A Premium, Guest Room, 1 King Harbour View

The lobby was under renovation so the check in desks were set up in a temporary space in the lobby. After checking in, I was given keys to the room. The rooms and hallways had all been renovated but being an older building, they had their own unique creaks and personality to them.

The Westin Nova Scotian – Historic Hallways

The Premium Guest Room was well appointed with the usual Westin amenities. It offered a King Sized Heavenly Bed, with ample space around the bed for maneuvering.

The Westin Nova Scotian – Premium Guest Room 1 King Harbour View
The Westin Nova Scotian – Premium Guest Room 1 King Harbour View

There was a comfortable space for the weekend couch and for watching television. Being a corner room, there were windows on both sides of the room which made for a bright space.

The Westin Nova Scotian – Premium Guest Room 1 King Harbour View – Sitting Space
The Westin Nova Scotian – Premium Guest Room 1 King Harbour View

There was also a small work desk adjacent to the bed. As can be expected for a Westin business hotel, the space was adequate for working.

The Westin Nova Scotian – Premium Guest Room 1 King Harbour View – Work Space

The bathroom, as is the case in most historic hotels, was pretty compact. There was just room for a tiny shower and single sink.

The Westin Nova Scotian – Premium Guest Room 1 King Harbour View- Bathroom

The view from the room was pleasant. It over looked the train yards, along with a view of the harbor.

The Westin Nova Scotian – View from the Room
The Westin Nova Scotian – View from the Room

Overall, the room was of pretty good quality and nicely featured. The only drawback was the small bathroom and the some what historic nature of the property.


Food, Beverage and Breakfast:

Marriott Platinum Breakfast:

The next day after a late 1 AM arrival, I slept in a little. I made it down to the breakfast restaurant called “Elements” for a Marriott Titanium / Platinum Benefit breakfast.

In the continuing trend of the new world under Marriott, this former Starwood Hotel is now charging $5 CAD up charge for the buffet which came to $5.75 CAD after tax.

The Westin Nova Scotian – Elements Breakfast Menu

These sorts of things were previously free under the previous management where the terms and conditions would typically offer a continental breakfast but in reality, offer the full American breakfast. It was super chintzy and really off putting but it would be something I’ve had to get used to under the new world order. Despite that, buffet was really popular and had lots of families being the weekend enjoying the space. The Elements breakfast room was pretty typical hotel décor without much redeeming to it.

The Westin Nova Scotian Bottom Line:

Overall, it was a reasonable stay at the Westin Nova Scotian. Everything worked as it was supposed to. Despite this, my preference for newer hotels wasn’t overcome by a stay at this particular property. While the rooms were updated, they were still historic rooms. It was a very forgettable stay and I’d probably stay somewhere else next time just for a new experience.

If you have stayed at the Westin Nova Scotian, did you find the historic hotel charming or needing an update?

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