From historic homes to fine dining and world-class theatre, there’s a lot to love about Niagara-on-the-Lake. But although it’s packed with heritage hotels and B&Bs, there hasn’t been a modern, upscale hotel with amenities to write home about… until now. Introducing the newly revamped
124 on Queen, a deceptively large property on the town’s main street with stylishly appointed condo-style rooms and a huge subterranean spa. The new owners are David Jones, who grew up in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Nick Capasso. They have taken over the entire block that included the old 17-room hotel, redesigning the property and joining some of the buildings together to create the 70-room hotel and spa. The aim? To pay homage to the hotel’s history and retain the vibrant businesses that occupy their block of Queen Street, while adding state-of-the-art amenities and modern comforts. “We live here, we’re a part of the community, and we care deeply about our town,” says David.
Scroll down for a tour of this unique property!
The hotel’s red-brick façade is original to the building and blends nicely with the surrounding streetscape, but once inside you’re greeted with all the trappings of a modern boutique hotel. Masterminded by
Laundry Design Works and designer Lisa Levick, the rebranding and redesign of the hotel starts here, with a smart and stylish color palette in shades of blue, grey and gold.
The three-year-long renovation added 39 new rooms, including the elegant Signature Collection at Q rooms. You could literally live in one of the one-bedroom suites, which feature a fully-stocked kitchen, living area (some with designer electric fireplaces), cedar-lined closets and Stearns & Foster luxury mattresses.
The living area in each suite is thoughtfully decorated in neutral tones with a sectional sofa for luxe lounging, proper drapes and an office area for in-room Zooming.
In the spa-like bathrooms, walk-in rainfall showers are complemented by double sinks with Grohe faucets and L’Occitane toiletries. The design is simple and serene, with understated grey marble walls and floors, glossy white counters and subtle touches of sparkle.
The kitchens are designed for real meal prep, with Caesarstone or Wilsonart countertops, Blanco sinks, Delta faucets and appliances by Panasonic and Blomberg. The cabinets are fully stocked with everything you might need, from cutlery to saucepans.
Every Signature Collection suite is subtly different and nowhere is this more evident than the kitchens. The Caesarstone countertops come in three different colorways: Empira White, Georgian Bluffs and Rugged Concrete, and different configurations make space for bar stools or prep areas. Nespresso coffee machines complete the setup.
In the lower level is the hotel’s piece de resistance: a 12,000-sq.ft. destination spa. The first of its kind in the Niagara area, it features a rejuvenating hydrotherapy circuit with hot and cold pools, steam rooms, sensory experience showers and all the regular treatment options. A petite, sunlit pool is lit from above by cleverly placed skylights.
A key part of the spa experience is a hot and cold cycle that includes the hot sauna and a soon-to-be-opened snow cave from Austria. A meditative experience, the snow room gently restores the body to a normal temperature after the heat of the sauna. A second phase of development will see the addition of an outdoor yoga and meditation area, spa cabanas and reflecting pools.
A longstanding fixture on Queen Street,
Treadwell Cuisine was an early proponent of farm-to-table dining and continues to lead the charge today. A family-run business that’s now part of 124 on Queen, the Treadwells are big believers in using the bounty of the region. “Niagara is blessed with some of the best growing conditions in Ontario for not only wines but fruits and vegetables,” says Chef-Founder Stephen, pictured. “We’re here to showcase the best of what the entire peninsula has to offer.” The restaurant, complete with a charming laneway patio, is located just beside the main hotel building. Don’t miss the Lobster Eggs Benedict for breakfast.
Sommelier-Founder James Treadwell (Stephen’s son) is very proud of his extensive wine list, which includes the biggest selection of Ontario wines in Canada. Sommelier-led wine pairings are encouraged, and you can sit at the kitchen-adjacent “chef’s table” for a closeup view of the action.
When the new owners took over the hotel, they also brought back Starbucks to downtown NOTL. The Queen Street location closed in 2020, much to the locals’ disappointment, but 124 on Queen bought the license and reopened it a year later. It’s now accessible from the hotel lobby.
Opened in 2019 and now part of the 124 on Queen family,
The Budapest Bakeshop is a food experience not to be missed. Owners Anett and Todd Kane brought the 300-year-old recipe for chimney cakes — cylindrical pastries that are a delicious hybrid of a donut and a Beavertail — from Anett’s native Hungary. “We spent lots of time playing with our own different recipes that would keep the traditional Hungarian taste while bringing in flavors that North Americans would enjoy,” says Anett.
Chimney cakes are made by rolling dough onto a cylindrical mold, baking it until crispy in special ovens and then adding flavors. The Nutella and walnut flavor is one of their bestsellers.
Photographer: Lucia Lakatos
The hotel’s current incarnation is just the first phase of an ambitious transformation. Future plans include a buzzy lobby bar, garden event space, rooftop relaxation area and more of their Signature Collection rooms.