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Paradise Inn Evolves With New Ownership redefined since 1859

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When we purchased Paradise Inn, formally known as Edelweiss Motel in 2019 little did we know or expect that we would become so enamoured by its history and quaint features being the only hotel located on the shores of Lake Huron in the wonderful town of Port Elgin. We knew the property was in a spectacular location situated directly across from the harbour and beautiful sandy beach with crystal clear blue water so it was a purchase making perfect sense but then came the question of would we continue to run it as a hotel or operate a different business in this old historic building from the 1800's. 

The first summer of ownership changed our lives and cemented our goals for our new purchase.  We decided to move into the hotel while our home renovations were being done and reside on the main floor gave us a hands on experience not only for running the business but also knowing the feeling we would want to provide our guests who were more than happy to provide input with their suggestions. 

 

Our goal was and is to provide a very comfortable, clean, home away from home cottage feel for our guests along with up to date technologies interspersed with old world charm. We quickly came to realize how many changes would need to happen to attain our dream.  Some of the reasons for the changes were not immediately obvious to onlookers like the extensive landscaping in order to properly seal the building from intrusive tree roots and add vapour barrier sealing to the entire basement area to avoid moisture/humidity issues as well as adding new supportive beams. Changes in wiring, lighting and laundry facilities all needed to happen.

 

There were however many changes that guests immediately saw and appreciated.  We installed a new air conditioning and heating system throughout.  Locks were changed to be keyless entry for the building including all room door locks to allow guests to create their own four digit codes to access their rooms more easily. A state of the art security system was installed in common areas of the hotel along with outdoor patios and parking area permitting 24 hour surveillance.

 

Creating a website to allow for online booking was front and centre in importance. The small black book with a first name attached to a future date with or without a phone number was not going to suffice as had been passed along to us from the previous owner. Old small box televisions were quickly replaced with large flatscreen TV's in every room along with Keurig coffee makers and starter packs of toiletries. The dark pink bedding and curtains were exchanged with new white linens, extra pillows and fresh beachy artwork donned the walls of every room.

Each room received new small bar fridges, bedside tables and eventually the old wooden desks and chairs were refreshed with white coats of paint and pewter knobs so as to brighten the rooms even further yet not break the bank. More recently these have now been replaced with new more modern user friendly desks, chairs and bedside tables.  Bathrooms, while delightful and especially unique in having tubs every colour of the rainbow were also renovated with new flooring, toilets and white enamel on the tubs along with updated faucets and vanities thus providing the guests the spa feeling with the old world charm.

More and more of our elderly guests along with those with small children asked to have main floor rental opportunities and so the main floor was subsequently reverted back to original status of having rental rooms on the main floor of the hotel thus allowing Paradise Inn to have 10 boutique hotel rooms in total available for guests; 7 up and 3 down on the main floor.  New carpeting was installed throughout and each room on the main level modified to match those on the upper level. Once realizing a communal kitchen would be of more use to our valued guests than the office area, that too was modified and created for enhanced guest experience.

 

Our presidential suite was born once we ourselves experienced the great joy of sitting in the front room with wrap around windows looking out on the expansive sandy beach and world renowned sunsets. Located on the main floor, front of the building this room now boasts private roped off outdoor decking area, large living room with lots of seating and pullout queen bed, fireplace, massive flatscreen TV, king bed, private full kitchen and spa like bath, this has been every guests' favourite room and area to call home for short and sometimes long periods of stay.

The new name Paradise Inn was created as a combination from previous names of the hotel through the years, Paradise Grove and Lakeview Inn.  We had a vision of building on the theme of a tropical paradise and managed to not only have large decked areas built on front and side of the building for added guest seating and beach viewing pleasure but also obtained an amazing Tiki Hut from a friend which was placed on the front right corner of the deck for added tropical feel and a wee bit of shade when needed. 

We thoroughly enjoy hearing guests and those passing by give us amazing feedback and support for all the hard physical work we've put into creating our little piece of paradise we choose to share with others.  Adding the beach rentals of kayaks, fat tire bikes and paddle boards has become an added thought for guest enjoyment and provide one more reason for tourists to want to come to Port Elgin and stay at our lovely beach.

While gruelling at times as would be expected, we have thoroughly enjoyed working together and combining our creative thoughts and touches to this new venture of being hoteliers and look forward to more wonderful changes as Paradise Inn continues to evolve.

Judy and Randy Bird

Owners of Paradise Inn