Located in the heritage-protected village of Bayfield, Ontario, on the shores of Lake Huron, the Little Inn has been warmly welcoming guests since the mid 1800’s. Originally built as a stagecoach stop, The Little Inn has been lovingly maintained and recently undergone an extension renovation and restoration project in order to preserve and create the perfect balance of historic charm and modern comfort.
The Inn itself is a designated heritage building. Built of local buff brick, it is a fine example of early Ontario architecture. The addition of the two-story verandah back in the 1980’s harkens back to the original façade of the building, and serves to make the Inn a significant landmark building on Bayfield’s Main Street.
26 Main Street N. Bayfield, Ontario N0M 1G0
TELEPHONE: 1-800-565-1832, 519-565-2611
" Once you have experienced sleeping in a bed luxuriously finished with Frette linens, you have completely enveloped yourself with the feeling of home, comfort and contentment, how perfect! "
Joanne and Mike Oliver
We had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Joanne and Mike Oliver, Owners of The Little Inn.
What was your design inspiration for The Little Inn?
As the Inn is a historic property we wanted to preserve the authentic nature of the architecture while bringing it up to the standards and expectations of todays world travellers. The goal was to preserve the historic charm, including choosing colours and materials, which would enhance the overall ambience of the property. We engaged with a local design team whose familiarity of the area and clientele sourced wherever possible from local suppliers and builders.
What is unique about your property?
We feel the property is unique due to three distinct reasons: location, food program and architectural heritage. The Inn is located a block up from Lake Huron, and as such our guests are able to experience the beautiful sunsets which National Geographic has described as some of the best in the world. The Inn features two distinct restaurants, The Willow Room and the Four-In-Hand Taproom. The Willow Room is our fine dining experience, and is named as such to pay homage to the stately willow tree, which anchors the front of the Inn. Our Four-In-Hand Taproom is inspired by an authentic English Pub, a Taproom by definition being described as a bar in an inn where beer is on tap. Food is sourced locally and we offer an extensive wine and beer selection, including many local craft beers and Ontario produced wines. Finally, the building itself has been preserved to enhance the historical significance in both design and materials and is a landmark in one of most charming villages in Ontario, Canada.
What was important about having Frette in your property?
When our guests arrive we want them to experience moving from the day-to-day hustle of the city to a pace whereby they are able to slow down, pause and experience the wonderful atmosphere of the Inn and village. Part of that experience was to be able to offer and guarantee the perfect sleep. Having travelled extensively around the world and having stayed in many properties we realized the correlation between a restful nights sleep and luxury experience was indeed the linens. The reputation and quality of Frette allowed us to achieve this goal and we extended this to our bath products as well.
How does the Frette product add to the design of the hotel?
Frette conveys one thing to our guests – luxury. The towels we chose became a natural extension of the design of the bathrooms, which were renovated to provide clean lines, uniformity of colour and a classic historical feel. In the Inn, the beds are the focal point when you walk into the guest rooms, and we wanted to make sure the duvet and linens depicted the luxury and atmosphere that makes any guest anticipate the feeling of getting into that bed. From a design element, we found it interesting that both Frette and the Inn have been in operation since the mid-1800’s, which speaks to fact that well made, high quality products have longevity.
What are the most important decorative elements in your home?
Clean lines, inviting, and comfortable.
What are your three most important elements when designing a bedroom/room?
Comfort, luxury and a feeling of indulgence.
What does it feel like to wrap yourself in Frette?
We have Frette in our homes and in the Inn. There is nothing more appealing than finishing the day with a luxurious shower and being able to step out onto a Frette bathmat, dry yourself with a warm Frette towel and sink into a bed made up with Frette linens. Once you have experienced sleeping in a bed luxuriously finished with Frette linens, you have completely enveloped yourself with the feeling of home, comfort and contentment, how perfect!
How do you define luxury?
Luxury can be defined as the pursuit of classic, timeless, quality products and services. In order to achieve luxury you must be willing to invest in yourself and your lifestyle, and Frette is a perfect compliment to that.The quality of the linens and towels are demonstrated both visually and viscerally from their look and feel. The unique designs of Frette’s linens and bath products have a timeless element that can be integrated into any décor, and knowing that Frette has been in operation since 1860 demonstrates the longevity of its heritage and quality.
If you only have 72 hours in Bayfield what would you recommend doing or seeing?
Let our chef pack you a custom picnic basket filled with locally sourced and deliciously crafted products from Huron County; maybe some fresh local cheese, house made bread and wine produced in Ontario. Then head down to Bayfield’s beautiful blue flag beach on the shores of Lake Huron to experience an amazing sunset.
Another perfect way to enjoy everything Bayfield and Huron has to offer is to take a sail charter leaving from one of our two large marinas, located just a stone’s throw from the Inn. What better way to see the small villages and towns that populate the shores of Lake Huron, than from the bow of a beautiful 34’ Beneteau?!
The extensive network of hiking, biking, horseback riding and snowmobile trails that are dotted in and around Bayfield provide another unique way to enjoy the flora and fauna that abound in Huron County.
What's your favorite restaurant in Bayfield?
We may be a bit biased, but the food, atmosphere and drinks provided in both the Willow Room and our Taproom will leave guests wanting to come back again and again with friends and family. For a great patio experience in the summer we would recommend the Black Dog Village Pub and Bistro, with hospitable owners and an amazing beer selection!