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Manoir Hovey //, is a five-star inn and a member of the Relais & Chateaux association located in the village of North Hatley, in Quebec, Canada. North Hatley, a resort town on Lake Massawippi, owes most of its grand houses and particular architecture to the first summer people – aristocrats, captains of industry and large landowners, mostly Americans from the South. For some time after the American Civil War (1861-1865) many wealthy southerners renounced New England (Yankeeland) as a summer retreat and continued further North into Canada, some by private railway car. Legend has it that many drew their blinds in passing through New England.
These new arrivals brought their lifestyles with them – butlers and servants, horses and carriages, and the gentlemanly sports of golf, sailing and tennis. Around 1895 they started to build on the west side of the lake. Their summer homes were large, many with over 15 rooms. Some continue in the hands of the same American families, who continue to summer here, others have been converted to inns or bed and breakfasts. That, in fact, is what happened to the grandest of all summer homes, called The Birches. Built in 1900 by Henry Atkinson, from Atlanta, with a broad porch and white pillars (copied from George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, Virginia), it was later renamed Hovey Manor and is today the town’s most luxurious inn. Today, the name Manoir Hovey is exclusively used, as Quebec's French laws request. Yet, it is still often referred to as the English name by most anglophones guests.
As a private estate, the grand house had its own stables and coach house, servants’ quarters and even a private nine-hole golf course which is rumoured to have been designed by Bobby Jones Sr., a friend of the Atkinsons. Many of these spaces, including the old ice house and servants’ quarters have since been converted into guest rooms.
Manoir Hovey draws thousands of vacationers each year. The mansion is surrounded by 25 acres (100,000 m2) of woods and English gardens. Its 1,700 feet (520 m) of lake front include two sandy beaches equipped with canoes, kayaks and paddle boards.
In 2007, the inn was named one of Canada’s top 10 hotels in Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List – which makes it the only country property in Eastern Canada to have received the honor.
In 2014, it is ranked #1 among the Best Hotels in Eastern Canada in the Condé Nast Traveler: Readers' Choice Awards, a list that includes two other Relais & Châteaux properties, as well as much respected brands such as Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons.