Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Royal wasn't what I had planned on. Two days ago I was welcoming spring...and packing away my winter clothes...and thinking of gardening. But yesterday morning...winter returned!

So we made the best of our snow day...and carried on with plans.

It was the perfect day to meet friends for lunch at an historic hotel in our downtown area. My friend, Linda, and I go way back. We both had daughters at the same time...and so our girls grew up together...

...even skated together some 25 years ago.

Now both of our daughters have little girls of their own (one month apart in age)...and so we six girls met for lunch yesterday. (Pictured above: Carol with Joey...Heidi with Maelyn)

We had a wonderful rendezvous at the Royal Cafe...a place I had not been to in several decades...situated in Chilliwack's historic Royal Hotel. It was there that I had my first taste of Chinese food, when I was just a young thing...but as new places popped up all over town, I no longer frequented the old favorites. I was rather surprised at what a lovely old place it was...much nicer than I recalled!

After lunch, we were treated to a tour of the hotel. The hotel was built in 1908...and owned by the Berry family for most of the ensuing years. It has undergone major rejuvenations in the past 10 years...but the quaint look and heritage style have been preserved.

The quilt on the first landing was made by the sister of the gal who gave us the tour... honour of their 100th anniversary celebrations last year.

The room at the top of the stairwell was Room Zero. Interesting! There was of course a good story behind that. One of the early owners called that room home...and since it was not available to the public, it was given the number zero. The gentleman lived in that room until his dying day...and in his memory...the room number remains. Apparently patrons quite enjoy that particular room...and even request room zero when they reserve.

Rich wood trims...and long hallways...and you know it wasn't built yesterday!

The rooms feature claw-foot tubs...and the original cast iron water-heaters (although no longer functional) have been refinished and remain in place.

There are honeymoon suites...jacuzzi suites...

...and rooms with a view (of the snow falling on Chilliwack).

And so ends our tour of 'The Royal'. If you are ever visiting my part of the world...check it out and touch a piece of history! As I climbed those stairs yesterday...I thought for just a moment that I was checking into a European hotel... old...and grand and comfortable! I'd recommend it.

Have a wonderful day...whatever it may have in store for you!


  1. Wow Judy. . .thank you for that lovely tour. If we ever come out your way and can't make it home. . and can't find a bed for free. . .we'll check it out.
    The snow is something isn't it? I was a wee bit embarassed by it all .. .after declaring the snow gone for the season.

  2. That's a beautiful hotel Judy...and looks so comfy and luxurious! We had a sudden snow a few weeks ago, so I know how that is, lol...great pics of your family, too!

  3. You have so many wonderful friendships...these connections are not maintained without effort so I doff my cap to you and to your friends who have worked at friendship. The photo of the girls with their babies is wonderful. Such grins on those mamas' faces!

    The hotel looks wonderful. How nice for you to get the royal tour.

    Pah! That snow is nothing...poor man's fertilizer and soon gone. You'll be back to spring very soon, I'm sure.

  4. Now I thank you for that lovely tour, Judy. Such character in these old places.
    We had a bit of snow yesterday but then it's still winter here.

  5. I saw the snow on the news last night and thought of you - but it will soon be gone, so don't worry! Spring is just asleep under that white blanket.
    How lovely to have maintained a friendship over the years and generations - gorgeous wee girls!
    I saw that hotel when I was in Chilliwack and wondered what it might be like. I have to come over in March and will call to see if they have room - nothing like a good recommendation! (Should I tell them where I got it?)

  6. It certainly is a Grand Hotel. Not the way I remember it when I lived in Chilliwack. (1963) Thanks for the window into your fun day. Do we get a tour of "The Vault" next?

  7. It does look like a European hotel or chalet. I enjoyed reading the history of it. I love the staircase and fine woodwork trims. The tub being open in the room was a surprise!

    When we were in Ireland the very best meals are offered in hotels, especially the noon time carvery of roasts and turkey.

    It's so nice that three generations could meet for lunch and reminisce about your friendship!

    I never trust that the snow is over for good until the end of April, as we've had a few late spring surprises over the years.

    Have a nice day!

  8. Loved having this tour today. What a privilege it was for you to visit such a luxurious hotel with so much history behind it. I enjoyed seeing the rooms, the hallways,and the cafe'. Thank you for sharing your fun time with all of us. If I am ever in that corner of the world, I will definitely visit this Hotel. Maybe you could join me for a cup of coffee at the cafe'.

  9. Well I should now of that place but I have only one thing in my mind when you say The Royal.

    Now, I'm reconsidering, maybe I will need to find a new place to enjoy some downtown time in the city.

  10. What a great place! I loved the picture of you and your friend and your girls. Looks like sweet times.

  11. Now that is a fun snow day!!
    kari & kijsa

  12. When I saw, The Royal, I immediately thought of the Royal Winter Fair we have here in Ontario every November. Back to your Royal...what a BEAUTIFUL hotel, that is some place I'd love to be a guest. How special the generations of friendship, so nice to all get together. Heather


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson