While on a recent work trip to Halifax, I decided to check out the newly opened Muir Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection.
Autograph Collection hotels are handpicked for their originality, expression, and impactful experiences. The Muir is Nova Scotia’s first Autograph Collection property, and I found it to be a very worthwhile stay for anyone visiting the East Coast.
The Muir was inspired by the unique culture and natural elements of Nova Scotia, its rooms designed with bespoke furnishings and locally commissioned art to complement the waterfront views.
In This Post
- Shannon Suite
- Pool & Fitness
- Other Facilities
Muir Hotel Halifax – Booking
I was able to book the Muir at a cash rate of around $300 in early January, booked a few days in advance. Standard rates at the hotel fall in the range of $300–$400, while rates for suites fall in the $700–$800 range.
The Muir is a Category 6 property with Marriott Bonvoy, and free night redemptions would cost 50,000 Bonvoy points per night at the standard rate.
At 0.9 cents apiece, as per our Points Valuations, 50,000 Bonvoy points would be worth $450, making cash rates the more favourable choice.
I was, however, able to use my Marriott Amex US Offer for US$50 off of US$250 spent at North American Marriott properties (which launched on the morning of my stay) to offset some of the cost.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Location
The Muir Hotel is situated in the downtown centre of Halifax, overlooking the waterfront. Having just opened its doors before the holidays on December 10, 2021, the Muir is Halifax’s newest luxury hotel.
The hotel is considered the centrepiece of the Queen’s Marque development, situated near shopping, events, art galleries, and a newly emerging culinary district. Halifax’s major attractions are within walking distance, with the harbourfront boardwalk only seconds away and the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site reachable in a 15-minute walk.
Downtown Halifax is about a 30-minute drive from Halifax Stanfield International Airport. There aren’t likely to be many Ubers available for hire, so your best bet is to rent a car, take a taxi for about $80 one-way, or ride the 320 bus downtown for $4.25, which drops you off a few blocks away from the Muir.
The Muir’s stunning new building extends out towards the waterfront, its modern nautically-inspired exterior blending well with Halifax’s existing historical properties.
Tributes to the region were incorporated into the building’s exterior through materials such as Muntz copper metal, commonly used in shipbuilding.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Check-in
When I arrived at 3pm, the front desk staff were exceedingly professional and friendly in greeting me, immediately making me feel welcomed as a valued guest. The excellent service culture would turn out to be a very prominent theme throughout my stay.
The staff walked me through all the hotel’s features and benefits, including the breakfast offering for elite members (unlimited à la carte orders at Drift Restaurant) and the limited spa and pool hours due to the pandemic (8am to 8pm, reservations required).
They also promised to look out for my checked bag which had been delayed arriving into Halifax and would be delivered to the hotel. They even offered to proactively contact Air Canada on my behalf to check on its status.
Additionally, I was in touch with the hotel before my arrival, and had “suite-talked” my way to a Shannon Suite upgrade as a Titanium Elite member with Marriott.
I also requested a 4pm late checkout the following day as part of my member benefits, which was granted without a moment’s hesitation.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Shannon Suite
Taking my keys, I made my way to my room at the end of the hallway on the 5th floor. The Shannon Suite is the hotel’s second-largest suite type, after the Thrumcap Suite (situated right opposite it, also at the end of the long building).
The Shannon Suite had a beautiful nautical-themed design. I loved the dark bronze accents against a beige colour theme, as well as the dropped-down ceilings to make the room feel a bit like a luxury yacht’s interior.
The custom furnishings reflect a modern interpretation of East Coast design. The interiors are the work of international designer Alessandro Munge, founder of Canada’s Studio Munge, who has built a name for himself specializing in luxury hospitality, food & beverage, and residential spaces.
The Shannon Suite is generously sized at 804 square feet, with a spacious living room situated separately from the bedroom. The living room is fitted with a custom-designed sofa, walnut dining table, hutch, and flat-screen wall-mounted TV across from the sofa.
Additionally, a fridge, double sink, a Nespresso machine, and a walnut bar is positioned next to the dining table, with a variety of whiskeys and wines to choose from if you wish.
The hotel room has full-size soundproof windows that provide sweeping views of the harbour and Queen’s Marque below. The rising building opposite to the hotel will be a signature restaurant, Rise Again, opening in the summer of 2022.
The Shannon Suite features one king-sized bed with 100% Egyptian cotton linens and a satin finish, which I found very comfortable and luxurious to sleep in.
At the foot of the bed is a custom-designed tartan wool blanket, and on each side of the bed, two marble-top tables with USB charging ports, reading lamps, and touchpads for the lights, drapes, and sheers.
Moreover, each bedroom contains artwork of the province’s landscapes from locally commissioned artists, contributing further to the East Coast authenticity.
The primary bathroom was spa-like and modern, but still paid tribute to the theme and province. I was a big fan of the silver beach granite finishes and the dramatic rounded mirror, representative of a ship’s porthole, which also had soft ring lighting around the edge.
The bathroom had a soaker tub and a standing shower with a rainforest shower head and – very impressively – luxurious Aesop toiletries. My only gripe was the weak water pressure on the shower.
Lastly, a separate, small half-bathroom with a granite sink and flooring is positioned in the passageway between the living room and the bedroom, making for a nice addition when sharing the room with another guest.
The room came with extremely comfortable plush-lined robes and slippers, as well as evening turndown service for added comfort.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed by the Muir’s Shannon Suite and loved spending time in it. My only potential improvement to the suite would be a dedicated desk for productivity, perhaps a small one overlooking the harbour in the living room.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Breakfast
As a Titanium Elite member with Marriott, I received an unlimited à la carte breakfast at the hotel’s Drift Restaurant.
This is very generous compared to what many other hotels offer, particularly here in North America, and I very much hope the hotel keeps it that way beyond their opening period.
The breakfast menu read as follows:
To start, I ordered the muesli, served like an ice cream sundae, topped with granola and fresh fruit in a delightful presentation.
For the main portion of my breakfast, I ordered a delicious helping of haddock fish cakes, topped with poached eggs, plus a side of sausage and hash browns.
Finally, a hand-crafted cappuccino wrapped up my meal with aplomb.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Dining
The newly built Drift Restaurant is Located on the main level of the Muir Hotel. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily, as well as late-night drinks and weekend brunch.
The restaurant was spacious and modern with muted tones. As with the hotel’s overall décor, elements from local Nova Scotian culture were incorporated at every opportunity.
Drift serves elevated regional cuisine, which aims to pay homage to this region’s land, people, and history. The executive chef is one of Canada’s most highly respected chefs, Anthony Walsh, brought in from Toronto to help redefine Maritime cuisine here at Drift.
I sat down for a light dinner and drinks with some of our Halifax-based Prince of Travel Royal Platinum members. Everyone remarked how good their food was, and I too really enjoyed my seafood linguine.
The drinks were great as well. One of our party ordered a Caesar, which came with an oyster on top. I highly recommend dining at Drift if staying at the hotel, or even if you’re local; reservations are encouraged.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Bar
Drift has a bar that is open every day until 11pm; however, the Muir Hotel also has a secret speakeasy, BKS, for guests and club members only. BKS’s outdoor terrace, perched above the water, is set to be one of Halifax’s most desirable private terraces in the summer months.
Guests typically enter through a private entrance, which is located at the end of the guest room hallway on the third floor.
Unfortunately, BKS was closed during my stay and set to open just a week after. I look forward to returning to the Muir and checking it out, as I imagine it must be a great spot given the quality of the hotel overall.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Pool & Fitness
Windward Wellness on the second floor houses the pool, spa, and gym. The spa was open from 8am to 8pm on limited hours during my stay, and reservations were required.
While some hotels may treat their pool and gym as an afterthought, the Muir has invested heavily in their wellness offerings, making Windward Wellness an ideal spot to relax after a long day of travel or business meetings.
I thought the indoor pool was excellent – not quite big enough to swim laps, but great for taking a dip, and it has a space at the far end for lying down half-submerged in the water with jets.
You can also find a cold plunge pool, eucalyptus steam room, infrared sauna, and salt room as part of the very comprehensive spa facilities.
I tried the salt room, which is lined with Himalayan salt blocks and pumps air infused with Atlantic salt. I didn’t really feel anything, but apparently, it’s supposed to be cleansing and relaxing.
I mostly relaxed in the half-submerged part of the pool afterwards, while hopping into the cold plunge pool and then the sauna a few times.
Additionally, the Muir has a well-appointed gym with lots of exercise space and a wide range of equipment.
The gym also offers studio classes such as spin and yoga.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Other Facilities
The Muir Hotel Halifax has a thoughtfully curated range of additional features and facilities which contribute to its overall experience.
The hotel offers a house car service in a Range Rover, which can be booked for drop-offs within a two-mile radius on “the peninsula” of downtown Halifax during the hours of 9am–2pm and 5pm–9pm on a first-come-first-served basis.
During the warmer months, a 36-foot Morris yacht accommodating up to 10 individuals, as well as a high-speed 24-foot motorboat, are available exclusively to guests for excursion and tour bookings. Furthermore, for outdoor lovers staying at the hotel, private kayaks, paddle boards, and bicycles are available to rent.
One final unique feature is the hotel’s welcome policy for pets. Not only does the Muir Halifax go above and beyond for guests, but they also offer pampering amenities for pets. These include comfortable pet beds, dog walking services, indoor running space, and grooming space.
Muir Hotel Halifax – Service
I don’t usually comment on service because it rarely stands out, but here at Muir, service was amazing across the board and must be commended.
For instance, I received regular calls from the front desk to let me know about the status of my missing bag, and they were proactively calling the airline staff on my behalf all the way until it was delivered to the hotel.
The bellhops and spa staff all proactively addressed me as “Mr. Zhang” at our first interaction. The spa staff would’ve seen my name on the reservation, but the bellhop must’ve been made aware by their colleagues.
There must be a strong culture to address guests by name. That’s very impressive to me, as it’s not something you encounter too often at North American hotels.
I encountered lovely staff at Drift Restaurant, the front desk, and housekeeping at every interaction. The service style was warm, caring, and unpretentious, and was quite possibly the best service culture I’ve encountered at any Canadian hotel.
I’m confident in saying that the newly opened Muir Hotel is easily the best place to stay in Halifax, and the fact that Marriott Bonvoy members can earn points and enjoy elite benefits here is merely the cherry on top.
I’d even say go so far as to say that Muir can stand shoulder-to-shoulder against the top hotels in Canada, and that I feel it will put Halifax more squarely “on the map”, elevating its standing as a destination itself.
Indeed, although the hotel is part of the Autograph Collection brand, it wouldn’t be out of place as a luxury brand like a JW Marriott, or dare I say a Park Hyatt – perhaps unsurprising considering Studio Munge’s influence on both the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the Park Hyatt Toronto elsewhere in Canada.
Things were still quiet around the hotel during my winter visit. I look forward to returning to Muir in the summer to try out BKS, the in-house car, the yacht service, and the Rise Again restaurant, when I imagine the place will be absolutely buzzing.