One doesn’t typically think of a B and B as a destination—perhaps just a place to lay your head and start your day between holiday expeditions—until you lay eyes on ‘Stella Maris.’ Nestled on the rugged shores of Ferguson’s Cove, 10 minutes from downtown Halifax and just steps away from York Redoubt National Historic Site, you will find the Star of the Sea Bed & Breakfast. But this ain’t no ordinary B & B! The Star of the Sea is the realization of the vision of business partners, Tom Foster and Eva Kroger, who saw potential and opportunity in the crumbling 1846 Stella Maris chapel. For many years prior, there was an air of uncertainty surrounding the municipal heritage property as locals debated the fate of what was then an aging structure in a state of significant disrepair. Stella Maris met her fate/destiny in 2012 when Foster and Kroger, then Ontario residents, came to Nova Scotia and fell in love with the church and its idyllic setting.
5 years and much blood, sweat, and tears later, what is clear to anyone who enters the building is that the transformation of Stella Maris into a 4.5-star B & B has truly been a labour of love. Many of the original features of the church, including domed wooden ceilings and arched windows have been restored with painstaking care, and all of the restorations, aside from some electrics and plumbing, have been entirely completed at the hands of Tom and Ava. The results are truly breath-taking. ‘God is in the details,’ as they say, and never has this been more apparent than at the Star of the Sea. From the 1846 tongue and groove board rescued from the church walls scattered throughout the property to the bright and masterfully decorated suites to the stunning harbour and open Atlantic views from the deck, Stella Maris is a feast for the eyes. She is now home to three unique and immaculate suites and is ideal for families and couples or those wanting to host gatherings in style.
Beyond its structure and story, Stella Maris is a wonderful retreat for families looking for a quiet seaside getaway within close proximity to some of the finest destinations in Nova Scotia. Without setting foot in a vehicle, dwellers at the Star of the Sea B & B can enjoy seaside walks, in-house spa treatments, and a walk around the York Redoubt national historic area. Just a short ride away, you will find all the best of what Halifax has to offer. From the Nova Scotia Museum to the Citadel to Pier 21 and the famous harbour, the city is your oyster. As for days out, a world-class hike at Duncan’s cove, a beach day at the pristine Crystal Crescent beach, a saunter around the much-loved Peggy’s Cove, Mahone Bay, or the delightful Lunenburg are just the beginning of the Nova Scotia treasures you will find within easy commuting distance of Star of the Sea. This B and B strikes a marvellous balance between exploring city attractions, discovering the natural treasures of the surrounding area, and having the idyllic place to regroup and retreat at the end of the day.
Stella Maris, for her story, her charm, her unique place in history, and her gracious hosts, is so much more than Bed & Breakfast. She is a place that will be part of your Nova Scotia story and one that will not soon be forgotten.
Many thanks to the wonderful Eva and Tom who hosted our family in the York Redoubt Suite. Your hospitality, food (!!!), and willingness to share your fantastic home with our family was as an experience we will never forget. The kids LOVED their nights spent in the magical loft bed!