Making guests feel like home at Tulips and Thistle B&B

Raissa Tetanish
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B&B owners shocked, honoured at tourism award

EAST MOUNTAIN – Ann and Larry MacCormack always try to make their guests feel at home.

It’s what they’ve strived for during the past 11 years at Tulips and Thistle Bed and Breakfast.

“We always chat with them and make them feel at home,” said Ann. “We’ll sit in the evenings with them, if they so desire, and have coffee or a glass of wine, and we always try to be very helpful if they’re looking for information on what to do or where to go.

“There are many mornings when our guests are lined up at the hearth waiting for their first cup of coffee.”

The bed and breakfast, located at 913 Pictou Rd., was the recipient of the 2013 Accommodation Award through the Central Nova Tourist Association (CNTA). (Click here for Colchester County recipients.)

“I was shocked,” said Ann about receiving a phone call from Devin Trefry, marketing director with the CNTA. “Awards are something that we don’t think about. It’s an honour to receive it, but not something we thought about.”

MacCormack said the award citation talked about how the bed and breakfast interacted with their guests, more so about the amenities.

“We try very hard to make them feel at home and winning this award just proves that,” she said.

Having grown up in the area, the couple moved to Ontario for work and stayed there for 35 years before moving back 12 years ago.

“We started thinking about early retirement and thought we could come here and play with this. It’s been awesome and a really good move.”

With the couple having travelled in the past, MacCormack said she and her husband loved staying at bed and breakfasts.

“We thought it would be fun to start our own,” she added. “We love the conversation at the breakfast table and meeting people from around the world. Every B&B is different and every host is different. We feel you get more information from a B&B than a hotel.”

Before moving back to Nova Scotia, the couple searched for the perfect home to turn into the B&B.

“I think we looked at every single place that was for sale in the area,” MacCormack said. “It was hard because we were back and forth a lot. My dream was to always have an old house and we chose Truro because we wanted something central.”

With children living in Ontario, the couple wanted to be close enough to the airport. MacCormack’s mother was living in Truro, while Larry’s mother was living in Pictou.

“We looked at a lot of old houses and knew about this one, but never wanted to look at it because it was newer.”

But that changed thanks to the older homes needing extensive work to make the dream of owning a B&B come true.

The MacCormacks have four bedrooms that are usually full from July to mid-October, each with its own bathroom. There are also two sitting rooms for guests.

“With this house, we didn’t have to do a lot of work. There were two-and-a-half baths upstairs, so during the first winter, we added the other two.”

For more information on Tulips and Thistle, visit http://www.tulipsandthistlebedandbreakfast.com.

 

rtetanish@trurodaily.com

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

Geographic location: Truro, Nova Scotia, Ontario Pictou

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  • Karen
    April 15, 2014 - 06:50

    Congratulations on winning the award. It is so richly deserved by wonderful people such as yourselves. From your neighbor up the hill (also in travel and tourism).