Woodstock Bed and Breakfast attracting tourists from all over - Barbara Geernaert
The Woodstock Local ~ September 21, 2020
"A journey back in time" at Chateau la Motte, built in 1895. It stands proud as an elegant reminder of the Victorian era.
Chateau la Motte, the historic Woodstock home built in 1895, welcomes guests from all over the world and offers a unique bed and breakfast experience, a guest house with old-world charm but with modern amenities.
The guest house, located in one of the most architecturally significant areas in the city, is only a 10- minute walk to downtown.
Chateau la Motte offers privacy and a perfect setting for any occasion including romantic getaways, business trips and wedding accommodations. The building and gardens are ideal for photoshoots, meetings, working retreats and smaller intimate celebrations.
“It’s more than just a B&B. People come to see the house. There’s so much history here,” said Alida Joubert, owner of Chateau la Motte. “All of our rooms are different and unique, each with its own character.”
Joubert and her husband Francois, bought the historic home on Vansittart Ave. in 2016. It was a new venture for the couple originally from South Africa, but they knew they wanted to share the beauty with others.
“This was completely new to us. We made the move from Oakville to Woodstock. When we saw the house, we just knew it would work,” Joubert said.
The 10,000 sq. ft. estate was constructed by Thomas ‘Carbide’ Willson, a prominent engineer, chemist, entrepreneur and Canadian inventor. Born in Princeton, Ontario, Willson discovered an economically efficient process for creating calcium carbide which is used in the production of acetylene gas. The house was a gift to his mother and cost $90,000 just prior to the turn of the century.
The ‘Queen Anne Revival style’ home has a circular tower, four private balconies, and soaring chimneys. The elegant exterior is of ruby volcanic-stone and a grand curved verandah wraps around the front of the home.
The interior of the home has high alfresco and cherub ceilings, original ornate fireplaces, detailed woodwork, curved windows and crown mouldings throughout.
The main floor has a welcoming grand foyer embellished with golden oak paneling, a large kitchen, a formal grand dining room, a cozy octagonal sitting room/library, a solarium and a breakfast/party/meeting room.
“The house was used as a B&B before we bought it. Previous owners spent a fortune to restore it and converted it to a B&B,” Joubert said.
For the Jouberts, it was important to add their own rich family history as well and named the guest house after the commune, La Motte-d’Aigues in the south of France, where Francois’ family originates. Each guest room is named after a family member, also adding a personal touch for the couple.
Chateau la Motte continues to offer tea parties, and has also hosted wine and beer tastings, workshops, business social and networking events and cooking classes. “Our tea parties are still very popular. With the pandemic, we can’t have as many people in a space at one time. I think people are just happy to get out right now. We’ve had inquiries to plan events and parties, but we still have to limit numbers,” Joubert said.
Since moving to Woodstock, Joubert is grateful for the continued support from the community. “We have had so much support from this community and from Tourism Oxford. Everyone is very helpful and very supportive. In smaller towns, people really do help each other, and we do,” she said. Guests from Europe and the U.S are common visitors as well as those taking in the Stratford Festival nearby.
“To meet people from different cultures, it’s really fulfilling, and it has enriched my life, to meet people are from all over the world and from different walks of life. Today, life is so rushed. This is a great place to get away from the city and enjoy some fresh air and peace. It’s quiet, cozy and slow.”
“And it really is a journey back in time.”