It’s hard to write off the Delta Prince Edward, the Big Hotel on Charlottetown’s waterfront: over the 10 years we’ve lived on the Island we’ve attended countless concerts, dinners, and fundraisers there, eaten many good meals in their dining room, and even stayed a night or two (the most interesting time was one Christmas eve, pre-Oliver, when I swore to Catherine that it would be easy to go out and have dinner; it wasn’t, and we ended up checking in to the Delta — then the CP — and having dinner from the snack machines and watching cable TV). There’s no doubting that the Island needs a hotel of the size and stature of the Delta and that we’d be worse off without it.
But at the same time, there’s also no doubting that the Delta isn’t exactly an architectural or planning masterpiece: it stands at the foot of Queen St. like a big red monolith.
While I wouldn’t compare it to the Sydney Tar Ponds or the Dorchester Penitentiary like the author of the Lonely Planet Guide to the Maritimes has, I’ve no problem with a hotel being judged on its aesthetics, and on that ground the Delta is, in the end, a failure.
Fred Hyndman, for one, is on the record as agreeing with me on this point (follow the link to listen to a CBC radio interview with Fred about Catherine Hennessey in which he touches on the issue).