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The Orange Bicycle Guesthouse and Gardens is located five minutes outside of the small village Tobermory in Ontario, Canada. The property is right across the street from a beach and is within a few minute's drive of the Flower Pot Island boat dock and the Bruce Peninsula National Park. The property has three guest accommodations, each themed after different areas in Turkey, Canada, and Iran. An extensive flower garden covers over half of the one-acre property, and a wrap-around driveway makes entering and exiting the property more convenient. Breakfast is prepared and served every morning by Nick and Neda, the property owners.
The Orange Bicycle Guesthouse and Gardens is a small bed and breakfast located five minutes outside the center of Tobermory, a small village in Ontario, Canada. The area is known for its turquoise water and pebble beaches. Rich foliage covers most of the area, and at the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse, there is no exception. A large flower garden covers the entire front of the property with a small pond and gazebo. The single-story, bungalow-style home sits on one acre of land covered almost entirely in flowers such as daffodils, lavender, and lupin.
Across the street from the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse and Gardens is a public beach looking out over the Jordan Bay. Additional amenities outside of the bed and breakfast include free parking areas, an electric vehicle charging station, a firepit that can be used during the colder months of the year, and a bicycle storage area for guests wishing to cycle during their stay. A wrap-around driveway is at the front of the home, providing a way for guests to enter end exit the property.
The interior of the 3000 square foot home is recently updated and decorated. The owners, Nick and Neda, live on one side of the home while all of the guest spaces are on the other. Neda has used her background as an interior design consulting to decorate the Tudor-style home with modern and mid-century decor. There are three guest accommodations at the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse. In addition, there are several gathering areas; these include the living room, dining area, and back deck.
In the living room and dining area, there is a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, and cold water dispenser guests can use at any time to warm up food, store drinks, or refill water bottles. The back deck is outfitted with some shaded seating as well as some lay-back lawn chairs for guests to lounge. Every guest is welcome to use the wireless internet or borrow a bicycle from the garage to take and explore the area.
Each of the bedrooms at the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse is themed differently and has full ensuite bathrooms. Egyptian cotton sheets and Turkish cotton towels are placed in each room for guests’ comfort. Other amenities inside each room include robes, a hairdryer, high-quality toiletries, and ceiling fans. Every room has large windows letting in natural sunlight during the day and a television.
The Jasper is the largest and most frequented of the rooms at the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse. This Canadian-themed room is outfitted with rustic decor such as a restored wood dresser and an old-fashioned wood barrel transformed into a sink. The sitting area in the room also contains a double-size futon couch which can provide extra sleeping arrangements. The Jasper has a large window looking out the back of the home into Neda’s small garden and the rest of the yard.
The Shiraz is a Persian-themed room with a view out the front of the home into the main flower garden. Shiraz is one of Neda’s heroes in Iran, where she was born. A queen-sized bed is located in the Shiraz, and a white tiled bathroom with an artisan sink decorates the bathroom. The Antalya is a Turkish-themed room with authentic handicrafts from Turkey. The Antalya is the smallest of the guest accommodations at the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse. This room also has views of the front gardens.
A full breakfast is cooked by Nick and Neda every morning. The typical time breakfast is served ranges from 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM and lasts for an hour. The morning meal is served in the dining room but can be taken out to the back deck. The meal typically consists of both a savory and sweet dish; some dishes on the menu include a cheese platter, yogurt parfait, egg casserole, poached eggs with avocado toast, banana chocolate spread paninis, and french toast. Neda can accommodate those with dietary restrictions if she is made aware beforehand.
In Tobermory, there are many nature-oriented activities guests can participate in and many locally-owned restaurants Nick and Neda recommend. Some popular attractions near the property include Flower Pot Island. This island is located on the Georgian Bay and is part of the Fathom Five National Marine Park. Bruce Peninsula National Park is one of the five national parks in the area and features multiple pebbled beaches, turquoise waterways, and a network of hiking trails. Singing Sands Beach is one of Neda’s favorite beaches and is just a short bicycle ride away from the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse.
There is a wide variety of dining options in Tobermory and the surrounding municipalities. Neda and Nick recommend guests visit Shipwreck Lee’s to guests with larger groups and an appetite for fish and chips. This pirate-themed bistro has many different dishes. The Crowsnest Pub and Coconut Joe's Harbour Bar and Grill are a couple of other places that the owners may recommend to their guests. The Crowsnest Pub is open every evening and has a long happy hour. Coconut Joe’s Harbour Bar and Grill is a more upscale dining option in the area where guests can eat on the patio.
The Orange Bicycle Guesthouse and Gardens is owned and managed by Nick and Neda. The couple’s motto when it comes to welcoming guests into their home is “pamper, pamper, pamper,” says Neda. The couple wants their guests to have a luxury experience while staying at their bed and breakfast. Neda spent months after purchasing the property selecting specific decorations, rugs, and furniture to add to the ambiance of the space—all with the goal of energizing every room with bursts of color and native artwork while maintaining a semblance of relaxation in the spaces by means of lounge furniture and natural lighting.
Nick and Neda live in the same home as their guests, so they are usually within calling distance if a guest ever needs anything. The couple tries to welcome each guest personally, giving them a tour of the space and check in on them regularly. Nick is a drummer, and several musical instruments are located in the main living room where guests can join Nick playing music. “We want everyone who passes through to feel like they are visiting family, and we want to build a relationship with them,” says Neda.
The Orange Bicycle Guesthouse and Gardens is specifically designed for an older audience, and the owners request that only children of 12 years enter. Pets are not allowed on the property either; the owners want to avoid bringing any allergens into their home or any damage that could be made to their gardens from animals. Nick and Neda appreciate when their guests treat the space they have created with respect.
Many of the guests at the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse and Gardens are repeat guests or come based on referrals. A majority of them are millennials and couples staying for a night or two while exploring the small village of Tobermory. Many positive reviews are left by guests at the bed and breakfast regarding the cleanliness of the space, the colorful flower gardens, and the owners’ hospitality. “My husband and I had a wonderful stay at the Orange Bicycle. Neda and Nick are fantastic hosts. As soon as we walked in the door, we received a warm welcome and a friendly chat about all the attractions in Tobermory. The bed was comfortable, and the bathroom was modern, clean, and spacious. Breakfast was also delicious, served on the patio in the backyard. We even had a campfire one night! They really went above and beyond to make our stay memorable,” said a guest in a recent review.
The Tobermory area is known for its nature-oriented attractions and small-town atmosphere. Nick and Neda are willing to provide their visitors with detailed lists of things to do and local restaurants to dine at. They support many of the local businesses in the area with their recommendations. The property is open year-round; however, during the summer season—when the weather is warm—there are more reservations. July and August are the busiest months of the year at the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse.
Nick and Neda are the current owners of the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse. They purchased the home in 2015 and have updated it during the past few years, renovating the space into what it is today. Before Nick and Neda owned the home, it was a family home built in 1990. The couple met and lived most of their lives in Toronto before moving to Tobermory. Nick was a carpenter by trade, and Neda worked as an interior designing consultant, baker, and customer service representative for many years. With their adjoined skills Nick and Neda knew that being innkeepers was the ideal job for them. Neda’s mother lived with the couple for four years before her passing and turned the elaborate garden into what it is today.
Neda was born in Iran and was forced to sell her bicycle when she was 15 years old due to the Islamic Revolution. When she immigrated to Canada in 1998, a new bike was the first thing she purchased. That same bike is painted orange and sits in the center of the front yard flower garden to this day as a symbol of her freedom.
After purchasing the Orange Bicycle Guesthouse, Nick and Neda made a variety of changes. They redid all of the flooring, updated all of the decor and furniture in every room, and added on the home’s back deck. In 2020 the couple also came into ownership of another rental property down the road they intend to use for weekly rentals. The home will be rented out as a whole and has three bedrooms along with a large kitchen, garage, and living area where large groups and families can stay. In the future, the couple hopes to continue welcoming more guests to their small part of Canada.