Allen's Motel has been a Kentville landmark for more than 60 years, opened originally in 1951 by the Allen family from Yarmouth. Twenty years later, it was purchased by Jessie and Arthur Coakley beginning a family operated business which has continued to the present. During the twenty-two years they ran this establishment, Jessie and Arthur gained a solid reputation for warmth and friendliness while offering guests a cozy and comfortable place to stay. Now their son Michael and his wife Joan are carrying on this family tradition, and with the same sense of pride. They are continuously renovating and upgrading to make sure visitors enjoy the utmost in clean and cheerful surroundings while maintaining a homey atmosphere.
Originally from the St. Margaret's Bay area of Nova Scotia, Michael and Joan Coakley spent a number of years in the publishing business, producing a community newspaper for this popular vacation destination. It was during that time, they became associated with the hospitality industry as their monthly journal provided a voice for the local tourism-related businesses. They were both long-time members of the South Shore Tourism Association and the St. Margaret's Bay Business and Tourism Association, serving on the executive committee of the latter.
Their hands-on training in the motel business came courtesy of the senior Coakleys who would occasionally call on one or the other to look after the operation while they took a few days off. It was 1994 when Arthur and Jessie settled into their “second” retirement and Michael and Joan gave up their most recent calling as restaurateurs, moving to Kentville to become innkeepers. After more than 20 seasons, they are contemplating a “life style change” and are presently looking for someone to take over the business. They say it’s been fun, they have met many very interesting people but it is now time to move on.
Clyde and Ethel Wiley from Virginia had these kind words: "In our 4000 mile round trip journey from Virginia to Nova Scotia we stayed in many places but none as warm and cozy as your facility. We feel it was your genuine hospitality plus the unique touch of serving an elegant breakfast complete with homemade bread and jam that puts to shame the phrase "Continental Breakfast Served". Chatting with the two of you made us feel so welcome. Kentville, Nova Scotia, and the Coakleys will remain in our memories as an area, not only of beauty but also for its warm and friendly folks!"
Clayton & Mary Jesweak of Cadillac, Michigan: "Cleanest place in all Nova Scotia. Should get a 6-star plus!"
Sally Terry from New South Wales, Australia: "Lovely rooms and fabulous friendly people. Thank you."
Steve & Heather Simon of Houston, Texas: "Delightful stay. Tasty breakfast. Wonderful hosts!"
Cathy Smith from St. Andrews, New Brunswick: "Very comfortable and warm environment. Wonderful gardens."
Maureen & Ray from Ontario had this to say: "The best place we have stayed in 12 days! Thanks so much!"
Richard & Diane Monteith, London, ON: "We really enjoyed our stay and your wonderful hospitality. Thank you!"
Mary & Todd Thompson of Southbury, CT: "Thanks so much - best sleep we've had for a long time!"
Joanne & Mike Komendat from Ingleside, ON: "Absolutely great. You have created a homey place to stay. We will be back!"
The Steeves from Calgary, AB: "Great hospitality. Great breakfast and conversation. Would stay here again anytime."
John & Linda Veenstra, Bloomfield, ON: "Thanks for a lovely spot to stop. You've done a fabulous job in all renovations and decorating. The best motel ever - from Alberta to here."
And finally from Gloria Earl of Toronto, Ontario: "We wish to express our delight in finding such an attractive, comfortable room as we journey through this unique province. As a gardener, I enjoyed strolling through the flower beds, which are also meticulously kept. As a smoker, I respect the rights of non-smokers, and as a smoker, I thoroughly enjoyed the smoking area you thoughtfully provided for us. I especially found delight in the butt disposal - very unique. Thank you. P.S. Flowered sheets an added luxury. Bravo!"
It is comments such as these from the many appreciative guests - some of who have returned several times over the years - that make Michael and Joan "big on being small".