If you’re longing for a real spring with visions of crocuses and balmy weather dancing in your head, you may want to head to Victoria.
British Columbia’s capital city offers a wide range of great hotels, from luxurious high end to ‘low’ – a bit more affordable, fun and funky. Here are a few examples of where you can go for luxury, and where to go for a more casual vibe:
‘Sumptuous’ is perhaps one of the best ways to describe the iconic, award-winning Empress, Victoria’s most popular upscale hotel. Overlooking the inner harbour, the Empress is a grand four-star hotel featuring elegantly appointed rooms, cosy beds, a full-service spa, and fine dining focused on Pacific Northwest cuisine. The world-famous Tea at the Empress – served in the historic Lobby Lounge accompanied by live piano music – is a must. Try the cold smoked salmon on blini with dill and crème fraiche and the heirloom cucumber on rye to start. To crown it all off, finish it up with brown butter shortbread or the Meyer lemon tart.
The one ‘low’ note you may notice at the Empress are the seagulls that will stop by any hotel room window, looking for handouts.
Magnolia is a four-star romantic luxury boutique hotel situated in the heart of downtown Victoria.
Voted one of Canada’s top hotels by Condé Nast Traveler readers and recognised as a Top Luxury Hotel in Canada by TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice awards, Magnolia offers a fantastic getaway when you’re ready for some serious pampering.
Magnolia’s one-of-a-kind fine dining restaurant, The Courtney Room, run by a local chef, serves up local and seasonal food with a French flair. enRoute Magazine named The Courtney Room the #10 Best New Restaurant in Canada in 2018.
In keeping with the hotel’s Green Key Eco-Rating, Spa Magnolia features organic health and beauty treatments and a holistic approach.
If you’re looking for an active countryside getaway, The Westin Bear Mountain, situated approximately half an hour from downtown Victoria, offers comfortable rooms and cosy beds, and beautiful views overlooking the ocean, wooded mountains and the resort’s award-winning golf courses.
When you’re not out hitting the links, there are a variety of nature trails you can explore by bike or on foot. After your day’s adventure, you can relax and unwind at Sante Spa – Victoria’s Mountain Escape at Bear Mountain. Spa services include offerings for golfers, couples and men (Sports Facial, Sports Manicure and Sports Pedicure). Healing Thermal Mud Wrap, Repair and Tone Wrap and Pro-Sleep Treatment, anyone?
Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort combines a high family fun factor with an upscale vibe.
At the top of the list for families is the resort’s large heated indoor swimming pool. There’s also a Kids Scavenger Hunt; Story Time with cookies and milk around the fireplace lobby; and games and card decks available to borrow from the front desk.
The Delta Ocean Pointe Resort is also an excellent destination for couples, with a quiet downtown location set back from the busyness of the city along the waterfront. It’s a romantic spot where you can stroll along the inner harbour and into town to savour the best of Victoria’s boutique shops and restaurants. The Delta Ocean Pointe itself has an excellent restaurant, the classy LURE Restaurant & Bar, which serves a locally sourced menu. The hotel also boasts an award-winning spa, fitness centre and tennis court.
Hotel Zed has been described as Victoria’s funkiest hotel. With a totally urban, hip and playful vibe, Hotel Zed’s central location is across from the newly renovated Mayfair Shopping Centre, 10 minutes from the city’s downtown core.
Hotel Zed is known for Victoria’s best brunch. At The Ruby Restaurant, you can dig into traditional favourites like waffles, bacon and Eggs Benedict, or duck confit and the house speciality – brined, dry rubbed rotisserie chicken. Ingredients are locally sourced, and the coffee is locally roasted. The Ruby also offers favourite local beers, wines and craft cocktails.
If you’d like to stretch your legs while seeing the sights, check out Hotel Zed’s free longboard and bike rentals, including kids’ bikes and tandem bikes. Free classic rollerskate rentals are also available.
And there’s plenty to do at Hotel Zed itself. There’s a ping pong lounge, which includes a Wii station and colouring books; pool, which features a three-storey pink waterslide; and three rooftop patios. There are board games in the lobby – and you can borrow a board game to play in your room – plus comic books in every room.
Hotel Zed is pet-friendly, offering designated dog-friendly and cat-friendly hotel rooms.