Published on March 28th, 2010 | by simeon0
I have to admit a bit of a bias when it comes to anything Victoria, B.C. Visiting Victoria brings back fond memories of the weekend trips with my cousins and my grandparents that dotted my teenage years. Victoria was also my first “destination date” with the boyfriend I eventually married, and we returned for our honeymoon a year and half later. Each visit is unique and I fall more and more in love the island.
Our most recent visit to Victoria was in February, a week before the start of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. We were hoping to avoid the tourists we were sure the games would bring from mainland and we were right. Victoria is its most beautiful in the spring when flower baskets and gardens are in bloom, but even in late winter, with the gray skies and drizzle, it was welcoming with a certain old world charm and modern elegance, something we found in our accomodations at Chateau Victoria.
We were met with friendly curbside service at the ferry dock by the courtesy van and whisked to the hotel not even five minutes away. Because we took the early ferry, we had been ready to just check in our bags and roam downtown until a room was available at the normal check in time but we were provided a room right away.Our one-bedroom suite had a spacious living room, nicely appointed in calming colors and a modern design scheme with a dining area that overlooked a panaroma of downtown buildings and the harbor. The bathroom was roomy, with lovely-smelling Deserving Thyme amenities and in the bedroom, separated from the living room by French doors, was an inviting king-sized bed that had naptime written all over it.
Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, the hotel is just a quick walk (or leisurely stroll if the weather is cooperative) from the Inner Harbour and major attractions like Miniature World, the Parliament buildings, the Royal London Wax Museum, shopping areas like The Bay Centre and Antique Row, with diverse dining options every which way. Victoria’s downtown is always bustling, but its eclectic mix of storefronts keep the city blocks quaint and delightful enough that a long day of exploring doesn’t seem very long at all.
But if your feet disagree, Chateau Victoria’s facilities include a whirlpool and lap pool to take you off your feet and if you’re so inclined, in-room spa services are also available. If you’re not in the mood to venture out for dinner, the hotel offers room service and houses Vista 18, Victoria’s only rooftop restaurant as well as Clive’s Lounge. I indulged in room service after my nap and the excellent lemon chicken sandwich lunch was accompanied by the friendliest of service. A convenience kitchen equipped with a microwave, coffee maker and a mini fridge helped our next day start right (along with a filling breakfast from room service). Later that day, while we waited to be taken back to the ferry dock, we soaked in the panoramic view of the city from Vista 18’s wine and martini bar and enjoyed a tasty array of tapas plates of edamame, wings, dry cracked pepper ribs, celery root fries and potato sticks.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, Chateau Victoria is an excellent place to stay. With its complimentary internet connection, I was able to get a lot of work done and stay in contactwith associates in the U.S. when my cell phone coverage failed me. I did eschew the comfortable desk for an even more comfortable armchair and ottoman as my workspace. The only negative of the whole stay was a headboard that squeaked at the slightest motion, so
a middle of the night trip to the bathroom was as inconspicuous as a choir of cats. But that’s truly a small price to pay for the comfort of a pillow top king-size bed, high thread count sheets and a down duvet. From a suite that lacked for nothing to the efficient and accomodating customer service, staying at Chateau Victoria made our quick weekend getaway seem much too short.
740 Burdett Avenue
Victoria, B.C. V8W 1B2, Canada