Where to Stay in Victoria
When I stay in Victoria with my family, I choose a downtown hotel along the Inner Harbour. By splurging a little and getting a room with harbour views, you can enjoy the focal point of the city from your hotel room. Enjoying a bottle of wine with dinner and sampling the nightlife, followed by a relaxing stroll back to the hotel is perfect in my books.
A nice feature of a downtown stay in Victoria, and one that I certainly value, is the option of having a midday rest back in your room or a cocktail before dinner. Children will appreciate this break and arms will too if loaded down with bags from a shopping expedition.
It really doesn’t matter where you stay if you have a car or don’t plan to spend much time downtown, and there are some benefits to being further out—hotel rates are frequently much cheaper and traffic noise less apparent. If you will be on foot most of the time and enjoying the downtown attractions, consider a hotel that is located close by. From these hotels, it is practical to walk everywhere downtown or take a bus or cab for longer trips.
For a downtown stay in Victoria, I would recommend one of the hotels along the south side of the harbour. They start just west of the Parliament Buildings and stretch around the Harbour to Laurel Point. A good selection of hotels and B&B’s are located in this district and include on the higher end,the Inn at Laurel Point, Oswego Hotel, and Hotel Grand Pacific. Consider the stylish Empress Hotel if you want to stay in a historic setting and experience both her history and her modern, renovated flair. You also get to sample expensive parking costing $30/day, some outdated rooms, and back alley views unless you are on the water side.
Mid-level best bang for your buck includes the Best Western Inner Harbour and Royal Scott Hotel & Suites. Other hotels to consider that are centrally located downtown are Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour and The Magnolia Hotel & Spa.
For just about the best views of the harbour take a look at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa which is just across the Johnson Street Bridge and looks south across the harbour.
Stay in Victoria Outside the Downtown Core
Further from downtown and on average much cheaper per night are the hotels along Gorge Road East and on Douglas Street from Hillside Avenue to Finlayson Street. There is not much to offer visitors in this part of town, so for the most part you would use it as a place to sleep. There are a few decent hotels in this neighbourhood such as the Super 8 Hotel and Blue Ridge Inn. Only ten minutes from downtown at Pat Bay Highway and Royal Oak Drive, the Howard Johnson Hotel and Suites provides reasonably priced, modern and clean rooms with substantial savings over downtown room prices. The HoJo has all the amenities including hot tub, large outdoor swimming pool and weight room.
The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is worth consideration if you want to pamper yourself in quiet luxury. The hotel is located on Beach drive just up the street from the Oak Bay Marina and a short hop from Oak Bay Village. For over eighty years, the hotel has enjoyed beautiful waterfront views, and has just recently reopened after a total restoration inside and out. Most everything you could need is located in-house from a spa, to a pub and restaurant. The hotel also provides complimentary shuttle service to and from the Oak Bay Village and Downtown Victoria.
Bed and Breakfast Accommodations in Victoria
For your stay in Victoria, consider one of the many fantastic Bed and Breakfast accommodations scattered throughout the city. The benefit of a B&B besides the included breakfast — which is usually far superior to the larger hotels breakfast offerings — is that the level of service is highly personalized. Décor is unique and attractive compared to the bulk, institutionalized hotels and the room rates are generally more reasonable when compared to the large hotels. If you value restful sleep with less background noise, a B&B is a smart choice as they are located in residential neighbourhoods. The owners of these accommodations have a lot to lose if service is not consistently high, so you can expect them to go the extra mile and provide you with a wonderful stay. The largest concentrations of B&B’s are in the Rockland and James Bay areas. A few of the best include Beaconsfield Inn, Abbeymoore Manor, Albion Manor, Binners’, and Ashcroft House.