March 08, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
A visit to Victoria can be overwhelming—with so much to see and do, you’ll definitely need a few days to take it all in. Along with endless sights and attractions, Victoria also has an infinite number of accommodation choices. Do you want a bed and breakfast? A boutique hotel? A backpacker hostel?
To help you make your decision, here’s a list of my favourite 7 places to stay in Victoria:
Fairholme is a luxurious, yet affordable, bed and breakfast in the historic Rockland district. It’s a newly-restored 100 year old Italianate mansion located next door to Government House, the official residence of British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor. Fairholme lies on nearly 1 acre of park-like land and features beautiful rooms with ocean, mountain or garden views. It’s a 5 minute walk to Craigdarroch Castle, a 10 minute walk to Antique Row and a 15 minute walk to the heart of downtown Victoria.Swans Suite Hotel
Swans, Victoria’s Boutique Art Hotel, is just steps away from Victoria’s famous inner harbour. The hotel contains 29 unique suites suited to tourists, corporate travelers and even families with children. Each suite retains the character of the 1913 heritage building and features unique displays of original artwork. In addition to the hotel, Swans also has a brewpub, a bistro, a brewery and a beer and wine shoppe.Birds of a Feather
Birds of a Feather is a unique bed and breakfast with true west coast flavour. The waterfront, purpose-built house is located on a 120 lagoon that provides ideal shelter for canoeing, kayaking and row boating. The bed and breakfast is nestled between two National Historic Sites, Fort Rodd Hill and Hatley Park, and is surrounded by 600 acres of old-growth forest. Birds of a Feather is suitable for both honeymooners and families with children. In addition to their free canoes, kayaks and mountain bikes, they also offer personalized marine eco tours and Hummer land adventures.Ambrosia
Ambrosia Bed and Breakfast is luxurious, romantic, relaxing and conveniently located in the heart of downtown. The 1897 heritage building houses one-of-a-kind suites with classic Japanese design with a modern flair. Ambrosia’s breakfasts are not to be missed—you can look forward to tasty treats such as broiled grapefruit with Canadian maple syrup and brown sugar, homemade banana bread and smoked salmon and asparagus crepes.Empress
The Empress Hotel is one of Victoria’s most famous (and oldest) landmarks. Built in 1908, the Edwardian-style hotel is one of the most photographed attractions on Vancouver Island. If you’re not staying in one of its 477 rooms, you can indulge in their famous afternoon tea, visit the gift shops, get pampered in the spa or enjoy the Bengal Lounge’s curry buffet.Chateau Victoria
Chateau Victoria is located in heart of Victoria, minutes away from Beacon Hill Park, the inner harbour and all of downtown’s most popular attractions. The comfortable, spacious rooms are suitable for both leisure and business travelers and many have breathtaking views of the city. Chateau Victoria’s Rooftop restaurant, Vista 18, is the only of its kind in Victoria. On the 18th floor, you will dine with a backdrop of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker and beautiful downtown Victoria.Ocean Island
Ocean Island is Victoria’s most popular backpacker and budget-traveler accommodation. The fully-renovated 1891 heritage building is full of art, colour and lively travelers and staff. It’s located right downtown, with all the best music, clubs, shops and attractions within walking distance.
February 21, 2011 | Tips from Travellers >
Victoria, Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries
Find more information about Victoria - Breweries, Distilleries & Cideries
If you were in Victoria last weekend, then you know how exciting it was to finally see the sun! Although it was a bit chilly, I (and half the city, it seems) headed out for a much-need stroll around the sunny harbour. The faux-summer feel, combined with my first cherry blossom sighting of the year, gave me the hankering for a true summer tradition: lunch at Swans
I made a beeline for their sunny, glassed-in patio. After enjoying seafood chowder with a side caesar salad, I topped off my day with a pint of cold Raspberry Ale. Swan’s makes their own brews in their award-winning Buckerfields Brewery, and the Raspberry Ale is my favourite. It’s calm, refreshing and reminds me of those glorious months when my rain jacket collects dust.
I always find it amazing how certain activities can transport me to warmer months, whether it’s lunch at Swan’s, a scooter ride along the ocean or a walk around Beacon Hill park. It’s supposed to snow again this week, but I’m not worried. This taste of summer will get me through to the next sunny day!