What's the best place to stay in Victoria?
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, located in the Pacific Northwest off the coast of Washington and British Columbia, is a great vacation getaway spot. Victoria itself, located on the southeast corner, is a small, walkable city with plenty of choices when it comes to finding a place to stay. Some of the most popular places to stay in Victoria are around the inner harbor. These are usually the most expensive hotels as well, but there is a lot of variety to choose from, in terms of price, style, and location. Let's start with the most famous hotel in Victoria, the Empress Hotel.
Most Popular Victoria Hotels
Part of the Fairmont family of properties, the Empress is the "grand dame" of lodging on Vancouver Island. It stands gracefully fronting the harbor as you approach by ferry or seaplane, a majestic old-world style edifice. A former train station, the hotel was converted over a century ago to accomodate the hordes of tourists that flock to the city each summer. It's central location, charm, and service make it a favorite. Expect to pay $300-$400 for a room - this kind of style does not come cheap! The Willow Spa on the first floor offers all the spa experiences one could want. The afternoon tea is not to be missed, an English specialty. It is not free ($36-$40 for adults, don't take kids!), but it is a very memorable, civilized experience you are sure to savor. The Victoria Marriott Inner Harbor is another top hotel in Victoria, coming in at closer to $180-$225 per night. Located at 728 Humboldt St., it's just two blocks from the inner harbor. The rooms are good size and popular with families. The Grand Pacific Hotel, located right on the harbor behind the ferry terminal (30 second walk!), and is similarly priced to the Marriott. Every room here has a balcony, but if you can get a harbor-view suite, go for the upgrade. Victoria is made for enjoying the views of the harbor while having an afternoon drink - and a suite here is a great place to do it!
Low Cost Hotel in Victoria
If you are on more of a budget, consider the Howard Johnson City Centre at 310 Gorge Road East. It's about 1mile from the inner harbor, but accessible via the harbor ferry. Room rates are less than $100 on average at this 80 room property. The Helm's Inn at 600 Douglas St. is another good value, with rooms running about $115 per night. It looks like a standard motel from the outside, but the rooms are clean and spacious, with kitchenettes in most, and is just a 2-3 minute walk to the inner harbor.
Victoria B&Bs, Bed and Breakfasts
If you are more into the B&B scene instead of a hotel, check out these top Victoria B&Bs. Abbeymoore Manor (246 Delgada Rd. little over $100), Binner's Bed and Breakfast ($120 approx), Chalet by the Sea ($135), and the Oak Bay Guest House ($125). The Abbeymoore is in the Rockland district of Victoria, just east of the harbor downtown, close to Craigdarroch Castle, and 4 blocks from the ocean. Hosts Ian and Anne are ever accomodating and helpful. Binner's, at 58 Linden Avenue, is on the southern side of Victoria, just a block from the waterfront and about a 10 minute walk from the inner harbor. Hosts Binners and Edward treat you like family, with great cooking and friendly hospitality.