Try surfing on British Columbia’s Pacific coast or go whale watching while staying at these top hotels on Vancouver Island, Canada.
A haven for artists, gardeners and hikers, Vancouver Island’s beaches, mountains and mild climate draw visitors all year round. The island is one of Canada’s largest, and one-third the size of Ireland. Stay at one or more of these fine hotels, whether you’re travelling to Victoria or exploring the surrounding Pacific Northwest coastline.
Romantics will fall in love with the choices at this secluded resort in the island’s winery region. Every one of the thirty six rooms offer floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the marina on sparkling Saanich Inlet. Cozy up near the fireplace and have room service deliver a fine vintage wine for two, then slip into a hot tub on the patio and watch the waves roll in.
Located in an upscale suburb of Victoria, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel combines superlative service with classic manor house decor while remaining family friendly. Soak in the heated seaside mineral pools or take a bicycle ride around the leafy lanes of this quiet neighbourhood. Complimentary transportation is available to nearby Oak Bay Village where you can people-watch as you sip a latte, or search for hand-crafted gifts in local boutiques and art galleries.
This 1912 Craftsman style home, located on the Dallas Road scenic marine drive, was built by an English entrepreneur, Arthur Lineham. His family enjoyed this majestic house, across from the gardens and lakes of Beacon Hill Park, for decades. The formal rooms for dining, sitting and music appreciation have been converted, along with the bedrooms, into twelve antique-filled suites in this comfortable bed and breakfast.
A favorite with travelers since 1908, The Empress in Victoria is not resting on her laurels. A multi-million dollar renovation in 2017 added a swing to her step. The Fairmont Gold level lounge and terrace has been expanded, offering a gull’s eye view of sunsets over the Inner Harbour. Many have enjoyed their first proper Afternoon Tea in the lounge, a long-standing tradition at this chateau-style castle on the waterfront.
A little bit of Italy on Vancouver Island, Villa Eyrie brings Lake Como style to the mountains. Discover the upside of elegant living high above the clouds. Enjoy a panoramic vista of the Malahat Mountains in the restaurant, a favorite with those in the know. The chef creates menu magic from the best of alpine Italian, German, French, and Swiss cuisine. Outdoor and cultural opportunities abound in the area for fishing, whale watching, and live theatre.
The tie between land and sea is strong at this ‘House by the Sea’, just half an hour from Nanaimo. Each wood-clad ocean view room and rustic cottage has a private balcony or deck to connect you with nature. With an award-winning spa and two superb restaurants on offer, you may not want to leave, but do venture out. Cathedral Grove, an ancient old growth forest is nearby. A three mile stretch of shoreline awaits beachcombers and there are four nearby golf courses.
This all-suite one- and two-bedroom hotel in downtown Victoria walks the talk. A true carbon neutral property, its emphasis is on future sustainability. Decor is fresh and modern with full kitchens in every suite. Parking is free for guests with electric vehicles. The full service spa emphasizes all natural, local products, and beehives on the roof provide honey to the bistro. Pets are doted over.
If you need an excuse to snuggle up, come to The Francis during storm season (November to March), and watch the waves crashing on the beach. Carefully curated by owner Sandra Hinder, every detail – from the works by local artists to the Australian virgin wool duvets – has been vetted to provide the proper balance of casual and elegant living. This adults-only, four suite boutique property, on the far west shore of Vancouver Island is near Ucluelet, a four hour drive from Victoria.
Long Beach Lodge made its mark with the first dedicated surf club in Canada on the western shore of Vancouver Island near Tofino. Cox Bay, on the border of Pacific Rim National Park has gentle waves that favour beginners. The club offers surf and stand-up paddle boarding lessons and equipment. No mere surfers’ hangout, the timber-framed Great Room overlooking the bay features a massive granite fireplace and gourmet cuisine.
For more options, discover our guide to the best hotels in Nanaimo and book now on Culture Trip.
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