I've moved this over to Canada for easy filing....
My husband and I just returned from a two night stay at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, BC. I won this package on LL (of course!) and it really was worth it! The hotel is very nice, quite large, and I can imagine that at certain times of the year, occupied by quite a few businessmen. But now, it is filled with summer tourists. We had a king suite with a balcony... the sitting room was large (sofa, chair, tables, tv/armoir, etc), with a sliding door out to the balcony. There were two separate sink "rooms" with the bathroom in between these "rooms" one side connecting from the sitting room, one side from the bedroom. The bedroom was also large, (tv/armoir, also in the room), and also a sliding door to the balcony. Nice soaps, robes, slippers, etc, and airconditioning that actually worked. All in all a very nicely appointed and clean set of rooms! My only complaint is that our room was on the back side of the hotel, and it faced the street. The street was pretty, but I left the balcony doors open over night (weather was plenty warm!), and OOPS, it was extremely noisy early in the morning with the airbrakes from the big tour buses pulling up to park and wait for their customers. (The front of the hotel faces the harbour, so no busses can wait on that main street). So next time, I'll bring ear plugs!
The package included a small gift (in our case, 4 pieces of tasty chocolate), 2 spa treatments and $30.00 food/beverage credit per day. My husband got a one hour massage, which he said was really good, and I got an 1 1/2 hour facial which was excellent!!!! Three different masks and a massive slathering of lotions and potions later and I looked and felt great! The spa is in a weird location... you either have to go outside and walk a few doors down, or cut through the basement parking lot... but once in the spa, it is very lovely. The service there was great.
As for the food... we only had breakfast, and it was only fair... somewhat expensive for the quality of the food. I've had some really great breakfasts at different hotels, but this one definitely doesn't count. We only had breakfast at the hotel, so I cannot say anything more about the food.
The front desk/service was good, nothing snobby at all. I didn't feel like I was the queen for the day (darn), but on the other hand, I wasn't treated like the redheaded stepchild either!
As for Victoria, it was a great weekend. We took in the Treasures from the British Museum exhibit, being held at the Royal BC Museum through September. We just walked about 1 block down from the hotel to the Museum and went in on the 10:00 am opening. (It cost $25.00 per person and this included the entrance to the rest of the museum). We only took in this specific exhibit (which was pretty darn great- you know those Brits - they have stolen everything cool over the years and they definitely have a "no returns allowed" policy!)
as we have been through the rest of the museum several times over the years. If you have not been, it is one of the truly great musuems. Their collection on Native Indian art is AWESOME!
We then decided to play total tourist, and took in the latest IMAX film "The Road to Mecca" (totally worth watching), drank beers at several pubs, wandered through several of the very fine parks within walking distance of the harbour area, actually went to the newly formed Victoria Seals Baseball game (they are in a little league that is below the A level ie: 4 levels down from major league baseball - ie: right above college ball!) ate is some great restaurants (Ferris' Oyster bar was FANTASTIC!), some overly priced restaurants (The Bengal room at the Empress - my French 75 cocktail cost $25.00 !!!... yes - that was just for one cocktail!), and took a ton of pictures to record our 3 full days/2 nights in Victoria.
We headed home via the Victoria Clipper (passenger only high speed ferry) and 3 hours later we were home in time to watch the fireworks for the 4th of July.
All in all a great way to spend a couple of days. I'd definitely recommend a package at the Hotel Grand Pacific for anyone's stay in Victoria.
Glad to see you enjoyed Victoria. It is really quite a fascinating little city, too often ignored for its big brother, Vancouver (which gets three times as much rain). Victoria is becoming known not only for its kitchy t-shirt shops and, well, Victorian English feel, but also its brew pubs (Spinnakers is always rated as one of the best in Canada, and Swan's is a great place for a bite and some excellent local brew). As well, it has grand walks along the ocean and the harbour and is a jumping off point for the surrounding Gulf Islands. I've stayed at the HGP, and while nice, to get the real feel of Victoria, I suggest considering the Empress, not for the overpriced Bengal Room (though the curry special is tasty and reasonable)or afternoon tea, but for its comfortable and sometimes quirky rooms. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1908, it really does capture some of the romantic feel of that era. (It was designed by Francis Rattenbury, who also designed the Provincial Legislature building right across the harbour.) In the off-season, room prices are remarkable reasonable.