VICTORIA, BC: Hotel Grand Pacific

My wife and I discovered the Hotel Grand Pacific in 2002 when we were searching for a hotel on Victoria's Inner Harbour that was less dear than the venerable Empress. We were delighted then, and pleased to see it has retained much of its charm eight years on.

The Hotel Grand Pacific sits on the south shore of the Inner Harbour, just west of the Parliament, which houses the provincial government of British Columbia. That means the views from the harbor side and east side of the hotel are incredible, and that the property is just a short walk from all that Victoria has to offer.

When we first visited eight years ago we were struck by the hotel's beauty: traditional, but also up-to-date. Today, little has changed, and that's primarily a positive.

The property has been well-maintained and still looks new and fresh, from the lobby to the bar and restaurant to the rooms themselves. Service continues to be excellent, with hotel staff eager to see to it that your stay is pleasant.

Rooms range from standard rooms to one-bedroom suites. Suites are sumptuous and spacious and, especially during the shoulder season, can be booked for downright reasonable rates with additional discounts available for AAA/CAA members. There is, however, one facet worth noting. Guests who book a "city view" room or suite should be sure they're placed on the 4th floor or higher; otherwise, the "view" will be of the apartments across the street, not the more expansive view available from the higher floors.

Two other minor caveats: while well-maintained, the fixtures in the guest room baths have not been updated since the hotel was built, giving a slightly dated feel. Finally, the hotel's business center is only open until 4 p.m., so travelers who need that facility should plan accordingly.

In all, the Hotel Grand Pacific is a grand place to make your home base for your visit to Victoria.

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Photos by Carl Dombek
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