Recently, I had the opportunity for a mini vacation to Vancouver Island with a friend. I was fortunate enough to take Harbour Air – a quick 30-minute seaplane ride from Vancouver to Victoria‘s picturesque Inner Harbour.
Upon arrival, we walked the short block from the Inner Harbour to The Magnolia Hotel & Spa. The 64 room hotel is situated in close proximity to the Victoria Conference Centre, some of the city’s best restaurants, and many other popular tourist attractions.
We were booked in a Diamond City View corner room on the 6th floor. The 300 square feet room (available with one king or two queen beds) offered views of the Parliament Buildings and glimpses of the Inner Harbour through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The room was nicely decorated with plush textures, elegant wall patterns, and a marble bathroom outfitted with L’Occitane toiletries.
We were welcomed with chocolates, fruit and in-house bottled water. Nightly turn-down service included hand-made chocolates.
Just an elevator ride down from our room was Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar, a Mediterranean-style restaurant. The food is market driven with an emphasis on locally sourced products. We were lucky enough to arrive during Happy Hour (4-6pm) and ordered everything on their menu. The staff was friendly and knowledgeable.
Since we wanted to relax the next morning, we decided to preorder our breakfast the night before. In the morning, the breakfast was on time, hot, and quite satisfying.
We ordered The Gina Lola-open face omelette with roasted vegetables, goat cheese and greens, and the Catalano Waffle – waffle stuffed with double smoked bacon, emmental cheese and fresh fruit.
With our stomachs full, we decided to take advantage of the many complimentary features that the Magnolia Hotel offers to their guests such as hotel bicycles. We explored Victoria through a self-guided tour with the help of the hotel’s Curated Trails. The trails helped identify favourite neighborhood gems, charming boutiques, stylish cafes, trendy eateries and secret viewpoints.
On our last day, we headed across the street to 10Acres Bistro for brunch. 10Acres is a farm to table restaurant and emphasis on local produce, sustainable and ethically raised meats. In fact, 10Acres owns a farm just north of Victoria that sources a lot of their ingredients.
On their brunch fresh sheet, we ordered Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny, served on a thin piece of bread with house pickled onions, capers, and crispy crushed potatoes. Next, we had Housemade Granola and Yogurt with berry compote. I loved the fact, that this dish had more granola than yogurt. We also tried the Winter salad with organic vegetables, crumbled goat cheese with a side of prawns. I couldn’t resist a good charcuterie platter so I had to order the Farmhand Lunch. It had everything I loved -Artisan cheese, pickled vegetables, and an assortment of delicious cured meats.
Whether it be a mini vacation with your family, a romantic getaway or a girls weekend, Victoria has a lot to offer. I’m looking forward a trip back with my family.