WHEN I HEARD that TripAdvisor readers voted Victoria’s Magnolia Hotel & Spa the #1 hotel in Canada in 2020, I knew I had to experience it.
On a side street just off the Inner Harbour, it’s perfectly placed to explore Victoria on foot or bicycle. The hotel even provides themed routes for guests, such as ‘Beautiful Boutiques’ and ‘Craft Breweries’.
Checking into our fourth-floor corner suite, we’re delighted by how big it feels. Though blending in with buildings from the early 20th century, the Magnolia is almost a century younger and room sizes reflect that. Sixty-four rooms range from 300 to 400 sq. ft. and windows can stretch from floor to ceiling. Some even open and we smell the salty Pacific air from our corner window, which perfectly frames BC’s Parliament Buildings.
The room is luxuriously furnished, from layered draperies to deluxe duvets. Nespresso coffee and Silk Road tea – a beloved local brand – are available at the bar, while the mini-fridge stocks real cream and milk – not the fake stuff.
In the marble bathroom we find a deep soaker tub, glass shower, a Dyson hairdryer and my favourite toiletries – L’Occitane from Provence.
Just off the elegant lobby, the Courtney Room resembles a Parisien brasserie with velvet banquettes and a black granite bar, but the menu is decidedly Pacific Northwest. Voted #10 in the Best New Restaurants in Canada Awards in 2018, their chefs are passionate about partnering with local farmers and producers to find the tastiest ingredients. Using classic cooking techniques, their dishes celebrate the flavours of Vancouver Island.
On the other side of the hotel lobby, the Magnolia Spa offers a calm oasis with seven treatment rooms and a large lounge. It uses organic skin care lines such as Intelligent Nutrients.
From outstanding cuisine to elegant suites and a luxurious spa, the Magnolia richly deserves her number one position in the Canadian hotel world.
Written by Suzanne Morphet for Cruise & Travel Lifestyles (Winter/Spring 20/21)