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“Good Downtown Stay”

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Best Western Dorchester Hotel
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Nanaimo
GreenLeadersBronze level
Canada
Level Contributor
104 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Good Downtown Stay”
Reviewed 8 June 2012

The Dorchester is an older hotel located in downtown Nanaimo. The location can't be beat - it's just across the street from the harbour, Pioneer Square, dining, shopping and more. It is a $26 shuttle ride to the airport - Nanaimo's main airport is 20km away from the city, which is why many people choose the seaplanes.

As an older hotel, there is so much that can be done. An "old" smell greeted us as soon as we walked in. We were warmly welcomed by Charlie, who was very helpful and suggested places for us to eat and visit. As we were early, he kindly stored our suitcases until we could check in.

We stayed in room 328, which has a queen bed. The room had an umbrella, iron, ironing board, dryer, etc.

The view from this room was amazing! There was also a nice little rooftop terrace for guests to relax and enjoy.

As it is close to the harbour, the room was a little cold. The heating/cooling was a little uneven though - around 3 am each morning the room became suddenly hot. There wasn't too much noise from the seaplanes or street.

I can't recommend the restaurant. Service was good, but the food wasn't. I believe all the rooms are assorted sizes and shapes; part of the hotel used to actually be the opera house.

Despite all these good things about the Dorchester, I feel confused as to why the stay was just "good" and not "great". It might have been that the food was such a turnoff; there was something about the price that made me feel more should have been included, such as better/more toiletries or free continental breakfast. I felt I enjoyed the newer Best Western Northgate a lot more.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank JillKeats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NanaimoResponse, General Manager at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience with others. The Dorchester Hotel is a historic boutique style hotel dating back to 1887 and with that come some of the charms as well as challenges of an older building. Not all Best Western Hotels offer a free continental breakfast, such as ours which has a full service restaurant for all meals. We hope to see you again on a return visit to our city.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (92)
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English first
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 June 2012

I was here for 4 days for a conference and recommend this hotel for a stay in Nanaimo. It's close to most of the touristy things one might do in Nanaimo, the rooms are clean - although a little tight, the bathroom is great and roomy and the bed was very comfortable. The front desk concierges were very helpful and the hotel connects to a great stitchery/embroidery store that carries some amazing stitchery supplies! Oh, and free wi-fi, a fridge and coffee maker in the room too.

  • Stayed June 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dinkyecho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NanaimoResponse, General Manager at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review, 12 June 2012
Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent stay at our Hotel. I glad to see that your stay was up to your expectations. Looking forward to your return visit next time you are in Nanaimo.
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Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 May 2012

Hotel itself isnt bad. Good location in Nanaimo. Front desk guy was a complete jerk. Very rude and more concerned about who is parking in the loading zone than anything else.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Phil L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NanaimoResponse, General Manager at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review, 11 May 2012
Thank you for your feedback. The loading zone in front of the hotel is designed for a maximum 20 minute loading or unloading area for our hotel guests. This is so that other guests arriving or departing can also have the benefit of this feature. If my front desk agent was perceived as being rude about this, I apologize. It is in the interest of all of our guests that sometimes we have to ask a guest to move their vehicle if the loading zone is busy. I will discuss this incident with our front line staff so that we can improve going forward. Thank you again.
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Travellers are raving about these Nanaimo hotels

Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Although in historic buildings this hotel has very comfortable rooms and a very pleasant restaurant. The room we had on the fourth floor was well equipped and quite quiet. There were generous supplies of towels etc, and a very good shower. Being right downtown it was convenient for shopping in an interesting area, and aces to the waterfront which has recently been greatly improved. We would like to stay there again with more time to 'wander'.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank WRoverT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NanaimoResponse, General Manager at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review, 11 May 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience. It is good to know that we met your expectations. We hope to see you again on a future visit to our city.
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2012

I stayed one night at this hotel. The rooms were clean and nice. I had a water view room which is nice.
I checked in late and I called in the morning to ask for a late checkout because my flight was late and my meetings were not going to start till noon.

The front desk guy wasn't nice and he wouldn't extend my stay. He could have given me an hour, because when cleaning rooms, they would probably go one by one, and not all at same time!

It would have been nice to have this extra thing which would probably take me back to them. Right now, I personally will make sure I stay somewhere else on my trips to Nanaimo.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RozaTheExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NanaimoResponse, General Manager at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review, 11 May 2012
Thank you for your feedback. Although your accommodations were up to your expectations we were not able to extend a late check out to you on that day because we were expecting a full house that evening with many guests checking in early in the afternoon. The housekeepers needed this time window to prepare the rooms for these new arrivals. Normally if we are able to fulfill a request for a later check out we do this, but this is based on availability. I do hope that you will reconsider and stay with us again on a future visit. Thank you again for sharing your experience with others.
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BC
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 February 2012

We just spent the weekend at the Dorchester, and it was very enjoyable from check in through to check out! We got a family room which had two double beds in the room and a sofa bed in the living room. We have a 5 year old, so it was great to have the separate room, and there was a walk-through closet between the bedroom and living room which really helped with any noise. The only down-side was that the beds were all doubles and my husband and i need a queen. However he happened to have flu all weekend so we appreciated the sofa bed and it all worked out.
Becasue my husband had flu, we ended up eating in the hotel three times (two breakfasts and a dinner) and all were excellent for the price. Nothing fancy, but the roast beef buffet on Saturday was quite delicious. Desserts were so-so, but for $14.95 for adults, free for 5 year olds, we weren't complaining :) Breakfasts were standard fare, but good.
The staff were all friendly the room was clean and spacious. Beds were very comfy. Over all a good experince, even with a sick hubby!

Room Tip: can hear the float panes taking off if you have a room at the ocean-side. THey start at 7:30 am, bu...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank finedinerBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NanaimoResponse, General Manager at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review, 21 February 2012
Thank you so much for sharing your experience with others. I'm glad to hear that your stay was satisfactory and up to your expectations. We strive to ensure that all of our guests have a great experience.
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Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

I recently stayed at this hotel for a business trip and couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised. The lobby in beautiful, my room looking over the water was just amazing and most importantly clean. The bed was comfy and the hotel was quiet.
I can foresee a concern for some because it was above a road with a bus route and being so close to the water, around 7 am I started to hear a lot of traffic and the planes taking off from the water. So if you were planning on trying to sleep in that would have been annoying, but I had to get up early so it didn't bother me.
The breakfast the next morning in their restaurant was very good with the highlight being the farm fresh eggs. The service was excellent as well.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LisaG1216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NanaimoResponse, General Manager at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review, 10 February 2012
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your recent stay at this hotel. I'm glad to hear that our valued staff made your experience a good one and up to your expectations. Although the hotel dates back more that 100 years and comes with the challenges and charms of a bygone era, the ownership constantly upgrades the hotel to meet todays expectations. We hope to see you again on a future visit to our city. Thank You again for letting us know.
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Additional Information about Best Western Dorchester Hotel

Property: Best Western Dorchester Hotel
Address: 70 Church St, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5H4, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Nanaimo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Nanaimo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Best Western Dorchester Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 70
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The BEST WESTERN Dorchester Nanaimo Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo over looking picturesque Nanaimo Harbour. Our charming heritage boutique-style hotel is decorated in a style that blends old world class with modern conveniences to make your stay at this Nanaimo hotel a comfortable and memorable one! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Nanaimo
Nanaimo Best Western

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