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“Charming or just old?”

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James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage
Ranked #22 of 46 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Some will find this 100-year-old hotel charming and quaint, while others will hate the lack of modern amenities such as air conditioning, a decent shower (teeny-tiny with blasts of cold water), pillow top mattress and thick towels. Hair dryer has to be checked out at front desk, as too many at once would blow electricity. Lots of steps (we were on 3rd floor and no lift) and floors slant crazily. BUT it's very clean with basic amenities, charming furnishings and that British quirkiness that one finds abroad. We ate breakfasts at the restaurant, which has an Art Deco design, and food and service were good.

While we were there temps were in high 80s F (unusual for Victoria) and our room faced west, so got very hot by evening. Room had a small fan.

Within walking distance of the inner harbor shops in a quiet residential neighborhood.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank olyweaver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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248 - 254 of 460 reviews

Reviewed 2 August 2014

Forget about the fancy hotels down town and want to go back into time, this is the place. The hotel is over 100 years old has no lifts and air conditioning but who needs it. The rooms are not fancy but clean. Bathroom has a stand alone shower. Restaurant has a 3 course $20 evening meal special with choices ( also 15% discount restaurant voucher to guests ). Meals are excellent and reasonably priced. Hotel has character and within walking distance to city centre. Highly recommended to the budget traveller who wants a reasonably priced and located hotel. Well done to the staff and would come back if I ever visited Victoria again.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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2  Thank Illarius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2014 via mobile

The hotel is within walking distance to the inner harbor and fisherman's warf. We even walked to Chinatown. This is a charming hotel with a wonderful and very friendly staff. The bar is great I felt like a member of the family. You get 15% of your food / bar bill if you are a guest. They give you one discount card when you check in but if you need more just ask. Keep in mind this is a no frills hotel. No air conditioning (no screens in windows) but sleeping at night was no problem with the window up and use of the provided fan. Very small tv. No refrig or microwave or in room coffee. Just very basic bathroom and no elevator. With all that said I am still very glad we stayed and would stay again

  • Stayed: July 2014
    • Value
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Thank WVallycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2014

In a pleasant neighborhood just a walkable few blocks south of the inner harbor and a block west of the Beacon Hill city park, the James Bay Inn worked out well for us. Booked through Expedia and had a reasonably priced, clean, large, enjoyable room on 3rd floor (but note: no elevator and no A/C but wasn’t a problem for us). Nice, helpful front-desk staffers. There is a pub/restaurant downstairs, with a 15% discount for hotel guests; dinner food was good; service was slow on the pub side anyway, though part of that is they do seem to make everything from scratch.
Nearby: Fun tour of BC legislative building, Royal BC Museum (well done), easy walk to The Empress Hotel, inner harbor, restaurants, Beacon Hill city park.

Room Tip: Our 3rd floor corner room was quiet and large.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
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Thank NaturalToBeGone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2014

booked JBI through Clipper Vacations as a package with round trip fare from Seattle. The room given was small and the last room on 3rd floor. Room decor and equipments were spartan and cheapish. Hotel feels old but with a nice sort of charm, though no elevator so carrying a heavy suitcase up to the 3rd floor is painful.

It didn't look it on Google Map, but its actually a bit way out of the fun places of Victoria. Thought it is quiet at night.

I probably would book somewhere else next time I come to Victoria.

Room Tip: no elevator!!!
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Ray L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

When first coming to the hotel we were concerned that it would be too far from where 'it' is at, but we found that the location was perfect: in a quiet neighborhood near the park but also a quick stroll from the downtown destinations.

We were lucky to stay in a suite the newly renovated Annex. It was as spacious as an apartment and in all new sparkling condition. While we didn't take full advantage of the kitchen, we were able to make good use of our restaurant leftovers at lunchtime and enjoy breakfast before we left our room for the morning. Thrifty Foods supermarket is just down the street in James Bay.

Sleeping arrangements were great for us and our two children - king bed in the bedroom and pull-out sofa in the livingroom. Being in the Annex it was extremely quiet at night.

The WiFi in the Annex was spotty and only some of our devices could function on the weak signal.

While the front desk staff were pleasant enough, we did not feel the warm hospitality that one often finds at other 'botique' hotels. Check-in and check-out were quick. And the free parking was really appreciated after staying in Seattle for several previous nights!

Room Tip: From the reviews it seems like the room quality in the Annex is better than the main hotel. But ther...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Improadvisor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

I decided to stay at this hotel after reading some good reviews. But my experience was completely opposite. Any hotel provides a very minimum basic standard. This hotel even doesn't provide that. All the furniture including the bed, chair, table and drawers outlived their lives and should have been scrapped long back. They were chipped off, bore deep scratches, stains and were just not acceptable. The hotel held $50 lest I damage something in the room. They should know that even if they put up all the furniture in the room for sale in Kijiji or go for a yard sale, no one will pay any amount to pick up this junk. If you wanted to relax on the only wooden chair in the room, you would slide down and fall off. And if you sat upright, in a few minutes your butts would begin to hurt. The table was so small that it's legs were as narrow as a walking stick. They would take dollars, but wouldn't return even cents' worth. Disappointing !

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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3  Thank travellalone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage

Address: 270 Government St, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 2L2, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#24 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: £63 - £96 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage 3*
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the Historic district facing lush Beacon Hill Park, a green walk to the ocean and steps to the picturesque Inner Harbour and downtown's shopping and entertainment. Cozy, simple and affordable accommodation is provided in this three story Edwardian architecture with Heritage House and Cottage. Some day-dreaming cases have been reported on sunny balconies with birds tweeting and frequent horse-drawn carriages trotting by. Art-deco Café-restaurant and friendly pub.Free parking. Free Wi-Fi. Free Spirit. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage Hotel Victoria
James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites And Cottage
The James Bay Hotel
James Bay Hotel
James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage Victoria, Vancouver Island

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