We chose this hotel based on its location and price -- only a few minutes' walk from the harbour, and under a hundred bucks, what could be better, we asked?
To begin, there is no on-site parking -- you must park your car in a lot around the corner and then schlep your bags back to the hotel. The hotel required a $100 deposit to be held on the credit card in case of "incidental charges". Maybe they get a lot of rowdies that break stuff!
The elevator is old and rickety and small; there were a couple of times I was worried we wouldn't make it up to the 5th floor, and look out if you have 3 or 4 people in the elevator with luggage!
The room was quite small, but that wasn't too much of a concern since we were only going to stay one night. There isn't air conditioning, so beware of staying during the summer. The windows only open about six inches wide, because there are no screens (apparently this is common in BC). I'm fairly certain that our room was newly decorated in about 1968 ...
My parents' room was also on the 5th floor, but overlooked the rooftop beach volleyball court from the adjoining pub. They said that the volleyball matches didn't wrap up until about 2:00 or 3:00 am, so needless to say, they didn't get much sleep.
This part of Victoria also seems to have an interesting population of homeless and substance abuse sufferers, which didn't help our uneasiness.
On the bright side, the hotel is very close to the beautiful waterfront, and the restaurant downstairs has great food -- we ate there twice!
In the morning there was a fairly decent Continental breakfast in the restaurant downstairs. The breakfast was great, but the floors were still sticky from the beer spilled there during the festivities the night before, and there was a smell that could well have been urine, but I'm choosing to block that part out!
As we were checking out, a girl came rushing in to the lobby, saying that her car (parked in the same offsite lot as ours) had been broken into! Luckily for us, we had parked further down in the parking lot, so whoever smashed her window found what he wanted and moved on.
I wouldn't recommend a stay at the "Strath" unless you're looking for the barest of bones service and a noisy party. Which could be, perhaps, the clientele they're catering to, what with the $100 deposit and all...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Strathcona Hotel is located ion the heart of downtown Victoria within walking distance of the Empress Hotel and Victoria Conference Centre, Royal BC Museum, Victoria's beautiful Inner Harbour and downtown shopping. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Strathcona Hotel Victoria
- The Strathcona Hotel Victoria, Vancouver Island