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“Incredible end of our honeymoon in the Thunderbird Room”

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Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 July 2013

My husband and I just spent a week on Vancouver Island, with our last two nights in Sooke (following Tofino). I couldn't recommend Sooke Harbour House more highly - we were so warmly welcomed, with a handwritten personal note congratulating us along with truffles in the room. And because I had requested an upgrade at time of booking and they happened to have one available, we were upgraded to the Thunderbird Room which was AMAZING. Huge balcony (or shall I call it a deck?!) looking out onto the water on the top level with a huge soaker tub and two chaise lounges. The room itself was just so unique and interesting - awesome comfy bed, bathroom with a big shower room with picture window, an old fashioned tub outside near the bed, a living room area, a little bar area, a real fireplace (was nice to get away from those gas ones!), and tons of interesting art and even a big tree and skylights. It was super quiet - very private too - and we loved the breakfast brought to our room each morning (delicious pastries still warm, yogurt and homemade granola etc). Even in other rooms you won't go wrong - we took a look around and one is VERY different with unique decor and setup, and so many cool little touches. And of course soaking tubs and views! The morning is particularly interesting to hang out on the balcony and watch all the birds and other wildlife. My one suggestion at least for our room is that they include a binoculars so that we can see things a bit better!

The rest of the grounds were awesome - very colorful and peaceful, we loved having a bottle of wine down by the water on comfy chairs off to the side, was so secluded and quiet. Probably helped that the weather was particularly perfect during our stay!

The restaurant was pretty good - wasn't blown away by the food (esp the dessert I chose) but it was very enjoyable and it had lovely views - and great value if you get their three course or four course special. We weren't as impressed with room service but we only ordered soup (which came with stale bread and just wasn't worth the price) so perhaps it wasn't a really fair try.

We only had one full day here so we didn't explore Sooke much before flying out of Victoria - but I would definitely come back to Sooke, if nothing else to simply visit the hotel again!

Room Tip: We loved our Thunderbird room but they are all really cool. We liked being on the top floor.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cshorens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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277 - 283 of 525 reviews

Reviewed 15 July 2013

Best choice ever made, a beautiful room, friendly and attentive staff who went beyond basics with thoughtful touches to make our stay so memorable. We were there to celebrate a birthday, getting in late in the afternoon we asked for dinner in our room, Service was on time, everything we asked for and enjoyed a private meal on a beautiful balcony overlooking the ocean. The room was warm and personal. I now look at other places and there is no comparison, the rest all seem sterile and impersonal. I can't say enough about this hotel but I know I will be back for those special occasions. You get your "$'s worth".

Room Tip: We found this hotel on Priceline, amazing deal for an exceptional room...We stayed in Rm #4, private...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Waterwalker7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2013

We stayed for 2 nights in May 2013. Room was okay but hot tub was pretty primitive. The dinners were good as far as the food was concerned although lacking in the potato or rice department and the rock fish dish was actually spot prawns with a little bit rock fish underneath. What upset us was the lack of finger bowls, crab crackers and forks and warm white wine plonked on the table. When I checked my visa statement later I discovered they had not done what their statement showed when we left and I had been overcharged by $750. On phoning over 2 weeks different front desk staff gave different info. on which days their Accounts Payable staff member worked. She was nice but gave out that a night clerk had destroyed visa slips. I emailed the owner but never got a response. So have ben telling everybody not to go there.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Jim m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2013

Once again, I wish tripadvisor had a rating between average and very good which is where I would rank Sooke Harbour House. The setting is truly spectacular on a bluff above the water with sensational views and gorgeous gardens, pretty little hidden patios and a wonderful serene feel to the whole site.

The rooms are spacious and fairly well equipped however they are very tired. All the rooms are mini suites. I was with three friends and we were all in a row on the ground floor level which was great for visiting back and forth. We all had lovely little patios directly off our living room areas. Mine had a raised area towards the back (away from the patio/water front) where the bed and bathroom were located. Unfortunately, that part of the room was carpeted - very tired carpet, whereas the sitting room area had hardwood which looked much cleaner.

The patios all had very old and tired looking outdoor spas that none of us found particularly inviting. The bathrooms too are in need of updating.

My room did not have a screen on the glass sliding door though some of the other rooms did - a screen with some sort of locking device would have been nice.

Staff was uneven - some friendly and helpful, others - not so much. We had arrived by bike and been assured they had somewhere safe to store them but they seemed confused about that when we arrived. Check in was so slow and no one seemed to have the key to the garage for our bike storage when we arrived that we all decided to get settled in our rooms first. When I came back out to the front desk an hour and a half later, the bikes were still just sitting there. We finally managed to get them to take us up to the garage to store the bikes in a very awkward location in a jam packed garage.

Breakfast was fine - there is no breakfast room so it is brought to your room which worked fine for us because we simply brought chairs to one of our patios so we could all eat together but a breakfast room would certainly have been pleasant.

I would probably return because the location is so special but if it doesn't undergo a significant facelift in the near future, I suspect they will start encountering difficulties as the rates are certainly not I expensive.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank SpikeVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

If you are looking for a bargain then look elsewhere. The rooms are pricey and so is dinner. That being said, my wife and I loved our time there. The rooms are all different and have a wonderful view of the bay. All the rooms have a wood burning fireplace with the fire set so all you have to do is put a match to it. The layout of the rooms was a relief to all the chain motels we have been in. The next day the room looked like we were just checking in. The fire was cleaned up and a mew one ready to go.The grounds were filled with artwork, and we always discovered something new every time we walked them. The food was exquisite but the menu is limited so you may not find something you like, although I did and I am not an adventurous eater. A minor problem if you are traveling with an overloaded touring bike as we were, the parking lot is gravel.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rider65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2013

Am I disappointed? No, not really as I trusted the photo from its website. Heard lots of rave about this property over the years but wasn't tempted by its website. Until a couple of friends were there to dine and came back with good review. Since I was traveling to Tofino and Victoria so I planned a two night stay at this property.

"In-Room Dining" only serves up to 5pm. No choice of "In-Room Dining" so you are eating whatever the Chef was up to preparing for you. Breakfast is also not much of a choice and must make up your mind what to eat the next morning by 7pm the night before. No lunches serve in the dining room. Only take-out lunch/picnic lunch can be ordered but only at 1:30pm so plan for a late lunch or picnic.

The room is overdue for an upgrade or renovation. If you are technology inclined this is not the place for you. There's no desk in the room but there's a square dining table. One needs to treasure hunt for electrical outlets for laptop or chargers for your cell phone or camera battery, etc. Your gadgets will be spread out all over the place. Yes, there is free WIFI.

We were traveling with our two pugs so this Room 28 - Chef's Study is for guests with pets. Not sure if pets or the guests who have pets as family member or companion are not allowed to have a view. This room has no view at all. This tuck away room for pets is not even listed on their website. So we were hidden away.

There's no headboard for the bed which when I saw it I thought for sure I would have an aching body sleeping on it. Yet, I had no aching body as I could only sleep for a few hours before the sun rise. The drapery is made with light white cotton canvas which has no black out to say the least. Also not all window has drapery. Sun/light seepage to the max. The room was fully lit up by 5am. The room was overcrowded with magazines, "antiques", etc.

The coffee pot was full of stain which could be easily removed with lemon but that obviously wasn't part of the housekeeper's duty. As a matter of fact, cleanliness and housekeeping need much improvement. Those signage which were just printed by regular 18 lb? paper in the room for no smoking, green bath towel system, etc fell on the floor were never picked up by the housekeeper. They all remained on the ground untouched. The jacuzzi was also not cleaned during the stay. The food crumbs left on the dining table was also left untouched. The room has wood burning fireplace but the methane gas smell was pretty strong. I was coughing as I entered the room. Window must be left opened during the stay and especially overnight.

I was ready to scold my friends who recommended the dining at this property after the first night. First, there was no choice but one 4 course menu being three choices in each category. Only the clams turned out good the first night. Second, I was totally surprised when the server came and asked if we would still be tempted by seeing the dessert menu. The dessert was part of the 4 course menu then one would expect to have dessert which is totally paid for. Third, the only slight changes to the 4 course menu on my two night stay. Guests stay at this property during our stay were overcrowded by seniors. Not that I expect a kids menu in the dining room but one would not expect any toddler to eat a 4 course menu. Servers offered plain pasta with either cream or tomato sauce. So if you have children and cannot eat a 4 course menu then expect your them to forget about their 4 food groups and balance diets. Plain pasta every night with two choices of sauces are all your children going to get in this dining room. Yes, I agree the food ingredients are fresh and local but takes a lot more to please all senses for award winning dining experience. By the way, those braided hand made seat cushion was very uncomfortable. This is another example of overly accessorized at this property.

Driving to town for alternative dining is only 5 minutes away,however, there's a very limited choices out there too.

E-mailed my friends to inform them of my review. They both said I should have ordered only the meat dishes. So I followed their advice for the second night. Yes, meat is much better. My friends should have been more specified at the beginning so that I didn't have to waste my first 4 course dinner. I couldn't resist the raw oysters so I still ordered it being the only seafood dish for the second night.

When we waited for the elevator as two spa ladies were in the elevator exiting with all their spa equipment. This property has no spa center so all services must be done in your rooms, lacking smiles from these ladies and we were not even acknowledged as guests and/or eye contact was made. When they were finally done with all the stuff out of the elevator they didn't even care to hold the elevator button for the guests. No "excuse me" whatsoever. I called this senseless and rude.

OK, I see no reasons to come back to this property down the road. Not for the rooms. Not for the food. Not even for the view. View as such are plenty on the island. No luxurious label should be placed on this property. Much improvement in all areas needed.

Room Tip: If you want a room with view at this property then you must leave your pets behind.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank TravelPuggy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2013

Sook house is a lovely destination. The grounds are gorgeous and there is a fantastic walk on the skiff? The rooms are very pricey. The superior rooms are to die for but even the mid range rooms are in need of a facelift and at $250 a night they should have nice bathrooms and inviting decor. The food is exquisite but very limited. Check in first to ensure that the limited choice meets your palate. Superb wine. Go for the bc choices. The staff are lovely, but there were to few to meet the needs of diners. Minimum 2 night stay.

Room Tip: Go superior. .
Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Girlphyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel

Address: 1528 Whiffin Spit Rd | British Columbia, Sooke, British Columbia V9Z 0T4, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Sooke
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Price Range: £105 - £285 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel is located on Southern Vancouver Island overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Olympic Mountains, and has direct beach access to Whiffin Spit on the Juan de Fuca Strait. Our unique 28 rooms feature a selection of fine amenities including spa tubs and steam showers. All of the guest rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and ocean views, with the exception of the very spacious family room which overlooks our garden area. The internationally award-winning fine -dining restaurant serves organic, seasonal, Canadian cuisine, specializing in wild seafood, mushrooms, herbs, and flowers from its organic gardens. We offer meeting facilities, spa services, recreational activities and eco-tourism in pristine wilderness. Whale watching can be enjoyed within walking distance, and on occasion the Orcas swim in front of the hotel! The Sooke Harbour House is a perfect destination for weddings, romantic holidays and an 'any season getaway'. In 2016 all 28 guest rooms were sympathetically renovated with new carpets, beds, luxury linens and 40 inch flat screens with cable tv. In September 2016 we opened our wonderful new Copper Room, featuring a large selection of Island produced craft beers, wines and spirits as well as international favourites. The Copper Room is open from 11:00am to 9:00pm year-round daily, serving a more casual menu of wholesome and hearty foods as an alternative to our fine dining. *** Please note: From 18th October until May 31st our fine-dining restaurant is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday. It is open for dinner Thursday to Monday from 5.30pm to 9.00pm. Throughout the high season the fine dining restaurant is open 7 days a week for dinner. The Copper Room is open daily serving food and beverages making Sooke Harbour House a full service resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sooke Harbour House Hotel Sooke
Sooke Harbour Hotel
Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel Canada - Vancouver Island

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