My wife and I just returned from our third trip to the Sooke Harbour House. We stayed for our wedding anniversary in 1998, 2003 and now in 2013. Although there’s still a lot to like about the place, I definitely think it’s lost a step or two since our earlier visits.
The location will always be great and the gardens and artwork are still fantastic but value has noticeably declined. Sooke Harbour House was never inexpensive (a special occasion place for us) but you used to feel like you got a fair deal for your money. The prices have now gone through the roof and you get less for your money. I don’t recall what we paid back in 1998 and 2003 but I do remember that breakfast and lunch were included in the price. The breakfast was a full hot breakfast, not the small cup of granola and orange juice that we got this time around. For lunch, if you were staying another night, they packed a nice picnic lunch and put it in a special backpack for you to take on a picnic. Now the lunch is $20 per person and the breakfast is extra as well. To be fair, they provided the breakfast to us for free when we told them it was our anniversary and that we were return visitors so I don’t know what the charge would have been but like I said, the meal wasn’t much. We stayed in one of the least expensive rooms and still paid about $300 per night. The bed was, very surprisingly, substandard and about on par with a mediocre chain motel. The room was in good condition but it didn’t look like anything had been updated since our first visit 15 years ago.
We ate one dinner in the restaurant. The food was very good but the service was slow. It took us 2.5 hours to get through a 3 course meal and the original bill given to us was $50 too high as the waitress had mistakenly charged us for a 4 course dinner. She was apologetic when it was brought to her attention and a correction was made but it just seemed like one more thing that was not up to past visits. One personal quibble on my part is that the only thing on the dinner menu with a price was the 3 or 4 course dinner. There was no wine list or wine prices and although there was a desert menu, there were no prices listed there either. Perhaps it’s one of those high end restaurants were, if you have to ask the price you can’t afford to eat there, but I’ve eaten at enough expensive restaurants to think this was unusual. This places the diner in a position to have to ask the price of these things which is inconvenient and makes you feel just a little bit uncomfortable.
All in all we spent well over $800 for two nights in one of their least expensive rooms and one dinner for two. We enjoyed our stay but next time I think I’ll explore other options for that kind of money, I’m sure I can do better elsewhere.
- 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