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“Go For The Wine Pairings!” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel

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Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Certificate of Excellence
Montgomery, Texas
Level Contributor
60 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Go For The Wine Pairings!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2013

This was our second trip to Sooke Harbour House, traveling with another Texas couple. The rooms are most eclectic and carry a unique theme throughout. We stayed in the "Blue Heron" room and found it clean and comfortable. We even enjoyed a cozy fire in the fireplace on two occasions. Unheard of in August for us Texans! Some negatives about the room include a prominent slant in the ceiling over one side of the bed and the lack of a night stand on the other side of the bed. However, the spectacular views from the many windows in the room outweigh those negatives. On our last stay, we were in the "Kingfisher" room which I would whole-heartedly recommend. But the highlight of our stay remains the food at dinnertime. The menus were all imaginative and creative and used only the freshest produce and ingredients. If you're fortunate enough to have Andrew as your waiter, then you're in for a most enjoyable and entertaining evening. He definitely knows his wine and pairs them perfectly to every course of your meal. He is a delight!
The dining room at Sooke Harbour House is closed on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and the front desk recommended other dining options for one of those nights. The front desk said they would handle and confirm the dinner reservation for us. Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the restaurant and they did not have our reservation AND had no room available to seat us at all. We drove back to Sooke Harbour House and registered our complaint. Another girl at the front desk apologized and hurriedly called another restaurant. We dashed out again only to be disappointed at the very casual and kid-friendly restaurant, complete with Crayola's at each table---the menu consisted mainly of sandwiches and gyros---not what we had in mind and certainly not "wine-pairing worthy."
But as they say, the third time is the charm and we found it on our own at the Best Western Hotel and Restaurant. We highly recommend this restaurant on one of those nights when the dining room is closed at Sooke Harbour House. You will not be disappointed.
The Sooke Harbour House is truly unique and cozy and provides a romantic feel to your stay away from home. Enjoy the views, listen to the sounds of nature and make your own outside dinner reservations.

Room Tip: Choose the Kingfisher. Don't stay on the first floor---there's not much of a view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kid55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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466 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (127)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
pensacola
Level Contributor
77 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

My husband and I spent 2 nights at Sooke harbour House in August. We have made the trip there every summer for the past 15 years and would not think of missing the opportunity to dine in the casual but cozy ding room overlooking the Juan de Fuca strait. The food this year was as good as it gets- beautifully presented, delicious and creative. The 2 sommeliers/ waiters were fun and helpful and made us feel very welcomed. We love the chance to try the local wines by the glass , paired to each of the courses.
This year we took a friend to introduce her to the inn. It was fun to see the inn through her new eyes. She loved walking the halls and viewing all the many pieces of art, relaxing in a big soaker tub in front of a wood burning fireplace in her room, and sharing a glass of wine sitting on our deck overloking the water. Our room, The Blue Heron had a panoramic view of the Olympic Peninsula and strait, large outside deck, and also a soaking tub in front of the fireplace. It is definitely one of my favorite rooms of the many we have have enjoyed over the years. Each room has its own personality and decor, but all have a waterview and wood burning fireplace. Over the years we have so many great memories but each was unique, including the delightful friends we have met who also share our affection for such a special place.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank omakase
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Palm Springs
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2013

The location and views are lovely. However, the inn itself is long overdue for not just refreshing but remodeling. We were not able to eat at the restaurant because it was closed the nights we were here, although we had been told it would be open when we booked our room. The staff was curt and invisible most of the time even at the front desk. This place is not worth the trip and certainly not worth the price...very bad value.

Room Tip: Book somewhere else.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MariaJosefina1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seattle
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

My husband and I stayed here 22 years ago for our honeymoon. We enjoyed it then, but can't tell you how much we enjoyed it this time around as well.

Everything was fantastic. The room we booked was wonderful. It had a great bed, wonderful sitting area with bar stocked with tea, coffee, port, fridge,and also a big fireplace. The patio led out to a beautiful view of the water with a private tub and more nice lounge chairs.
We ate dinner two nights and were treated to wonderful food, expertly prepared and kind and accommodating wait staff.

The breakfasts come delivered to your room and the choices are wonderful: house made yogurt granola, breakfasts breads, fruit, soft or hard boiled eggs etc.

The atmosphere is extremely relaxing and I can't think of a better place to come to enjoy a romantic and restorative retreat. We enjoyed the walks on the beach, the fires, sitting in the sun, the great food and the peaceful and very appointed room.

Room Tip: We stayed in the driftwood room - and were very pleased, but all of the rooms face the water, have...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andrea E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, NY
Level Contributor
23 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2013

Big disappointment

Our first experience at Sooke Harbour House was dining at the Restaurant 10 years ago. We enjoyed a memorable meal and hoped one day to return and stay in the Hotel. When we were planning our Vancouver Island vacation for this summer, we had very ambivalent feelings about whether to book at Sooke Harbour House or not. On the one hand were our good memories of dinner 10 years ago and the accolades the Sooke Harbour House continues to receive. On the other hand were the very mixed Tripadvisor reviews and the many unappealing room photos on the website. We decided to take a chance. Unfortunately, it was the wrong decision.

The best thing about Sooke Harbour House is its location. Five stars for its location on Whiffen Spit, at the edge of the water. To be able to sit in peace, relax, decompress, and enjoy the beautiful view from your terrace would be ideal. Unfortunately, this was ruined for us but more about that later.

Two stars for room condition and maintenance and upkeep. Other reviewers have commented that it is a tired property that has seen better days. We have to agree. A telling sign of this is the tired, old, stained carpeting that runs through much of the common areas and in many of the rooms. The carpeting in our particular room was stained in multiple places and set a general tone of uncleanliness and neglect. Slipcovers were also stained. Bedding was lumpy and the mattress was very uncomfortable. Towels felt old and over-used. Breakfast crumbs from the previous guests were still present in the room. Hair and dirt left by the previous guests were still present in the soaker tub. The bathroom skylight was half-covered by bird droppings. Out on the terrace, paint was chipping, plants were dead, and cobwebs and unswept debris were in the corners. All very disappointing. There are some rooms that have hardwood floors and these are much more attractive and inviting. But then some of the more attractive rooms do not have ocean views. If booking, be careful when selecting a room and ask specifically about carpeting and views.

Three stars for the Restaurant. Unfortunately, the Restaurant has definitely slipped. It is no longer a top tier fine dining restaurant. It is probably still good for the area since there does not seem to be much competition in Sooke but there is no need to drive 45 minutes from Victoria to dine at Sooke Harbour House. Of the 6 savory dishes ordered between the 2 of us (from the 4-course menu, the only option we were presented), one was very good, one was poor, and the rest were just okay, and we did order the items recommended by the waitress. We had to send back a dish that was served lukewarm. We asked the waitress if it was supposed to be hot. She immediately said she would replace it (as if she were used to this complaint). 20 minutes later, we received the replacement dish that was just as lukewarm as the first version. We didn’t have the heart to keep complaining about it and just wanted to move on with our meal. Mushrooms were supposed to be the feature item on this dish and we could barely detect them. The sorbet flavors were interesting but unfortunately we couldn’t really enjoy dessert as the staff did not have the courtesy to wait until we finished our meal to start spraying cleaning fluid all around us (we were the last people left in the second dining room due to the 20 minutes we waited for the lukewarm re-cook).

One star for service. This rating is for a specific incident that ruined our stay. Staff were generally nice but the way this incident unfolded speaks directly to customer service and left a negative impression that could not be overcome.

The background to this is that we had read on Tripadvisor to be careful about booking on weekends at Sooke Harbour House as it is a popular wedding venue and when a wedding takes over the place, it is not so pleasant for the other guests. We thought we had avoided this by booking midweek. During the reservation process, we were informed that the Restaurant is closed on one of the nights we were planning to stay. We appreciated that being communicated. What we had not been warned about was that although the Restaurant may be “closed,” a large corporate group could be having a party in the Restaurant and the adjoining outdoor grounds! We were very surprised to see a large corporate party having drinks on the patio when we returned from our day’s outing! We thought we would have a quiet, peaceful, relaxing evening sitting on our terrace, enjoying the view and soaking in the serenity. This was not to be. Noise is irritating and annoying enough but then the smoking began. The policy at Sooke Harbour House is that the entire property is non-smoking, including outdoor public areas, clearly published in the Guest Information books in each room. When I went down to the front desk to complain about the smokers, the woman there was apologetic and sympathetic but didn’t seem to think she could do anything about it. She said that although the property was non-smoking, this group “may have had special dispensation because they pre-booked.” She offered that the group was “booked only until 10pm” which was a ridiculous statement to make since we were trying to enjoy the last of the daylight hours on our terrace. We certainly weren’t planning to wait until they left to sit in cold darkness after 10pm. She said she would speak to the manager on duty. I went back to our room and told my husband about this unsatisfactory exchange. Displeased with her response, we both went back down to press the matter. After enduring more sympathetic but unhelpful conversation with the front desk person, the manager on duty finally came out to speak to us. He said he “had been meaning to speak to them” and that it was also “difficult because there were different groups at different times.” This points to the fact that he was aware of the situation but had so far done nothing about it. He was not enforcing the property’s own policies and did not have any regard for the other Hotel guests. We were vocal about our unhappiness but other people were also affected. We saw a family with young kids who had been using the lounge chairs get up and leave after the smokers encroached on their area. The “different groups” bit was also not truthful as we could see from our terrace who started the smoking and the group only got larger. Both the front desk person and manager seemed very reluctant to do anything. It is only because we were so insistent and adamant—we told him we would go out and speak to the group if he didn’t—that the manager finally went to speak to the smokers. We watched from our terrace and noticed that the smokers did not give him any problems and they moved along politely and compliantly, away from our terrace. I can’t say for sure that they didn’t disturb other guests staying in another part of the building as I do not think the manager told them it was a non-smoking property, but only asked them to move away from the area in front of our terrace.

We were angered and disappointed by the poor customer service exhibited by this incident. First of all, it should not have been left up to a guest to inform management of the policy infraction. Management should have noticed on its own and taken care of it. When the matter was brought to management’s attention, they should have apologized, thanked us for informing them of the situation, and immediately taken steps to rectify the problem. We had to raise our voices to be taken seriously and we expended a lot of energy trying to convince them they had to act. This is not the tension and anxiety we needed on what was supposed to be a restful vacation. We got the impression that they were scared to upset a customer who was obviously paying a lot more than us to be there. Although the smokers moved away and we were able to sit on our terrace, we could no longer enjoy the evening or the property. The poor customer service was an exclamation point to the disappointment of the shabbiness and mediocrity of the place. We will not return to Sooke Harbour House and do not recommend it.

Room Tip: Avoid rooms with carpets. The old, stained carpets make the rooms feel dirty.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank TravelTotes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Noumea, New Caledonia
Level Contributor
97 reviews
95 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

We stayed there 3 nights with the package:you fish it we cook it.
The location of this hotel is amazing with the huge seaview and the
beautiful gardens around.
The room are spacious with a fireplace very cosy at night.The balcony
need to be renovated.
The breakfast in your room facing the ocean is a good start of your day.
We went fishing on the second day ,it was a really great experience, we
caught 3 salmons and came back with some Dungerness crabs too.We met the Chef ,
very friendly and he cooked for us the salmon in 3 ways and the crab as appetizer using
fresh and organic products from the garden:it was so delicious.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laurent503
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Canada Flintridge, California, United States
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 August 2013

My husband and I stayed here for 3 nights. We had the blue heron room and the view was fantastic. We enjoyed the homey feel of the Inn and everyone was very helpful. The breakfast that is brought to your room each morning is very good and we enjoyed exploring the area around Sooke Harbour.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Andrea B
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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 sympatheically 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 Spring our fine-dining restaurant is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday. It is open for dinner Thursday to Monday from 5.30pm to 9.00pm. The Copper Room is open daily 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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