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“The beautiful execution of a very personal vision”

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Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Certificate of Excellence
Eugene, OR
Level 4 Contributor
45 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“The beautiful execution of a very personal vision”
Reviewed 11 August 2008

I find many of the below reviews on target. Sooke Harbour House is a magical place, but part of the pleasure of going there is steeping yourself in the beautiful execution of a very particular vision: the place is stamped through and through with the owners' commitments to gardening and to supporting local artists. This means that certain elements can be grating: I wanted to strangle our waiter by the end of our meal for his condescending attitude when I asked for structure and less than 13.5% alcohol in a glass of red wine (neither would have been a problem had he thought to offer one of the Italian or French selections on his wine by the glass list, but he was on a mission to serve what he wanted to serve...). And our crab came out flavourless and overcooked. Yes, breakfast was a sort of hit and miss affair. *BUT* my husband's sablefish was silky and delicious, as were my scallops, the flowers on the salad were tasty and adorable, and, hey, this isn't really Dungeness season anyway.

Plus: the gardens are a marvel: abundant and lush, but also charming, creative, full of those kinds of nooks, artistic touches & trompe l'oeils that make up a true European garden. And the double-duty that almost every wall and surface of the place serves --any avail. space is used to display a vast and eclectic range of works by local artists-- is very impressive, once again calling attention to the commitment of the owners to their community and its working artists.

  • Liked — Creative, beautiful gardens and quirky art collection
  • Disliked — It *is* overpriced
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

501 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (134)
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English first
Atlanta
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2008

My husband and I just returned from celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary ... and while we had a wonderful time, the Sooke Harbour House lacked attention to detail and "top tier" resort experience to make us willing to recommend it to others.

The good:
- Beautiful location, larger and comfortable rooms with working fireplaces that are set up to make it easy for guests.

- Courteous and helpful staff.

The not-so-good:
- Restaurant: We ate at the Sooke Harbour House for three of the nights. The first night was a truly terrible experience. Our reservation was set for 8 but we weren't seated until after 8:30 and it took truly forever for our food to arrive. You have 2 choices for each course, so you are out of luck if nothing is appealing. But more importantly it felt as though the chef was "trying too hard." Just because you have lavender in the garden, doesn't mean that it needs to be infused into everything...

With this said, our second night was better and by the third night they finally nailed it with a truly wonderful meal. However, our guess is that most people are not willing to invest the time or the resources in three meals to get one that is great.

- Breakfast: Each morning was incredibly inconsistent. The portion size of the included breakfast was moderate, not generous. And if you were not up for the main course, you were left with pastries that sometimes did and sometimes didn't come with butter and preserves. I ordered a latte every morning but only received one 2 out of 4 mornings - but was charged for all 4. This lack of attention to detail was annoying since the last thing we wanted to do was worry about complaining when we are on vacation.

- Spa: The services are truly great, but be clear that they are provided in your room. While the providers are incredibly professional, it does invade your privacy some when you have "visitors" in your bedroom.

We still believe that each trip and visit is what you make of it, and we don't want to discount the fact that we did have a lovely time. However, we would not return in the future and it doesn't compete with other resorts we've been to.

  • Liked — The view
  • Disliked — The lack of attention to detail
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bothell, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
276 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2008

The Sooke is famous for it's many celebrity guests, all of which are noted on the entryway to the restrooms. There have been many movies filmed here as well. Therefore, I had been wanting to stay here for a very long time and in all honesty, I was disappointed.

The inn is beautiful as was the view from our room, but we did experience problems.

On 6/28, we got a phone call from the inn, saying that we were supposed to have been there the day before. I told them that our reservations were for 6/29 (Sun). The woman said she would change their records. I didn't think much of it, but then I got curious, so that night I called the hotel again. First they couldn't even find the reservation. Then the receptionist read off some dates that were completely wrong (3-4 days off from what I had booked). Thank God I had printed up a confirmation notice. They had gotten our reservation mixed up with another guest of the same last name.
When we arrived, they had the correct dates, but I made sure that they weren't going to charge us for nights that we didn't book. When I asked why there was a problem, the receptionist immediately pulled out a bunch of emails that we had sent. I had forgotten that after we booked our room in February, we requested some changes.This is why they had the dates wrong. I left feeling responsible for the problem, which angered me.

Our room was very nice; spacious with a wonderful steam shower, separate toilet, a claw-foot bathtub, comfy bed and a deep soaking tub on our balcony that overlooked the water. It was gorgeous. We were in the Whale Room, which was decorated with whales of every kind imaginable. There was a table with literature and books about the area as well as lots of books on whales.

We asked about a place for lunch and were steered toward a restaurant called Fuse. Turns out that since we were the only ones seated in the restaurant (the outside seating was full), we got the worst service possible. I didn't like my food at all, but my husband liked his. We relayed this to the hotel, but they seemed to shrug it off. It has a nice view of a cove, but I don't recommend this place at all. Drive about 30 minutes more and you'll find other restaurants.

We splurged the first night and ate in their dining room. Be aware that the menu is set and very expensive. Our total bill was over $200. The service was excellent, but the food wasn't great, IMO. And dinner at the Sooke Harbour House takes a VERY long time. Our reservations were for 6:30pm and we were there for about THREE hours. However, it was our anniversary so it was almost worth it. I would have enjoyed it more had the service been faster. We had to wait at least 30 minutes in-between courses-of which there were several.

The second night, we forgo our dinner reservations and decided to eat somewhere else. In Sooke and surrounding areas you have to eat BEFORE 11PM, or else there is NOTHING around. We went to ask at the front desk and after the manager realized that we were guests, he offered us an entree in the dining room. We politely thanked him (although it was extremely generous), and they pointed us to a restaurant down the street. However, when we arrived, the bartender said that they had stopped serving at 8PM. We finally ended up buying sandwiches at a nearby convience store.

Both mornings, we we were served breakfast in our room. Unfortunately, my breakfast was awful both times. The first morning, we had to call down to the front desk for silverware. My husband had no hot water, for the tea they brought and my breakfast consisted of baked goods, but no jam or butter. The second morning, my pancakes (which looked more like crepes) were so cold, I refused to eat them.

So all in all, I was very disappointed in Sooke Harbour House and I would have to think twice about trying it a second time. The staff seemed very scatter-brained which was disappointing for such a well-known hotel.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The very disappointing breakfasts
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ontario
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 April 2008

I am a chef from Ontario and was looking forward to dining at Sooke harbour house for many years.Finally I had the chance this April.The place is very beautiful with lots of art,breathtaking scenery and beautiful herb gardens.The staff was very polite and helpful.I was not blown away by the food.I found the menu quite limited and avarage at best.

Stayed April 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 March 2008

I stayed at SHH twice this year, and did enjoy both stays. The place is charming, staff uniformly pleasant and helpful.

However, they haven't been refurbishing and the air of shabby chic is becoming a bit more shabby than chic in the public areas.

The room both visits was excellent - extremely clean and well fitted - the fireplace and outdoor jetted tubs a delight.

Time to lose that dining room carpet, however!

And whereas a few years ago I had some amazing meals here, this time they were not up to that standard in the restaurant.
Clearly the chef has changed, or lost his magic.

Dinners were fine, but nothing to rave about at all. Far better food at the Delta Ocean Pointe in downtown Victoria.

  • Liked — Location, staff
  • Disliked — Disappointed in food
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
amsterdam
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2008

Stayed for 2 nights back in 2005. The place is incredible, just like walking into an art gallery.

The locaton is fantastic, the whole atmosphere is very relaxed. The food was fine, but nothing too spectacular.

In total I liked the stay & the very friendly staff.

Stayed March 2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 December 2007

I've stayed and eaten at the Sooke four times now. I absolutely love the character and charm of the hotel; the cosy, unique rooms, wood -burning fireplaces, bookshelves everywhere, the art, hot tubs on the balcony and of course the location. However I have been less than impressed at the restaurant, which seems to be resting on its laurels. Perhaps it is the seasons we have been there; early spring and late fall are not the best times for local produces, which is the Sooke's raison d'etre. But for the price and the reputation, I have been less than blown away. In the four times we have eaten the tasting menu there, each time the main course has been chicken. Chicken is NOT the most exciting ingredient for a main course. Is it being served because it is cheap? Have I just been unlucky enough to hit chicken 4 times in a row? I don't know. The dishes themselves have been good; but only adequately so. Frankly I've preferred the meals I've had at the Wickaninnish, and since the food is one of the main reasons to stay at the Sooke, some work is required here.

  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
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 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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