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“Letdown for an important occasion”

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Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Letdown for an important occasion”
Reviewed 20 July 2014 via mobile

My husband and I got married at Sooke Harbour House in 2009. We had an amazing experience. We had talked about going back to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary and I was surprised when my husband told me that he had planned a three-day trip there! He later told me that he had made the reservation almost a full year in advance to be sure that we would have the same room. One of the things that had made our wedding experience so outstanding was that the staff had gone out of their way to accommodate my dietary needs (I'm vegan) and the breakfasts were delicious and inventive. My husband made sure when he booked the room (almost a year in advance and then in further correspondence closer to the date of our arrival) to note that I was vegan. He also made us a dinner reservation at SHH for the night of our actual anniversary. When we checked in, I again verified with the manager, Sharon, that they had noted my vegan requirements and she ensured me that they had.

For the most part, our experience was very nice. The grounds are amazing and the hotel is very lovely (though, as other reviewers mentioned, it could certainly stand to be updated and refreshed: new paint, carpet, etc., but overall, we didn't feel that that detracted from our experience). What was disappointing to us was that we had hoped the staff might have been more attentive to our requests and had made us feel more welcome, especially since we had informed them that we were celebrating our anniversary and had actually come back to SHH, the place we had gotten married, to do so.

The first morning, they delivered only one breakfast to our room. The delivery woman was particularly unfriendly and simply said that we had marked our breakfast slip incorrectly (I had checked one hot breakfast - a frittata, for my husband, and had written "one vegan breakfast"). I assumed that since we had spoken with management the prior evening to confirm my vegan request, that this would have been clear. The breakfast delivery woman told me I was supposed to have checked 2 frittatas and then written "one vegan." Our issue was that no one called to verify what our wishes were (if there had been confusion) and that it was not clear to us why their default was to bring only one breakfast when there were two of us in the room and we had paid extra for breakfast included. We called down and the woman at the front desk was very sweet ( Brittany) and had them prepare two new breakfasts. My husband got the frittata and I received a very uninspired and not very tasty sautée of squash and zucchini. I spoke to the manager, Sharon, later in the day and she was not particularly helpful or apologetic. She blamed it on the kitchen staff ( it seemed, as others noted, that there was no communication among the staff whatsoever) and said "hopefully this won't happen again tomorrow." How disheartening that she wasn't even guaranteeing me that the problem would be remedied in the future. When I said, "what do you mean, 'hopefully'," she just repeated herself. Honestly, if Sharon had been more apologetic and willing to help us solve the problem, I think we would have had a much better taste in our mouths for the rest of our stay. However, due to her disinterest, we felt pretty disappointed and overall underwhelmed with our experience. My husband went down immediately after I spoke with Sharon to cancel our anniversary dinner at SHH because we didn't want to risk being disappointed. We didn't feel that Sharon's response to my breakfast problem provided any level of confidence that we wouldn't be disappointed at -- a very expensive -- dinner, too. She was apparently not surprised that we decided to cancel dinner and didn't even try to dissuade us by ensuring we would be accommodated if we kept it. (As an aside, we ate at Markus's down the road and it was superb!)

To be fair, the breakfasts the following two days were lovely and much more thoughtful, but we just felt in general that we were unimportant and no one cared whether or not we were happy. For the amount of money we had to spend to stay at SHH, this was extremely disappointing. When we checked out, Sharon had deducted $30 from our bill to compensate for the first breakfast. This was a very nice gesture, but we wish she had told us she was going to do that immediately following the incident because that would have made us feel that she actually cared. I was so disappointed with her -- lack of -- reaction to our complaint that it kind of tainted the experience.

In summary, I will say that if you are traveling to Sooke Harbour House for a special occasion and looking for an attentive, personalized experience where the staff are excited that you have chosen to spend your money and celebrate at SHH, you may want to reconsider. It is a very expensive place to stay and we didn't feel like we were getting the experience that we should have gotten for that amount of money. I don't want to over-generalize since that was just our experience, but I did read other reviews where people had similar experiences. However, if you are just going for an escape and do not desire any special treatment (and the cost is not a burden for you) I would recommend it. The setting is absolutely gorgeous. I cannot speak to the restaurant as we did not end up dining there.

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
7 Thank ABCDUsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (131)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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English first
Seattle
Level Contributor
47 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2014

I have stayed at Sooke Harbour House several times over the last 8 years, and once again recently, so I know the place quite well. This time I noticed two relatively minor changes.....they no longer offer a cooked breakfast, only a continental variety (which is generous and delicious but I would rather have the cooked), and also less variety from night to night on the dinner menu. The latter is a problem for anyone staying there several nights, because there is only limited changes in what's offered. I'm sure this is advantageous for the restaurant, but it's a negative for the customer.

That said, the restaurant is still top-notch in quality, but you do pay for the privilege. And the inn as a whole is still wonderful...comfy yet classy, in a stupendous setting. The place, unfortunately, is for sale by the long-time owners, Sinclair and Frederique, and I fear the new owner might try to change it. "SHH" is close to perfect as it is!

Room Tip: All the rooms are unique and very comfortable. I stay in the "Seagull" room, which is som...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank calhounseattle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Langley, Canada
Level Contributor
65 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014

This was our first time staying at the Sooke Harbour House and I can't wait to go back. Our room was amazing, large comfortable bed, lovely sitting room and extremely large soaker tub. Our balcony overlooked the ocean and across to Washington state and the Olympic mountains. It was a beautiful warm day so we didn't need to light the fire at night. The inn also functions as an art gallery with beautiful painting and artwork adorning most of the wall space in the halls. The inn is very dog friendly, as our pooch found out. A large wicker basket equipped with towels, blankets, food & water dishes, a faux fur sleeping mat and a large yummy treat were waiting for his use. The inn is located right next to the Whiffen Spit, so we spent quite a bit of time walking along there. Having just spent a few busy days in Victoria, we really welcomed and enjoyed the tranquil setting and ambiance of the inn. Dinner in the restaurant was wonderful, as was the breakfast served in our room the next morning. I can't wait to find an occasion to return.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bridget C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pasadena, California
1 review
Reviewed 3 July 2014

My husband and I visited Sooke Harbor House many years ago in 1986, and have been talking about returning ever since. Finally, we were able to schedule a week long vacation in Sooke Harbor, staying again at Sooke Harbor House. I am happy to say that it is just as wonderful now as we remembered it from so long ago. There is magic and serenity there, the beautiful gardens, our lovely room looking out on the water, the comfortable bed, and of course the amazing and delicious food. We were both frazzled from work, but after a week we felt relaxed and refreshed, this is a wonderful place to stay, and this time we won't wait so long to return, we are already planning to be back next summer!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mindy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asheville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
56 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

About 15 years ago, my wife, daughter and I had a fabulous meal at the Sooke Harbour House and we decided to go back and have another great meal and spend our 40th anniversary there. I must say the food was fabulous but the remainder of the property needs some major renovation. We had someone above us and with the wooden floors, it sounded like a heard of elephants and this continued for 3 hours with a couple minutes break only. I called the front desk 3 times and left messages to please ask them to have the folks above us to stop, it was very late and I had to get up at 5:10 am to go fishing. Finally when the front desk did not respond, I got dressed and went up and asked the young man please refrain from jumping on the floor walking incessantly back-and-forth because I was unable to sleep. He seemed dumbfounded but at least he stopped the noise. I also asked for a wake up call at 5:10 AM. The wake up call arrived at 6:10 AM long after I was gone. Thank goodness I set my iPhone. While fishing, they offered us another room which my wife took. She had to pack all our belongings and move them herself, no assistance from the hotel. The breakfast was a fill Route4me with very little quality and options. If the same chef is there, I would recommend dinner but I would not recommend staying on property as a B&B. There are too many other great options in that area.

Room Tip: If you wish to stay there, make sure you at least get a review of the water. Some rooms are blocked...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tom81745
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We stayed for two nights on June1.Quiet paradise was so beautiful. It is a real treasure. Lots to do, lots to see. Food was fabulous and exciting , we have dinner twice with the pairing menu. We are coming back in September for my husband birthday.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank OplusS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria BC
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2014

Wonderful meal and pairing - great hosts and scenery. Fabulous 40th Birthday...

We each ordered different things to share with the pairing menu - was definitely enough food, and locally paired wines, made if fabulous!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nosilla22
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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