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Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel
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Reviews (554)
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Reviewed 29 July 2010

My wife and I have stayed and dined at the Sooke Harbour House many times over the years, and keep being amazed every time we return. Having traveled a great deal, both for business and pleasure, we've seen our share of beautiful settings and high-comfort luxury in hotels across the globe, but this little gem perched on the edge of the pacific ocean is truly one of a kind. Whether it's the exquisitely decorated rooms (all uniquely themed, and with copious amenities including wood burning fireplaces, jacuzzis or ocean-side hot-tubs); the unparalleled delectable kitchen and dining room experience, with local delicacies fresh from the nearby ocean and the hotel's own organic edible gardens and nearby farm, paired with one of the world's best wine lists (acclaimed by Wine Spectator for many years now); the wonderful and every changing abundance of (local) artwork and crafts that fills the hallways to give you the unique experience staying in a beautiful art gallery or museum (along with a private library!); the always warm, helpful and highly capable staff; the absolutely stunning nature surroundings and breathtaking ocean views with frequent whale sightings; the complimentary gourmet breakfast served in the privacy of your room or its private ocean-view balcony with the Olympic Mountains in the background; the availability of extensive spa treatment options; and too many other wonderful things to list in one single review... Sooke Harbour House is a must-visit venue for all lovers of beauty, art, tranquility, romance, luxury, nature, and fine dining. Trust us, we've been around and seen it all, are highly selective and critical when it comes to the places we stay and dine, and this little white beauty by the ocean still stands strong at the top of our list!
Thank you, Sooke Harbour House, for indulging us with your wonderful hospitality and offering us yet another incredible experience during our stay in June. We can't wait for our next visit! Maybe, if the kids can join us, we'll come back early for your Christmas and New Year's festivities this Winter!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Frans_Mijnssen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2010

first class location, second class service and third class food. Overpriced and underservice.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mike2400
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2010

I and my wife had been dining at the Sooke Harbor House on June 28.
This was the most horrible dining experience I can remember.

The house and the restaurant look very classy (clean and airy), lots of upscale features throughout, bathrooms are really nice. The view on the ocean is amazing. This and the Zagat awards prominently displayed had convinced us to dine there, grudgingly accepting outrageously high prices in the expectation of a very special experience.
Regretably, the looks is about the only good thing I can say, and I am generally not fussy
about food.

To start, the candle glass jar on our table had exploded soon after we sat down, spewing broken glass over the table. Fortunately, no one was cut and we were moved to another table. In retrospect, that incident was a great sign for what lies ahead.

The advertised 3-course menu for $ 45 was unavailable. There was a 4-course menu for $ 75, but, while the receptionst had claimed the dishes from there could be ordered a la carte, that was not an option as no prices were given for any entree. We have ordered the $ 75 menus, then. I and my wife have chosen different options on the menu and shared, so I can speak about the food broadly.

All portions were tiny. That was the least of the problems, though.
The soup (just a few spoons thereof) was relatively OK - not good but OK in comparison
with the next courses. The tuna and another dish offered for the 2nd course (in portions suitable for a toddler, perhaps) were terrible, no taste whatsoever. A hot-dog from a neighborhood stand for $ 3 is much better, truly. The main dish ("rabbit stuffed with chicken and chorizo") was downright disgusting. I had asked the waiter (a lady in her 40s - the head waiter?) about this entree when chosing, and was assured that it was "marvellous". Some panache she has, I should say. The desserts were equally tasteless, including small green/white strawberries that could barely be eaten.
The tea and bread were OK. To be fair , the food presentation was extremely fancy and artful, especially the desserts. But this is a restaurant, not an avant-garde sculpture museum, for G-d sake !!!

The service was slow (it took 2.5 hours for 4 tiny "courses") and unbelievably snotty. The water in our glasses was not replenished, we finally did it ourselves. When I asked for bread, I had to ask for the butter separately. Most waitstaff are young and clearly very inexperienced, although nicely dressed. That would be ok for Denny's perhaps, but not for a $ 100 restaurant.

When I said the desserts were "OK" (a huge stretch, honestly), the waiter has replied "just OK, not fabulous?". I wanted to utter "You've gotta be kidding" but barely restrained myself and said with ironic intonation that my taste must be not sophisticated enough to appreciate their cuisine. Then she brought a tiny piece of dry bread and dry chocolate cookie of the kind found at (the worst of) Greyhound bus station cafeterias. She said that was "in compensation", but I thought in punishment for complaining, however mildly.

We paid for this $ 175 (for two) without ordering any wine, a dinner for $ 10 per person in chinese fast-food would be better. To compare, on other days in Victoria, we had immeasurably better dinners at Brasserie l'Ecole and Bon Rouge (both in downtown) for less than half that ($ 70 - 80 for two), and that is with alcohol. Those are truly nice places that I highly recommend, btw (especially the first).

Here, we have left hungry and physically disgusted, feeling as guinea pigs in some weird psychological experiment in culinary debasement. This place may be a beautiful hotel to stay, but as a resturant, this is nothing short of an ugly fraud.

Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
10  Thank AShvartsburg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2010

I stayed in this lovely hotel a couple of weeks ago with the aim of finding some peace of mind and as a little treat for my birthday; and I must confess I couldn't have chosen a better place to do it! Sooke itself is lovely, but this romantic hotel is indeed far beyond loveliness. Not only are the location and the house beautiful, but the gardens, the views, and the service are amazing and all the little details are perfectly taken care of so that you are ensured an unforgettable experience. All of this makes it a must place to stay!

The whole house is beautifully decorated with local art work, which you can purchase if interested. Every single room has a different theme, which is nicely set out, and the fact that you can take a bath, go to sleep and wake up to the sound of waves makes it even more irresistibly charming. Not to mention the perfectly located benches all around the house upon which you can write, read or just sit down and enjoy a relaxing moment.

If you are looking for a closer encounter with nature, you can also walk around the thin end and look at the navy blue ocean or choose the rocky shore. While hopping from one rock to another you can see the birds, seals and otters that surround the area, and; if you are lucky enough, you may find a friendly one who has come for a refreshing drink at one of the fountains near the restaurant while you are having dinner!

As if there weren't enough reasons to check this place out already, the restaurant is another totally unforgettable experience. Besides boasting a wonderful view, all the ingredients are locally produced which means good karma for everyone and ensures that the food quality is at its best. I got to try many delightful foods from freshly cut garden flowers to cheese, meat and even a lavender sherbet! Wine and service exceed expectation.. amazing! The entire staff, not only the restaurant staff who happened to greet me and even have a conversation in Spanish (my native tongue); are incredibly nice; they all make sure you are comfortable and make you feel at home, without being the least bit intrusive.

Finally, my room (The bird's watcher) was equipped with two bath tubs, one inside and the other outside. Complimentary lavender bath salts, good music, cookies and port were provided; as were a couple of nice and fun to read books including a visitor's one which was really nice to read by my just lit fireplace! One of the beds faced the ocean so you can fall asleep looking at its splendour and wake up to have your freshly made breakfast in your very own room!

Definitely worth experiencing it! It doesn't matter what kind of getaway you are looking for: romantic, family, relaxing, solo; you won't regret indulging yourself in this charming experience; I cannot wait to go back again one day!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled solo
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Thank denivf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 June 2010

Great one of a kind place to stay. Restaurant setting great, food ok. Slow check-in process. One person who seems to have to do it all. All in all, would go back for the setting and the location. Truy special place. The whole hotel is an art gallery, it never feels like a hotel, more like someone's big private mansion you stay in. Rooms have incredible view. Some have outdoor hottubs, on lower level. Wonderful garden. Food was good but if you are used to fancy restaurants the food is ok in my opinion.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank AlaskaAlyeska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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