My wife and I spent 3 days and 2 nights @ the Brentwood Bay Lodge. All things considered it was a very good experience. I’ll provide feedback on the accommodations, the spa, and the 4 dining options, including room service, within the lodge.
Location: The location is about 25 minutes north of downtown Victoria. This means it has a remote feel to it which can be good or bad depending on what you’re seeking. We hired a town car (LA Limo) to shuttle us from the Victoria Clipper to the hotel and back. The cost was $89 CAN all inclusive. We could’ve rented a car but we weren’t sightseeing this trip. Or we could’ve hired a taxi which would have been about 60% of the cost of a town car. The hotel has wonderful views of the bay. There’s a nice trail that goes along the water. There’s a café on the bay but we didn’t eat there. During the summer months there are charters that run from the dock down the path from the hotel. Down the road about a mile or so are a few retail outlets (coffee shop, drug store ,etc).
Accommodations: The room was clean and nicely decorated. It had a fireplace, massage shower, and a two person jetted tub. The room had a king size bed with comfortable linens. The TV wasn’t an LCD/Plasma which was a bit surprising but not a big deal; there is a DVD player and the lobby has a decent selection of movies you could watch at no additional cost. The room also had a safe. Every room has a wonderful view of the harbor. There were a few issues. First, you access your room from the outside (sort of like a motel) which isn’t a big deal other than we had to go out in the cold to walk to the spa and the restaurants. Next, there was construction going on next door. The first day we were woken up @ 8am by a giant crane right outside our room. The second day we were woken again promptly @ 8am by sawing and hammering. When I mentioned this to the front desk I didn’t get an apology but rather some lame explanation of how they can’t predict the construction schedule. A little warning @ check-in or an apology @ check-out would have gone a long way. Lastly there were a couple of maintenance issues with the room. The safe didn’t work (complained about a low battery) and the fireplace’s automatic shutoff didn’t work. These are items the maid should have flagged and had fixed.
Spa: we purchased a spa package which included $100 spa credit. We waited until our arrival to book a treatment. That was a bad idea as everything was booked. We lucked out with a cancellation but had that not had happened we would’ve been spa-less. Lesson learned: always book spa treatments as far ahead of time as possible. The spa is on the smaller side. For example, the lounge only seats 8 people: 4 big comfy chairs and two tables with two chairs each. The locker room was also small: one each toilet, sink, and shower. The staff at the spa were very professional and accommodating. All-in-all it was a pleasant experience but not something you could make a day of like at other spas I’ve been to.
Sushi: There is an inviting sushi bar. However the goodness ends there. The sushi chef isn’t very friendly or talkative. And most importantly the food isn’t that good. The fish tasted fresh but the rice was poor and the assembly was clumsy. All told I get better sushi @ Whole Foods. My recommendation is to take a pass on sushi.
Pub: The pub is inviting and during the summer you can sit out on the patio overlooking the bay. Most nights they have live music. There is a decent selection of local beers and a full bar. The staff is friendly and attentive. The food was ok. We tried the halibut and chips, lamb burger, and crab cakes. Most things were a bit overcooked. One day I tried to order pita chips with various dips but was told it wasn’t available as the kitchen didn’t do the prep work on it that day. The menu could stand a few more finger appetizers (nachos, chips & salsa, wings, etc) to eat while sitting enjoying a beer and watching the game. Since the beer is cold, the staff friendly, and flat screen TVs all over, it’s a fun place to sit and relax.
Seagrille: This is the main dining room. We had dinner there the first night. As expected the service was friendly and attentive. The menu had a nice selection of fish (as the name of the restaurant implies). We were surprised to find a wonderful wine list with a great selection of California and French wines and a good selection of Canadian wines. I would have liked to see Washington and Oregon wines on the list. The only problem with the California and French wines was the price, almost all were above $200/bottle. This may have to do with the import tax but I couldn’t bring myself to pay that for wine; especially when I know what it should cost. We asked our waiter to help us pick a Canadian wine. He gave us a few choices with very nice descriptions of the wines. We opted for a 2006 Reserve Pinot Noir from Blue Mountain Winery. It was just as he described it and was very pleasant. As for the food: The beef consommé was near tasteless. The vegetable terrine (with pesto) was amazing. The fresh halibut was moist. And the arctic char with crispy skin was delicious. It was a very satisfying meal.
Room Service: Both mornings we order room service for breakfast. This was an easy and fast process. The food arrived in about the same amount of time as sitting in the restaurant. The price was reasonable (not the usual huge mark-up) and it was tasty. They also offer lunch and dinner service though we didn’t take advantage of these.
Summary: Overall we had a very nice time and would consider returning, albeit armed with course knowledge. We’d book spa treatments in advance, ask for a room on the top floor, and avoid the sushi bar. Otherwise, room service was great, the Seagrille was delicious, the pub was enjoyable and the accommodations were inviting. If you are looking for a romantic getaway this is the right place. If you’re looking to shop, sightsee, and experience all Government Street has to offer you’re better off at The Empress or Hotel Grand Pacific; neither of which we’ve stayed but they were recommended to us and have the benefit of the location.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on pristine Brentwood Bay, in the heart of Victoria's wine country, minutes from Butchart Gardens and with easy access to Downtown Victoria and the Airport, this boutique hotel is a luxury resort with contemporary west coast flair. Each elegant Ocean Suite features king beds, spa-like bathrooms, romantic fireplaces and stunning ocean views. Simple, intimate and relaxing… indulge in a true state of bliss at our full-service spa and enjoy our on site dining while taking in the beautiful view. We’re not a million miles away, it just feels like it! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Brentwood Bay Hotel Brentwood Bay
- Brentwood Bay Resort And Spa
- Brentwood Bay Inn