Island Profile: The Magnolia Hotel & Spa

Published November 23, 2010 in

There comes a time in every girl’s life when a weekend away with friends graduates to something with a bit more style and sophistication than in younger years.

Rebecca and I recently escaped to Vancouver Island for some rest and relaxation and found ourselves at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in downtown Victoria. From the moment one enters the lobby, it’s clear that this four-diamond hotel is a true gem within the capital city.

Travelers are greeted with prompt service, smiles and the tinkering of a baby grand piano. While the winter weather outside was frightful, complimentary sugar cookies and hot apple cider in the lobby proved to be most delightful.

Our room, complete with hers and hers queen-sized beds, featured a glittering view of the Parliament Buildings and a sliver of Victoria Harbour. Though the hotel is less than a decade old, the decor of both the common area and each of the rooms is exquisitely styled in a manner that’s both refined and undoubtedly comfortable. Neither Rebecca nor myself hesitated to swap our winter boots for the luxe robes and slippers.

What is perhaps most magnificent about the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is its perceptibility toward the smaller details. From the tantalizing wine and cheese platter that awaited us upon arrival to the sumptuous selection of Aveda bath and beauty products stocked in the bathroom, no feature has been overlooked.

If I’m honest with all of you, the majority of my time in our hotel room was spent submerged in the soaker tub. The bathrooms at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa are a bather’s paradise.

No attempt at rest and relaxation would be complete without an indulgence at the spa. The Spa Magnolia, adjacent to the hotel’s lobby, features seven serenely-appointed treatment rooms and a menu of services certain to please everyone.

Rebecca and I each chose what the Spa Magnolia is perhaps most famous for – their facial treatments. Using customized Aveda products, the Outer Peace brought utter relaxation to my body with a better and better complexion in the hours that followed my treatment.

On our final night in Victoria, we found ourselves in the Prime Steakhouse & Lounge. With half a dozen phenomenal cuts of Alberta beef on the menu, Chef Batty and his team have turned the average steak into something utterly tantalizing. Prime’s dining room features ambient lighting and decor that straddles the line between art nouveau and art deco, creating an environment that evokes that classic kind of sexy.

Though Prime shakes up more cocktails than you can twist at, Rebecca and I selected a half-litre of Burrowing Owl pinot noir to accompany our meal. We each started with a succulently creamy lobster bisque to warm up our palates for the star of the show.

My 8-oz. New York cut steak was cooked perfectly medium rare, accompanied by roasted seasonal vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes that I couldn’t shovel into my mouth fast enough. The steak itself was a true treat, each bite quite literally melting upon touching my tongue. (Foodie tip: ask for a side of the brandy peppercorn cream sauce and smother your cut in it.)

They say that it’s hard to top perfection, and nothing could be more true of my visit to the Magnolia Hotel & Spa. While I would have liked more time to spend soaking in the bathtub (perhaps while simultaneously indulging in more steak), my stay has given more than enough reason to return again in the very near future.

The Magnolia Hotel & Spa is located at 623 Courtney Street in downtown Victoria. Please visit their website for more information on the Girls’ Getaway package and other great packages You can also find the Magnolia Hotel & Spa on Facebook and follow their updates on Twitter.