Victoria, BC (June 2016) – Douglas Magazine
Victoria, BC (June 2016) – The Toronto Sun
Victoria’s Magnolia Hotel & Spa is teaming up with the Loden Hotel in Vancouver to offer the ‘Best of Two Cities’ package this summer. This unique travel deal offers a combined four-night experience with two nights spent in each city, at each hotel with a seaplane flight transporting visitors between the two. The package also includes daily breakfast for two, late check-out and a 35 minute Harbour Air flight to and from Victoria. Both properties also offer complimentary bikes. This package is available now through Sept. 30, 2016. Rates start at $459.50 per night in May, June & September and from $509.50 per night in July and August. For more details or to book, visit theloden.com. (Courtesy Magnolia Hotel & Spa).
The B.C. isle may be relatively small in size but it packs a wide variety of attractions for all tastes.
Victoria, BC (May 2016) – The Globe and Mail By Alyssa Schwartz
Victoria, BC (May, 2016) – Miss 604 By Steffani Cameron
I had the good fortune to live in Victoria for 3.5 years, so when I had the opportunity to enjoy some promotional time in Victoria on behalf of both Tourism Victoria and Miss604.com, I leapt at it.
One of two places I stayed at, the Magnolia Hotel, gave me much-needed rest and relaxation. The suites are designed to completely pamper you. The hotel being in an older building means the rooms are perfectly sized, not large or spacious, but just right for a table, desk, some chairs, and most importantly, wonderfully indulgent beds.
I was pretty excited to be staying in a hotel with a nice TV since it was the big release weekend of House of Cards 4, and I was desperate to see what Frank Underwood was doing now. Midway through my first episode, at the terribly late hour of 9:30pm, my king-sized bed looked so inviting I decided to interrupt my “marathon” and have a “nap.” 11 hours later, I got up. I never even finished the first episode.
There’s really no higher praise I can give a hotel than “all I wanted to do was relax.” Luckily, I didn’t just want to relax, I actually became relaxed. In the middle of a crazy month of non-stop location-changing, I fell into a deep and satisfying sleep, and nearly overslept for my morning appointment. A fire in the hearth, rain pattering the window, a belly full of wonderful hot chocolate provided as a turn-down treat, and my face buried in fluffy, glorious pillows – all of it gave me the recharge I so desperately sought.
When stepping away from a crazy life, that’s what we really, really want—a place where problems and woes fall away for a day or three, and relaxation finds us. Enter Magnolia Hotel & Spa.
With full-service concierge, every need anticipated, free coffee and tea throughout the hotel, travel day plans on offer, complimentary bikes available to reserve, and so much more, the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is as much geared at the solace-and-recharge-seeking traveller as it is the business-class traveller who needs a place free of distractions when sneaking work into a hectic schedule in a town that beckons you to explore. I had to balance work and solace, and I have to mention how grateful I was that every room in the Magnolia Hotel has its own WiFi connection. It was so speedy! That would’ve been great for a House of Cards marathon, eh?
Tourism Victoria is constantly wooing travellers with the promise that there’s so much to do here (because there is!), but part of Victoria’s appeal is that it’s a wonderful place to just be. Now that I’m back after five months spent in Europe, I like to think that Victoria was my primer in how to live like a European. Sit and soak in at the wonderful world around you. Enjoy a patio lunch. Park yourself on a bench and just enjoy your space. Stroll aimlessly until a restaurant’s lovely aromatic cookery wafts out and seduces you to dine with them.
Magnolia is perfectly situated for that “just be here” approach to Victoria. Just a couple minutes from the Inner Harbour, a little further to Beacon Hill Park, and both attractions and restaurants all around it, you can have any kind of Victoria visit you want. If dining out is part of your travel passion, definitely check the list of recommended restaurants from the main desk. With over 40 local haunts to choose from, as a former resident, I can tell you they aren’t steering you wrong with any of the choices, and they’ve made sure to include all budget levels in their offerings. Be sure you talk to the front staff too, because they’re really excited to help you enjoy your stay. I found them great to chat with.
If you’re looking for the full indulgent experience that I had, it’s the “Diamond” Suites you’ll want at Magnolia. On the top two floors, Diamond Suites come with gas fireplaces, views, and a full hot breakfast in Catalano Restaurant. I used my coupon for the best waffles I’ve had in ages – bacon & Emmenthal-stuffed waffles with vanilla whipped cream and maple syrup. Many weeks later and I’m afraid they’ve wrecked “normal” waffles for me. Such tasty goodness.
But if you plan to walk around all weekend to enjoy museums and buskers and brew pubs, and you don’t need the “view” rooms or a fireplace in the hot days of summer, don’t fret, because the included continental breakfast offered by Magnolia is really super too. From cottage cheese to adorable Mason jar yogurt-with-fruit portions and oatmeal with cereal-topping choices, it’s a large selection of healthy, help-yourself fulfilling options. No matter what your “stay” is, you get access to the small fitness centre, but if you need a big workout or a swim, ask at the front desk for their complimentary day pass to the nearby gym and pool at the Y.
Something evident to me during my stay is how genuinely satisfied the staff seem to be They’re helpful, happy, and focused on ensuring you have the relaxing stay you deserve.
As a case in point, I arrived early for check-in and my room wasn’t ready, which was fine with me, so I just left my luggage and went out to breakfast with family. This isn’t the first hotel I’ve done that at, but Magnolia staff ensured my luggage was in my room upon my return, placed on the suitcase stand.
When I needed documents printed, it was no problem and no charge (within reason). Even housekeepers greeted me with radiant smiles and waved me off when my elevator stopped for their floor.
I’m told the secret is that the local owners and in-house management know the value of their employees and work hard to keep them happy. Like when recent extensive refurbishments were completed in all common areas, management thanked staff for their patience through the seven weeks of messy renovations by serving everyone a four-course meal. Today, renovations are complete throughout the hotel.
Looking for a luxurious getaway close to home? Visit the Magnolia Hotel & Spa for a perfect location in the midst of Victoria’s great Harbour lifestyle. Check out their maps of walks and bike rides that the staff have put together on handy travel cards, like their three recommended bike routes for taking in everything from the beaches to the art galleries, or the “Tapa Trail” walk for foodies, including nine great spots for tapas and cocktails.
Renew and re-connect at the Magnolia with a 2 night Girls’ Getaway Package. Catch up over a bottle of wine in your elegant room before heading out for a bite to eat – check out Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar’s specials or take their Tapa Trail for a walk. After your continental breakfast, visit some of Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s team members favourite shops, listed on their Beautiful Boutiques Trail. Later, indulge in 2 hours of pampering with Spa Magnolia‘s Self Renewal package, a 60 minute customized facial and transformation pedicure!
Your Girls Getaway starts at just $399 per night & includes:
Two nights in an elegant Superior Room with 2 queen beds
Self Renewal Package for two – 60 Minute Customize Facial & Transformation Pedicure
Bottle of wine night of arrival
Continental breakfast for two each morning
Pricing is per room, per night for 2 nights and is exclusive of taxes and gratuities. Available for stays May 1 to June 19, 2016 with the exception of May 20-22 & May 27-29 and subject to availability of both accommodation and spa. Advance reservations required for Spa Magnolia.
Victoria, BC (May 2016) – By Kelly Bai
Victoria, BC (April 7, 2016) VOGUE – By Alyssa Schwartz & Photo courtesy of Fol Epi
From Seattle’s ’90s grunge scene to the coffeehouses and food trucks that made Portland one of the most influential food cities in the country, the Pacific Northwest has for decades been America’s capital region of cool. Just north of the border, Vancouver, with its drizzly weather and craft breweries, is a Canadian cousin to those hipster havens. But Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, has traditionally been left out of all that cool talk.
Maybe it’s that the mountains and water that lie between Victoria and the mainland push all the clouds and rain and existential moodiness back toward the east (with an avera
ge of 2,183 hours of sunshine a year, Victoria is one of Canada’s sunniest cities); until recently, Victoria seemed more like the kind of place you’d visit with your granny than hit up for a girls’ weekend.
While Victoria’s long-held nickname refers to a place suited to the “nearly dead and newly wed,” those demographics are being overshadowed by an influx of creative, entrepreneurial types, largely driven across the Strait of Georgia by Vancouver’s skyrocketing real estate prices. Vancouver’s loss is Victoria’s gain: Today the city has about 900 tech companies and counting—it’s becoming known as Tectoria—and lots of gorgeous old brick warehouses, which now house stylish indie boutiques stocked full of local designs along with great bars, bakeries, and restaurants.
So lace up your walking shoes or hop on a bike—there’s really no need for a car in town—and discover how quaint, quiet Victoria has grown into the perfect spot for a cool Northwest getaway. Here’s the best of what to see, do, and eat while you’re there.
Eat and Drink
Cliff Leir built his first brick oven in his driveway in his teens; today he’s famous for the tangy, chewy baguettes and rye country boules he pulls out of the wood-fired oven at Fol Epi. Check out the bakery’s Yates Street location at night for dinner at Agrius for seasonal dishes such as roasted brassica shoots with pickled cipollini onion and egg yolk vinaigrette, and albacore tuna with oyster mushrooms and watercress. The bread plays double duty come dessert, after steeping in sweet milk for hours to infuse the flavor of toasted sourdough sorbet.
Inspired by old-time speakeasies, Little Jumbo feels both historic and thoroughly fresh, with its constantly changing cocktail list (try the Tiki Fizz, spiked with local producer Sea Cider’s Rumrunner) and shareable plates such as charred Humboldt squid with a kimchi and XO sauce kick.
Located in the attic of another restaurant, Perro Negro is the perfect hideaway “para picar”—to pick or nibble—on tapas such as croquettas, octopus with chorizo, and Spanish boquerones. Wash them down with a frothy Oaxacan sour (mezcal, tequila, citrus, thyme, black pepper syrup, and egg white) before moving on toBodega for more tapas and classic cocktails like a whiskey sour or negroni, reinvented with sherry.
What to Do
Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour is the starting point for a delicious day at sea with The London Chef Dan Hayes, Canada’s answer to Jamie Oliver. The chef’s newest offering, “West Coast, Best Coast,” is the tastiest way possible to explore the island coastline: After crabbing and fishing for wild salmon, Hayes prepares an at-sea lunch of ceviche and sashimi using your haul. (There’s also an on-board mimosa bar—not your typical day on a fishing boat.)
Venture over to the LoJo district: blocks of restored warehouses, shops, and hotels built during the gold rushes of the 1850s and 1890s. Today those brick heritage buildings are home to beautiful independent boutiques (look for the green “we are local” signs). Among the musts: Tonic Jewelry, where owner Honor Cienska crafts delicate earrings and necklaces out of silver, copper, and gold at the back of the store while you browse the collections of other local makers; stock up on small-batch anise fennel and rose-geranium soaps from local producer Soap Rebel at lifestyle emporium Nest & Cradle; the well-edited selection of designer fashion and denim at Bernstein & Gold lives up to the store’s tagline, “beautiful things and spa,” and then some.
New Victoria may have swapped her high tea for an Earl Grey–infused gin sour, but the super-British vestiges of Old Victoria are still enchanting. Afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress is an elegant, century-old tradition worth keeping. Less than two miles from the center of town, Government House is the official residence of British Columbia’s lieutenant governor, the queen’s representative in the province (yes, the monarchy has a role in provincial and national-level government in Canada). Wander the grounds to explore the 19th-century stables, carriage house, and other service buildings, or just enjoy the beautiful gardens and views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains.
Where to Stay
Tucked away on quiet Courtney Street, the Magnolia is an elegant 64-room boutique hotel steps from the Inner Harbour. It’s a tough call whether the best amenity here is the onsite spa or Curated Trails program, a collection of themed insider guides that will point you toward Victoria’s many hidden gems. Book a complimentary bike and head out on the “Bikes, Beans, and Blooms” route, which meanders through romantic local gardens and also visits a number of local coffee roasters. To sleep where the royals stay, check in to the Fairmont Empress, the city’s 108-year-old grande dame. Slightly further afield is the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, a posh waterfront resort in Victoria’s ritziest residential area, about four miles from town.
Victoria, BC (March 2016) – USA Today
Victoria’s leading boutique hotel recognized by leading industry awards
Victoria, BC (February 25, 2016) – The Magnolia Hotel & Spa continues to feature in leading travel awards, with the Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards, TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards and the US News & World Report Best Hotel Rankings announced this month.
The Forbes Travel Guide 2016 Star Awards recognized Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s exceptional service with a prestigious Four Star award for the third consecutive year, one of just three Vancouver Island properties to be featured.
In the 2016 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards, Magnolia was named as #4 best hotel in Canada, #12 best Canadian hotel for service and #14 best Canadian hotel for romance.
Lastly the Magnolia Hotel & Spa was recognized as a Silver Badge winner in the US News & World Report’s annual awards, placing #4 in the best hotels Victoria and Vancouver Island category.
Known for its superior levels of customer service and its elegant boutique nature, the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is loved by business and leisure travellers alike; located steps away from Victoria’s iconic Inner Harbour.
For more information please visit www.magnoliahotel.com or call 1-877-624-6654.
About Magnolia Hotel & Spa
Just steps from Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Magnolia Hotel & Spa, wins over guests with its unbeatable location and service. Awarded #4 Top Hotel in Canada in the 2015 Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards, consistently recognized as one of the Top 25 Luxury Hotels by TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards and with a Four Star Forbes rating, the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is one block from the harbour and the city’s best restaurants, shops and entertainment – exactly where you want to be during a stay in Victoria.
P: 604.609.6678 / E: email@example.com
Bikes, Beans, & Blooms Package explores British Columbia’s capital city on two wheels
Victoria, BC (February 18, 2016) – Get your caffeine fix and have a blooming good time in Victoria this spring with Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s Bikes, Beans & Blooms Package, available March 1 to June 30, 2016.
Discover the best coffee shops and the most beautiful gardens in Canada’s ‘cycling capital’ of Victoria. With an overnight stay at Victoria’s leading boutique hotel and use of the Magnolia’s Norco city bicycles, guests will be well-equipped to explore Victoria’s charming cafes and gardens with a self-guided trail map, specially curated by the Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s team.
“Our Bikes, Beans & Blooms package showcases some of Victoria’s lesser known gardens and highlights the amazing local coffee scene that we have here in the city,” says Bill Lewis, General Manager at Magnolia Hotel & Spa. “We love sharing our version of Victoria with visitors and this self-guided bike trail takes guests to the hidden hotspots in our neighbourhood.”
The ‘city of gardens’ springs into life with hanging baskets lining the streets on downtown lampposts every June as part of a tradition that dates back over 75 years. Take a trip on two wheels to visit the heart of Rockland, Victoria’s historic neighbourhood, and see the gardens of Government House that feature native and exotic plants, a dramatic rocky landscape and a beautiful view of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Olympic Mountain Range.
Fuel up at some of the hotel team’s favourite cafes along the way including: whimsical Picnic Too, purveyors of local veteran roasters 2% Jazz Coffee; café/roasters Serious Coffee and Tre Fantastico.
Visit the quaint Abkhazi Tea House and discover the romantic history of the Abkhazi Gardens. See the dramatic displays of Japanese maples, hellebores, Himalayan lilies, cyclamen and stunning Garry Oaks, which are a protected native species in the region. Head to Beacon Hill Park to visit some of the most impressive gardens in the downtown area, featuring plants ranging from tropical palm trees to a romantic gated rose garden. Don’t miss Victoria’s Palm Tree House, home to 15 giant palm trees, each over 25 feet tall and 45 years old!
The Bikes, Beans & Blooms package includes luxurious accommodation at Magnolia Hotel & Spa, continental breakfast and complimentary use of the hotel bicycles. Book a two-night stay to ensure you have plenty of time to explore! Prices start from $199 (March & April) and $259 (May & June)*.
For more details or to book your stay, contact Magnolia Hotel & Spa at 1-877-624-6654 or visit www.magnoliahotel.com.
About Magnolia Hotel & Spa
Just steps from Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, The Magnolia Hotel & Spa, wins over guests with its unbeatable location and service. Recently awarded #4 Top Hotel in Canada in the 2015 Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards, consistently recognized as one of the Top 25 Luxury Hotels by TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice® awards and with a Four Star Forbes rating, the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is one block from the harbour and the city’s best restaurants, shops and entertainment – exactly where you want to be during a stay in Victoria.
P: 604.609.6678 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Victoria, BC (February 2016) – Canoe.com
Victoria: Fall in love again in Victoria with Magnolia Hotel & Spa’s Valentine’s Day package. The Romancing Victoria package includes a bottle of prosecco, chocolate truffles and the help of a Romance Concierge who can help couples make the most of a romantic weekend on Canada’s west coast. Rates start at $239. See magnoliahotel.com for more information. (Courtesy Magnolia Hotel & Spa)