Victoria's classic waterfront retreat
Styled like a grand English manor house overlooking the sea, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel is located in the residential, and historically British, Oak Bay neighborhood in Victoria, British Columbia’s capital. Reopened in 2012, the hotel was rebuilt from the ground up on the site where the original hotel first began welcoming guests back in the 1920s. The hotel, about a 15-minute drive east of Victoria’s Inner Harbour, was a popular community gathering place, known in particular for its bar, The Snug, which was Victoria’s first neighborhood pub.
While many locals still stop in for a pint, the rebuilt Oak Bay Beach Hotel, unlike its predecessor, is a luxurious resort-style property. Many of its 100 spacious guest rooms and suites have spectacular views of the surrounding waterfront. The units all have spacious spa-style baths and well-equipped kitchen facilities, and the hotel also has three onsite restaurants, including a fine dining room, the rebuilt pub, and a café/pastry shop, as well as 24-hour room service.
On the ocean side of the landscaped grounds, you’ll find the hotel’s best feature: its lovely heated mineral pools — one curvaceous swimming pool (warmed to a balmy 96 F) and two smaller hot tubs — that front the sea and are open to guests 24 hours a day. Adjacent to the pools, the Boathouse Spa & Baths offers massages, facials, and other services in oceanfront treatment rooms. The spa building houses a small ocean-facing fitness room as well.
Guests can avail themselves of the hotel’s butler service, available on request. Your butler will stock your refrigerator, draw you a bath, and act as your own personal concierge. Guests can also travel around town in style, by booking a ride in the hotel’s Rolls-Royce, although once you’ve settled into the soothing mineral pool or your in-suite spa tub, even a ride in the Rolls may seem superfluous.