The holidays can be a very busy time, what with Christmas coming around the corner, family reunions and plenty of holiday parties to attend. That’s why it’s nice to take some time to reflect and escape the busy season, even if just for a weekend. And that’s exactly what I did when I stayed in Victoria last weekend, to be honest, a weekend getaway was definitely what the doctor ordered, on a fluffy pillow complete with a mint chocolate placed on top at that.
First off, our transportation to Victoria was the most seamless I have ever experienced, typically it can take about 1.5 hours to get to Victoria via BC Ferries, which is a beautiful way to experience the Pacific Ocean, but this time around we got to do it a bit differently. We took the Helijet which is actually the first scheduled helicopter service in Canada, they offer a wide range of charter services and scheduled routes between Victoria, Vancouver, and even Nanaimo. Our flight was smooth, exciting and quick, it only took us a short 35 minutes to get there! I could not recommend this mode of transportation more, lucky for us it was a gorgeous day in Vancouver and we were able to catch the sunset while up in the air, there was nary a bump to be had and we even got whisked off to our hotel straight after landing in their complimentary shuttle.
We stayed at Magnolia Hotel in the heart of beautiful Victoria, BC. The Magnolia is just a few steps away from Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour, it’s right in the action a couple blocks away from the Parliament Building (which I should mention we had a beautiful view of from our room!) and the Fairmont Empress amongst the Royal BC Museum and other local attractions. Boasting a true focus on comfort, this hotel has it all, from the plush robes to the hot chocolate, Baileys and marshmallow delivery, to the uber-friendly staff, it’s a dream come true. I also loved the fact that the rooms are complete with Nespresso machines so we can easily satisfy our caffeine addiction. I have to say, the amount of dedication that goes into this hotel is so apparent, we had some questions regarding having to switch transportation on the way home due to a snow storm back in Vancouver and they were extremely helpful with no complaints, despite our consistent calls being placed to the front desk.
The next day, we felt rested and couldn’t wait to head out on the town, but first brunch. We brunched at OLO Restaurant and I have to say it was one of my best brunch experiences yet. The food is farm-to-table and filled with top quality BC ingredients, we’re talking fish straight out of nearby waters and produce farmed by locals. Each ingredient is well thought out and there is a strong dedication to what goes into the meals. Order the Smoked Salmon entrée, the beets will liven up your taste buds and the cheery community vibes will get your day started off on the right foot.
This time of year, Victoria is so festive and I am especially fond of the Parliament Building lit up at night as well as the rows of trees in all their Holiday glory. Of course, the lobby of The Magnolia is decked out with Christmas cheer complete with garlands and a beautiful full Christmas tree.
After food, take in some local culture at the esteemed Royal BC Museum and then head to Miniature World and prepare to be amazed. These displays were not for the faint of heart; the amount of detail that went into each section (my favourite was Fantasy!) was incredible.
Before taking off for home, we stepped downstairs and went for an early brunch at the hotel’s Catalano restaurant and devoured a delicious plate of eggs benedict. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to try their dinner options but I just know it’s going to be at the top of our list when we return.
Thanks, Victoria, we’ll be back!
Thank you to the Magnolia for having us and for Tourism Victoria for making our stay so enjoyable! To learn more about what you can do in BC’s beautiful capital check out Tourism Victoria.