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Hotel Zed/Zedstream

Ever fancied a night inside an Airstream? Hotel Zed, the team behind Accent Inns and both Hotel Zed Victoria and Kelowna, has recently retrofitted an Airstream and christened it the Zedstream!

Hotel Zed/Zedstream

Two years ago, CEO Mandy Farmer transformed a 60’s style motel just outside Victoria into the technicolor world of Zed, where guests are invited to “rebel against the ordinary”. 62 rooms are colour-coordinated on three floors. Zed also opened in Kelowna last spring.

Mandy’s no stranger to the hotel world. She and her father Terry have been in the business for decades with the Accent Inns (formerly Stay n’ Save Motor Inn) chain across BC. In fact, Mandy was recently honoured with the 2016 Pinnacle Award for Hotelier of the Year.

Hotel Zed/Zedstream

The Zedstream

Inside you’ll find a cozy seating area, small desk area with rotary phone and water kettle, small fridge under the cabinet, retro lights and a bathroom that includes a shower stall, toilet and sink.

Hotel Zed/Zedstream Hotel Zed/Zedstream deck

The seating area folds out into a bed so the Zedstream can accommodate a small family as well. There’s a small deck with chairs, hammock and umbrella to chill out with a cold beverage and book.

Hotel Zed/retromania!

In back is a queen-sized bed with two tiny end tables and a pink alarm clock.

Hotel Zed/Zedstream Hotel Zed/Inside the Zedstream Hotel Zed/Zedstream

There’s two airco units (one in the sleeping quarter, the other in the lounge) and most of its (screened) windows can open. There’s so much grooviness to this thing, you’ll feel transported back in time with its funky, original decor, as is the case with the rest of the colourful property.

Hotel Zed/Bike rentals

Amenities

Parking and wifi are both free. More free stuff: bike rentals, pool, jacuzzi, sauna, Zedinator (jumbo water slide) and ping pong lounge.

Hotel Zed whirlpool Hotel Zed shuttle bus!

The hotel’s shuttle bus fits right into the vibe — a super colourful, lovingly-resorted 1967 VW camper bus. Seven passengers can be picked up (or dropped off) in the city via a regular schedule.

Hotel Zed/Lobby lounge

Since Victoria has the country’s highest cycling population, Zed has created a cycle-friendly community here. Alongside free guest bike rentals, there’s helmets, pant clips and bike locks available, plus a bike-washing and tuning station for your own wheels (with a range of tools), rags for cleaning, and the option to reserve a ground-floor room to stow your bike.

Hotel Zed/Lobby

The lobby’s a comfy living space with free coffee, spinning vinyl station, old-school typewriter for typing a Zed postcard on, plus board games, comic books and lots of retro seating. The helpful and friendly Zed staff go above and beyond to ensure guests have everything they need, whether that’s extra pillows or directions to town, bike/walking trails or to local dining spots.

Hotel Zed indoor/outdoor pool

Within a block is a bus stop with several lines that can get you downtown within 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

Hotel Zed/Ruby Restaurant

Dining

Here’s where you’ll also find The Ruby, a comfort food restaurant for breakfast and lunch. They’ve got some amazing pulled chicken poutine – the cheese curds are done just right – on the menu!

Breakfast at The Ruby

At breakfast, I enjoyed waking up to a scrumptious plate of rotisserie chicken and waffles, served up with a poached egg and three kinds of sauce (maple syrup, puréed tomato, gravy).

Former Inn at Laurel Point food and beverage director Chris Jones teamed up with Josh Goyert to cater food for VIP and artists at music festivals around the island (as well as 2016’s Pemberton). From rock stars to The Ruby, they’ve created a menu that’s a notch above average — with less attitude.

Hotel Zed/Ping-pong & Wii lounge

Below the lobby you’ll find the ultimate game room: a ping pong lounge with Wii stations and speakers. On one fine summer evening, I retired to the vinyl listening station to enjoy The Jam’s This is the Modern World, a personal fave amongst Zed’s collection, curated by local record and CD shop Ditch Records.

The Zedstream is currently booking for $189 per night plus tax.

Hotel Zed/The Zedinator

This kitschy family- and pet-friendly hotel is a dream for children and rightly so: kids can’t keep away from the Zedinator. I can recall the excitement my brother and I felt when our parents would pull up at a hotel with a pool slide. Four-legged “rebels” can stay here (inside one of the hotel’s designated pet rooms) for a nominal fee.

There’s a second Ruby located downtown (at 642 Johnson Street, inside the Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza Hotel) and Jones Bar-b-que is the latest in the Jones/Goyert Victoria empire. Open for just under a year, this authentic Austin BBQ joint really lives up to its motto, Damn Tasty.

Jones Bar-b-que

The small restaurant’s located in Fernwood, an up-and-coming hood close to downtown. They cook up and serve food until they sell out, which is about 90% of the time.

Everything on the menu’s homemade except for the pickles, buns and sausage (the latter of which the team is working to change).

Jones Bar-b-que

The Jones menu is broken down into meat plates (one, two or three meats) that include two sides plus pickles and a mini brioche. Brisket, pork ribs, pork butt, Red Barn sausage by the link (and for vegetarians, smoked Portobello mushrooms) are the staples.

From there you can order platters to feed a large group or family, or go for party packs A Little Bit of Everything, Chicken and Rib Feast, or Pork and Nothing But the Pork. Since these guys are used to catering, they can prepare feasts for events too.

Jones Bar-b-que 3-meat platter

I was in to try a meat plate, selecting brisket, pork butt (aka pulled pork) and a few pork ribs. The pit beans are something special. They’re smoked for five hours, then cooked for another 12. And there’s pulled pork in there too!

A great refresher is the homemade watermelon aquas fresca with a touch of mint simple syrup; it goes down great with the meat, meat and more meat. I’ve been to Austin and I can truly say this is the real deal (the chef was sent down to Austin to learn from the pros).

Find Jones Bar-b-que at 1725 Cook Street.

Hotel Zed and Zedstream are located at 3110 Douglas Street in Victoria. I was invited to experience the Zedstream via Hotel Zed Victoria. Opinions, as always, are my own.

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