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Hotel Grand Pacific

When I stayed at the Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, BC last year, I featured the amenities, dining, service, and attention to detail in the rooms and throughout the hotel. The trees were still waiting for their spring leaves, the evenings were somewhat chilly, and I was in town to tour the harbour city and provincial capital.

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[The view at dusk from my harbour view room]

On this occasion, I decided to make the Grand Pacific my base for the Fifth Annual Social Media Camp, held at nearby Victoria Conference Centre and focus this article on the convenience of this hotel’s location.

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I enjoyed a similar harbour-view suite with imposing views of the waterfront, close to both Black Ball Ferry (service to Port Angeles, WA) and Victoria Clipper (passenger service to Seattle). The hotel offers Seattleites ferry/hotel packages to make this an attractive car-free holiday or business trip.

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The three-hour ferry will take you right from Seattle’s downtown harbour to Victoria, directly opposite the hotel. You can also indulge in a romantic getaway complete with champagne, chocolates, a Lush bath bomb, and breakfast for two.

Harbour Air-7

Flying in with either Helijet, Harbour Air, or Kenmore Air (with service from Seattle to Victoria) will leave you car-free, but in a compact, walkable city like Victoria, this is a huge bonus. The harbour is lovely for a stroll anytime of day, and the Royal BC Museum and BC Legislature are within a couple of minutes of the Grand Pacific. From the hotel to the Victoria Conference Centre was less than 10 minutes on foot.

One Bedroom Suite
[One-bedroom suite]

Pedicabs and horse-drawn carriages (seasonally) are fun ways to explore the city as well. The Grand Pacific will launch its seasonal complimentary bike program this month, including helmets, lock, and road map. Guests will be able to borrow the bikes in three-to-four-hour time slots, reserved up to 24 hours in advance.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Victoria Athletic Club Hotel Grand Pacific/Victoria Athletic Club

Speaking of fitness, I returned to the Victoria Athletic Club on a few occasions to enjoy their 25-metre pool, sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi (free for hotel guests). There’s also a full weight room, yoga, personal training, and fitness classes (hotel guests receive a discount on classes and personal training sessions). Just bring your key card to the lower level and grab a towel.

Athletic Club Weight Room

I hadn’t even checked into the hotel when I was greeted outside by Joe, the hotel ground’s caretaker. Joe looks after the greenery – and the local ducks who come annually to raise their chicks in the pond out front and look to Joe for food and believe it or not, company! I’ve seen a group of adult ducks follow Joe across the property one afternoon on my stay last year.

Groundskeeper Joe and the Ducks

This year, six tiny ducklings just one week old were at the pond. My timing was perfect as Joe was out there feeding them that morning. He asked me to put out my hand, and poured a bit of ground-up duck feed into it, instructing me to put my hand in the water. Within seconds, several tiny heads were nearly glued to my hand, not wasting a moment in getting their snack.

Hotel Grand Pacific duckling feeding time

The mother duck trusts Joe (he helped raise her as a duckling), and guests don’t seem to frighten the ducklings either. In fact, most of the time I walked by the pond, the ducklings had company, adults taking out their cameras, and kids excited to see them in general.

Dining at the Hotel Grand Pacific offers many choices for all appetites. The Courtyard Café currently has an Asian-inspired menu while summer will see a variety of gourmet hot dogs offered. Mother’s Day Tea and Father’s Day Man Tea are featured upcoming events at the hotel’s Pacific Restaurant.

Pan-roasted Lingcod, buttered Puy lentils, kale, fennel puree, warm bacon, apple cider vinaigrette

The Pacific also has a new Oceanwise-sanctioned, seafood-inspired menu created by Executive Chef Rick Choy. I enjoyed a moist, beautifully seasoned Pacific Lingcod here one evening with Puy lentils, kale, fennel purée, warm bacon, and seasonal local veggies served with an apple cider vinaigrette and an assortment of fresh-baked mini breads. With a window seat looking out to Belleville Street and the harbour, this was a wonderful way to start off the weekend.

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[Hearty breakfasts made to order in the Pacific Restaurant]

The Pacific Lounge features live jazz music on Friday and Saturday nights from 8 to 11 pm.

Other hotel amenities include the SORA Spa, WAVE Wireless Lounge, business centre, 10,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space, pet-friendly rooms, balconies in all rooms, in-room movies, Nintendo, free high-speed wifi, customized mini bar service, in-room safes, irons and ironing boards, and underground parking ($17/day).

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[Courtyard Café]

Opened in 1989, Hotel Grand Pacific is a full-service, 100% non-smoking hotel, and is part of the Green Key ECO-Rating Program through the Hotel Association of Canada. As well, HGP is part of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Collection, a distinction shared with fellow BC properties Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon and Metropolitan Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

The brand looks for quality hotels with exemplary service and amenities offered guests in the most desirable spots around the world.

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A Harbour View Suite ranges from $199 to $399 plus tax, depending on the season. The Hotel Grand Pacific is located at 463 Belleville Street in Victoria.

Hotel Grand Pacific view across the harbour

My stay at Hotel Grand Pacific was compliments of the hotel, for the purposes of writing this article and making use of the hotel during my Social Media Camp attendance. Unwatermarked photos courtesy of Hotel Grand Pacific.

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