Feb13

Hotel Grand Pacific-12

The Hotel Grand Pacific is situated right along the Victoria harbour. It’s a beautiful, stylish, and welcoming hotel right from the moment you step into the lobby.

Hotel Grand Pacific lobby

The front desk staff checked me into a spacious Harbour View Suite, with a comfortable work space, lounge chairs, full bathroom, and two queen beds all overlooking the water. The staff is outgoing, friendly, and very helpful with any tips or travel information needed.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Harbour View Suite

The hotel is convenient for walking to downtown, visiting the nearby Legislative Assembly Building, Victoria Convention Centre, and Royal BC Museum.

The Grand Pacific has over 300 guest rooms and suites (including family suites) and is a Canadian Star Quality 4 Star, AAA 4 Diamond, and Preferred Hotels and Resorts property. The latter destination indicates a commitment to quality and exceptional guest experience.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Harbour View Suite Hotel Grand Pacific/Harbour View Suite

Once in my room, I felt reluctant to leave it! I immediately noticed the attention to detail, from the claw foot chairs and smartly upholstered Old World style lounge seats to soft lighting and tech features.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Harbour View Suite

The onboard USB cable on the iHome dock/clock radio and similar cable slot at the desk lamp came in handy. Basic wired internet is free for guests; Bolt, an ultra-high speed version, is available for $9.95 (plus tax) per day.

WAVE Wireless Lounge in the lobby offers complimentary guest wifi as well. A free copy of the Globe and Mail was waiting on the floor outside my door each morning.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Harbour View Suite

Each room has a hidden flat screen TV with cable, and optional in-room movie options. Nintendo is also available if you’re travelling with kids.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Harbour View Suite

Smart extras such as both a dimmed and normal light switch in the bathroom, do not disturb/make up room buttons integrated into the heating/fan panel, and overlapping curtains that truly keep the light out were all wonderful discoveries, and all welcome. A wake-up call here also informs guests of the current weather, something I’ve not yet come across in any hotel.

A small safe inside the closet was roomy enough to store camera equipment. An iron and ironing board are neatly tucked away there as well as terry bathrobes. The mattress offered great sleeps, and the room never felt too stuffy or warm throughout the night. A small balcony with sliding glass doors contains a couple of chairs to take in the passing boats, seaplanes, and street life below.

The Mark
[The Mark; image courtesy of The Hotel Grand Pacific]

There are four restaurants at the Grand Pacific:

The Mark/intimate dining with innovative and modern West Coast cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Rick Choy

The Pacific Restaurant at Hotel Grand Pacific
[The Pacific Restaurant]

The Pacific Restaurant/bistro-style dishes showcasing local ingredients and West Coast cuisine with a weekend dim sum menu (all Ocean Wise-sanctioned seafood). There’s an outdoor terrace to enjoy in summer. The Pacific is also where I indulged in the West Coast Afternoon Tea (written about in a separate post). The Pacific Restaurant won the 2012 Vancouver International Wine Festival’s Silver Glass Award.

The Pacific Lounge/a relaxed, club atmosphere that serves light lunches, evening snacks, signature drinks and an assortment of scotch whiskies.

The Courtyard Café/a street-level spot for hot beverages, deli-style snacks, and light meals

Hotel Grand Pacific/Victoria Athletic Club

The on-site, very well-equipped Victoria Athletic Club offers a 25-metre indoor training pool, a weight room with Paramount strength training equipment and free weights, fully-equipped cardio room, studio space and stretching room.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Victoria Athletic Club

The club is connected to all floors, making it easy to pull on a swimsuit, cover up with a robe and slippers, and avoid coming across anything other than carpeted floors.

The Victoria Athletic Club is also the first gym in the world to use the revolutionary EcoFit cardio system. SportsArt bikes and elliptical machines harness your workout energy and turn it into electricity that is sent back to the grid, while the system tracks all of your workout metrics for you to analyze online.

Guests can also opt for drop-in fitness and yoga classes for an additional charge. Next to the pool is a jacuzzi, shallow dip pool, steam room, and sauna.

Sora spa
[SORA Spa; image courtesy of The Hotel Grand Pacific]

SORA Spa is Asian-inspired and offers Thai massages as well as body wraps, traditional massages, facials and other wellness services. I hope to indulge in one of these on my next visit.

As far as my earlier comment regarding not wanting to leave the room, I later found out the reason: the hotel was built according to the principles of Feng Shui.

Several PC workstations, printing, office supplies, high-speed internet, photocopying and faxing are free for guest use in the business centre. I also noticed a boardroom that can be booked on an hourly basis.

Business travellers can take advantage of 10,000 square feet of meeting and function space consisting of 13 fully equipped meeting rooms plus a 3,000 square foot waterfront ballroom.

The Hotel Grand Pacific was the first full-service hotel in Victoria to receive a rating of “Four Green Keys” by the Hotel Association of Canada’s Green Key Eco-Rating Program.

All hotel landscaping is organic with a naturally integrated pest management system in place. As well, the hotel recycles all paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, toners, printer cartridges; even the hand and bath soap that’s leftover by guests is collected for pickup by a local company that upcycles it into laundry detergent to be sold in local grocery stores.

Hotel Grand Pacific/Victoria Athletic Club

Warm air from the pool area is reclaimed and used to pre-warm the hotel’s hot water, reducing the amount of energy required to heat water used at the property.

Sustainability continues to the Grand Pacific’s food and beverage operations: locally-sourced seasonal ingredients are used where possible. The hotel’s kitchen also prepares most items from scratch and buys in bulk, cutting down on processing, preservatives, and waste. The food and beverage team also recycles everything from aluminum drink containers to ingredient packaging and boxes.

The coffee served is organic, fair-trade certified, shade grown, and frog and bird-friendly, from the in-room coffee products to the restaurants.

The hotel has created a “Green Dot” program to identify wines and other beverages on their list that marry quality with sustainable practices. Some wines are certified organic while others are from producers that employ sustainable practices in harmony with their surrounding environment.

Hotel Grand Pacific lobby

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.

My stay at Hotel Grand Pacific was compliments of the hotel, for the purpose of writing this article.

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