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“Location, location,location!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Surf Motel

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Surf Motel
290 Dallas Road, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 1A6, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #22 of 57 hotels in Victoria
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Location, location,location!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

I first stumbled upon this place about 20 years ago when I was travelling with a friend and we were walking all over Victoria,like bohemians, exploring shops,cafes, with our backpacks...We never got the chance to stay there in those days however.... I am happy to report that The Surf Motel is still there and that Dallas Road is just as gorgeous as ever... .James Bay residential neighbourhood houses, older condo complexes, senior's residences on one side and the full-on Pacific ocean on the other side! Lots of pretty walking areas and a long paved trail run alongside the ocean at street level , allowing access down to other paths right along the ocean. This area is a haven for runners, dog walkers ,strollers.... lots of greenery and nature right at the doorstep of the surf motel! I chose it for sentimental reasons and thought it must be fantastic for winter storm watching due to its' proximity to the raging ocean but when I was there a few weeks ago, mid May, the ocean was very calm and I even had a few sunny days!

I had also picked this motel as I knew I wanted to walk a lot, so I knew I could walk to the local park, Beacon Hill (about 20 minutes stroll), and find the petting zoo full of peacocks and goats and this time, week old Vietnamese pot bellied piglets! To get into town, I walked as well. It took about 25 minutes at a medium pace. There are busses nearby and fairly frequent service from what I could see, so walking isn't necessary, just that I wanted to do it.

So the motel....family-run, very nice people. Extremely accommodating. I was on the second of three stories, would have preferred the top floor but as I got there earlier than originally planned, they had a room available immediately for me, if I didn't mind a different floor. I was happy to unload my bag and get ready to head out and explore so I decided to accept that. Next time I'll try for room 318, top left side corner. It faces the cruise ship terminal, which is quite close but it doesn't ruin views or anything.there was only one ship in port during my three day stay and it was cool to watch it leave from the breakwater nearby!( It also may be slightly quieter there The noise I am referring to unfortunately came from heavy bus traffic, turning the corner right at the motel heading downtown. I am a very heavy sleeper and I actually couldn't fall asleep until 1 a.m. because that was when,presumably the last bus made it's trip.)

Busses aside, it's a great place and I'd stay there again in a flash...but upstairs and away from that street corner, I think.

Anyway, you CAN'T have a bad view.no matter which room you stay in. The rooms are simple, clean , efficient and the bed was very comfortable. I had a small very clean kitchenette which I found useful for storing some breakfast things and snacks.

Nearby there is a half mile long breakwater to walk along which is interesting. A small pub style restaurant near the start of that walk, that had good beer and decent appetizers. A 15 minute walk away, passing the cruiseship terminal, is a small dock where houseboats are moored and Barb's Fish and Chips place is down there too. Pricey fish but it's fun to go to order outside and eat under a tarp on a rainy day along with other tourists, locals and sentimental returning Anniversary couples etc...! the neighbourhood is very safe to walk through, and I loved stopping into small indie book and coffee places to get a coffee, buy a second hand book and then end up in an impromptu conversation with a fellow book-type like myself!

Go to Victoria, act like a local! You don't have to participate in all the British pageantry and hoopla if you don't want to and DO stay at The Surf Motel! It'll be a memorable and pleasant visit!

Room Tip: Try to get a room up on the third (top) floor, away from the street corner where the busses turn reg...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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40 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Victoria BC
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

. . . nor should you judge a hotel by its exterior. After twenty years of driving by this very unassuming property we decided to cross the threshold and experience the interior - what an unexpected surprise. The Surf's is a well maintain property with delightful rooms all of which have balconies and wonderfully water views. As has been said by other guests this is truly a Victoria treasure and well worth a stay.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2013

We have just returned from 1 night at the Surf Motel. It was a spur-of-the- moment Valentine's Day adventure. We loved the place ! It has magnificent views out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and across to the Olympic Mountains, not to mention all the marine traffic. The motel room was very comfortable, and completely spotless. A comfortable bed, with really nice bedding, a flat screen t.v., and a well equipped kitchenette. It is within easy walking distance to James Bay, where there are many shops and restaurants. We'll be back for sure !

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stratford, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Stayed here on my 7 week road trip across Canada & the U.S.
This was the final Canadian motel I stayed at before heading stateside.
There are lots of hotels in Victoria overlooking the downtown harbour if you enjoy seeing other hotels out your window but this is the only place actually on the ocean side so prepare yourself for unbelievable views you just can't get anywhere else! All rooms have their own private balconies with table & chairs for enjoying a glass of wine while the cruise ships slide on by! What attracted me to this place was the fact it is a family run motel that was build back in the early '60's by a farmer from Saskatchewan with vision...unbelievable! This place has the coolest, funkiest rooms I've ever seen that come with stove, fridge, cooking utensils, dishes, plates, real drinking glasses, bowls, mugs...good luck trying to get that in any modern chain! My room was spotless and I just got a smile on my face the first time I saw the checkerboard floor...a short walk to the downtown for tons of sightseeing and restaurants to suite any budget. I had planned on going to the famous Empress for high tea in the afternoon but then found out it's like $60.00 so I opted for plan B...got a $4.00 ice cream cone and took a picture of it in front of the Empress...hey, you do what you gotta do right? The money I saved paid for two meal nights at the Old Spaghetti Factory with wine both nights! Now that's value for your money! All in all a great motel with character & charm.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Launceston, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

We stay in Surf Motel every time we come to Victoria so it's obvious we really love it. Before we discovered it we stayed in other motels and hotels and there is just no comparison. The location is fantasic - amazing views, you can just spend time gazing through the window. The rooms have balconies overlooking the ocean. I've just spotted five harbour seals cruising along the shore. And then there is more - just on the other side of the street is Ogden Point - my favourite walk is on the breakwall but there are also lots of walks along the coast. Ogden Point Cafe has amazing food and location and has just undergone renovations.
Ogden Point Dive Shop is just on the other side of the street so it's also a perfect location for divers.
The motel is walking distance to shops (James Bay - 10 minutes - more cafes there), Fishermen's Wharf (15 minutes) and the city (20 minutes). The rooms are spacious, large flat tvs, free internet, tea and coffee provided, well equipped kitchen with a big fridge. Despite its 1960s style the motel has lots of charm, is very clean and well maintained.
The motel is a family-run business, incredibly friendly and helpful staff.
If you really worry about noise and like having your window open it may not be best accommodation for you, the street next to the hotel is a bit busy.....

Room Tip: Top floor (second) has the best views, some rooms have two Queen bedds, some one bed - need to ask f...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Smiths Falls, Canada
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We really enjoyed this location, our room and the staff. What a great every changing ocean view! How refreshing to see the ocean, the fishing boats, ships, sailboats, tugs and cruise ships rather than more buildings. I enjoy sleeping to the sound of the waves and I don't mind the seagulls. We were only minutes away from downtown, and closer to the breakwater, and a great little restaurant the "Ogden Cafe".
Our room was very clean, recently renovated, but keeping that retro charm. The small kitchenette with table, stove, fridge, dishes and 'a kettle' for tea drinkers was a wonderful convenience. Our mattresses were great to sleep on and we had two pillows each, a great comforter and a fleece inner blanket. The wireless internet was also a plus.
It is a family-owned motel and the family and other staff were great. As a small hotel you seldom saw other guests. It was affordable and convenient. When I go back to Victoria, this is where I will stay.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado, USA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

First, the pro's: nice enough motel, staff was friendly and helpful. Outstanding view from the room. Bathroom was spotless and looked to be fairly recently re-done. Located in a neighborhood of older homes, many of which are being/have been restored, so if you enjoy strolling through those types of areas, then that's a plus for you, and the downtown/shopping areas can be reached on foot.

And the con's: as another reviewer mentioned, the city busses are noisy. Stayed a Saturday and Sunday, and as of 10 pm Saturday the busses were still going strong, every 10 minutes or so. Who knows how late they run? Thankfully, I feel asleep. Sunday was not a problem at all. The seagulls make a crazy racket starting way too early and going for an hour, then they seemed to quiet down. So consider packing a pair of earplugs. Mattresses are worn out; they dip quite a bit in the middle, and the blankets are the thin polyester type that don't breathe well.

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Surf Motel

Address: 290 Dallas Road, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 1A6, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Hotel Style:
#2 Best Value Hotel in Victoria
#23 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Also Known As:
Surf Hotel Victoria

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