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“let's keep it secret....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Boathouse

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The Boathouse
3.0 of 5 Ranch   |   746 Sea Dr. | Brentwood Bay, Victoria, British Columbia VM8 1B1, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“let's keep it secret....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2011

If Buckingham Palace had known of the Boathouse, the Cambridges might well have stayed there on their retreat from the public engagements.Quiet,tranquil,private,fit for a king(and a queen),the sea inlet as pool and a fitness centre , with a real rowing machine giving a seven minute session to the seaward entrance to Butchart. Our hosts were exemplary , with regal breakfasts, morning paper,home cooking and local intelligence.It's a step (or 87)above (or should that be below) the competition, but well worth that descent, from the road.

Room Tip: Just the one room so Hobson would be well satisfied, if not truly delighted
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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12 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2009

Stayed here for 5 nights in early August and loved every minute of it. It truly is a unique, relaxing, five star accommodation. We were particularly impressed with the overall cleanliness of the place - absolutely spotless inside & out. The location overlooking the little inlet near Butchart Gardens was especially relaxing and makes the Boathouse a destination in its own right. It was quite pleasant to just sit on the sun porch in the early evening, watch the resident harbor seal performing just offshore and enjoy the changing colors as the sun went down - heavenly!
In general: It's about a 20 minute easy walk to Butchart Gardens. Think twice if you have any mobility issues, however, since there are a LOT of stairs leading down to the Boathouse from the parking area. Still, if you can manage the descent (and the climb back up) you'll be rewarded with one of the most truly magical places you'll ever have the pleasure to stay.
Although the owners stress the fact that there's no real kitchen, due to local ordinances apparently, the refrigerator, toaster and electric teapot make the preparation of light meals for breakfast and/or lunch pretty easy. It's located about 25 minutes from downtown Victoria by car, and traffic was never an issue even during what passes for rush hour. For a small 1 BR place it really seemed quite spacious for the two of us, partly because of the large lanai overlooking the water. The separate location of the shower and bath facilities a few steps up the stairs initially gave us pause, but turned out only to add to the quirky charm of the place. It too was kept sparkling clean by the hostess, with fresh towels provided almost as soon as we'd hang up the old ones.
We weren't there for most of the daylight hours and so didn't hear any of the building noises coming from next door that a previous reviewer noted. We did notice that sound carried quite a bit in the enclosed little inlet, however.
All in all a unique luxury experience. We'll be returning, and recommend it highly.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Asheville, North Carolina
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2009

We came to the boathouse seeking recovery from the noise & stress of our daily lives. Our timing couldn’t have been worse, as constant construction was going on next door. Had we known in advance, we would have booked elsewhere. Owners Jean & Harvey convinced us to stay, by discounting the nightly rate and providing surprise anniversary goodies. Alas, when we got home, we received an additional charge on our credit card – the “discount” wasn’t what we thought we’d agreed to. Overall, the cottage and the setting are absolutely lovely. But if you’re looking for tranquility here, be sure to clarify everything in advance or you may be sadly disappointed.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Sacramento
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

Jean and Harvey, the owners and operators of the Boathouse, do not neglect a single detail. The views from the porch, library and main room are superb and immediately upon arrival one is left with a feeling of complete tranquility. The bed is comfortable and the decor is exactly as a little house on the ocean should look. During high tide, the place is over the water. It is extremely private, and you are much more likely to encounter seals, otters, bald eagles, seagulls, and other critters than you are people once you go down the long stairway to the water. They also provide a small boat that you can use to row to the Butchart Gardens or around the Bay.

We have never felt so relaxed. I was almost tempted not to write a review so as not to impact the place's availability for the next time we visit.. I don't think we have ever stayed in a place as wonderful as the Boathouse. We were very sorry to leave, but can't wait to return.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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CT
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2008

We just returned from a trip to Seattle and British Columbia that included a stay at the Boathouse. It was one of the three highlights of the trip.

The Boathouse is a small cabin on a dock with magnificant views of a lake, just north of Victoria, B.C. The bathroom and shower are in a separate building 10+ steps up the hill. You are the only tenant and the feelling is of incredible privacy and tranquity. We loved it so much that we didn't go out to dinner but simply sat enjoying the views for hours until the sunset. There are lovely chairs outside as well as 2 comfortable rocking chairs inside with incredible views. Other than a few boats going by, we didn't see anyone the entire time. We did wake up to 2 seals playing in the water about 60 feet away and wonderful bird sounds.

The bed is comfortable and the bathroom is fine. There are binoculors and games, as well as the schedule of entertainment at nearby Butchart Gardens thoughtfully provided as well as cookies left on the counter. Since we only stayed one night (that was the only vacancy) breakfast wasn't provided. That was the only downside as we would have appreciated food the next morning (coffee and tea are provided).
There is also a rowboat but we didn't use it.

If you are looking for tranquity, I can't think of a better place. It reminded us of the 1000 islands - very beautiful and very romantic.

  • Liked — tranquity
  • Disliked — steps down to boathouse and steps up to bathroom
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Washington State
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2004

Brad and I came to The Boathouse for our 20th year wedding anniversary. We walked on the ferry from the Olympic Peninsula Port Angeles area and were able to catch a bus up to Butchard Gardens. From there, it is only about a 15 minute walk to the boat house.
Brad and I own vacation homes on the Olympic Peninsula and know what it takes to make a great accomodation for guests. This home is beyond what I can say. We rowed the boat over to a great little restuarant (you can go to two different ones from the cottage), also can row to the fireworks at The Gardens in the summer and the owners left a wonderful surprise for us in the refrigerator! I won't tell about that, you'll have to see for yourself!! : )
The Boat House is SO private and right on the bay. It was fun to watch the boats and enjoy the view. I would recommend staying here to anyone who asks.
Tip: Bring a bottle of wine from Port Angeles.......you can't purchase it in Canada, at a grocery store!
Thank you to the owners of this great adventure,

Brad and Kay Burlingame

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Boathouse

Address: 746 Sea Dr. | Brentwood Bay, Victoria, British Columbia VM8 1B1, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Boathouse 3*
Number of rooms: 1
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