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“Not up to the hype” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sooke Harbour House

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Sooke Harbour House
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1528 Whiffen Spit rd. | British Columbia, Sooke, British Columbia V9Z 0T4, Canada   |  
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Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Not up to the hype”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights in May 2013. Room was okay but hot tub was pretty primitive. The dinners were good as far as the food was concerned although lacking in the potato or rice department and the rock fish dish was actually spot prawns with a little bit rock fish underneath. What upset us was the lack of finger bowls, crab crackers and forks and warm white wine plonked on the table. When I checked my visa statement later I discovered they had not done what their statement showed when we left and I had been overcharged by $750. On phoning over 2 weeks different front desk staff gave different info. on which days their Accounts Payable staff member worked. She was nice but gave out that a night clerk had destroyed visa slips. I emailed the owner but never got a response. So have ben telling everybody not to go there.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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340 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (93)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver
Top Contributor
179 reviews 179 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 78 cities Reviews in 78 cities
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Once again, I wish tripadvisor had a rating between average and very good which is where I would rank Sooke Harbour House. The setting is truly spectacular on a bluff above the water with sensational views and gorgeous gardens, pretty little hidden patios and a wonderful serene feel to the whole site.

The rooms are spacious and fairly well equipped however they are very tired. All the rooms are mini suites. I was with three friends and we were all in a row on the ground floor level which was great for visiting back and forth. We all had lovely little patios directly off our living room areas. Mine had a raised area towards the back (away from the patio/water front) where the bed and bathroom were located. Unfortunately, that part of the room was carpeted - very tired carpet, whereas the sitting room area had hardwood which looked much cleaner.

The patios all had very old and tired looking outdoor spas that none of us found particularly inviting. The bathrooms too are in need of updating.

My room did not have a screen on the glass sliding door though some of the other rooms did - a screen with some sort of locking device would have been nice.

Staff was uneven - some friendly and helpful, others - not so much. We had arrived by bike and been assured they had somewhere safe to store them but they seemed confused about that when we arrived. Check in was so slow and no one seemed to have the key to the garage for our bike storage when we arrived that we all decided to get settled in our rooms first. When I came back out to the front desk an hour and a half later, the bikes were still just sitting there. We finally managed to get them to take us up to the garage to store the bikes in a very awkward location in a jam packed garage.

Breakfast was fine - there is no breakfast room so it is brought to your room which worked fine for us because we simply brought chairs to one of our patios so we could all eat together but a breakfast room would certainly have been pleasant.

I would probably return because the location is so special but if it doesn't undergo a significant facelift in the near future, I suspect they will start encountering difficulties as the rates are certainly not I expensive.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

If you are looking for a bargain then look elsewhere. The rooms are pricey and so is dinner. That being said, my wife and I loved our time there. The rooms are all different and have a wonderful view of the bay. All the rooms have a wood burning fireplace with the fire set so all you have to do is put a match to it. The layout of the rooms was a relief to all the chain motels we have been in. The next day the room looked like we were just checking in. The fire was cleaned up and a mew one ready to go.The grounds were filled with artwork, and we always discovered something new every time we walked them. The food was exquisite but the menu is limited so you may not find something you like, although I did and I am not an adventurous eater. A minor problem if you are traveling with an overloaded touring bike as we were, the parking lot is gravel.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

Am I disappointed? No, not really as I trusted the photo from its website. Heard lots of rave about this property over the years but wasn't tempted by its website. Until a couple of friends were there to dine and came back with good review. Since I was traveling to Tofino and Victoria so I planned a two night stay at this property.

"In-Room Dining" only serves up to 5pm. No choice of "In-Room Dining" so you are eating whatever the Chef was up to preparing for you. Breakfast is also not much of a choice and must make up your mind what to eat the next morning by 7pm the night before. No lunches serve in the dining room. Only take-out lunch/picnic lunch can be ordered but only at 1:30pm so plan for a late lunch or picnic.

The room is overdue for an upgrade or renovation. If you are technology inclined this is not the place for you. There's no desk in the room but there's a square dining table. One needs to treasure hunt for electrical outlets for laptop or chargers for your cell phone or camera battery, etc. Your gadgets will be spread out all over the place. Yes, there is free WIFI.

We were traveling with our two pugs so this Room 28 - Chef's Study is for guests with pets. Not sure if pets or the guests who have pets as family member or companion are not allowed to have a view. This room has no view at all. This tuck away room for pets is not even listed on their website. So we were hidden away.

There's no headboard for the bed which when I saw it I thought for sure I would have an aching body sleeping on it. Yet, I had no aching body as I could only sleep for a few hours before the sun rise. The drapery is made with light white cotton canvas which has no black out to say the least. Also not all window has drapery. Sun/light seepage to the max. The room was fully lit up by 5am. The room was overcrowded with magazines, "antiques", etc.

The coffee pot was full of stain which could be easily removed with lemon but that obviously wasn't part of the housekeeper's duty. As a matter of fact, cleanliness and housekeeping need much improvement. Those signage which were just printed by regular 18 lb? paper in the room for no smoking, green bath towel system, etc fell on the floor were never picked up by the housekeeper. They all remained on the ground untouched. The jacuzzi was also not cleaned during the stay. The food crumbs left on the dining table was also left untouched. The room has wood burning fireplace but the methane gas smell was pretty strong. I was coughing as I entered the room. Window must be left opened during the stay and especially overnight.

I was ready to scold my friends who recommended the dining at this property after the first night. First, there was no choice but one 4 course menu being three choices in each category. Only the clams turned out good the first night. Second, I was totally surprised when the server came and asked if we would still be tempted by seeing the dessert menu. The dessert was part of the 4 course menu then one would expect to have dessert which is totally paid for. Third, the only slight changes to the 4 course menu on my two night stay. Guests stay at this property during our stay were overcrowded by seniors. Not that I expect a kids menu in the dining room but one would not expect any toddler to eat a 4 course menu. Servers offered plain pasta with either cream or tomato sauce. So if you have children and cannot eat a 4 course menu then expect your them to forget about their 4 food groups and balance diets. Plain pasta every night with two choices of sauces are all your children going to get in this dining room. Yes, I agree the food ingredients are fresh and local but takes a lot more to please all senses for award winning dining experience. By the way, those braided hand made seat cushion was very uncomfortable. This is another example of overly accessorized at this property.

Driving to town for alternative dining is only 5 minutes away,however, there's a very limited choices out there too.

E-mailed my friends to inform them of my review. They both said I should have ordered only the meat dishes. So I followed their advice for the second night. Yes, meat is much better. My friends should have been more specified at the beginning so that I didn't have to waste my first 4 course dinner. I couldn't resist the raw oysters so I still ordered it being the only seafood dish for the second night.

When we waited for the elevator as two spa ladies were in the elevator exiting with all their spa equipment. This property has no spa center so all services must be done in your rooms, lacking smiles from these ladies and we were not even acknowledged as guests and/or eye contact was made. When they were finally done with all the stuff out of the elevator they didn't even care to hold the elevator button for the guests. No "excuse me" whatsoever. I called this senseless and rude.

OK, I see no reasons to come back to this property down the road. Not for the rooms. Not for the food. Not even for the view. View as such are plenty on the island. No luxurious label should be placed on this property. Much improvement in all areas needed.

Room Tip: If you want a room with view at this property then you must leave your pets behind.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
canada
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 4, 2013

Sook house is a lovely destination. The grounds are gorgeous and there is a fantastic walk on the skiff? The rooms are very pricey. The superior rooms are to die for but even the mid range rooms are in need of a facelift and at $250 a night they should have nice bathrooms and inviting decor. The food is exquisite but very limited. Check in first to ensure that the limited choice meets your palate. Superb wine. Go for the bc choices. The staff are lovely, but there were to few to meet the needs of diners. Minimum 2 night stay.

Room Tip: Go superior. .
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Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

The real Sooke Harbour House is outstanding, and my experience at the award-winning restaurant was second only to a meal I had years ago in the Loire Valley in France. Not to mention the wood-burning fireplace and awesome ocean views. No problem whatsoever with our waiter. If you're just coming for dinner, come early for a lovely walk to the end of Whiffen Spit. We did not stay at the hotel, but I hope to on a future occasion.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

We stayed in June 2011 for 2 nights in the Whale Room. The room itself is pleasant, but not luxurious. The staff were courteous, polite and extremely helpful. The room had a king-sized bed, private outdoor soaker tub on the balcony, a sitting area with fireplace and a spacious claw-foot bathtub with steam shower for two. The view into Sooke Harbour was pleasant and calming. The clear highlight of the stay was the food, which was exceptional - using only locally sourced, fresh & seasonal ingredients.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sooke Harbour House

Address: 1528 Whiffen Spit rd. | British Columbia, Sooke, British Columbia V9Z 0T4, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Sooke
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sooke Harbour House 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on Southern Vancouver Island overlooking Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains, our hotel has a direct beach access. Unique 28 rooms featuring spa tubs, steam showers, fireplaces and views. The restaurant serves organic, seasonal, Canadian cuisine, specializing in wild seafood, mushrooms, herbs, flowers from its organic gardens.We offer meeting facilities, spa services, recreational activities and eco-tourism in pristine wilderness. It is a perfect destination for a wedding, romantic holiday and an any season getaway. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sooke Harbour House Hotel Sooke
Sooke Harbour Hotel
Sooke Harbour House Vancouver Island

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