My wife and I spent 3 days-2 nights at Oceanfront Suites in Cowichan Bay and had booked it without knowing too much about the hotel and the surrounding area of Cowichan Bay.
The hotel itself was a bit confusing, truth be told. The pictures made it look like a 4-star establishment with brilliant views and posh waterfront. It was a little misleading. However, the views were pretty spectacular, I will give them that. And the waterfront, although not as posh as the pictures might allude to, it was still pretty great to be 10 feet from the water.
What made the hotel confusing was that from the outside, the hotel looks a little frumpy and outdated, but when you walk into the lobby, things look a little more moderne, bordering on chic. There was a wonderful little sitting room where you could read and have coffee and enjoy the spectacular views, as well as a little business area with a computer and printer - both very nice touches I thought.
En-route to our room, the hallways were done up quite nicely in two-tone, top-bottom paint job with newer carpet and fine lighting. So far we were impressed that the inside did not match the outside. However, upon entry to our room, we found ourselves a little more confounded by what we saw. A king-sized suite that just seemed TOO BIG for everything that was in it. There was a table and chairs, but in a room for up to four, the table was only for two and there was an enormous waste of space in the corner. It just didn't make any sense why a larger table wouldn't be put it and all this space would be wasted. Further, the kitchen was quite out-dated with a stove and fridge from the 70s, but a new microwave. As well, the coffee was TERRIBLE. Spirit Bear coffee is just atrocious and it comes in pouches and when you make it, you can see through it. To get a decent cup of coffee, you have to double up on the bags. The living room was fine with a comfortable couch that pulls out to accommodate 2 more guests, a large oak TV stand with cable and a writing desk that contained some information about the hotel and surrounding area. The living room led to a nice-sized patio that was 10 feet from the water and gave us some breathtaking views of Cowichan Bay. We enjoyed nightly wine and cheese and bread on the patio - it was certainly enjoyable. The bedroom came with a comfortable king-sized bed and we slept very well on it. However, this room, too, had its strange waste of space. There was a nice vanity and mirror, but next to it was this large empty space that didn't make any sense to us. What was even more strange was the oversized oak entertainment centre that took up a great deal of space and when you tried to pass between the bed and the console, you had to take care because there was only about 12 inches of space. The bedroom also led to the patio, which was a nice touch. The bathroom had everything you required and there certainly was nothing lacking. One other thing that was a little strange was the lighting in the kitchen. Everywhere else had lamps for lighting, but the kitchen had a couple of overhead lights which when turned on in the evening were not the most attractive.
We also enjoyed the indoor pool and hot tub and sauna - all were clean and in good working order. The deck outside the pool was a great addition, as my wife and I were able to sit out front and enjoy the hot sun and warm sea air!
All that said, I thought the accommodation was comfortable, pleasant, relaxed and minimalistic, which is something that I appreciate. Just some oddities here and there. Not negative oddities. Just oddities. Except the coffee. That's just bad.
The hotel staff were incredibly kind and very helpful. Whenever we needed something, they were there. We missed the housekeeping one afternoon, so when we called the front desk, they brought us extra towels, coffee and toiletries in a matter of minutes. They also were able to guide us through the town and help us with the bus system.
Our breakfast was also quite nice. The food was tasty, homey and not fussy at all. Our server was just great and served us both mornings we came for breakfast. He was attentive to us, even though he was the only server on.
We were very pleasantly surprised by the Cowichan Bay. It was a lovely little seaside hamlet with plenty of waterfront dining and, little shops with artisan cheeses and breads, plus shops where local artists sold their wares. The Mud Room had some lovely pieces for very reasonable prices. The cheese selection at Hilary's Cheese was fantastic, as was the bread selection next door.
I really think that one should visit Cowichan Bay for a few days. There are lots of things to see and do in this seaside village - it is definitely worth it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay is idyllically nestled in the heart of Cowichan Valley, situated between Victoria and Nanaimo. The seaside village of Cowichan Bay - with its eclectic collection of shops and restaurants situated amongst the wharves, sail boats, fishing boats and floating homes - is one of the most picturesque locations on Vancouver Island. Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay offers 56 spacious Oceanfront suites - each equipped with a master bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette as well as a comfortable living and dining area. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, romantic getaway, family vacation or a special wedding destination, Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay can deliver in comfort and style. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Oceanfront Suites At Cowichan Bay Hotel Cowichan Bay
- Oceanfront Grand Resort Marina
- Oceanfront Grand Hotel Marina
- Oceanfront Suites At Cowichan Bay Vancouver Island