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“A simple, relaxed hotel stay” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay

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Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   1681 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, British Columbia V0R-1N0, Canada (Formerly Oceanfront Grand Resort & Marina)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cowichan Bay
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A simple, relaxed hotel stay”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

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What made the hotel confusing was that from the outside, the hotel looks a little frumpy and outdated, but when you walk into the lobby, things look a little more moderne, bordering on chic.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.

Room Tip: The king suites on the 1st floor have their own patios and are steps from the ocean.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Colin M, General Manager at Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Hello Paul J, It is wonderful that you took the time to write a detailed and lengthy review of your stay. We are working with a local architect to make some improvements to the curb appeal of the hotel, so better show the amazing view we have. I am sure you have looked at our facebook page already, there are some amazing sunset and sun rise images on there. In-Room coffee in the small packages is always tough to make to your liking, we provide a large self serve, freshly brewed pot of coffee in the lobby every morning as well. Hope you continue to have a wonderful summer of 2013, and we hope to see you soon.

Sincerely,

Colin Mantell
General Manager
colin@oceanfrontcowichanbay.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
St. Albert, Canada
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2013

Nice size rooms and views. Rooms are very warm - no a/c and no fans (28 degrees this was really needed as there was no movement in the air). Rooms were not cleaned during our 3 days stay - even after asking housecleaning to clean. We were there for a wedding - do not think I would go there for a vacation.
Restaurant - great service but the food was not good. We were a table of 8 people - salads were ok but all of the main dishes were less then average.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Colin M, General Manager at Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay, responded to this review, July 12, 2013
Hello ThaiKaren, Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback on your stay at the hotel. We have discussed your comments with our team leaders, and will be using them for further training.

Sincerely,

Colin Mantell
General Manager
colin@oceanfrontcowichanbay.com
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

We stumbled upon the Oceanfront Suites by pure luck, as we had never been in that area before and were just going where our fancy took us. We have two dogs, and were housed in a convenient ground floor suite with a fantastic view. Staff were pleasant and helpful, accommodation was clean and spacious. The location by a marina and adjacent an amazing little seaside main street was impressive. Great value.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

It rained during our stay and brought out the best in west coast rainforest. Drove the loop to Cowichan lake, Port Renfrew, Sooke and Victoria. Great scenery and hiking along the way. Will go again and probably bring the canoe.

Room Tip: Fourth floor corner is large with amazing views.
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  • Stayed May 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

The view from the room is lovely, the beds comfortable and you get a Suite. We just went as a quick getaway, and had a lovely time. Cowichan Bay is unique, lovely shops and restaurants, couple that with a suite with a comfy King bed and a view of the water and you have a lovely getaway.

Room Tip: Try the Masthead Restaurant, within walking distance.
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  • Stayed May 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2013

I travelled to this hotel with my husband and two kids (age 7 &10) after booking a nice package on Living Social. We were on Vancouver Island because my husband was doing the half Ironman race in nearby Shawnigan Lake, and the location worked out well for us. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful, and check in was easy and efficient. Nice that there was no charge for parking or WIFI. We enjoyed the location on the main strip in Cowichan Bay with some fun shops and restaurants, and nice areas to walk along the water.

We stayed in an end suite (room 414) and the views were fantastic. The kitchenette was really nice but sparsely equipped; we were easily able to get extra cooking implements from the lobby though. The pull out couch worked out well for my two kids, and we appreciated the separate bedroom and comfy king sized bed and separate TV. They don’t have flat screen TVs and the bathrooms could use some upgrading, but that wasn’t an issue for us and thought the rooms were nice and spacious.

We spent a bit of time playing on the rocky beach area directly behind the hotel; the kids had fun exploring the tidepools and looking for seashells. Watch out for the very steep drop off on the way to the beach though… there are no railings (or even warning signs) and the drop is huge. We took advantage of the indoor pool and hot tub (basic but good, nice water temperature) and the spa services (decent quality and prices). We didn’t go to the restaurant in the hotel but another family we were travelling with found the food to be overpriced for basic quality, and thought the nearby restaurants offered better value.

We didn’t spend much time in Shawnigan Lake itself, but if I were to go back I’d look into whale watching and/or kayaking excursions. The town of Duncan is only 10m down the road and there are options there for basic shopping and there’s an old theatre there playing first run movies.

Room Tip: Ask for an end-suite with a water view!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver, canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

This hotel/resort is located right on the beach with a marina directly in front. There is a great restaurant on the fifth floor and a spa on the first floor. The first two floors allow dogs which is why we booked this resort. There is coffee in the morning in the lobby and ice/lemon water served the rest of the day. Each room is a suite with full electric oven, microwave, full fridge and dinner setting for two. You can request extra utensils by calling the lobby. Each room faces the ocean and the first floor has walk out sun deck. The other floors have floor to ceiling windows in the living room and the bedroom. We stayed in room 210 and the bed was extremely comfortable and my son slept in the living room on a hides bed and said he thought it was very comfortable for a pull out bed. The resort is conveniently located steps from all the great shops and other restaurants.

Room Tip: First floor has walk out balcony onto the lawn.
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay

Address: 1681 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, British Columbia V0R-1N0, Canada (Formerly Oceanfront Grand Resort & Marina)
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Cowichan Bay
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Cowichan Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay 3*
Number of rooms: 56
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

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