I've rarely stayed anywhere that I truly felt like a burden, but my husband and I (with our baby) often felt that way over our two day stay at the resort. I feel badly having to leave some poor comments, because it really is a NICE property, the rooms are lovely, and most of the staff is kind. I've never left a very average/poor review before.
WE LOVED: The aesthetics of the property. Beautiful view, pools, decor, and a clean and comfortable room. We were walk-on passengers on the ferry and we had a complimentary pick-up service to and from the hotel a couple of times and all the drivers were helpful and friendly.
This was our first trip with our 11 month old baby. He is a happy, happy, happy child who sleeps through the night and never let out a peep of crying the entire time we were there. The hotel provided us a playpen for him to sleep in, so that was nice we didn't have to haul ours over. He slept in the bathroom without any issues.
NEEDS WORK: I wouldn't say this hotel is family friendly. We felt like a burden because we had our baby with us. The pub doesn't allow children under 18, therefor we never got to sit down for a meal together the entire time we were there. Keep in mind, our son is a BABY. We were told we had to sit in the sitting area off the main lobby. So I ended up sitting on the floor and my husband sat on a couch while we hunched over a small coffee table trying to eat our meals. Our baby was quietly playing and crawling around on the floor near us when he was done eating and while most of the guests smiled at him and commented on how cute he was, some of the guests were giving us dirty looks (not the hotel's fault), but again made us feel like we had nowhere to go and eat!
One of the days we tried to sit outside and eat at a table because we saw other guests doing that, and they told us we couldn't because it was against hotel policy. I pointed out that other guests were eating out there, and we were told that sometimes they let people eat out there and management had made an exception for them. Just not us? There is another restaurant that is more expensive/fancy/quiet and we didn't feel comfortable eating in there with our little guy. The cafe has good things for breakfast, but we didn't try other meals there. So if you come here with kids, your eating choices at the hotel are extremely limited.
The pools are a "quiet area", which is great for most guests (if it were just my husband and I there I would love that!). Our baby didn't make much noise in the pool but I know if we had older children I wouldn't be able to come stay at this hotel with them.
The hotel is mostly quiet, although we were above the pub's outdoor eating and couldn't leave our sliding glass door open because of the noise. The doors in the hallways also slammed shut, so we shoved a bunch of towels under the doors to try and block the noise.
I had to ask for our room to be cleaned three times (even after nicely telling them we were on a time limit because of our baby needing to nap and not having people coming in the room to clean...).
All of the things I listed above would be NO BIG DEAL if we were staying somewhere that doesn't pride itself on being an accommodating, exclusive, boutique resort.
The last disappointing thing concerns a brownie. On my birthday, after our baby was asleep, my husband went downstairs to the dining restaurant to see if he could get a piece of dessert TO GO to bring back to the room for me. He was told that they were full of reservations and booked up, so the answer was no. He said again that he didn't want to sit down, that he would wait in the lobby and take it with him to go, and was again told no. So he headed next door to the pub, where they sloppily boxed up a brick-hard, chalky brownie. They dumped some graham crackers on the bottom and threw in a tomato. And then asked him to pay $9. Ridiculous. We didn't eat it, were too tired to take it back downstairs, and ended up going to bed on my birthday without a treat. The next morning at check-out I did mention the brownie, and said again that we were happy to pay for it, but I thought they should know that we didn't find it to be good quality. They did remove the brownie from our bill and apologized, so that was nice.
OVERALL: It's beautiful. I think my husband and I might stay here again if we were to travel to Victoria by ourselves, but I would never again visit with our baby.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is a spectacular five-star boutique resort and spa. Enjoy fine dining in The Dining Room, a dinner show or movie in the David Foster Foundation Theatre, hot drinks and housemade treats in Kate's Cafe, pub fare in The Snug (a local legend), or a relaxing soak in one of the three seaside hot mineral baths while watching whales breach offshore. Onsite adventure activities, a sommelier, in-room chefs, catering & conference facilities and event planning also available. Each stay includes: complimentary parking, WiFi, local telephone calls, full access to our seaside hot mineral baths, steam sauna and fitness studio, turndown service and movie channels. ... more less
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