We just returned from staying in Room 295 yesterday. We stayed for 3 nights in a garden level two queen size bed room. Our group consisted of 2 adults and 2 teenage daughters.
The room we were in had a sliding glass door that led out to an outdoor bistro table with 4 chairs. You then crossed a little concrete stepping stone bridge to get across the pond and then took a walkway to either the spa or the mineral pools (hot tubs). There is a breathtaking view from the little lookout point above the spa itself. We couldn't see very much from our room because we were ground level so I was a bit disappointed in that since we had paid for an ocean view room. However, we did find that having direct access to the outdoors was nice so we were pleasantly surprised.
We noticed a pug dog exiting into the interior hallway on leash two doors away from us but didn't hear any noise. If you have pet allergies you may want to ask about their pet policies to ensure you don't have any problems, but we were fine and didn't find any evidence of previous pets in our room.
The spa is gorgeous. They serve you tea while you wait. I had an Registered Massage Therapy session (which I can claim on my extended health) which was INCREDIBLE! The RMT was extremely good. The RMT was located in another building about 6 steps from the main spa building so that was a bit weird but she was really good about staying by my side making sure I knew where to go. They do nails, facials etc there. My daughter had a regular massage session which she quite enjoyed as well. You have the option to charge to your room or pay there.
The bathroom was incredible! Let me repeat that - INCREDIBLE! I asked at the front desk if we were allowed to have tea light candles and they said it was fine. So I bought some at Pharmasave and relaxed with some wine and some music while enjoying the complimentary milk bath bubbles. We asked for more shampoo conditioner because we had 3 females. We never did get the extras but we went out and maybe they didn't want to come in while we weren't there? We asked for extra slippers because only 2 came with the room. We got those. We asked for 2 extra towels and got those too. There were double sinks, housecoats, lots of storage, and shutter doors that can be closed or left open between the deep soaker tub and the main part of the room. A separate toilet area with door so you don't have to wait for someone to be done in the bathroom before coming in. Gorgeous shower with sit down area inside. They supply a hair dryer and a make up mirror. The fan is always running on low so you never have steamed up mirrors. There is a plug beside the sink in the bathroom for hair straighteners.
The fireplace isn't really a fireplace but does have the option of allowing heat to radiate into the room, its actually got some ribbons that blow up imitating real flames. But unless you get up close you can't tell it isn't real. It's a nice touch in the room. The TV has complimentary movie channels. There is an indoor privacy/make up room indicator button by the door so you don't have to hang a card on the outside. They have a turn down service that came around 7:30 pm which was a bit early for us. To be honest, I don't really know what a turn down service is since I'm not a "high class" type of traveller but it was a chance for us to ask for additional slippers to go to the pools outside.
The trip to the spa/mineral pools is a bit of a learning experience. One side is the main entrance to the spa (open during the day), the other side entrance is for after hours. And yet another side entrance to go directly to the pools. Signage is a bit confusing. We were told we would need a special key to access the pools after 10pm but both times we went to the front desk to get the key after 10pm we were told they weren't locked and that we didn't need one. Maybe save yourself a trip and call down to find out. The change rooms are accessible to guests even when the spa is closed. So you can go down in your regular clothes, change in the change rooms, they have lockers (note that they don't lock unless you go during spa hours) and separate showers. The showers are supplied with towels (don't bring any from room), shampoo, conditioner, body wash and strong water pressure that make it easier than going outside in a wet bathing suit back to your rooms. You also have access (24 hours) to the gym, steam room and showers/change room. The spa itself has business hours so no 24 hour access to their tea, and services. If you are going into the pools and it is poor weather, be aware that there is no covered area to put a dry towel. We had it raining while we were there and tucked our towels and robes underneath tiny little tables by the pools. It would have been nice to have some kind of cubby holes or umbrellas to put our stuff under to keep them from the rain. The pools had only one other couple in them all 3 times we were there but we always went at night. Very quiet.
We went to both the Snug pub and Kate's Café. The pub was really loud because they had a singer there and it was super busy. But the drinks we had were good. Kate's Café was pretty basic but was still good. I had the corn/bean salad and a steak pie. The salad was incredible. In the morning I had oatmeal and a fruit bowl. Food was good, but not spectacular. We enjoyed going other places for that.
Internet in the room was strong and we had no problems accessing it. They gave us a password which was never required though. There is no lapdesk provided in the room and the tables are small round ones with chairs quite squished against them. Not really very comfortable for computer usage. But then again, you're on vacation so you probably don't care.
The chandelier in the centre of the room was beautiful as were the dimmer lights everywhere (toilet area, bathtub area, centre of the room). There was a sink, small fridge, kettle, coffee maker, and microwave included in our room and dishes/cutlery to use as well. The clock radio has an ipod dock on it (older style plug) which I stupidly didn't notice until the last day after charging my ipod on the counter overnights! I personally didn't like the bedding (it seemed noisy) and the bed was very firm, but both my husband and my daughters thought it was good. So personal preference!
All in all, we would go back here again. We travelled by ferry (which is insanely expensive for a family of 4) but we got the B&B rate which included a $40 credit per night. My husband and I have both agreed that although our daughters loved it, it would have been more suitable for a romantic weekend getaway than a family vacation. Beautiful décor and gorgeous area to go walking along the road next to the ocean.
- 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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