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“Funkiest, coolest hotel to explore the city from”

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Swans Hotel & Brewpub
Ranked #27 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 17, 2009

This is my favorite hotel EVER. The suites are spacious and each features unique artwork. Avoid the first floor above the bar as I hear they are noisy, but all the times I've stayed there have been on the top floors and you get nothing but the usual traffic noise considering you are right downtown. If people are complaining about traffic noise here - they should stay in the country, its not that bad. Ask for a room away from the street if you're concerned. The beds are great, the suites (which have two floors) are beautiful and the kitchenette is a nice option. The staff are super friendly. The pub makes great microbrew beers and the food is ok to good. I'd eat elsewhere because the city has some truly great restaurants (Canoe Club is a great one and its about a block away), but the Swans has got good breakfasts. There are live bands almost every night as well. There is also a small liquor store attached to the hotel which is convenient. The only downside to this hotel is the parking. There isn't any on site - you have to park a half a block away in an open-air parking lot. The hotel is a block down from the homeless shelter as others have mentioned, but it is well policed and has never caused a problem in my experience. I used to live in Victoria and spent alot of time in this part of town, and it is safe to walk in at ANY time of day.

The location is incredible - its right downtown allowing you to explore everything on foot. This hotel is a bit pricey - but I believe it is worth it - SO much better than your average itchy floral duvets and tacky watercolour art. Also, if you call the desk, they almost always have a great special on that will save you money over their list price. They have really great staff to deal with. This place has personality and is very, very comfortable - it makes you look forward to coming back into your room to recharge and relax. I won't stay anywhere else in Victoria. If you like scary silent, average, cookie-cutter hotels, this is not the one for you. If you like a nicely appointed room, a funky atmosphere and a GREAT location, stay here.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank fireyfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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310 - 316 of 350 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2008

The location put a bad spin on the stay. So much so we cut the trip short. The hotel has great size suites since they are two bedrooms (on a second floor) and fairly equipped kitchen along with a decent breakfast but the location leaves much to be desired. It's across the street from a homeless shelter, next to an empty lot which is next to an abandoned building, where questionable people hang out all day and a few blocks away from a former needle exchange location; thus there are a number of not the best elements hanging around. Fine if you're a group of adults but not great if your with kids or with teens that you'd like to let explore . Additionally there is a popular brew house and shop to buy alcohol in the bottom floor which also brings in others. There are much better areas to chose from if traveling with kids.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with family
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5  Thank mom.daughter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2008

My daughter & I recently stayed at Swans with two children, 10 months & 8 years. We had a 2 bedroom suite & we all had a wonderful time !! The rooms were clean, comfortable, even more amenities than we required, well appointed kitchen & bath room. Room service menus offer complete selection from both pub & diningroom, plus childrens' menu. On site Brewery, & wine selections were very good & breakfast is served in your room if you wish. Money allowed for breakfast may be used toward full breakfast selections but the continental is more than adequate. Service was excellent, prompt, cheerful & friendly. The hotel is located downtown close to Chinatown, the harbour, shopping & the MacPherson Theatre. We lived in Victoria for 30 + years & this is our hotel of choice now when we return to visit.

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2  Thank buckerfields
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 21, 2008

Stayed at this hotel in February. We stayed in their 2-bedroom suites and they were very nice. That is the only good thing I can say about this hotel. It is located in a shady area were there are junkies wondering around. Parking is terrible, it is on the backside of the hotel and it is public parking with no security or cameras. Many car windows were broken into and luckily mine was not but others I was travelling with had there windows smashed. I recommend staying at Harbor Towers or empress if u plan on paying alot dont stay here.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank GurdasMann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 19, 2007

We selected Swans Suite because it could accommodate 2 teenagers in a separate, twin-bedded room while we parents had a king-bed room. The Swans Suite hotel is an older building within walking distance of the Harbor and the Parliament Building, and located just south of the unimpressive Chinatown. Part of the hotel is a brew pub famous for its ales, and adults are given vouchers upon check-in for a beer on the house.

The layout is awkward due to the townhouse design: the two bedrooms are upstairs and the bathroom, living area and kitchenette are downstairs - so this suite is not suitable for anyone with limited mobility and could be annoying when you're getting ready to go out (fixing hair, getting dressed between two floors) or for people who get up frequently to use the restroom in the middle of the night. The sleeping rooms have no windows, although each has a skylight with wood panels over them if you want to darken the room. There is some traffic noise, and closing the skylight covers made the room quieter. The living area is spacious and comfortable with a good-quality sofa, dining table & chairs, TV, and lively original artwork. The sleeping rooms are somewhat spartan in decor (despite a painting in each) but the mattresses were excellent and the pillows divine. The Swans Suite Hotel offers well over 100 movies ranging from action to family/children's flicks available free for viewing in your room; titles are listed in the room info directory and the desk staff will bring the VHS tape or DVD to your room.

With the room we were each given breakfast vouchers valued at $7.95 Canadian which could be used for a continental breakfast or applied to any menu item. We opted for ordering off the menu. The breakfast was very good and plentiful - waffles, eggs, bacon/sausage, hand-cut potatoes, yogurt/granola, homemade muffins, etc. We really appreciated the fact that the voucher could be applied to a regular breakfast. All staff - servers, front desk and housekeeping - were cheerful, helpful and friendly. The hotel is very clean. Overall, due to sleeping space we needed and received here, along with the breakfast, this hotel is an excellent value.

Stayed: October 2007
1  Thank KatW-Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2007

Our stay here was an absolute terrible experience. The hotel looked beautiful from the outside and the receptionist was lovely, eventhough it did take us a while to find it. We went to our room, which was also lovely and spacious, maybe a bit dark, but we were only staying 1 night. On the hotel's recommendation we dined in their restaurant Wild Safron. Service was very good, but the food was a bit pretentious, trying to put too many different flavours into the one dish and as a result ruining it. At about 6am the following morning, we were awoken by a rustling followed by something jumping from the window sill. At first we thought we were imagining it, but searched the rooms anyway. When we pulled out the sofa, we found large metal contraption which appeared to be a mouse trap.We looked on the window ledge to find mouse droppings which confirmed our suspicions. This totally freaked us out. We eventually saw the creature come out from under the sofa and go back again which was enough for us to pack our bags and call the receptionist. He came up and when we asked him if he was aware of the problem, he said he was only there for 3 months but had heard there was a mouse problem back then, but thought it was gone. God knows how long they have had this problem. We asked to speak to a manager and the receptionist said they were only on call and that he would ring them. As expected, the manager never turned up and when we came in later to see her, she was in a so called "meeting". We refused to pay the room bill which they agreed to, but did not fall over themselves to apologise. This place should be closed down until it is clear of rodents. It is totally unacceptable for anyone to put up with.
On other matters, there is no car park and you have to use a public open space car park which is across from a homeless and drug centre. We were told not to leave anything valuable in the car which was not exactly an endorsement.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank USTraveller2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swanshotel, General Manager at Swans Hotel & Brewpub, responded to this reviewResponded April 16, 2008

I am sorry that you were not satisfied with your stay at Swans.

Swans Suite Hotel is locate in downtown Victoria. There have been a lot of renovations of the old empty buildings around us. As a result of that, we had "unexpected guests" in our building. We have never, ever experienced this problem before. In fact, since the beginning of Swans we always had preventative maintenance to prevent this.

We have worked extremely hard with professionals and have now eliminated this issue. Our hotel is clean and our staff courteous. We are the only hotel in downtown Victoria who is a loft style hotel with fresh flowers and original art in every room. Every suite is unique and spacious and you really feel like it's a home away from home.

We have many repeat customers that come back time and time again leaving knowing they got their money's worth and more.

It really is a spectacular property and it is worth it to visit us!

Thank you,

Janina Ceglarz
CEO & General Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2007

Staying at this hotel was a big mistake and completely ruined our first visit to Victoria. We got very little sleep during the 3 nights we stayed there. 1. Our room was on the first floor so there was constant traffic noise..2 We were just above the bar, and drunken people emerged on to the sidewalk just below our window. 3. on Saturday nights the band plays in the bar until 1.00 AM. 4. One night there was a fight in the corridor outside our room at 2.00 AM. 5. The walls must be thin because we could also hear a TV blaring in the next room. We shut the window to try to reduce the noise but the room became unbearably hot and stuffy, with only a ceiling fan for ventilation and no air conditioning.

Directly opposite the hotel is a favorite haunt for drug addicts and the homeless. There were groups congregated there all the time. The view from our window was of a derelict building, next to where the homeless kids used to congregate.

The hotel has no car parking. You can park your car in a public car park a few blocks away, for which you pay extra.

The reception area is so small we had trouble finding it and walked through the restaurant before we located it. We had lunch in the restaurant the day we arrived and the food was unbelievably mediocre.

This miserable place wasn't even cheap! There must be many better places to stay in Victoria.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank mary1915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Swans Hotel & Brewpub

Address: 506 Pandora Ave, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1N6, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria > Downtown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#22 Business Hotel in Victoria
#24 Family Hotel in Victoria
#26 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: $127 - $206 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Swans Hotel & Brewpub 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Swans Hotel & Brewpub offers 30 unique and comfortable suites and is conveniently located in the heart of historic "Old Town" Victoria. We are a short walking distance to downtown's Inner Harbour, museums, galleries, events, entertainment, shopping and much more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swans Suite Hotel

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