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“Old-Fashioned Elegance”

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Union Club British Columbia
Ranked #23 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Berkeley, California
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Old-Fashioned Elegance”
Reviewed August 4, 2011

IN the heart of Victoria, B.C., stands the elegant Union Club. Although its standard rooms are small, they're also well-appointed and quiet. King-bedded rooms and two suites are real bargains: large, updated, and beautiful. The dining room serves full and varied breakfasts, included in the room rate. Staff are friendly and helpful. The reading room has dozens of magazines and comfortable chair in which to read them. All the public spaces speak of an earlier, more gracious time.

Room Tip: King rooms are the best value
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bradbunnin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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191 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Coquitlam, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2009

Union Club is an old gentelmen's club which rents out rooms to the public . Centrally located near the inner harbour and across the street from the famous Empress Hotel - has same old worldly atmosphere as the Empress at a fraction of the cost. As a guest of the hotel be forewarned, guest are expected to adhere to the fairly rigid dress codes if they wish to use the public areas of the Club.. Our rooms albeit a bit small were comfortable and tastefully furnished and the breakfast was delcious and cheap (assume same rates as for members). Public areas exude the character of a gentlemen's club from days gone by. My husband & I stayed there with friends from Oz and it was an excellent base for exploring Victoria. Will definitely be our choice hotel when returning to Victoria.

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LJRVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Frederick, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2008

This is an old British men's club that decided to open up some rooms and make some money. It is a COOL idea, and allows non- English types (including women now) to experience the "calm" of an upper class institution.

There is a dress code for public reception areas and breakfast. Thus, no "riff raff". VERY quiet, stately, and historic (big plaque above the hugh fireplace remembering the club members to gave their lives "for King and Country" in "The Great War".)

CHARMING people worked reception. It is not stuffy at all; just very gentile. Loved the experience. The location was superb; next to the Empress Hotel on the Harbor.

The rooms were very clean but a little barren; but the point was NOT to spend a lot of time in the room......

  • Liked — Quiet and
  • Disliked — Rooms were basic
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Keith58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hereford
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2008

This is a traditional gentlemen's club that takes paying guests as a side line. It is positioned right down town with views of the government building of BC (can be noisy). There is no garden with this hotel. The room we had was enormous and had the most comfortable bed. Some of the fittings were old especially in the bathroom but generally it was OK.

I would have been nice to have tea and coffee facilities in our room but sadly no. There was a constant supply of coffee downstairs in the public rooms.

All in all we had a pleasant stay and the staff could not have been more helpful.

  • Liked — Querkiness
  • Disliked — No garden
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank kate170170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2008

I found the Union Club to be a civilized experience to the typical hotel experience. I stayed there for a week when I was just moving back to Victoria and found my expectations well exceeded.

My room was clean, comfortable, and tasteful. Many of the bathroom fittings appeared to be quite old (the tub was definitely pre-war), but everything worked fine and I appreciated the history. After all there is nothing more jarring than having a bedroom full of antiques with an ensuite that is totally not in the same period.

The amenities of the club are generous with a gym, pool room, library, reading room, casual dining salon, and formal dining room. The facilities are simply gorgeous and the old elevator is a real treat. I thoroughly enjoyed spending the evening ensconced in a leather sofa in front of the fireplace in the reading room, perusing stacks of newspapers and magazines.

The general ambience of the club is gracious without being pretentious. The staff are friendly without being intrusive. Because this is a club, not a hotel, there are some expectations of responsibility on the part of the guests. This means that there is a dress code in the common areas of the club, but this is not onerous if you are used to simple conventions of public decorum anyway. Also, the general public is not permitted on the premises -- club members and booked guests only. The upside to this is that even at the height of a busy season, the club feels like an uncluttered haven.

  • Stayed July 2007
    • Value
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank BotanyBayLady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ellicott City Maryland
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2006

Thats right we visited this place way back in 2004. However its been just lately that I stumbled upon such good site. Hence writing the review in 2006

A very very unique experience -

We stayed at the club for three evenings with our cousins who are Canadians and stay in Toronto. We were 2 families -
2 things very very important to remember

1) Carry a set of formals appropriate for dress code.. Its an old british club so don't be left out - blend in with the crowd.
2) Carry something warm even on a summer day. Oldbuilding with firm base seems to show how cold she can get inside on the HOT HOT summer day. Excellent architecture.

Furnishings and staff compliment the building. The staff was wonderful and this is one lodging we will return to again and again. Not for everyone, but if you enjoy this atmosphere you will be back.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank gotraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2005

As some of the others have posted, this is not the place to stay if you are a jeans and sneakers group. The Club is adamant about their dress code. My husband was perfectly comfortable in khakis, a golf shirt and loafers (no tennis shows allowed). We are in our 50's and wanted a new experience (as travel should be). One is not allowed entrance to The Union Club unless you are a member of the club OR you are a guest at their hotel.

We arrived at the Inner Harbour via the Clipper and took a cab to the Club. $4.50 CDN from the Clipper terminal. When we were "buzzed in" to the hotel, the desk clerk knew our names (from the reservation - a nice touch) and we were escorted to our room. We had requested a suite overlooking the Inner Harbour - $149 CDN per night. A rather bland continental breakfast is included. This accomodation is right across the street from the Empress Hotel. The room was quite nice - 2 rooms actually - one with a sofa, writing desk, TV and coffee table. The other room was the bedroom. There are no screens on the windows as there are no bugs! Coming from Houston (the bug capital of the south) we were enthralled. The furniture is antique-like and the room quite comfortable. The elevator was quaint with the separate iron mesh door - not many left like it. We opted for dinner at the club. Dinner was exquisitely prepared by the club's own award-winning chef. There were only a few members in the dining room that evening. The food, the service, the ambiance... all was perfect. We did gasp when we checked out and found that dinner was the same price as the room that evening but we knew it was one of the best meals we had ever experienced. The club is situated right at the Inner Harbour where all the action is. After dinner we were given instructions on how to reenter the hotel and we strolled down to the harbour to watch the street performers 1/2 block away from the hotel. We hailed a horse-drawn cab and thoroughly enjoyed the tour with the guide as we bundled up under blankets in the back. $80CDN. There is plenty to see and do in Victoria. Had we had more time, we would have rented a car and explored the island for a few days. This club/hotel is genteel, classy, old and unlike any other place we have stayed, including several trips to Europe. It is a true British Mens' Club with photographs and artwork of fallen WW1 heroes, etc. There was a wedding reception in the ballroom the night we were there so it was fun to see the clothing styles, etc. This place is unique and compared to the Empress at a much higher rate, we are very pleased that we chose the Union Club and would most certainly do it again.

  • Stayed July 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Txrangerterry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Union Club British Columbia

Property: Union Club British Columbia
Address: 805 Gordon St, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1Z6, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#20 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#23 Family Hotel in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Union Club British Columbia 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Union Club of British Columbia was established in 1879 and is rich in history. The Club features old Victorian decor with rich wood motifs and offers you affordable elegance while visiting Victoria, the City of flowers. Situated across from Victoria Harbor, the Club is in the heart of the tourist, shopping and business districts. As an overnight guest at the Inn at the Union Club, you are welcome to use all of the club’s facilities which include our Business Centre, Billiard Room, Library, Reading Room and during the summer season our Roof Top Garden. For dining purposes you may join us for casual breakfast, lunch or dinner in our McGregor Lounge, or for more formal dining, in our McKenzie Room. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Union Club British Columbia Hotel Victoria
Union Hotel Victoria
Union Hotel British Columbia

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