I was disappointed with the hotel and it's procedures. I had made reservations for the James Bay Cottage in August, before I made the reservations for the Clipper. I called again Thanksgiving weekend to re-confirm our stay and was assured that we were correctly listed for the cottage. I had requested that because our son Mark, who would have just celebrated his fortieth birthday, was going to accompany us for this vacation and the suite would be perfect for us.
The inn must have had a better offer – one which would bring them more revenue – because when I signed in I was informed that “some of your party have arrived already... oh, I'm sorry, the cottage is already occupied.” They apologized profusely and when I quoted back my booking number they said, “yes, that is correct, you requested a queen sized bed and a pull-out.” I had never mentioned that combination. Sensing my disappointment (how could they not – I was furious) they offered me adjoining rooms (318 and 320) on the top floor. I guess they thought my unhappiness would abate by the time I hauled all the luggage up three landings but when we arrived at the top we discovered that the shower and toilet facilities were accessed through our room instead of being shared between the two rooms.
Fortunately, the James Bay Inn is old and quaint, similar to many smaller but better hotels we have stayed in Europe. They had a “public bath” down the hall and Mark used that facility during his stay. Unfortunately, that was not the only problem with our rooms. We could not regulate the heat! Both rooms were stifling. There were no handles on the bathroom radiator or the floorboard heater in room 320. There was a control on the radiator in room 318. We opened windows in each room and in the bathroom to cool down the place while we were out discovering Victoria.
Upon our return we found the rooms were still hot. I managed to take a wine opener and force the control off on both heaters of our room but even with the windows open in 4° C we were still quite hot through the night. By the second evening we had the temperature down to normal. Now two of three problems with our stay were “adjusted.”
The last problem was never solved. The seal between the water closet and the commode was failing. Every time you flushed the toilet a trickle of water would flow from the tank over the back of the seat an onto the floor. Folding a towel and laying it between the toilet and the shower stall did prevent one having to step barefoot in water at night. And in the hotel's defense, the maid did change out the floor towel each day. It was not a good solution but all the management would have done is “ apologize profusely” anyway.
The rooms were not yet cleared for occupancy nor had we expected them to be. It was early and we just wanted a place to leave our luggage. One advantage of the James Bay Inn is it's location. Just three blocks behind the BC Parliament, it is within easy walking distance of downtown Victoria. For the next four days we took great advantage of that fact.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the Historic district facing lush Beacon Hill Park, a green walk to the ocean and steps to the picturesque Inner Harbour and downtown's shopping and entertainment. Cozy, simple and affordable accommodation is provided in this three story Edwardian architecture with Heritage House and Cottage. Some day-dreaming cases have been reported on sunny balconies with birds tweeting and frequent horse-drawn carriages trotting by. Art-deco Café-restaurant and friendly pub.Free parking. Free Wi-Fi. Free Spirit. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites And Cottage
- James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage Hotel Victoria
- The James Bay Hotel
- James Bay Hotel