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“Not all it's cracked up to be”

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Magnolia Hotel And Spa
Ranked #2 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 20, 2009

We had booked our stay through Expedia. I had put in special requests for eraly check in and late check out. A week before our stay I called to confirm the early check in as our flight was arriving very early. They said they didn't see it being an issue. We arrived to the hotel on time, and our room wasn't quite ready, abount an hour. So we went for breakfast and came back. We were told only a few minutes. We waited about 45 minutes in the lounge before going back to the desk. We were told our room would be another hour and a half to be ready as they had given the cleaning staff the wrong room to clean. So we left to hotel and walked around downtown Victoria. After 2 hours our room was finally ready and we were exhausted. As we were checking in the front desk took our credit card for incidentals and gave us the check-in form to sign. It was for the wrong guests. I asked him to ensure that our credit card was removed from the other guests hotel profile. We finally got everything settled and were discussing taking a nap and ordering Room Service, at which point the front desk informed us that the restaurant would not be doing Room Service that night as they were too busy with reservations.
The hotel itself was okay. The walls were incredibly thin, and we were in room 709 which is across from the cleaning staff closet. All we heard the entire stay was cleaning staff talking and entering and existing this room and slamming the door - at all hours of the day! The bathroom didn't have a ventilation fan, so after a shower, the entire room would get very humid and hot. The A/C did not work.
On our way up to our room on the final night, I went to the desk to confirm, once again, late check out. It was not listed on our file. I requested it once again and we went to bed. Nothing else eventful happened during our stay. We enjoyed the free continental breakfast which was very good.
A few days after we arrived home, I noticed a $500 charge to our credit card from the hotel. I called, as I assumed they had charged us for the room as well as Expedia. The Magnolia couldn't find a record that they had processed our guest profile with any charges. Then I remembered the front desk had swipped our credit card on the WRONG guest profile when we were checking in. They did find this error, and then noted that the guests we had paid for were not asked for a credit card, as the front desk would have informed them that a credit card was already on file - so I got a refund and the other guests stayed for FREE. (Good for them I guess)

All-in-all, the hotel seems very unorganized, and there are the same quality hotels to stay at within the same area of Downtwon Victoria.

P.S. If you rent a car, do NOT park in the parkade across from the hotel. The first night we stayed there were 9 BREAK-INs in one night!

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank bludaisy82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,678 - 2,684 of 2,796 reviews

Reviewed December 3, 2008

I have just arrived home from an amazing, relaxing and enjoyable stay at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, BC. They are offerring excellent rates right now while they complete the renovations and each nights stay includes a hot/cold breakfast on the 2nd floor.
Room 706 is a corner suite with a King bed and enough room to entertain up to four guests. The bathroom has a separate bath tub and shower and lots of room for sharing.
The staff at the hotel is fantastic and offer everyone who stays the specific guest attention that you can only get at boutique hotels.
A definite must stay!!!

  • Stayed: November 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank mamalola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2008

My wife and I went to Victoria for the weekend for a final getaway before our second child is born early next year. We heard about the Magnolia through friends of ours that recommended it so we gave it a try. We were very happy with our stay. When we arrived at the hotel, we were helped immediately by the front desk. We were plesantly surprised that we had been upgraded at no extra charge to a room on the top floor with a view that faced the legislature building and the inner harbour. This is exactly what we wanted. However, let me preface this random act of kindness by the hotel with some facts: 1) I had made direct requests to the hotel about getting a quiet room on a high floor with a view twice, with hopes they would honour it; 2) It is off-season and the hotel was not full by any means; 3) This is a time of steep ecomomic crisis and hotels want to impress what few guests they have. Regradless, we probably got the room with the best view available. Top marks for that. The room was very nicely appointed and clean. The bathroom is nice, but perhpas on the small side, and does not have a fan. The hotel offers turn-down service (with chocolates! a nice touch), free water and apples in the room upon arrival, and a continental breakfast is included. The breakfast was perhaps the weakest part of the hotel services. Overall it was satisfactory, featuring make-your-own waffles, cheese, coldcuts, eggs, pasteries, juice and coffee. However, it was the exact same both mornings we were there, and there is a noticeable lack of fresh fruit (other than apples). Perhaps the lack-lustre breakfast options are just a reflection of the low occupancy of the hotel since other reviews I've read have raved about the breakfast. I'm sure peak season offers more. Every staff person we were in contact with was friendly and courteous. The valet parking is not a bad deal at $15/day+GST and the service was excellent. Overall, quite enjoyable and the view of the legislature at night lit up with lights is amazing! IF we were able to get this room again, I would stay here in a heartbeat. If we came here during peak season when it's busier, it may be a different story. Just be aware that this is a downtown hotel in a busy area and that not all rooms are equal. The farther from street-side the better.

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank C_horze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2008

Had to head to Canada for business, and I have to say, I really enjoyed staying here. The people were incredibly friendly and the food was really good.

The hotel had a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere that made it easy to get work done after a day of meetings.

I'd recommend this hotel to any biz travelers who like a comfortable stay.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled on business
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3  Thank CodyL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2008

We used to call Victoria home and often visit the city. My wife and I stayed here for 2 days recently, because we stayed here last year and it was very nice.

The restaurant has, very recently gone out of business, leaving people with no options in the hotel for dinner, a fairly pricey option across the street, and a few more options a couple of blocks away. Not ideal when it is raining a windy outside. The lack of a restaurant is a big strike against the hotel. Maybe Expedia or the hotel should have contacted us when the reservation was made, as we would have made other arrangements had we known

The front desk said that a new restaurant would be coming in a few weeks, but that didn't do us a lot of good. I was told it would be a steak house (REALLY??? This space has been a steak house twice before with no luck). By the time you book your stay everything might be back to normal.

The free breakfast is a nice ideabut really not that good. The danishes seemed a little stale and the chesses had been sitting for some time as they were dry, but again, it was free so I can't really complain.

When we checked in we changed rooms three times, Our first room had no fireplace (which I booked - might be expedias error) then to a room with a broken fireplace, then to a room with a fireplace that worked. Not a huge deal, but sort of a hassle. Our final room was very nice, although some parts of it (the bathroom) were begining to show age.

To some extent the hotel is a victim of its surroundings, and of the season. Victoria is very much a summer/tourist town, and therefore many of the shops around the hotel were either cheap tourist goods and/or going out of business. There is not much the hotel can do about this, but it just seemed like the city - and the hotel were slowly curling up to die. Rather than cozy the hotel just seemed QUIET.

I would suggest the hotel not charge for the internet usage in the lobby $3/15 minutes seems high considering other hotel give this for free these days. Also, if you are going to charge for it, please make sure it works.

The staff at the hotel were friendly and trying to be helpful.

Before booking I would consider other places

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank rcjohnstonevancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Magnolia_Management, Magnolia Hotel and Spa Management at Magnolia Hotel And Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 5, 2008

Dear Rocky_Vancouver:

Thank you for commenting on your recent stay at our hotel. We value every comment as they allow us to review and improve our services. We would like to inform you that we are in the process of renovating the restaurant which will re-open early next year, and we are also extensively expanding our spa to offer more options for your guests in future.

We regret that we were not able to meet your expectations but hope to be able to redeem our reputation and welcome you to our hotel again in the future.

Sincerely,
Management Magnolia Hotel and Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2008

My Partner and I stayed here at the beginning of September. I cannot praise the Hotel highly enough. The room (706) had the most amaxing view over the square. The furnishings were superb. The bed was very comfortable, although not as big as we had hoped.
The only negative point was that the breakfast is served in the adjacent bar, but did not offer enough seating. Not a major issue as there are plenty of other places to eat, nearby.
The Restaurant and Bar are also very good. The barman makes a wicked Espresso Martini!

  • Stayed: September 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank doolally_w7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2008

Knowing it would be a busy weekend in Victoria with the Tall Ship Festival we booked well in advance in order to get a decent room for a fair price. The rooms are beautiful with lots of thoughtful extras such as chocolates on the pillow, fresh fruit and toffee and the service is excellent. However, we were told we would have a nice view and when we opened our curtains we looked directly at a tin roof. (See photo) We called to change rooms, and reminded them (nicely) that we had been told we would have a view, but they were unable to accomodate us, and did not offer any type of compensation. We called the Grand Pacific and explained the situation and they had a better room and offered a shuttle to pick us up which was very impressive. We have stayed at the Magnolia before with no problems, but we were disappointed this time. I wouldn't discourage people from going there, but if you do, insist on seeing the room first, or tell them you do not want to look out at a tin roof.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled on business
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5  Thank familylikes2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Magnolia Hotel And Spa

Address: 623 Courtney Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1B8, Canada
Phone Number:
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 Room Service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#1 Business Hotel in Victoria
#2 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
#2 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#2 Family Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: $204 - $367 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Magnolia Hotel And Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 64
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Downtown Victoria’s Favourite Boutique Hotel.Beautifully refreshed new guest rooms with plush textures, elegant patterns and raw-silk inspired walls. Outstanding location, just 2 blocks from Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour and in the heart of the city’s best shopping, dining and entertainment. Tranquil Spa Magnolia and the exciting new Catalano Restaurant & Cicchetti Bar. The kind of undistracted attention you can only receive in a boutique hotel with just 64 rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Magnolia Hotel And Victoria
Magnolia Hotel Victoria

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