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“Staff did not care about our needs”

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Magnolia Hotel And Spa
Ranked #2 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
South Surrey, B.C.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Staff did not care about our needs”
Reviewed June 1, 2009

My husband and I went to Victoria to visit our son and have a rest from many months of too much work and no play.
We booked our stay through Priceline.com after checking out some of the hotels on line. When we arrived in the evening for our 2 night stay I requested that we have one of the rooms with a King bed. After us sleeping in a King for 30 years we just can't sleep well unless we have space. I did not think this would be any problem because on their website they show a standard room having King or Queen beds at the same rate.
The girl gave us a smile and our keys and we headed for the room only to find we were in a room with a Queen bed.
My husband returned to the front desk and asked again for a room with a King. He was told "we will see what we can do." We headed to dinner thinking it would be taken care of when we got back.
On our return we asked if they had moved us to a King room and they told me I could "upgrade" to a King for additional $60.00 per night as the hotel was "full"! We were just looking for a larger bed - not that big a deal. They treated us like we were second class citizens who should be happy to take whatever they had.
So we had two nights of little sleep in a poor bed that was too small with a "view" of a parking lot for good measure! We arrived home more tired than when we left!
I would warn other travelers that booking through clearance places like Priceline.com may have the staff treating you differently than someone paying the full rate.
Although our son was in Vancouver two weeks before - book through Priceline.com and the Bayshore (a 5 star hotel!) upgraded his room to a harbor view when he arrived! Now, that's class!
Because of the way we were treated, we will never go back and we did not go to their restaurant, spa or even use anything from the mini bar! So what was gained by treating us badly?

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank motrux
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Calgary
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2009

I usually stay at the Empress, but decided to give Magnolia a try. I was not disappointed. The employees at this hotel are exceptional. Not just good or great - but exceptional. They are friendly, helpful, and have a wonderful sense of humour. The hotel itself oozes charm in a way that only a small boutique hotel can. The decor is both tasteful and warm.

There was a flat screen T.V. in the room, and if you have a laptop you have free internet access. If you don't have a laptop, the hotel has a business desk in the lobby and you can surf for $2.95 per 30 minutes. All the time you need to look up movie listings and show times.

The bathrooms are slightly more spacious than you would normally get in a hotel. My room had both a soaker bath tub and a stand alone shower. A very nice touch. Oh, and the shower had good water pressure. Something often lacking in hotels. The rooms were kept quite clean and the hotel maids did a great job. After 5 they do a "turn-down" service and leave you with some Callebaut chocolates. The beds were quite comfy, and the down quilt nice (at least I think it was down).

I had a "city-view" room, which means I could look down onto the roofs of other buildings around me, lol. Lower rooms would likely just see the building beside them. I only mention this because some people are picky about the view. For me, it's usually not important. I figure I don't travel to Victoria just so I can stare out the window all day. There are "harbour view" rooms, but I think you might have to be on the upper floors to see it.

The location of this hotel can not be matched by any other in Victoria. You will find it right downtown on Courtney Street (beside the Bug Zoo). The hotel is right there amongst the shopping, restaurants, and pubs. And, it's a short little walk down to the harbour. Half a block away is a lovely little coffee shop that will make coffee art in your latte.

I did not try out the Spa, but it looks nice and the prices looked reasonable. The advantage of staying in a hotel with a Spa is they usually offer nice shampoo and conditioner in the room. Magnolia uses Aveda shampoo & conditioner (I liked it). They also give you a mini bath bomb to use in the soaker tub, as well as a disposable shaving kit. The Aveda facial bar soap is quite nice too.

Like most hotels, you can hear people talking in other rooms if they are talking or laughing loudly. But, there were no overly rowdy guests there so I had no problem sleeping.

I did get a deal on my room through Expedia and only paid $130 for my room. As we get later in the season, those prices will soon go up - but I think it's worth it just for location alone. For the same price at the Empress, you can get a room just above their kitchens and listen to pots and pans clanging. Don't get me wrong, I love the Empress - but I WORSHIP the Magnolia.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AB-Girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
107 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2009

So many people go to Victoria and want to stay at the Fairmont to have the "experience" and I would say that I thought about the same until I stayed with the Magnolia. The Magnolia is an amazing hotel. The rooms are great, Updated Victorian Style with flatscreen TV. I love the large windows and soaker tubs in the bathroom. They have a new amazing spa that just opened. They also have a great steak house. It is a smaller hotel and really is great because you are able to get more personalized service. The hotel also offers breakfast that is a nice touch for a 5 star hotel. I really like this hotel and I think anyone would once they give it a shot. All the amenities of the Fairmont, but updated and more stay friendly.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sjcan8119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2009

Our stay at the Magnolia couldn't have been more pleasant - from the coffee and tea in the lobby, to the fresh fruit and flowers, to the uber-clean room, to the breakfast ... and the list could go on!
We were in Victoria for two days/one night for a weekend get-away, but I wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy the hotel. We arrived at 11am, directly from the Clipper ferry, and found that our room was already ready. We stayed in #212 - which appeared to be one of the largest rooms on the floor. The room was very comfy - with a warm down comforter, two bath robes, Aveda bath products, hair dryer, tea, coffee, etc. I agree, the views are nothing to write home about, but you merely have to leave the hotel front door to enjoy everything that Victoria has to offer.
One of the best parts of this hotel is the location - you are one block from the Empress, a two block walk to the inner harbor, one block from the main shopping drag, and a few blocks from the some of the best restaurants and pubs in Victoria.
The staff was certainly helpful and pleasant - although we really didn't need a whole from them during our stay. I'm sure if we had, they would have been more than willing and able.
Breakfast is included and really has everything you would need - toast, rolls, bagels, juice, cheese, yogurt, and make-your-own waffles.
The website bills it as boutique hotel, and I would image this is because of the smaller size. To be honest, it didn't feel like a boutique but rather like a smaller version of a 4 star chain like a Marriott or Hyatt, as it really has most the amenities of that type of hotel- except the value is much great because of the extras like wireless internet and breakfast at no additional charge.
Overall, we were more than impressed by the Magnolia - and when we return to Victoria, we certainly plan to stay there again.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Martha_2_Travels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2009

In August 2008, we decided upon a week-long stay at the Magnolia hotel in the heart of Victoria after discovering a special advertised for a standard room for $199/night. Tourists from Calgary, we were looking for comfortable accommodations in a convenient location at a relatively low price. Though 200 dollars a night was steep, in contrast to other properties like the Marriott that were charging upwards of $250 a night, we decided to book the hotel.
When making our reservations, we were informed that there were no more standard rooms available for the price of $199/night; the reservation agent, whose name I believe was Mandy, gave us a double-free upgrade to a Club Diamond Corner Room; we were absolutely astounded by her friendly, cheerful attitude and were so grateful for her generosity. She also assisted us throughout our stay and we have never before received such attentive service from a hotel establishment.
Our arriving flight into Victoria was early, at around 7AM. We did not expect the hotel to have a room available for us, which was fine as we planned to do some light touring of the city. Upon arrival by the Airporter airport shuttle service, we were greeted warmly and our luggage was stored, free of charge. While providing contact information, the bellman/valet, Adam, informed us of an event that was taking place that day in front of the British Columbia Legislative Buildings; BC150, a free concert celebrating BC’s 150th year. Performances included Burton Cummings, Sarah McLachlan, and Feist. We are thankful for Adam’s continually positive and insightful service throughout our stay.
Checking into our beautifully designed 7th floor room, room 711, we noted the thoughtful touches upon arrival, including toffee, water, and plenty of office supplies. Though these were not replenished during our stay, it was still a welcomed bonus. The room had one comfortable king bed with a gas fireplace, with a view of the rest of downtown Victoria. The bath products were wonderful, and the bath bomb was a special touch, along with the nightly turn-down service.
The hotel’s location is golden, just a short walk from the main attractions of the city, and a block away from government street, with plenty of small, independent cafes and restaurants nearby. As far as food selections are concerned, the hotel’s buffet was of excellent value, with items such as muffins, eggs, waffles, cheese, bagels, bacon, etc. With regards to the music played in the restaurant during the morning, I must admit I found it to be an “interesting choice” however in no ways was it a negative aspect of the property. Across the street is a fantastic independently owned café called “Sandwich Corner Café”, which is well worth your visit. However, be weary of the prices posted on menus outside of restaurants -- often, the prices on the menus inside are greatly inflated. In particular, the restaurant “Wharfside” which is four blocks from the hotel nearly doubled their prices, which I found to be a scam of sorts.
Where service is concerned, the Magnolia certainly shines; all the staff is friendly and willing to answer any questions, giving inside advice on the secrets of Victoria. Our only complain with service is that often the maid service was slow, however, our room at the Magnolia was perhaps the most thoroughly-cleaned room we have yet to stay in, and like the rest of the hotel’s staff, housekeeping was extremely friendly and kind.
The only issues we experienced with the hotel was the limited in-room movie selections, having to pay for internet in the lobby (yet it is free in the room), and the fact that if you stay on a floor from 5-down, chances are you will be looking into a brick wall, or a parking garage across the street. Contrary to previous reviewers, I found the fitness room to be an adequate size for the hotel.
Overall, the Magnolia’s service is impeccable, as is the building’s location; however, beware of which room you receive, and look for special pricing/deals at the hotel. We likely would not return again due to the high price of the hotel; however we were incredibly lucky for receiving free upgrades, reasonable room rates, outstanding service, and many wonderful memories.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kylejaymes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bludaisy82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Strathmore, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
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!!!

  • Liked — The small boutique feel
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mamalola
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

Property: 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 Business Hotel in Victoria
#1 Spa Hotel in Victoria
#2 Family Hotel in Victoria
#2 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
#2 Luxury Hotel in Victoria
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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