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“Great Hotel in Victoria with a great price”
Review of Helm's Inn

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Helm's Inn
Ranked #21 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 7, 2012

2 minutes walk from Victoria's Inner Harbour, Helm's Inn is next to the BC Museum. It is small and quiet with studio rooms with modern well equiped kitchenettes and free wi-fi.

The room was modern, large and very clean with plenty of lights (unlike many of the places we have stayed). The flooring was a combination of dark wood and carpet - just watch bare feet on the join!

We chose based on reviews, location and the excellent price and would happily stay here again.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MQandMK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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351 - 357 of 546 reviews

Reviewed May 31, 2012

I have chosen to stay at Helm's Inn 2 times, based on the recommendation of a family member. I love that it is small, unassuming and quiet. It is situated at the extreme south end of Douglas Street with the beautiful Beacon Hill Park across the street. While the rest of Dougas is bustling with cars and pedestrians, this busyness trails off by the time you reach the hotel. I feel I am returning at the end of the day to a peaceful, serene place. The suites are housed in 3 separate buildings and vary one from the other by size, setup and furnishings, so I would suggest calling Chris (the hotel's front desk manager) for advice on what would suit you best.
I do not find the staff unfriendly as some others have suggested. They are all merely unobtrusive, but will certainly engage in conversation if you indicate you are interested.
The close proximity to all that Victoria has to offer will keep me coming back with future visits.
Thanks, Chris, once again, for a great stay! Jan H.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank crvisitor41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2012

We stayed 2 nights at the Helms Inn while visiting Victoria for the Swiftsure race and had a great experience. We were traveling with friends so we booked a 1 bedroom suite (#111) and a studio (#315). Both rooms were large, modern, very clean and comfortable. Each room had a well stocked kitchenette so we were able to cook meals in the room and there was plenty of room for everyone to come to the one bedroom and have breakfast together. From the time we checked in to the time we checked out the staff was GREAT, Chris from the front desk was very friendly and accommodating. He was prepared to have our luggage moved out of the rooms and stored if we were not back from the race by check out time on Sunday. The location is fantastic, within walking distance to most sites and they have onsite parking for a small fee ($5 a day). We have stayed in Victoria several times and by far the Helms Inn is the best room we have had for the price. We will definitely stay at the Helms Inn again!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Chon_Mik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2012

I recently stayed at the Helm's Inn for one week. The room was large and comfortable. There was a fully equipped kitchen with tea, coffee, sugar and coffeemate provided. The only complaint about the room was it was directly on Douglas Street (a very busy street). The weather was beautiful and I wanted my windows open. However, from previous reviews I was aware this could happen and took earplugs, which solved the problem. I agree with another reviewer who commented on the front desk staff. Some were friendlier than others but certainly did not impact on my stay. The hotel is very close to downtown, the parliament buildings, the museum and IMAX and harbour. Perfect location. I would certainly stay there again.

Room Tip: If possible as for a room that doesn't face Douglas or Superior Street.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank sutherlc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2012

Stayed a couple of nights at this moderized older hotel in the heart of downtown Victoria BC. While the room space is limited the updating for the suite I was in was very good. Staff were friendly and helpful, The hotel is locacted next to Beacon Hill Park and the inner harbour. Excellent stay for someone who is not addicted to modern decor. The pricing is excellent to.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank riverboat_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2012

I have stayed several times at Helm's Inn and it suits my needs very well.
It is clean and well priced for what you get which is a little kitchenette, TV, full bathroom, fresh coffee and very close to downtown Victoria.
Some of the rooms are a bit dowdier than others, but all seem to have the same set up.
On one visit, the room I had had a distinct odor that wasn't gross, just unpleasant. Couldn't figure out what it was, but was only there for 2 nights.
Someone commented that the cleaning was a bit lacking and I have to say that one day the bathtub was NOT cleaned. Otherwise, everything else was taken care of.
Helm's Inn is very good value.

Room Tip: I think it was room 227 or 225 that had that odor. All third floor rooms I've stayed in have be...
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled solo
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3  Thank pennymasae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 5, 2012

Helm’s Inn at Beacon Hill Park. Victoria’s Best Kept Secret. The official Helm’s Inn website proudly proclaims itself as “Victoria’s Best Kept Secret”. Its competitive pricing, prime location (ie its proximity to the Victoria Bus Terminal & Top Victorian attractions) plus its homely atmosphere definitely qualifies it to be in the running for “Victoria’s Best Kept Secret”. We were in Victoria, Vancouver Island just end of last month for 2 days and 2 nights in April 2012.
We are a family of 3 adults (parents and grown up child) from abroad on a 4 day trip in spring to Vancouver Island, BC with Victoria as our first stopover. Relying entirely on public transportation, it was highly important that the hotel that we stayed in was within walking distance to: 1) The bus terminal AND 2) The top attractions.

Location
As our PacificCoach bus from Vancouver slowed down at the traffic light junction of Douglas Street & Belleville Street, we spotted Helm’s Inn. It was a mere 1-2 minutes walk (120 m away) from the Victoria Bus Terminal.
As far as location goes, we were ecstatic about how accessible Helm’s Inn was to the Top 3 listed Victorian attractions on TripAdvisor: From the back of the hotel - The Royal British Columbia Museum & its Cultural Precinct, 2 minutes walk/ 150m away – Helmcken House, St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, Thunderbird Park, Netherlands Centennial Carillon & Mungo Martin House, Wawadit’la. The British Columbia Parliament Buildings (3 mins walk/270m away) & the famous Government Street where the legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel stands and blocks of souvenir shops (approx 5 minutes walk) were all equally accessible on foot. Victoria’s Chinatown, Canada’s oldest Chinatown (Fisgard St) is still walkable – 15 mins walk roughly. From the front of the hotel: The Beacon Hill Park, also a 2 minutes walk/ 140m away.

External Façade
Externally Helm’s Inn is an unassuming 3 storey establishment with a bright red neon signage. It consist of 3 separate buildings – ‘Thunderbird building’, ‘Parkside building’ and ‘Mount Royale building’. The reception is situated at the ‘Thunderbird building’.

Room
As mentioned, Helm’s Inn consists of 3 separate buildings. Helm’s Inn has 48 rooms which were all recently refurbished & there are generally ?3 different room types ( depending on which building that you are staying in).
My family stayed in a one bedroom suite in the ‘Mount Royale building’ (the oldest building). It came with a king-sized bed and is fully air-conditioned/ came with heater. I’m not sure whether ours was considered a basic room type/ mid-range type but it was adequate for the 3 of us. There was an extra CAD 10/day charged for a 3rd room guest. The interior was tastefully done. The bathroom was clean and came with a bathtub/shower combo. There is a safe in the room – large enough to accommodate my laptop etc. We appreciated that the room was equipped with an iron and ironing board as well as hair-dryer. The kitchenette was well-equipped – came with a refrigerator, toaster, microwave, kitchen utensils. This came in handy since it was rainy on arrival – so we had waffles and noodles in the room before setting off for our day of sightseeing once the weather cleared up. There was a dining table with 3 chairs. The complimentary wifi was smooth .

Breakfast
Helm’s Inn has no cafes/restaurants on board. Not something to gripe about since downtown Victoria was within walking distance.

Service & Hospitality
This is one area which is a mixed bag thanks to the human factor.
First the positives:
Complimentary coffee and tea are provided in the lobby/reception all day long and during tea-time, complimentary biscuits are provided as well. The sitting room near the front foyer had a homely feel to it which was ideal for reading or just chilling after a full day of sight-seeing. There is free internet access provided in a special little nook just adjacent to the reception desk.
Coin-operated laundry facilities are provided in the ground floor of the ’Thunderbird building’ near the front foyer.

Now for the downside - the variable staff reception :(
This is one area which whilst passable could be improved on. Depending on which staff you encounter , you may give a thumbs up or thumbs down to Helm’s Inn. Which is a bummer considering that Helm’s Inn has a lot of positives. We stayed here for 2 nights so I guess we managed to meet at least 3 different reception staff. I wished that we had remembered the names of the staff so that we could provide constructive feedback but anyways.
We arrived at around 2 pm. Check-in time is 4 pm officially so we had to wait for a short while for our room. We were impressed by the guy who attended to us during check in. Regrettably we can’t remember his name but he was a young guy with a beard I think. He greeted us warmly, managed to get us checked in within 10 mins or so and enthuasistically attended to our queries about places of attractions and even drew us maps.
The same couldn’t be said about some of the other staff on duty on different shifts. A couple of them were rather indifferent to us although we were in the lounge for a good 15 mins or so. Whilst they were not in any way rude, we wished that they could have at least acknowledged our presence with a smile or a hello. Perhaps we had just encountered them on a bad day.

We have visited several countries in different continents and Victoria, British Columbia indeed ranks highly in our list of favourite places to visit. Like a sign that we saw from across the street from Helm’s Inn states : “Night is for Sleeping, Day is for Resting”. Victoria, BC is a city made for walking/ biking which makes Helm’s Inn an ideal base to travel from. Whilst there is room for improvement for Helm’s Inn in terms of the staff reception, we would still recommend Helm’s Inn to friends and family intending to visit Victoria, BC as the plusses outnumbers the negatives.

Room Tip: There is no elevators, so if you are travelling with middle-aged/elderly family members it would be...
  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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    • Rooms
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5  Thank DeeWei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Helm's Inn

Address: 600 Douglas St, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 2P8, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria > James Bay
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
#13 Family Hotel in Victoria
#19 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price Range: $82 - $194 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Helm's Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Helm`s Hotel Victoria
Helms Hotel Victoria

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