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“Huge disappointment”

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Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Certificate of Excellence
Seattle
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Huge disappointment”
Reviewed October 18, 2013

Strongly advise not to stay here! First, you probably thinkiwith all the fabulous reviews, we are the ones with some issue....usually that is what I think when I see many good reviews and then the few outliers. We were duped by positive feedback on the internet and were supremely disappointed. For the price (minimum $299), we expected a delightful boutique hotel. Upon driving up, however, we were greeted by decaying lawn "art", a lawn and planters overgrown with weeds, and a rotting balcony covered in cobwebs. In fact, the balcony was so rotten that we were concerned about walking on it. Additionally, we have numerous examples of management's severe lack of attention to detail. One of the hotel descriptions talked about touring the gardens on site. Yes, it is off season, but there is really nothing to tour, in any season.


These are certainly not the signs of a boutique hotel commanding a premium rate. We would have been very disappointed if the room was half the price. We made our concerns known to the staff upon check out and were told our feedback would be passed along to the owner. He hasn't called or emailed, another sign of the lack of interest. At one time, Sooke Harbor House was probably that charming boutique hotel, but those days are in the very distant past.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Buff76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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488 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (131)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
108 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2013 via mobile

In university, I worked with a couple of chefs who talked all of the time about Sooke Harbour House. I didn't travel there until years later. Gorgeous brownies were awaiting us at check-in. An enchanting ( perhaps a bit more rustic room than I was expecting) suite awaited us. The best surprise was the dining experience. Our waiter (clad in a pony tail) was an expert on local BC wine (a bit of a disconnected given the pony tail so I had thought). He also gave us a tour of their amazing cellars. I unfortunately don't travel to BC that frequently, but would love to return

Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
52 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2013

We were on a little romantic retreat away from the kids and this was the highlight of our trip. We stayed for one night, got an upgraded room (with the tripadvisor coupon) and had dinner at the restaurant. We were in the Hummingbird room. Loved the view and it felt very secluded even though there were rooms right next to us and above us. We didn't use the hot tub outside, but did enjoy sitting on the patio for breakfast.

Even though it was summer, we started a fire in the fireplace. There's something about having a real wood fireplace - so much better than a gas fireplace. And it came with detailed instructions on how to start a fire so that you don't get smoke in your room. They even made it easy by piling the wood and starter so all we had to do was light the fire.

Loved the little touches - port in the room, bathrobes, breakfast brought to us in the morning, cookies in the lobby.

Dinner also was excellent. I had been wanting to eat here for at least 15 years and had high expectations. The food was good and used local ingredients. Now that it's almost the norm in most restaurants, it's hard to stand out with good, locally grown food, but even so, it was worth the price. There's quite a bit of creativity in the dishes. Dessert is typically pretty boring at restaurants, but I ordered the trio of sorbets and the flavor combinations were creative and delicious. Wished we could have sat at a table with a better view but the sommelier was knowledgeable and I swear, could read minds, or at least tastebuds.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Portland_visitor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 23, 2013

We loved the small, quaint ambiance of the hotel, the beautiful views of the harbour, and the spectacular local cuisine. We also like that it run by a couple and when you stay there, you feel special.

Room Tip: The loft room is lovely for families with children old enough to climb a spiral staircase but small...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joannah L L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
161 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed September 20, 2013

Imagine an inn with only 28 rooms, all facing the ocean's sound only steps away, and total stillness. Then add breakfast brought to your room. And a dining room of exceptional quality with chefs who use some of the 200 plants growing on the property in each fresh, delicious meal. When we reserved, we asked for the first night's dinner reservation. The innkeeper went ahead and penciled us in for our last night too--just in case we learned we wanted it. (We did.) Fresh-baked cookies in jars on every corner (watch out--addictive). And you can walk down a little hill and out onto a flat, interesting little peninsula where you'll pass locals and their dogs. The House is picture-perfect, the rooms huge. We stayed in the Fisherman's Room, with a fireplace, multi-head and mist shower, outside soak tub, and quiet. Total quiet. Rather pricey: our room was $345 Canadian, and we stayed 3 nights and wish it were 3 weeks. You will be only 45 minutes from Victoria, and yet minutes from a series of state parks with old growth and paths that lead to the ocean. Do this!

Room Tip: You can't go wrong. The upstairs have balconies and longer views; the lower ones have patios a...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank writingprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 18, 2013 via mobile

If you book a room here, you know you book a specific room off their website. My wife and I arrived was given a room key and sent up the stairs to the Garden Room. We had booked the Blue Heron room, showed them the booking reply and got a blank look back and she said that room is taken and wasn't available to us. Gave us a poor substitute (Birdwatcher) for our room but it had an ocean view( and two extra beds in a loft?)Carried our bags to the third floor, didn't mention they had an elevator. This room was dated, uncomfortable and cramped and the balcony grubby. Management is not focused on providing guests with an experience to match the price they are asking. They should get out and see what other hotels are doing to improve service.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank B_and_N_1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beverly Hills, California
1 review
Reviewed September 12, 2013

My 91 year old mother and I recently visited Sooke Harbour House to celebrate her birthday. It was a very last minute trip ( I live in LA) and after I made the booking, I decided to go on TripAdvisor and was shocked to see some very negative reviews. What was most disturbing was that every other review seemed very positive and I could not understand how guests could have such differing opinions within a short period of time. Had I read the reviews first, I am not sure I would have made the booking.
Our experience could not have been more positive. Our room was lovely ( The Kingfisher Room ) and was outfitted with its own solarium where we sat each morning and ate our delicious breakfast ( included in your room rate ). We gravitated to it later in the afternoon as the sun shifted round and enjoyed glasses of port ( complimentary and replenished on a daily basis ). The weather was unseasonably chilly and we were able to enjoy the warmth of the fire and the beautiful view. We spent most of our time in our room and could not have been more delighted with its charm and comfort.
All of the staff were wonderful to us, both on the phone and in person. We has decided to dine at Point No Point on the first evening, on the hotel's recommendation. They made the booking for us, confirmed it upon our arrival and we were given a window table. We enjoyed a delicious meal.
On the following evening, we dined at Sooke Harbour House and it was a wonderful culinary experience. We had a beautiful table and truly excellent service. Brian took care of us and we were delighted by his attention and wine expertise. The only down side was that I knew that I could not take advantage of the wine pairings offered...I simply could not drink that much! A remarkable value - I watched and listened to the service at the neighboring table, a couple celebrating an anniversary. The food was outstanding - artfully prepared and presented and although both rooms were entirely full, the service was impeccable. We actually met some of the people we had chatted to at Point No Point who were dining at Sooke Harbour House. We all, including the anniversary couple, enjoyed a very special evening.
I was disturbed enough by the disparity between the reviews that I read on TripAdvisor and our experience, to speak with one of the owners, Frederique Philip. We spoke at some length and I offered to write a review, something that I have never done. I was born in Victoria but had never been to Sooke Harbour House. I am very glad that my mother and I chose to stay at this unique hotel and I will return. As it happens, I spoke with several other guests and we all shared the same opinion that it was a remarkable place and we were all glad to be staying there.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank blugal1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel

Property: Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel
Address: 1528 Whiffin Spit Rd | British Columbia, Sooke, British Columbia V9Z 0T4, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Sooke
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Sooke
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel is located on Southern Vancouver Island overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Olympic Mountains, and has direct beach access to Whiffin Spit on the Juan de Fuca Strait. Our unique 28 rooms feature a selection of fine amenities including spa tubs and steam showers. All of the guest rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and ocean views, with the exception of the very spacious family room which overlooks our garden area. The internationally award-winning fine -dining restaurant serves organic, seasonal, Canadian cuisine, specializing in wild seafood, mushrooms, herbs, and flowers from its organic gardens. We offer meeting facilities, spa services, recreational activities and eco-tourism in pristine wilderness. Whale watching can be enjoyed within walking distance, and on occasion the Orcas swim in front of the hotel! The Sooke Harbour House is a perfect destination for weddings, romantic holidays and an 'any season getaway'. In 2016 all 28 guest rooms were sympathetically renovated with new carpets, beds, luxury linens and 40 inch flat screens with cable tv. In September 2016 we opened our wonderful new Copper Room, featuring a large selection of Island produced craft beers, wines and spirits as well as international favourites. The Copper Room is open from 11:00am to 9:00pm year-round daily, serving a more casual menu of wholesome and hearty foods as an alternative to our fine dining. *** Please note: From 18th October until May 31st our fine-dining restaurant is closed every Tuesday and Wednesday. It is open for dinner Thursday to Monday from 5.30pm to 9.00pm. Throughout the high season the fine dining restaurant is open 7 days a week for dinner. The Copper Room is open daily serving food and beverages making Sooke Harbour House a full service resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sooke Harbour House Hotel Sooke
Sooke Harbour Hotel
Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel Vancouver Island

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