The 5 Best Places to Stay in Victoria BC
If you’re planning a trip to Victoria BC, but don’t know where to stay, then this post was written specifically for you! Whether you’re looking for a bed and breakfast or a more traditional hotel, something family friendly, pet friendly, or eco-friendly, I’ve got you covered.
Vitoria BC is the capital of British Columbia and is located on Vancouver Island, off the west coast of Canada. It’s a beautiful city, full of history and culture. The city is remarkably clean and generally pretty walkable. Many major attractions are a 10-15 walk from each other.
This beautiful Canadian capital makes for a great weekend getaway from Portland or Seattle. So if you’re ready to plan your next getaway, keep scrolling to read about the 5 best places to stay in Victoria BC.
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Where to stay in Victoria BC
Fisherman’s Wharf Floating B&B
The Fisherman’s Wharf Floating B&B is hands down the most unique place to stay in Victoria, BC. You can reserve one of two rooms in this floating house. Or during the winter months, you can even reserve the entire home for a month or two at a time.
Why stay here: The three biggest reasons you’ll want to stay at the Floating B&B are the unique atmosphere, the draw of adventure, and the location.
This bold and bright bed and breakfast sits amongst a colorful collection of floating homes–yellow, red, blue, purple, green, and orange…the overall effect creates a vibrant atmosphere. You can’t help but smile as you wander along.
Situated on the Fisherman’s Wharf, you’ll have adventures waiting right outside your door. Book a fishing trip, a whale watching excursion, or a kayaking adventure, all right from businesses on the wharf.
And after along day of exploring the ocean, you can return to the wharf for a warm meal. You’ll find restaurants on the wharf offering seafood, pizza, Mexican food, and more.
To top it off, this bed and breakfast is conveniently located close to downtown Victoria. It’s only a 10 to 15 minute walk to the Parliament Building and the Royal BC Museum. Or better yet, take a water taxi across the inner harbor to see the rest of the city.
Amenities: Breakfast is, as the name implies, included in your stay; parking is also free. You’ll enjoy a private balcony and a view of the water. Plus, guests can receive a 20% discount from Eagle Wing whale-watching tours, located on the wharf.
Fairmont Empress Hotel
The Fairmont Empress Hotel boasts a stately elegance and is a destination in and of itself. Over the years, this luxurious four-star hotel has hosted celebrities like Charles Lindbergh, John Wayne, and Shirley Temple.
It was built between 1904 to 1908 and designed by the same architect as the Parliament Building, Francis Rattenbury. An interesting side note, Rattenbury had no formal education in architecture!
Why stay here: There are four big reasons you’ll love staying at the Empress: the luxurious comfort, its convenient location, their afternoon tea, and their pet-friendly accommodations.
Location is important when choosing the right accommodations. The Empress stands proudly in the heart of Victoria, across from the Parliament Building. The rest of the city was built around these two majestic centerpieces. As such, many of the top attractions Victoria has to offer are within walking distance of the hotel.
One of the best things to do in Victoria is afternoon tea, and The Empress happens to be world renowned for its afternoon tea. They serve roughly 400 people per day, and serve more people than the majority of London hotels. If you decide to attend afternoon tea, plan to spend about 2 hour.
To top it all off, The Empress is one of the most pet friendly hotels around. Their pet amenities include a pet bed, water and food dishes, litter boxes, treats, and a toy. Plus, pets stay free!
Amenities: Some of the Empress’ amenities include an indoor heated swimming pool, a wading pool for children, two saunas, a spa, and a gym. There are also bicycles available on a first come, first serve basis. The hotel even offers child care and pet sitting services. The hotel is ADA friendly, family friendly, and pet friendly.
Hotel Grand Pacific
The Hotel Grand Pacific has a touch of grandeur, but is more affordably priced than the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Why stay here: Four reasons you’ll want to stay at the Hotel Grand Pacific are their eco-friendly practices, their family friendly atmosphere, their pet friendly policy, and their excellent location.
One of the biggest reasons to stay at the Grand Pacific is their commitment to the environment. They’re one of the first hotels to receive the “Four Green Keys” rating from Canada’s eco-rating program.
Here’s just a few of the ways they strive to be eco-friendly. The hotel uses solar panels as part of its water heating system. Their complimentary bath products are all cruelty free and biodegradable. And they practice composting, recycling, and landfill diversion.
Plus, with every night you stay at their hotel, they’ve pledged to plant two trees in areas of BC affected by wildfire. And they do so much more than this, so for a complete list of their efforts, check out their website.
In addition to being eco, family and pet friendly, the hotel is also conveniently located. It’s situated in downtown Vancouver, within walking distance to many great attractions. It’s only a few hundred feet from the Parliament Building and sits right across the street from the inner harbor.
Amenities: The Hotel Grand Pacific offers its guests an indoor swimming pool and hot tub. There’s an on-site athletic club that even offers daily yoga classes, or reserve one of their complimentary bikes to explore the city. They also offer afternoon tea. Plus, each room has its own balcony.
Swans Brewery, Pub and Hotel
Swans Hotel has a more casual vibe and the building is full of charm and character. This boutique hotel was originally a warehouse on the edge of Chinatown, built in 1913. Years later in 1987, it was remodeled into a hotel, while preserving much of the original brick work wood beams.
Why stay here: The hotel offers studios, one, and two bedroom suites, each complete with its own kitchen. This makes the hotel family friendly, budget friendly, and perfect for a longer stay.
Just picture it. After a fun-packed day exploring Victoria, you return to your hotel room. You’re saving money tonight by cooking dinner yourself, or you’re reheating last night’s deliciously authentic Chinese take-out leftovers.
After dinner, you tuck the kiddos into bed in the bedroom, while you and your partner snuggle up on the couch to watch a movie in the living room. It’s all the comforts of home, except you’re living your best life on vacation.
Plus, the hotel is conveniently located right next to Chinatown and across the street from Market Square. It’s a two minute walk to the famous and original Jam Café. And it’s only a 15 minute walk to downtown Victoria, or you can take a water taxi across the inner harbor for a unique experience.
Amenities: Each room includes a full kitchen, stocked with most of the basics. Laundry is also available on-site. Plus, each room also has either a balcony or patio.
TIP: Be sure to eat dinner at Swans Pub at least one night, whether you stay in the hotel or not. I highly recommend the bangers and mash!
Note: Swans Hotel does not have on-site parking available, but there is public parking available nearby.
Pendray Inn and Tea House
The Pendray Inn and Tea House is a nine bedroom bed and breakfast, full of Victorian era elegance.
Why stay here: Four of the biggest reasons you’ll want to stay at Pendray Inn are their breakfast, afternoon tea, eco-friendly practices, and location.
The Pendray Inn serves a three tiered breakfast, similar in fashion to their afternoon tea. Much of the food on your plate here is organic and all of it is local. In fact, the herbs are so local, they’re grown on site at the inn!
And when you have afternoon tea at the Pendray Inn, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time a hundred years. Their menu includes a traditional afternoon tea, as well as a vegan and a children’s option.
This bed and breakfast demonstrates their strong dedication to the environment in many ways. They’re a 4 Green Key establishment and only serve Ocean Wise seafood. Plus, they recycle, compost, and limit single use plastic. They even host honey bees to promote pollination, and use solar powered yard care.
The Inn is conveniently located, close to downtown Victoria. It sits right across the street from the inner harbor, and is less than a 10 minute walk from the Parliament Building and the Royal BC Museum.
Amenities: Breakfast is included in your stay. The Inn provides a free shuttle service to Victoria’s downtown area. And they also offer a 10% discount on bike rentals through The Pedaler Bike Rental.
Note: As this is a historic building, they are limited as to what kinds of updates and changes they may make to the inn. As such, there is no elevator access. This B&B may not be the best choice for those with mobility issues.
Getting to Victoria BC
You can get to Victoria either by plane or by ferry. However, traveling by ferry is relaxing and has the added benefit of enjoying the natural beauty of British Columbia’s coastline.
If you’re visiting Victoria from Canada, then BC ferries offers frequent departures from Vancouver. The route takes about an hour and a half and docks in Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island.
These ferries are large, with comfortable and spacious accommodations. It felt akin to waiting inside the airport. Seating was unassigned, but it wasn’t difficult to find seats together.
It’s then up to an additional hour long drive from Swartz Bay to downtown Victoria, depending on traffic and the time of day. Taxis or buses are available.
If you’re visiting Victoria from the States, you can take a 3 hour ferry ride from Seattle, Washington, to Victoria. This option is more convenient, as it docks directly in Victoria’s inner harbor, right in the downtown area.
The two ferry services operating out of the inner harbor are The Clipper and Black Ball. We traveled with The Clipper. Their ferry was also comfortable, although not quite as spacious as BC ferries. It was more akin to riding the train, but more spacious than airplane seating, and seating was assigned.
Both BC ferries and The Clipper had cafes and restrooms on board.
Things to do in Victoria BC
You can easily see a lot of Victoria in just two days. Enjoy brunch at Jam Cafe, the restaurant’s original location. After breakfast, visit the Royal BC Museum, take a free tour of the Parliament Building, explore Chinatown, Market Square, and wander through Fisherman’s wharf.
A Hop on Hop off Bus tour departs from outside the Fairmont Empress, and will take you to many of these locations.
Take time to explore the inner harbor. Take a water taxi just for fun, or wander along Songhees Walkway for a beautiful view at sunset.
Day two, visit Butchart Gardens. And be sure to take time and experience Victoria’s British influence with afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress or Pendray Inn and Tea House.
Best places to stay in Victoria BC, in review
Whatever your lodging needs may be, these are the top 5 best places to stay in Victoria BC. Whether you’re looking for location, a unique experience, or something adventurous, these hotels and B&Bs are sure to please!