Over the past few weeks, I’ve shared my weekend adventures to British Columbia with my childhood friend Nadya. Having never visited Victoria before (no, a forgotten childhood visit does not count), I was anxious to see as much as possible. That meant doing a little research beforehand, traveling with reputable companies, and basing ourselves in a central but affordable location.
Nadya and I booked our mini vacation through Clipper Vacations, a company I’d heard of several times while growing up in and subsequently visiting the Seattle area. The Victoria Clipper is a ferry service running from Washington to Victoria, and with Clipper Vacations, the option of adding lodging, sightseeing, tours and more makes the vacation planning process super easy and convenient.
As you’ve probably guessed, we booked our hotel with Clipper Vacations. And it worked out beautifully. After getting off the ferry boat and going through Canadian customs, Nadya and I hefted our weekend bags a little higher on our shoulders, consulted our directions, and made our way to the Embassy Inn.
The Embassy Inn is in an unbelievably great location, less than five minutes’ walk from the ferry terminal, and literally across the street from the gorgeous Parliament Buildings. We were a little put off by the somewhat dated brick exterior of our hotel, but that is the only fault I could possibly find with the property.
Check in was a breeze. We arrived four hours before check in time, hoping to leave our luggage in storage and come back later in the day to check in. The front desk agent was kind and very courteous. Not only was there a room already available for us, but when Nadya asked if there were any double queen rooms available (they had already sold out when we booked via the Victoria Clipper), the agent moved us quickly and without question. We were given maps of the central Victoria area, a quick explanation of amenities, and then we were on our way up to our room, relieved that we would not need to share a bed even for one night.
We loved the room itself! The price, when booked through the Clipper, was insanely low, and we were bracing ourselves for the worst. What we got was a clean, well-lit room with plenty of space, a large window and private balcony, a huge bathroom, and even a stocked kitchenette. And when I say kitchenette, I don’t mean a microwave and a single hot plate.
We had a full oven with four-burner stovetop in our hotel room. Dishes, utensils, cooking pots and pans, and more were all provided, something that I could not quite wrap my mind around. We could have bought groceries and cooked every meal in our room, and if we were staying for more than one night, we probably would have made good use of the kitchenette.
The beds were soft, the pillows comfy, and the room well-appointed. No, it’s not a luxury hotel, and you certainly won’t find any trendy, ultra-modern touches here. But it is a simple and comfortable hotel for a quick visit, and a great home base for anyone looking to see the heart of Victoria.
After getting settled in and unpacking a bit, Nadya and I were out the door, off to explore the city. With the Parliament Buildings across the street, getting around was a breeze. Standing on the lawn, we could see the harbor, the famed Fairmont Empress Hotel, and the beginnings of downtown Victoria. And when we returned to the hotel later that evening, feet aching and bellies grumbling, the cool, comfortable rooms were a welcome relief. Our central location really shone when we decided to venture out for dinner. We were downtown in less than five minutes, and seated for dinner in fifteen.
We almost didn’t want to leave the following morning. After a good night’s sleep and a hot shower, we went downstairs to enjoy a complimentary buffet-style hot breakfast. In addition to the regular eggs, bacon, pastries and juice, the Embassy Inn had a couple of waffle irons in hot demand, accompanied by strawberries, whipped cream and several other toppings. You can guess which one I went for.
Planning a trip to Victoria? I recommend the Embassy Inn for a no-frills, no-fuss hotel experience in a prime sightseeing location. Once you see how close it is, trust me, you won’t regret it.