Posts Tagged ‘Victoria Bed & Breakfasts’

The Red Chair Visits The Garden City

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

After the Red Chair’s stay in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, he traveled down the Malahat Drive to BC’s capital city of Victoria, also known as “The Garden City”. In fact when Red arrived at his first B&B, Birds of A Feather Victoria Oceanfront B&B, the 38th annual Victoria Flower Count was just getting underway.  This light-hearted campaign to promote Victoria as a shoulder season destination full of blooms when the rest of Canada is still in the grip of winter is sponsored by Tourism Victoria and the most famous of the gardens, Butchart Gardens. (The city of Colwood, part of Victoria, where Birds of A Feather is actually located, just won the 2016 Flower Count!)

The Red Chair visits the historic Fisgard Lighthouse and guess what, there are red chairs there!

The Red Chair visits the historic Fisgard Lighthouse and guess what, there are red chairs there!

Red at Hatley Castle and Gardens

Red at Hatley Castle and Gardens

Red goes kayaking in the lagoon at Birds of A Feather Victoria B&B

Red goes kayaking in the lagoon at Birds of A Feather Victoria B&B

Birds of A Feather Victoria Oceanfront B&B is spectacularly located on a 120 acre lagoon that is connected to, but protected from, the Pacific Ocean, and is designated a migratory bird sanctuary.  This Vancouver Island B&B features an oceanfront hot tub and some yellow Adirondack chairs on the dock where you can take in all the wildlife activity around you. Red wasted no time in getting acquainted while enjoying the fabulous view, with the snow capped Olympic Mountains in Washington State in the background.  There were also complimentary kayaks and yes of course, Red went kayaking!  You know by now that he loves trying everything!

Surrounded by 600 acres of old growth forest with hiking trails and beaches, Birds of A Feather is also just next door to the 1860 Fisgard Lighthouse (where Red met more red chairs!) and Historic Fort Rod Hill.  He also visited Hatley Castle and Gardens. This historic site is home to Royal Roads University and the famous castle has been used in a number of movies.  Red wandered the beaches, explored the nearby Sooke Potholes Regional Park, visited the Colwood Firefighters Historical Museum, went for a Sunday evening bowl, and most thrilling of all, went for a ride on the wild side on a RED motorcycle!  So much excitement!  Red and the innkeepers also took a little trip to the town of Sidney, also known as “Book Town” where numerous interesting book stores can be found on the main street, including the “Haunted Bookshop”.  On his day of departure to his next B&B, the rain arrived, which made it extra sad to say goodbye to this beautiful spot!

Kitty Islet Victoria - Red should have brought his can of paint!

Kitty Islet Victoria – Red should have brought his can of paint!

Red almost gets blown off the mountain at the Mount Doug viewpoint in Victoria!

Red almost gets blown off the mountain at the Mount Doug viewpoint in Victoria!

Red’s next Victoria Bed & Breakfast was in another community within Victoria, at the Oak Bay Guest House.  This 1912 elegant accommodation in Victoria’s toniest neighborhood has been hosting visitors in one format or another since 1922 when it first opened its doors as the Newport Inn.  Very quickly the local paper, the Oak Bay News, came to visit Red.  With innkeeper Lori, Red visited another one of the beautiful gardens in Victoria, the Abkhazi Garden, where lots was blooming! A visit to the Oak Bay Marina had Red feeding the pigeons and enjoying all the boats, while a visit to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel included a stop at the Boat House Spa and Pools.  Now

Red liked this art gallery in Oak Bay!

Red liked this art gallery in Oak Bay!

that was a decadent outing!

Exploring the heart of Oak Bay Village, Red discovered the Red Art Gallery!  It’s amazing how red keeps popping up wherever he’s gone throughout North America!  He also met some more interesting chairs at Kitty Islet, a small waterfront natural area with an endangered maritime meadow ecosystem, and he rode in a red convertible to get there (even though it wasn’t quite convertible weather that day)!  Red went up Mount Doug for a great view of Victoria, but almost got blown off the mountain, so he needed a helping hand to stay put! It was definitely blustery up there!  He even took part in some local politics when he was the honored guest at the local Oak Bay council meeting.  I bet the local politicians don’t get many visitors from Cape Cod!

Victoria is such a big tourist destination with so many attractions like the famous Butchart Gardens, the fabulous Royal BC Museum, the Parlaiment Buildings, whale watching from the inner harbor, the Robert Bateman Centre and other galleries and museums, cycling the Galloping Goose trail.  Red was looking forward to what else he would get to explore once he checked in at his next B&B, Marketa’s Bed & Breakfast.

Great Events coming up in BC!

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

If you’re traveling around BC this spring and you’re in the neighborhood, you might like to check out some great events coming up in the next few months.  While there are of course festivals and events throughout the year, spring is the time when we start to really relish the great outdoors.  Outdoors in BC in spring just really makes you appreciate the beauty of our province, the spectacular surroundings, the big cities and the small towns, and the great people!

Victoria Highland Games

Coming up on the Victoria Day long weekend, May 16 – 18, in Victoria’s Topaz Park are the 152nd Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival.  Celebrating the Scottish heritage of many Canadians, this is a very popular event in our capital city.  Check out such events as the Tartan Parade, the Tilted Kilt Pub Crawl, and the Clan Torchlight Ceremony.  The Highland Games competition is one of the premier heavy events competitions in the world: Putting the Stone, Weight the Distance, Throwing the Hammer, Weight for Height, and Tossing the Caber are part of the eight traditional events that have been part of Highland Games for centuries.

And while you’re in Victoria, take in the Victoria Day parade, another long-running annual tradition in the city named after Queen Victoria.  Victoria Bed & Breakfasts can be found close to all the activities in the city.

Seafest in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert's waterfront Eagle Bluff Lighthouse B&B

Prince Rupert’s waterfront Eagle Bluff Lighthouse B&B

Prince Rupert’s 37th annual Seafest is happening Friday June 12th to Sunday June 14th.  This year’s event celebrates Prince Rupert Marine Rescue.  Prince Rupert is the closest North American port to Asia and a leading Canadian port city and has a rich maritime history, always on display during Seafest. Events include a parade, food, entertainment and lots of exciting activities in downtown and on the waterfront. Need a place to stay while enjoying the great atmosphere and activities at Seafest? Our favorite Prince Rupert Bed & Breakfast, now in its 25th year of welcoming guests from around the world, is Eagle Bluff Lighthouse B&B.

2015 Canadian National Hang Gliding Championships

While not a festival, the 2015 Canadian National Hang Gliding Championships taking place in Golden from July 12 – July 18, should offer great sights and lots of color and excitement.  The Mount 7 flying site in Golden offers outstanding conditions for great hang gliding performances and has become a hot spot for the sport. Gliders from around the world have achieved personal bests flying over the Columbia Valley in BC’s Kootenay region.  Our recommendation for accommodation in Golden is Auberge Kicking Horse B&B.

There is so much to see and do in British Columbia, you’ll need several trips to take in all the great events around the province!


Spring has sprung in Victoria and Vancouver

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Spring is officially arriving next week, but it arrived early, as it usually does, in Victoria and Vancouver. Both cities have been showcasing blossom-laden trees, daffodils and tulips, flowering rhododendrons, camellias, forsythias, and magnolias for several weeks now.  Our mild coastal climate is great for gardens, but this year’s last month of winter has had exceptional early spring weather with above seasonal temperatures and lots of sunshine.

In fact, in Victoria, March 11th is the final day of their 39th annual flower count. Butterfly Gardens Feb 2015-039Sponsored by Tourism Victoria and one of the world’s most famous gardens, Butchart Gardens, the flower count is meant to promote Greater Victoria as an inviting tourism destination this early in the season.  Victoria is known as the City of Gardens, with many other great gardens to explore, other than Butchart Gardens.  There is the heritage Abkhazi Gardens, created in 1946 by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, and known for its majestic trees and the actual site it is located on.  Check out the Hatley Park National Historic site at Royal Roads University, with many interesting trees, formal gardens and the castle itself, and located on a seaside lagoon with great opportunities for bird watching.  Government House, in the Rockland neighbourhood where you will find numerous Victoria Bed & Breakfasts, is home to BC’s Lieutenant Governor.  Its grounds are open to the public and feature both formal gardens and the rare Garry Oak ecosystem.

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park

Vancouver Gardens are no slouch either!  From the highest point in Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park offers great views over the city, formal gardens,  and the Bloedel Conservatory with its tropical vegetation, flowers and birds.  The sunken garden is a favorite photo spot in the summer time! Not far away is the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, featuring plants and flowers from all over the world, and also especially known for its annual Christmas light display.  At the University of BC you’ll find both the Botanical Garden, Canada’s oldest continuously operating university botanical garden, and the Nitobi Memorial Garden, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America.  And of course you cannot visit Vancouver without visiting its most famous park, Stanley Park. Named the Best Park in the world by TripAdvisor in 2014, Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium, the rhododendron and rose gardens, and the 8.8 km long sea wall that circles the entire park and provides fabulous views of Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains. Your Vancouver B&B innkeepers can recommend the best times to visit all of these Vancouver Parks and Gardens.

Explore Victoria and Vancouver’s beautiful gardens this spring.  It’s good for the soul!

Great BC Winter Activities…other than skiing!

Monday, January 12th, 2015

British Columbia is known for its many great ski resorts, Whistler Blackcomb being the most famous of them all.  So what to do if you’re looking for a winter get-away in BC that’s not a wintersports vacation? We’ve got some suggestions for you!

Storm Watching on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

Tofino and Ucluelet on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island are the place to be to view spectacular winds and waves from November through February.  Be daring and brave and bundle up to experience the power of nature outdoors, or enjoy it from the comfort of your Bed & Breakfast or hotel room. Many accommodation providers offer specific storm watching packages, with rainslickers, southwesters and gumboots supplied!  Enjoy both the cozy comfort and the wild at our Ucluelet Bed & Breakfasts or any number of other places in the Pacific Rim area on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.

Brave the wild in Ucluelet!

Brave the wild in Ucluelet!

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Staying on Vancouver Island, on your way to the West Coast or on your way back, why not check out the fabulous Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum.  This exhibit of award-winning photographs of the natural world is celebrating 50 years of awe inspiring images.   Featuring 100 nature and wildlife photos from around the world (from 42,000 entries), the exhibit is on until April 6, 2015 and is absolutely worth a visit.  And there are many Victoria Bed & Breakfasts to chose from for a relaxing and most comfortable stay!

Dine Out Vancouver

If you’re planning a Vancouver visit during January, there are of course all the attractions that the city has to offer any time of year.  But from January 17 until February 2 there’s a special reason to enjoy a stay in the city as Dine Out Vancouver is celebrated at more than 200 restaurants around the Metro Vancouver area.  Dine Out Vancouver is Canada’s largest food & drink festival and offers such an unlimited variety of foods and drink, you’ll probably want to come back the following year too!  Your Vancouver Bed & Breakfast hosts will be able to give you the inside scoop for the best places to enjoy a wonderful culinary experience!

One of several great Vancouver Bed & Breakfasts!

One of several great Vancouver Bed & Breakfasts!

Whistler Olympic Venue Experience

While Whistler Blackcomb is BC’s best known ski resort, and the #1 ranked ski resort in North America, there are many other things to do other than ski.  The 2010 Olympic Games venue for downhill and cross-country skiing, Whistler also hosted the sliding sports of bobsleigh, skeleton and luge, and if you like some adventure and you like speed, this is the place for you!  At the Whistler Sliding Centre you can ride down the same ice tracks as those world class athletes and feel the rush of speeds up to 125 km an hour in the four-man bobsleigh! The hand-out tells you to “make sure you use the washroom before the start of the run due to gravitational forces on your bladder” so be prepared!  There are also several outdoor skating rinks at the Whistler Plaza, so don’t forget your skates!  Whistler Bed & Breakfast accommodation is of course geared to all the winter sports available in the area.

Enjoy your non-skiing BC winter vacation!

Out of Hand Artisan Christmas Fair Returns to Victoria

Saturday, October 27th, 2012
Out of Hand Fair

Browse and buy from Greater Victoria’s premier artisans at the Out of Hand Fair.

The 2012 Out of Hand Artisan Christmas Fair celebrates its 24th year at the Crystal Garden in Victoria, BC from November 23-25.  The focus of the Out of Hand Fair is new art and craft works and new artisans from the Greater Victoria area.  Thousands are expected to attend this celebration of fine crafts, artisan food & the decorative arts, the largest professional craft show on Vancouver Island, so it is advisable to make your Greater Victoria lodging plans now.

Greater Victoria Artisans, Artists & Craftspeople Display Their Works at Out of Hand Fair

The works presented by local artisans include art in a variety of mediums, fashion & accessories, jewelry, body care products, foods and much more. (more…)

The bigger word in “Bed & Breakfast”

Monday, May 16th, 2011

A large part of the attraction of staying at a British Columbia Bed & Breakfast concerns the bigger word in “Bed & Breakfast”, our breakfasts of course!  The BC Innkeepers Guild definition of what is a Bed & Breakfast includes the requirement that breakfast must be provided and included in the room rate.

So, what about breakfast?  As many different B&Bs as there are in our Guild, probably as many different kinds of breakfasts are provided.  Breakfast may be served at a communal table in the dining room, or individual tables, may be delivered to your room, may be set up as a buffet, may be served outside on the patio or deck, weather permitting, or may be provided for you to help yourself to at your convenience.  You may enjoy 5 courses or 3 courses or an expanded continental version, a breakfast menu or a choice of breakfast selections.  Always check when you’re deciding which Bed & Breakfast to stay at, so that you will know what to expect.

Innkeeper Sharon at Race View B&B , a Greater Victoria Bed & Breakfast in rural Metchosin, offering a single private suite, may start you off with home made banana icecream topped with maple blackberry “swoosh”, followed by smoked salmon and asparagus rouladen with rosemary roasted potatoes and whole grain toast made from locally grown red fife flour.  At the Bee & Thistle Guest House, a Vancouver Bed & Breakfast in a 1908 fully restored historic home in the Commercial Drive area, innkeepers Lynn & Michael offer fresh brandied strawberries in lace toffee cups, feta and scallion scones with whipped chive butter, creme brulee french toast with fresh banana slices and Canadian maple syrup accompanied by chorizo potato petals with sour cream and chives.  Yum, is your mouth watering yet?

Bed & Breakfasts can cater to special dietary restrictions, or specific activities that require flexible breakfast times, but please let them now in advance.  At St. Marys River B&B a Kootenay Bed & Breakfast in the small community of Wycliffe, British Columbia, innkeepers Dale & Doug Martin have devised a self-serve breakfast as they cater to a lot of fishermen and other early risers.  Hot and cold cereals, seasonal fruit and yoghurts, home baked goods or breads, and a quiche or french toast casserole that guests can pop into the oven whenever they are ready to eat.  Dale & Doug still find opportunities to host their guests as well.  A gluten and dairy-free menu served at La Pause B&B, a Courtenay Bed & Breakfast on Vancouver Island, starts with a super soy smoothie.  Innkeepers David & Lucille may then serve gluten and dairy-free lemon blueberry muffins and individual apple wood smoked bacon quiches.  There is no reason to sacrifice taste when dealing with diet restrictions.

How about one more to tickle your taste buds?  ThistleDown House, a North Vancouver Bed & Breakfast, is known for its unique breakfasts.  On Friday May 13th, this was the menu: ThistleDown porridge, pineapple poached in kirsch with crushed frozen raspberries, and a main course of wild British Columbia steelhead trout with sea asparagus.

Of course there are many more great breakfasts served by our BC  innkeepers.  All will be accompanied by delicious coffees and teas and a variety of fresh fruit juices, and are very often locally sourced and organic.  As we could not possibly include them all here, keep an eye on our Facebook page for further delectable offerings from our British Columbia Bed & Breakfasts!

Emily Carr, a Canadian treasure

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The world-renowned Royal BC Museum in Victoria is hosting a new exhibition on Canada’s greatest woman artist Emily Carr.  The exhibition focuses on Carr’s early years before she emerged on the national scene in 1927, and draws on the Royal BC Museum’s extensive Carr collection.

The other Emily: Redifining Emily Carr

“The Other Emily: Redefining Emily Carr” is the first-ever exhibition to focus on her life before she became famous.  Included in the show are twenty of her masterpieces, including a painting recently acquired by the museum and put on display for the very first time, rarely-seen sketches and drawings, manuscripts and personal diary accounts.

To complete the “Emily experience” related presentations and activities are offered throughout the run of the exhibition, including children’s art activities like the “I-Spy Emily: Kids’ Workshops” during Spring Break.

Emily Carr was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1871.  She first studied art in San Francisco and later spent time on further studies in England and France.  She was heavily influenced by landscape and First Nations’ culture in BC and Alaska.  She connected with the famous Group of Seven in the 1920’s and developed a long and valuable association with the Group, who later called her “the Mother of Modern Arts”.  Emily Carr died in 1941 and is interred in the Ross Bay Cemetery, facing the Pacific Ocean in Victoria.  Tours of the cemetery are available year round.

A visit to Victoria to take in the Emily Carr exhibit and perhaps a tour of the Ross Bay Cemetery, as well as the MANY other attractions the city has to offer, would not be complete without an exceptional stay at one of the fabulous Victoria Bed & Breakfasts that belong to the BC B&B Innkeepers Guild. Our promise is “Rest Assured BC” and you will be so well looked after, you’ll want to come back soon!

One of BC’s Best Innkeepers Wins Victoria Hospitality Award

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Anne Mosher of  Abbeymoore Manor was just awarded the Victoria Hospitality Award for June 2010.   Anne’s partner, Ian MacPhee, says “Fourteen ambassadors from the City of Victoria descended on Abbeymoore and lavished gifts and praise upon her. It was fun watching her be speechless for a change!”

Anne’s act of incredible hospitality was to help out a visitor who was coming to town to assess her aging Godmother who was living on her own. The visitor had called Abbeymoore to inquire about staying there and Anne offered to provide a cot (delivered) at no charge so the lady could stay with her Godmother. The cot was delivered along with freshly baked scones and the visit went well.

Since 1994, the Victoria Hospitality Award Program (VHAP) has encouraged outstanding hospitality by recognizing individuals, companies and associations from the Greater Victoria area that go out of their way to make visitors, and locals, feel like there’s no better place to visit or live.   Anne and Ian have previously won the BC B&B Innkeepers Guild’s own Moyra Turner Hospitality Award.  Fellow innkeepers are not surprised that the city of Victoria has recognized Anne.   She is hospitable and caring and sets a high standard for us all.

Starboard Tack!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

The Swiftsure International Yacht Race, May 29 and 30, is the premier long distance sailing race  in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia area. Starting and ending in Victoria, BC, Swiftsure draws boats and sailors from California, Hawaii, New Zealand and even Russia. The nature of the course and the potential variety of sailing conditions provide an exacting review of seamanship. Swiftsure consists of nine races over four courses in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the Rosedale Rock (formally “Sookesure”) and “Classics” races. 


A Victoria Spring (or Summer) Fling

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Question: What could be nicer than spending two relaxing spring days in beautiful Victoria, BC?

Answer: Enjoying those spring days knowing you’ll be spending your nights at one on the city’s eight marvelous Historic Inns AND that your package includes not only the finest accommodations and breakfasts but admission to three of the area’s most famous and beautiful gardens; Butchart Gardens, Glendale Gardens and Woodland (including peaceful Takata Japanese Garden), and the Abkhazi Garden.  Allow yourself to slow down and really smell the flowers.  Whether you visit this spring and delight in the tulips, daffodils and hyacinths or wait for the roses of summer, the season’s flowers await you as does the extraordinary hospitality of Victoria’s Historic Inns, all  of whom are BC Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Guild members.  Guests will also take home a basket of “gardeners goodies”!

Gardens package at Victoria's Historic Inns

A taste of spring in Victoria