Family Vacation Critic Favorite

Oak Bay Beach Hotel

1175 Beach Drive, Victoria, V8S 2N2

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Editor's Rating

Overview

This oceanfront resort is situated in Victoria’s affluent residential area of Oak Bay, less than 10 minutes outside downtown Victoria. The original hotel, built in 1927 in an old English manor style, was destroyed in a fire in 1930 but was quickly rebuilt. The grand hotel welcomed guests until extensive renovations and repairs were needed in 2006 and the hotel had to close. Almost 95 percent of the original hotel was dismantled, salvaged, preserved and reused to create the new Oak Bay Beach Hotel, which reopened in 2012. The new hotel, with restored pieces like windows, beams and furniture, sits on the same footprint as the original, but has grown in height and width.

Today, the hotel gives families a sense of grandeur from another era but maintains that modern and casual feel where families are very welcome. The guestrooms and suites feature ocean views, kitchenettes and fireplaces, and some of the rooms are pet-friendly as well.

There are a combination of onsite restaurants, casual and more refined, and parents will find true serenity at the onsite spa and mineral pools. The outdoor pools overlook the Pacific Ocean and whales can sometimes be spotted floating by. Families will love spending time at the nearby beaches and recreation center that has waterslides and an ice rink.

Families will love a stay at Oak Bay Beach Hotel when they are seeking a grand, oceanfront resort slightly removed from the downtown area and closer to the area’s beautiful beaches.

Our Editor Loves

  • Ocean views and nearby beaches
  • Nearby recreation center with waterslides and ice rink
  • Pet-friendly guestrooms

Family Interests

  • Beach
  • Bicycling
  • Golf
  • Museum/Cultural

Family Amenities

  • Connecting Rooms
  • Cribs
  • Family Room 5+
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Kitchenettes
  • Laundry
  • Onsite Dining
  • Pool
  • Refrigerator

Room Information

Find the Best Price for Your Stay

The 100 guestrooms and suites all feature nightly turndown service, complimentary Wi-Fi and coffee, tea and water service. Connecting rooms, cribs, and rollaway beds are available upon request.

Guestrooms
The guestrooms feature one king or two queen beds, a flat-screen television, mini-fridge and a fireplace. There are heated tile floors in the bathroom and a soaking tub and shower. Some of the guestrooms offer a private balcony or terrace as well.

Suites
The spacious suites feature a king bed and a sleeper sofa (some in a separate living room area with a door); a kitchenette with a microwave, stovetop, dishwasher and mini-fridge; flat-screen televisions; and a fireplace. There are heated tile floors in the bathroom and a soaking tub and shower. Families can easily connect a suite and a guestroom to accommodate more than four people.

Reviews

Beautiful Hotel and Staff

by Greg W

Stayed in a pet friendly first level room with a nice view of the hotel pools and Salish Sea. Beautiful accommodation and staff was friendly and warm. Ate in the casual cafe bar and the dinning room, excellent gourmet food. Mineral pools and swim pool were immaculate and warm in the brisk October air.

Relax and enjoy!

by song0728

There are 2 kinds of rooms...the usual fantastic views of the water, islands and mountains get better as you get higher and higher. But, there are secret rooms in the sub basement (on the ground floor) that have outdoor patios which open onto the gardens and are a short stroll to the spa and pools. Very private and quiet...highly recommended! Staff is fantastic, a car can take you shopping or to dinner, and our room was made up while we were at breakfast! Wow!

Family Activities

Outdoor Pool
The hot mineral pools are connected to the Boathouse Spa. The outdoor pools overlook the Pacific Ocean and offer a place of tranquility. Children are permitted in the pools; however, they are asked to be mindful of the other spa guests and keep the noise level at a minimum. Children must always be supervised by a parent as well, and swim diapers are required. The pools, which are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, are surrounded by lounge chairs. The pools are reserved exclusively for adults between 6 and 9 a.m. and after 8 p.m. daily. Pool towels are provided, and water toys are not permitted.

Beaches
While the hotel is oceanfront, it’s not necessarily beachfront. There is a small pebble beach along the hotel’s waterfront where families can go for walks, but swimming is not permitted. However, Willows Beach, a sandy beach with green space and a playground, restrooms and concessions, is located just a five-minute drive away from the hotel. The hotel staff is happy to make arrangements for your family to visit or create a picnic lunch for you to take to the beach.

Oak Bay Recreation Center
If the kids tire of keeping their noise level at a minimum at the hotel’s mineral pools, you can visit the Oak Bay Recreation Center, which is only a five-minute drive away. The recreation center, which offers free admission to hotel guests, features two indoor pools, two waterslides, pool toys, an indoor sport court and an indoor ice rink. Families can visit the hotel’s concierge for complimentary vouchers to the center.

David Foster Foundation Theatre
This onsite 250-seat theater ballroom hosts live events, concerts and movie nights throughout the year. Families can also enjoy special events during the holiday season. Foster, who was born in Victoria and owns property here, partnered with the hotel and the theater is the only private building he has allowed his name to be on. As you walk by the theater to visit Kate’s Café, make sure to check the photographs along the wall to see all the famous performers and singers who have visited the theater.

Family Dining

Dining Room
The hotel’s small dining room offers a more refined dining experience for dinner, but families are welcome and even have their own preferred seating area in the Grand Lobby just outside the Dining Room. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available in the Dining Room and dinner reservations are highly recommended as seating is limited.

Kate’s Café
The outdoor entrance to Kate’s Café may have guests slightly confused when they arrive at the hotel. The café entrance looks like it could be the main entrance to the hotel. Indeed, that’s the idea. The original doors to the hotel were removed and restored when the hotel closed in 2006 and were reinstalled as the outdoor entrance to Kate’s Café. This casual and cozy café with a fireplace is ideal for families dining at the hotel. It offers fresh sandwiches, homemade soups, baked goods, coffee drinks, grab-and-go items, and more. The café, which has plenty of seating inside and outside, is open from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

In-Room Dining
In-room dining is available 24/7 with a wide selection of menu options.

Planning & Tips

All About the Extras

  • Wi-Fi
    Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the resort.
  • Parking
    Complimentary underground self-parking is available, and valet parking is available for an additional daily fee.
  • Fitness Center
    Guests are welcome to use the onsite fitness studio, with cardio and weight equipment, and fitness classes.
  • Pet Friendly
    Pets are welcome to stay at this hotel.

The Best Time to Visit
Victoria has the mildest of temperatures in all of Canada. It never gets too hot or cold here, making it a great year-round vacation destination. The hotel is at its busiest from about mid-May through August. November and January and February tend to see less crowds.

Getting There
Located on Vancouver Island, Victoria International Airport and the ferry port are about 40 minutes from this hotel. Seaplanes and water taxis at Inner Harbor in downtown Victoria are about 10 minutes away from the hotel.

Getting Around
Downtown Victoria, which is about 10 minutes from this hotel, is a very walkable city. The Oak Bay area is more residential, and while still walkable, there is not has much in the area to walk to. Taxis are also readily available at the hotel. Hotel shuttle service to nearby Oak Bay Village, a shopping distric, is available.

For Parents

Spa
The full-service, onsite Boathouse Spa and Baths is a serene and tranquil area where adults can relax. Massage, facial and nail treatments and more are available to guests. There is a sauna, fitness studio and mineral pools at the spa, too.

Bars

  • The Snug
    This bar/restaurant has been a watering hole for locals for many years. It opened in the original hotel in 1954 and was the closest pub to the university, so many students and professors would visit here. Today, there are TVs with the game on along the bar, and the original door, stained glass windows and original bricks around the fireplace can be found inside The Snug. Locals still enjoy this casual, but upscale pub for lunch, dinner and happy hour, alongside hotel guests. Outdoor patio seating overlooking the water is also available in the warmer months. The Snug, which is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., is reserved for guests who are at least 19 years old.
  • Wine Cellar
    The hotel houses a 1,600-bottle wine cellar and you will want to take a peek inside the glass door as you walk towards Kate’s Café.
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