Sunday, October 9, 2016

Great service but average hotel (Arbutus Inn Victoria)

It was a week to the Victoria Marathon when I realized that I forgot to book a hotel. I did a quick search on and the one that was the closest I can find was Arbutus Inn. It’s located about 2.5km from Downtown Victoria. On the map it seemed relatively close, however when you actually arrive downtown and you walk to the hotel, it takes a good half an hour.
From the exterior, the hotel looks like any other motel/inn in the area. The only exception was that this hotel also doubles as a car rental place for National Car Rentals. Walking into the lobby, the heater was turned on full blast (I understand that it is cold outside… but the temperature inside was like the tropics compared to the comfortable type of warmth). The hotel front desk was split into two parts where one part was for National Car Rentals and the other was for the hotel check in. Both side of the hotel front desk was staffed with people. The lobby also has a vending machine for food and drinks and basic amenities for a bit of a higher price margin. When I checked in, the hotel check in lady was very nice. I explained that I was running in the marathon the next morning and I had to leave early. After hearing that she immediately helped me look for bus routes (I was already expecting to walk and knew busses don’t run that early but that was still a very nice gesture of her). After checking in and authorizing my credit card for deposits, I proceeded to my room.
The interior of the building takes on a slightly retro feel and a retro smell of wood. The lobby is actually located on the second floor as the building is built on an incline. As I walked upstairs towards my room, it nothing out of the ordinary besides the look of a retro hallway.
The room itself was very tidy on first inspection. It was a bit stuffy but everything was there. The washrooms had all of the basic amenities such as shampoo, soap and etc… The room also had an air conditioner, fridge, microwave, a hot water boiler, TV and coffee packets (where you boil hot water and pour it over the coffee packets). The only “A-HA!” moment I had was while I was showering.. I realized that the air vent wasn’t on. My first instinct was: “Who on Earth designed this place? It’s making this bathroom feel like a sauna”. I wasn’t until I finished showering, I noticed a small knob (very vintage feeling too) that you can turn on to activate the ceiling fan in the shower…
Overall, the hotel stay was fair. The facilities is slightly on the old side, but the surrounding area is pretty decent in the sense that Mayfair mall is just across the street. If you are looking for food or anything, it is convenient. I would say that the cost of the stay was a bit on the expensive side (At $180 or $212 including tax), however, I am sure if you booked earlier enough the cost would be lower.

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