Choosing a hotel in Victoria, BC can feel difficult because there are so many fabulous options. The quaint yet bustling island is an ideal getaway for tourists at any age or stage of life. When traveling with young kids, we’re always anxious to choose a hotel with a kitchenette/kitchen and multiple sleeping spaces. We tried out the Parkside Hotel & Spa, just steps from downtown Victoria, and it was truly a gem.
LOCATION: The Parkside Hotel and Spa, Victoria, British Columbia
DURATION: three days
DATE: Sept 27 – Sept 30, 2017
WHO: Rick, Angie, 3.5 year old & 1.5 year old
The Parkside Hotel and Spa is relatively new (only a few years old) and offers extremely attractive family-travel options. We were in a tower with only five rooms per floor — each one spacious, bright and offering kitchens/kitchenettes along with suite-style sleep accommodations. The hotel is known for long term stays because of its close proximity to everything, yet it’s far enough away that you aren’t knee-deep in the daily tourist buzz.
Our room was clean, bright and airy, offering everything we look for when we travel: room for high chairs around a table, a kitchen to prepare meals, and separate sleeping spaces for the kids. We were able to put the kids to bed for naps/bedtime and still use the living room area and outdoor space.
Attractive room details for traveling families:
(1) Rooms are intended for longer term stays so you’ll often find in-suite laundry and large outdoors spaces (each room has a balcony for fresh air)
(2) Large, bright kitchens or kitchenettes in every room
(3) Large entry way for stroller accessibility
(4) Black out blinds on each window for nap time
(5) Walking distance to BeaconHill Park/Farm, which is an incredible attraction for kids of all ages
(6) Large sized beds for bed-sharing
(7) Dining table and full kitchen to prepare meals (which is ideal when you’re traveling into a different time zone – our kids wanted breakfast at 4:30 am and dinner around 4:00 pm).
(8) Cribs and high chairs/boosters available for the room (call ahead and book)
HOTEL AMENITIES FOR TRAVELING FAMILIES:
(1) Daily fish feedings in the atrium ponds (8:30 am and 1:00pm). If you can’t make those times, you can always check in with the front desk to see if they can accommodate your availability
(2) Family-friendly moving screenings (6:00 pm each night) in an on-site theatre room
(3) Large, bright 25 foot pool and gym facilities for the family
(4) Complimentary WiFi throughout your stay
(5) Exceptionally helpful concierge and front desk staff (available 24/7). They helped us with everything from storing our bike rentals (in the heated garage, I might add) to restaurant and food recommendations.
(6) Lobby coffee shop with healthy food options, baking and coffee/tea
(7) A relaxing, soothing spa (for mom and dad) on the main level of the hotel.
(8) Incredible views of Victoria, from all angles
WHAT WE LOVED:
We were tourists in an exciting city, but our hotel was situated so that we could also live like locals. We frequented the Yates Market (to stock up on groceries), Floyd’s Diner (to dine like the locals) and many community play grounds. We were able to walk or bike ride into the heart of the city or stroll along the harbour front — all within minutes of stepping outside of our hotel.
The staff made perfect suggestions for family-friendly food options and assisted us (and all other guests we saw) in every way they could.
The koi fish in the atrium are truly magnificent — most are rescues and have truly incredible stories behind them. Our kids stopped by these ponds at least four times a day.
I (Angie) tried out the spa for a 60 minute massage on a Friday night. What a relaxing way to end a couple of busy travel days. The spa staff were sweet and soothing (and right on time). The spa lounge is stocked with delectable tea and snacks.
We would rate this hotel a 4.5 star for traveling families.
Our only note would be the lack of screens on windows. The Parkside Hotel is a very eco-friendly facility so instead of air conditioning, they open all windows to allow the beautiful coastal breeze to sweep through the rooms and halls. But, we noticed on our first evening there, that there are no actual screens and the windows open at the very bottom. There’s about a 6-inch opening and knowing our boys, they’d either drop toys outside or try to slip out themselves. We opted to keep the windows closed and happened to be visiting on a warm-heat wave so the room crept up to around 29 degrees during the day.
It’s also important to note that the windows in the hall are open as such (without a screen) so you’ll want to keep your eyes on your small kids at all times.