It’s the kind of place where around every corner is yet another reason to pull over the car and take in the view. Whether you’re lucky enough to live here on the Island or seek it out for a weekend over from the Mainland, Vancouver Island is near limitless when it comes to outdoor adventures and small town explorations.
We’ve done the grunt work on finding a reasonably-priced getaway here by narrowing in on the best value properties. These affordable luxury hotels and resorts on Vancouver Island promise a memorable stay on the traditional territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Coast Salish peoples.
Prices were accurate at the time of publication for stays between July 18 and October 31, 2018, with rates taken from May 1 to July 16, 2018.
Prestige Oceanfront Resort, Sooke
Bringing Waikiki architecture to the Juan de Fuca Strait
On your drive along BC-14 from French Beach towards Sooke, the Prestige Oceanfront Resort is an eye-catcher with a stately presence on Sooke Harbour. Modelled after the Moana Surfrider in Honolulu, a selection of guestrooms offer generous balconies looking out, in lieu of Waikiki Beach, to East Sooke. Accommodating rooms vary from a single queen to a king with sofa and balcony.
Top of the line gym equipment is available in the fitness centre open 24 hours, while those looking to indulge can seek out a spa manicure complete with rosemary mint hydration lotion or a Westcoast hot rock massage for sore muscles. Guests looking for a deal can consult Le Sooke Spa’s monthly specials to see which treatments are on promotion.
After a day of hiking around Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, unwind in the indoor pool and hot tub which also offers deck chairs outside for relaxing with a good read in the summer. The “Pearls and Bubbles” happy hour at the West Coast Grill adjacent to the lobby is the place to be for nightly buck-a-shuck oysters and $6 sparkling wine.
A 20-minute walk from the Resort brings you to the Whiffin Spit, a favourite spot for casual strollers and seasoned beachcombers alike. Dog owners can bring up to two pups per room, with food and water dishes, a bed and waste bags included in the pet fee.See Rooms from $150 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: All Prestige Hotels in BC offer a Go Green program in which guests can forego their housekeeping services in place of a $10 restaurant voucher or 1,000 Prestige Rewards points per day. This win-win means that daily water, electricity and detergent consumption is kept to a minimum.
Brentwood Bay Resort
A boutique resort on the Saanich Inlet by Butchart Gardens
The calmness of the Brentwood Bay, a community of less than 900, carries throughout its namesake resort. With fresh flowers greeting you as you walk through your guestroom door, a room such as the oceanview suite with walkout patio is what many of us are after on an affordable luxury getaway. Make use of the hydrotherapy tub (with charming shutters that open onto the bedroom) before drying off in front of the gas fireplace.
An outdoor pool and hot tub are made available exclusively to guests, with a hidden outdoor shower to the side to rinse off under the vines. A walk down to the marina brings you to the fitness centre and to Eco-Tours which arranges transfers to Butchart Gardens. Simply staying put at the marina to meet the local starfish population is also an experience not to be missed.
Evenings are best spent with guests and other Brentwood Bay locals at the onsite pub where Driftwood Wit and IPA beers get paired with crowd-pleasing salmon noodle bowls, moules-frites, and falafel burgers. Morning breakfast in the main Dining Room means choosing between three different eggs benedicts (with smoked salmon, avocado and goat cheese, or black forest ham).
Apart from the 33 rooms at this boutique resort, three unique furnished ocean villas are made available throughout the year. Each villa comes with two dedicated bedrooms with ensuite baths and spacious entertaining areas complete with private patio space opening onto the bay.
Make it a first or last stop on the trip if you’re coming from off the Island as the resort is only a 15-minute forested drive to the Airport or 20 minutes to Swartz Bay.See Rooms from $191 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: Take the ferry from just below the Resort across the Saanich Inlet while taking in the adorable homes and cottages on Willis Point and in Bamberton. Best yet, this 25-minute car ferry crossing saves you the time spent in Victoria and Malahat highway traffic in addition to the extra fuel.
Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge, Quadra Island
First Nations hospitality at the mouth of the Discovery Passage
After a 10-minute ferry ride from Campbell River over to Quadra Island, continue to the very south tip where you’ll be hosted by the We Wai Kai nation at the Tsa Kwa Luten Lodge. Opening onto impressive views of the Strait of Georgia, the lodge offers rooms with king, queen and two double beds, in addition to private waterfront cottages.
Spend your day around Quadra Island on firm land at the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre in Cape Mudge, sampling local wine, and playing a round of golf. Alternatively, take to the water and try your hand at salmon fishing or paddling your way along Quadra’s coastline.See Rooms from $122 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: The dinner menu in the lodge dining room leans heavily on seafood while a happy hour is offered from 3 to 5 p.m.
Crowne Isle Resort & Golf Community
Staying over between the Greens in the Comox Valley
You shouldn’t expect anything less than wonderfully landscaped grounds at the Crown Isle Resort with its platinum-rated par 72, 18-hole golf course. Back at the clubhouse, guests at the Crown Isle will find a full-service resort with views onto the Comox Glacier and the greens.
Choose between two queen deluxe rooms as well as one-bedroom suites complete with either a kitchen or jetted tub and fireplace. The casual Timber Room Bar & Grill satiates guest with noshes like arancini rice balls, yam fries with miso ginger mayo; and more substantial classics like slow-cooked back ribs and black bean burgers.See Rooms from $149 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: Golfers interested in a twilight round can reserve online to benefit from green fees starting at $35 per round.
Inn at Laurel Point
A socially-responsible stay in Victoria’s Inner Harbour
You won’t be able to see it on the surface but what makes the Inn at Laurel Point different is its operation as a social enterprise. After the passing of the Inn’s founders, Artie and Paul Arsens, the hotel went into a local trust whereby hotel profits are now reinvested back into the hotel itself, its staff and the Vancouver Island community. What’s more, the Inn at Laurel Point uses hydrothermal technology to cool the rooms with ocean water, diverts 77 percent of hotel waste away from landfills and repurposes retired bedsheets into bandages in developing countries.
Budget luxury travellers may want to keep an eye on the Erickson Wing Dream Suite which features a king sized bed, double jacuzzi tub, and harbour-facing balcony to spot floatplanes. As for those unused L’Occitane en Provence toiletries? The hotel donates them to Disaster Aid Canada.See Rooms from $179 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: Guests should look into the “Key to the City” partnerships between the hotel and local businesses including discounted bike tours at The Pedaler, and a free tasting flight at Sea Cider Farm.
The Union Club of British Columbia
Historic charm with all of the pomp
The Inn at the Union Club of British Columbia is not one to disappoint with its old-world splendour from four-poster beds to rich linens and suites with separate seating areas. Guests not only benefit from complimentary breakfast, WiFi and local calls, but have access to the Union Club facilities too. That means you can sweat it out on the stationary bikes in the fitness centre, toast with a G&T on the third-floor rooftop terrace or page through the volumes of Canadian history books in the Past Presidents’ Library.
Art presented around the Club reflects not only the tastes of members past and present but also their skilled talent. Staying here as a guest is your ticket into this members-only club dating back to 1879.See Rooms from $179 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: History buffs looking to learn more about British Columbia and its governance can join a free 30-45 minute tour of the B.C. Parliament Buildings, five minutes on foot from the Union Club.
Gordon’s Beach Farm Stay
Respite and relaxation on the Juan de Fuca Strait
If “escape” is the buzzword for your Vancouver Island getaway, then a quiet corner awaits at Gordon’s Beach Farm Stay. Multiple quiet corners, in fact, are spread across 10 acres of property for bird watching, mountain biking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
Pick between the Sheringham and Tugwell Suites with patios and ocean views, which both also include farm-fresh eggs for breakfast. Or the larger Muir Cabin which sleeps up to four under a vaulted cedar roof, with lounging space by the gas fireplace or out on the deck looking to the Juan de Fuca Strait.See Rooms from $120 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery, the first of its kind in British Columbia, is a 10-minute walk away which offers tours of the bee colony followed by a tasting of their honey wine.
Boutique rooms with complimentary extras
Triple sheeting, plush duvets, and heated floors come standard at the Hotel Rialto. Rooms range from a Superior Queen to a King Suite with an enclosed bedroom and dedicated dining area. Guests also rave about the tips and service from hotel staff, which we all know, completes the feeling of a luxury hotel.
Freebies at the Rialto like WiFi and a welcome cheese plate, keep guests coming back every time they pass through Victoria. This boutique property on Fisgard Street has you at the foot of Canada’s oldest Chinatown and skipping distance to the big and small label boutiques on Johnson Street and in Fan Tan Alley.See Rooms from $189 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: Guests are given a breakfast voucher for a morning pastry and a coffee, but may also use it as $3 credit to offset a hot breakfast. When the smell of a made-to-order omelette comes wafting over, we don’t blame you if your restraint is no longer there.
Sproat Lake Landing, Port Alberni
Four stars in the middle of Vancouver Island
With just seven rooms at the Sproat Lake Landing Resort, both the attention to detail in the rooms and to you as guests come with personal touches. Wood finishes and rainfall showers bring the outdoors in, not to mention the lake view rooms which look out to Sproat Lake and Mount Arrowsmith.
Nearby, the hotel recommends hiking Wiener Falls and the Teodoro Trail. On the lake, you can charter a boat out for fishing, get up on a SUP or take it slow in a kayak or canoe. Drinkwaters Restaurant back at the resort uses local ingredients where possible. Then, recap your day out by the firepit over marshmallows and some stargazing.See Rooms from $145 »
Affordable Luxury travel tip: Pick up coffees and berry muffins to-go from Dellas Café and head due west along the Pacific Rim Highway to Taylor Arm Provincial Park. Find yourself a driftwood log and tuck into your breakfast in full view of Sproat Lake.