VICTORIA, British Columbia -- Many of the world's five-star
properties are losing their luster by becoming "too big and
impersonal," says the recently published Harden's Hotel Guide 2004.
The Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria's second-largest hotel, is
anything but "impersonal," despite a multimillion-dollar
The approach to the hotel area is in the form of a curving drive
that reminded me of the coils of a dragon. But in front of the
hotel one confronts the human touch that management and an
attentive staff try to cultivate: an employee feeding the mallard
ducks that live in a small pond there.
Several times a day, a member of the staff comes out and blows
his whistle, and the ducks come waddling over to answer the call to
dinner. The event brings smiles to the faces of guests and
The 308 guest rooms and suites in the stucco and glass building
have views of the Olympic Mountains or Victoria's Inner Harbor
across the street.
The harbor, with its colorful street entertainers, boutiques,
galleries and cafes, is the center of the city's vibrant social
It's a 10-minute walk to Market Street, where brightly colored
facades mark the pubs, bookstores and antique shops that give
Victoria its elan.
To the right of the hotel is the many-turreted Parliament
Building, watched over by a statue of a stern-looking Queen
Victoria, leaving no doubt for whom the city is named.
But severity is left at the doorstep of the Grand Pacific. Rooms
and suites are elegantly appointed and designed to provide a
welcoming living space.
The hotel offers three categories of luxury accommodations, each
with heated tile floors in the bathroom and heated towel bars. They
also have fax machines, Jacuzzis and fireplaces.
• Olympic Luxury Suite. Named for the mountain range in the
background, the suite's highlights are the jet tub and a fireplace
and canopied, four-poster king bed in the bedroom. Rates range from
$370 to $593.
• Premier Luxury Suite. Facing the Parliament Building and the
Inner Harbor, these suites are on the sixth floor and are
especially suited for private dinner parties because of their
reception-size floor space. Fireplace, wet bar, Jacuzzi tub and
canopied four-poster bed are highlights. Rates range from $370 to
• Mount Douglas Luxury Suite. In addition to the other luxury
suite amenities, these have three balconies and a dining area.
Rates range from $593 to $890.
Management provides a personal welcome note and a selection of
fine chocolates from Rogers Chocolates, a shop on Government
Street. Agents are invited to request additional amenities such as
champagne or fruit/cheese plates.
For the ultimate personal touch, the hotel's spa, under director
Itsuko Yoroi, incorporates traditional Japanese techniques into
deep-tissue massages, body scrubs and hydrotherapy treatments.
Tea, slippers and robes are offered as soon as one steps over
Ah, luxury. There's nothing impersonal about it.
For information, call (800) 663-7550 or visit www.hotelgrandpacific.com.
Hotel Grand Pacific promotes winter
Available all year at $260 per person, package includes one night
in a deluxe harborview guest room and flowers, chocolates and
breakfast in bed for two.
Available Dec. 24 to Dec. 27 at $360 per person, package features
three nights' accommodations; Christmas Eve dinner; horse-drawn
trolley tours; Christmas dinner; breakfast buffets; and Butchart
Gardens Christmas tour.
Packages pay 10% on the accommodations portion.
To contact reporter Kaleel Sakakeeny, send e-mail to [email protected] .