More about Brentwood Bay Lodge And Spa
Fantastic Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa
We stayed here for 3 relaxing days in July. We were greeted with chilled champagne in the room upon arrival, the suite was out of this world (see pics) and had everything and more:- Huge Shower, Large Whirlpool Bath, heated tile floor in the bathroom (to keep your tootsies warm I guess), terrace with table and chairs and a wonderful view over the Brentwood Bay, DVD player, CD player, fireplace, loads of lighting gadgets and loads of space.
The staff were happy to help you and had lots of info available if you asked.
Room service was fast and delicious.
The restaurant (Arbutus grill) and terrace had plenty of space, the food was excellent, and the service was speedy, both at breakfast and dinner.
The pub/bar at the front of the hotel was OK but not up to the same standards as the rest of the hotel.
The Spa is well equipped but not cheap, although the treatments that my wife and I had were fantastic and helped to relax us prior to flying home to the UK the day after we left.
We did not use the marine or fitness centre this time, although they seemed well equipped but small.
The hotel is not cheap, but then you do get what you pay for!
I would recommend this to anyone wanting a quiet, relaxing LUXURY getaway (we are already planning our next trip to Canada with this hotel in mind).
Brentwood Bay....Small and Tranquil Change of Pace
Brentwood Bay is just a short thirty minute drive North of Victoria about half way up the Saanich Peninsula...essentially a suburb of Victoria,this little community offers restaurants,a marina and some amazing views of the Saanich Inlet.This is the home port of the Mill Bay ferry.. a small vehicle and passenger ferry that goes back and forth to Mill Bay...a twenty five minute trip across the Sannich Inlet.The Victoria Butterfly Gardens and the Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa are also attractions that are close by..
Close to the ferry dock [no terminal here]..really its just a tiny ferry...you can walk a short and picturesque trail that starts just beside the Seahorse Cafe called Saunders Lane...or if you want to get out on the water....you can rent kayaks here as well...
We stopped for a coffee at the Seahorse Cafe...a nice little waterfront pub that offers up some great views of the ferry coming and going as well as the shoreline across the Inlet..
Butchart Gardens is also just a short drive from Brentwood Bay so if maybe you're exploring Butchart Gardens without a tour this might be an ideal spot to get away from the crowds and enjoy some quiet time..
If you're interested in a change of pace and really looking to slow it down for an afternoon I would highly recommend taking the trip out to Brentwood Bay..I think you'll be glad that you checked it out...
relaxing but disappointing
Our stay in the Brentwood Bay Lodge was okay but certainly not worth the money they are charging. The view is okay and after the first night the bed was uncomfortable. I also was unaware they do not have a fitness facility on site. The best part of the lodge was the pub that served excellent food.
Arriving home we realized we had left something in our room and calling the hotel manager we were very disappointed in her attitude . We will not be returning or recommending the hotel to anyone.
Loved it, though it oversold itself...
My partner and I went to the Brentwood Bay Lodge drawn to its beautiful setting on Vancouver Island, its luxurious rooms, spa, and restaurant.
When we first arrived at the hotel, we were a bit taken aback since it sits near the end of a suburban street, facing a marina and a quiet bay. It looks like a spiffed up travel lodge which, I found out, it actually is. Someone obviously spent a lot of time, money, and design on the place to get it looking like it does, but my main quibble is that the website sells the setting as being more secluded and rugged and ocean front than it really is (all the rooms are called "Ocean Suites"). Similarly, the fireplaces in each room are not wood burning, which takes away a lot of the appeal. The baths were fantastic, and bath amenities, towels, linens, etc. all quite nice. We had a hot tub on our deck which was great except that instead of facing a rustic,desolate stretch of ocean, the two of us sat in our hot tub and looked down at the pool, other hotel guests, people at the marina, and the (very calm, very beautiful) bay.
We liked the spa and the front desk staff were very helpful when we made plans to visit the surrounding islands, take a tour in the car, etc. Breakfast every morning was included in our rate, and was delicious. Lunch or dinner in the pub was also very good, and dinner in the main dining room was excellent -- a real taste of clean, fresh, northwestern cooking.
The secret to enjoying the Brentwood Bay Lodge is to see it as a luxurious home base for exploring the rest of the east side of Vancouver Island. Enjoy it for what it is -- good food, beautiful views of a quiet marina and bay, and a very comfortable bed.
To sum it all up . . . WOW!
My husband and I originally reserved a room at the Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa for two nights - then I got an e-mail saying they were having a special - buy two nights, third night FREE! We changed our plans to include a third night -- after arriving, we were so impressed, we cancelled some other reservations and came back for three more nights after a disappointing one-night stay at The Aerie Resort.
We stayed in the third floor one-bedroom suite -- jetted tub for two in bathroom, hot tub on deck, heated tile in bathroom and one of the most comfortable beds ever! The resort is tucked away in the trees and the activity of the small marina is fun to watch! Food was VERY good. The three-course breakfasts each morning were tasty! One night at dinner, the waitress recommended a bottle of wine that, while expensive, was one of the best we've enjoyed.
We've had the pleasure of staying at some VERY nice hotels and resorts and inns in many different areas and what really makes a good experience great is the service. The Brentwood has the best -- Jenny showed us to our room upon checkin and provided us with IMPECCABLE service during our entire stay (I would hire her at my business TODAY!). Arianne was SO helpful in advance in helping us decide which type of room we should reserve, making spa and dinner reservations and eco-tour reservations at the marina. And to top it off, while we were there, the Brentwood introduced a short-term special for buy one night, get one free and they offered this deal to us -- even though we were already there! Matt from the Marina gave us an absolutely wonderful marine tour and even stopped to pulled up one of his traps so we could see the "catch of the day."
Yes, we hope to go back someday . . . soon!
Lovely property, very pleasant staff, overpriced
We spent a good amount of time here recently, and these are the pros and cons, as I see it:
1. Small property, only 33 rooms, so it feels intimate.
2. Lovely location on the island, only a 20 minute drive to Victoria but with a rural feel and views of the quiet harbor (fyi, someone had complained about the ferry outside, but it really makes absolutely no noise at all and it's a charming feature of the harbor) and within striking distance of everything you'd want to do in the southern part of Vancouver Island. Within ten minutes there are fantastic hikes and some beautiful lakes and the Butchcart Gardens.
3. Rooms are gorgeous, comfortable and well-appointed. I slept like a baby there. If you have one of the three suites, as we did, they come with private jacuzzis on your terrace (I'd recommend 2nd or 3rd floor, if you can get it---actually, that goes for all rooms)
4. The food at the two restaurants is good, if pricey and wait staff is attentive.
5. The hotel has a marina, which is a handy amenity if you want to do something water-related. We went kyacking. Be warned, however. Because of the small size of the hotel and what appears to be slow business, more technical offerings---e.g. diving instruction---seems to be pretty limited on the calendar. Call ahead if you're interested.
1. Is the price worth it? Is it ever worth it? Probably not, but Brentwood Bay Lodge is probably a bit over-priced even if you're expecting to pay through the nose. It's pricing itself as a luxury property but, in fact, the whole experience feels like just a notch below true luxury. This is the primary reason why I only give it a neutral/average rating. Just one petty example: our room had a DVD player, but the selection of DVDs at the front desk were mostly pretty bad. We were speaking with some other guests one night and they were joking about the selection as well. This will not make or break your stay, certainly, but it's just one of those things that differentiates the hotel. If you're going to provide DVDs, at least provide a wide selection and wide variety of quality films. Again, this doesn't have an affect on your stay, but in my opinion, it is the myriad small things that differentiate a "luxury" property from, say, a nice Westin or a flagship Marriott.
2. Spa: we had massages, which were nice, and done in a lovely, quiet room, however, both massage therapists seemed like they'd just gotten out of school and were thinking about their next move. It was like the really nice massage your mate could give you, but at a premium price, frankly. Definitely not worth it, in my opinion, though I get a lot of massages, so I may be a bit more critical.
3. Expensive Arbutus Grill: The nicer of the two restaurants is definitely over-priced. While the dinner food is often quite good (I highly recommend the huge seafood platter for two---the oysters were incredible) it doesn't compare to food you'll pay way less for in cities like Vancouver or NYC. Or even, for that matter, at some of the hotels in the same group as the Brentwood (e.g. Inn of the Anasazi in Santa Fe). But this is a smaller quibble, as you expect to pay more on vacation.
If Brentwood had been 25% cheaper, I probably would have given it four stars. That said, we did have a great time and I think you will, too. If money is no object, or if you've decided to spend a chunk for a special vacation, I think you'll be perfectly happy.
Beautiful place but has issues...
My wife and I recently spent 8 nights at Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa. We chose this resort specifically because their website implies a peaceful, serene, adult-oriented environment with a first-rate spa and outstanding service. It is also a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World with whom we've previously had some wonderful experiences. The price they quoted was expensive ($575 / night) but we'd both been working very hard, needed some quiet downtime together and they threw in a couple of free nights due to the length of our stay.
My wife and I are in our mid-40s, don't have kids, are pretty easy-going, travel a lot and have stayed at some pretty nice places throughout North America and the Caribbean. We depend heavily on these reviews, so there's nothing more frustrating to us than a 5-star rating accompanied only by “loved the towels!”, or a 1-star rating because the staff didn’t bow down, scatter rose petals and greet you with a string quartet upon your arrival. While we had our frustrations with this place, I'll try to be as thorough and objective as possible.
First the positives:
The resort is situated beautifully, overlooking a serene bay just north of Victoria, BC and is about a 20-minute drive to the city centre and 10 minutes from the airport.
From the moment we checked in, we were treated exceptionally well. We arrived in the morning just as the restaurant’s breakfast seating was finished and before lunch was being served. The restaurant was supposed to be closed but, because our room wasn't quite ready, they seated on the outdoor restaurant patio anyway and provided us with refreshments and pastries - free of charge - until the lunch staff arrived. That was typical of the exceptional treatment we received throughout (most of) the resort.
The Arbutus restaurant offers superb regional food and an extensive wine list. Breakfast is included every morning and includes fresh fruit and pastries followed by a good selection of a la carte items.
The wine store and cafe feature great local vintages and treats. Get to the café early for a sandwich or wrap – they usually go quickly.
According to my wife, the spa - while small - is attended by friendly, knowledgeable and skilled staff who take their time and treat clients royally.
The rooms, while only slightly larger than a standard hotel room, are immaculate and appointed with superb king beds, gas fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, jetted tubs, great showers, fresh flowers and luxurious robes and linens. Turn-down service is provided each evening.
One day, on a whim, we asked the front desk staff if they could find out what a float plane would cost us to drop in on friends who live up the coast, rather than spending 4 hours driving each way. A staff member checked with the usual places but we found the prices to be a little steep. We assumed that was the end of that but, undaunted, she spent the next few hours finding find us a smaller, more affordable alternative and located us at the pool; we booked it and the next day the pilot landed us on the bay literally moments from our where friends live. We’ll never forget it.
Now for the negatives:
If you go on their website, there is a definite implication that this resort is intended for adults. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT THE CASE. The problem is that the resort has its own marina right on Brentwood Bay that allows boaters to dock for a fairly low fee and provides them full access to the resort’s facilities.
While their literature (and the price of their rooms!) "discourages" children under 16, we quickly learned two things: (1) they forgot to tell their marina staff this because a lot of families on boat trips pulled in for a couple of days, then came up and took over the pool area and, (2) sadly, some people are so self-absorbed or, perhaps vacuous, that they simply don’t care whether their children scream and disrupt others who are seeking some peace and quiet. One morning, and I’m not exaggerating, a group of 4 families arrived via the marina with 13 children and literally took over the pool area for several hours. It was so loud that I left and went back to the room and did some work, which I found to be less stressful than listening to the yelling. My wife ended up speaking with one of the proud parents and they said they were given no indication that the resort was primarily intended for adults, nor that they were to keep it down. Another morning, the hot tub had to be shut down, cordoned off, emptied and scrubbed after some children had been in it. Interestingly, that family disappeared rather quickly. The staff wouldn’t tell us what the problem was and we didn’t want to know.
After 3 or 4 days of this situation repeating itself, I asked at the front desk for an appointment with the General Manager, only to find out that they didn’t currently have one. So I ended up getting a meeting with the Acting GM. While she was a highly personable and professional person who listened attentively to our concerns, unfortunately she was actually the HR Manager and clearly had very little authority. I know we weren’t the first or the last of the guests to complain about the screaming at the pool and her rehearsed response was “we’re looking into this issue and hope to resolve it shortly.” Needless to say, this was of no help to us. I don’t blame her; this is a fundamental operating principle that needs to be resolved by the ownership group.
The spa is badly understaffed. While my wife was able to book a pedicure, facial and manicure, they were all at scattered and inconvenient times over the course of the week due to a packed spa schedule. And she went and booked them all within an hour of us arriving! I tried to book a massage a couple of days later after a golf game and there was nothing available for the rest of the week. We strongly suggest that you book any spa treatments well in advance of your arrival date.
I was disappointed that the cheapest glass of wine in the restaurant and adjoining wine bar was $11, particularly since the pub – 25 feet away – had some great wines for less than $7. Again, sometimes we wanted something a little more serene – a chance to sit and chat. 40 minutes and 50 bucks later…
Service in the pub was very slow and, while most of the waiters and waitresses were great, a couple of the bartenders could have used a visit to charm school. Because the swimming pool isn’t licensed, I was told by management that I could go to the pub and get a beer or drink in a go-cup for the pool area. The first time I tried this I was told by a bartender: "What, so you can walk down the street with it? That's illegal, buddy." After my blood pressure stabilized and I reiterated that I was staying at the resort and that the drink was for the pool, he relented without apology. I then got different answers (but with similar attitude) from three others on following days until I finally gave up asking. The pub is always very busy with a lot of local clientele apparently because it’s one of the nicer spots in town, so the staff is probably overworked. But that’s not my problem; hire more staff and train them properly.
The owners of Brentwood Bay need to take some responsibility for deciding what they want this place to be: an upscale adult-oriented resort catering to those willing to pay for serenity and outstanding service; or a family-oriented “stopover” with inconsistent service and kids screaming (amongst other things) in the pool. Pick one, be honest about it, staff appropriately, and set expectations and rates accordingly. They can’t have it both ways and I would suggest, as word gets out, they’ll find that out.
Overall, I'd say our trip was positive: we had fun, staff members were mostly exceptional, the food was good, our room and view were beautiful, the island itself is spectacular and, after all, a trip is what you make of it. But for what we paid and what we were seeking, we were disappointed not only with the aforementioned issues but, just as importantly, by the fact that ownership chose not to address them. I’d love to say we’ll be back but, sadly, we won’t until we believe these things have been resolved.
Nice hotel, but needs more front desk staff
We stayed 3 days at this well appointed, handsome hotel. It has a beautiful view, the spa is very well done, and the dining room has excellent food. The check-in experience was awful, however, as there was only one young over worked lady there to check us in and show us to our room. She wanted to carry our luggage, but she was so petite that there was no way I was going to allow a young girl to carry our luggage from the car. The room was not ready upon check-in, but they readied it within 15 minutes. Word in Victoria is that there is a high turn-over at this hotel, and they have had trouble keeping staff.... and I would support that statement.
It is nice, but don't go there expecting an American style 5 star hotel. It simply isn't there yet. Maybe they will eventually get there.
We spent three fantastic nights here for our honeymoon.
The rooms are very well appointed, with excellent bathrooms.
The hotel is situated in the most beautiful location.
The restaurant serves fabulous food.
Just a great place to relax, unless spending lots of money doesn't allow you to relax.
I would like a list of hotels within walking distance to the Borchart Gardens with comments or recommendations
Re: hotel recomendation
I don't have hotel recommendations, just wonder if you are aware that the gardens are about 20 km/14 miles outside of Victoria. I don't remember any hotels within walking distance, but I've not been there in years, so that may have changed.
Re: hotel recomendation
I'm not sure of your buget but, this hotel VERY close.
Re: hotel recomendation
You can use Mapquest to find nearby hotels. Their results are as follows:
Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa
849 Verdier Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC (1.07 miles away)
Compass Rose Cabins & Marina
799 Verdier Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC (1.10 miles away)
Western 66 Motel Ltd
2401 Mount Newton Cross Rd, Saanichton, BC (3.42 miles away)
Waddling Dog Bar & Grill [Jetgirly thinks this may be a Comfort Inn)
2476 Mount Newton Cross Rd, Saanichton, BC (3.56 miles away)
Super 8 Motel
2477 Mount Newton Cross Rd, Saanichton, BC (3.57 miles away)
I don't think any of those are within walking distance... and I also don't think that there is a sidewalk along the road to the Gardens.