2009 – stay in a BnB

Victoria B&B guests

Some of our B&B guests relaxing

To stay in a BnB affords extra value at a time when everyone is taking extra care with personal expenditures. We wrote about this in a recent blog and it was re-inforced by an advertisement being placed in the WestJet flight magazine by three Victoria bed and breakfast associations.

The advert speaks of the many complimentary services offered by bed and breakfast accommodations rather than hotels but also rightly wrote that “personal service, comforts and extra efforts are always included”.

We are reminded of this when we look through the comments written in our guest books last year and in the preceding ten years. It is a heart-warming experience to read of such appreciative comments. It’s also an encouragement to realise that we have personally contributed to making their stay in Victoria a memorable one.

So as we approach the 2009 BnB season we do so with some apprehension, not expecting last year’s record occupancy rates, yet with the knowledge that we will be providing our guests with a wonderful break from their daily lives. We look forward to meeting our 2009 guests!

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Valentines’s Day!

A romantic Valentines break at Gazebo B&B

Romantic Valentines Day - in Victoria!

Romantic bed and breakfasts in Victoria, or anywhere else, are ideal settings to bring or add a little romance into your life or, better still, someone else’s.

Wikipedia tells us that little is known about Saint Valentine except for his name and burial place. February 14th may not even be his feast day. As to how he became associated with love and romance is unclear; Chaucer may have had something to do with it. Anyway, who’s complaining? It’s a welcome break in the middle of dull winter.

The photo here is of the whirlpool bathtub the privale ensuite bathroom of our Regency Room. If you look hard enough you’ll see bubble bath too. Although we are full on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th our cottage (romantically secluded in the gardens) and rooms are vacant on all surrounding nights. All have the same lovely two-person whirlpool bath, a fireplace and a private entrance. Romance packages are available. So if it’s not too late for your plans do check our availability calendar and get in touch. We’d love to make your getaway break a special one.

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A hotel or a bed and breakfast?

Hotels or bed and breakfasts? For once we chose a hotel on a recent trip to Toronto. It made sense, being on the airport strip close to the trade show exhibition centre we were attending, with a shuttle bus connecting them.

We selected a leading international chain and booked through their central reservation service; well, tried to. We had emails and telephone calls with numerous people, never the same twice, as they tried to accommodate the mere fact that our flight arrived after their check-in time. We could not call the individual hotel (do they have telephones?, just like a bank). Hmm! Anyway all was settled.

Toronto has always been a place of miserable, money-grabbing people in my jaded mind but this hotel proved me wrong. We were pleased and grateful to them.

But like all hotels they did have a lot of “extra” charges. When we returned to our bed and breakfast and cleared our mail I found a promotional flyer for Whistler, BC. A hotel there from a chain which considers itself Canada’s best, though owned by a Saudi, informed me that “For the Ultimate Experience” I could have these complimentary: a private check-in, private concierge, an exclusive lounge, a deluxe continental breakfast and high speed internet.

In our B&B, guests only deal with one of two people who are at the end of a telephone or email. When here all these complimentary items are indeed free as well as parking (a big one hotel extra), movies, local calls etc. Now I know why I prefer a bed and breakfast!

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Christmas in Victoria

The Magic of Christmas - Butchart GArdens

Christmas at the Butchart Gardens

Although we are closed over Christmas and the New Year (for a welcome break!) Victoria has much to offer its visitors. We have made our annual trip to The Butchart Gardens to see their fabulous pretty Magic of Christmas lights. Features include a skating rink, carol singers and musicians and their Twelve Days of Christmas displays. Their gift shop is one of the best in town, even with a Santa Claus tapestry for sale.

On another evening we went downtown to the Inner Harbour for a parade of lit ships. In the background we enjoyed the 3,333 lights of the Parliament Buildings – I’ll put up a photo of this on our website “sometime” soon.

A day-time trip of note in the weeks prior to Christmas is to wander alongside the creek at Goldstream Park. In the upper regions the salmon are spawning; a fascinating though smelly experience. Lower down a flood plain opens up to view eagles drawn by an easy supper.

Linda and I would like to take this opportunity to wish our past guests (and indeed future ones!) a very happy Christmas.

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Autumn colours in Victoria

Fall in Victoria

October - our front gardens

Just over a year ago we replanted most of a large raised bed in front of our Victoria bed and breakfast. Our neighbour, a Master Gardener who lectures at Glendale Gardens, advised us about the four new trees which would be the focal points. Only last month did we realise just how good her advice was: their autumnal colours were magnificent, each different shades of burnt orange, yellow, red and plum. We have always enjoyed our Japanese maples and these add to our respect for them. The fall colours of Vancouver Island are impressive!

With December now here they are bare of leaves but one will retain rich red bark all winter. We try to make our gardens interesting all year round though the spring and summer are clearly of greatest delight in our Victoria climate. We have cleared most of the millions of leaves which fall each year (oh for just one cent for each one!) and enjoying less gardening for a change.

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