Inns and a Castle –the luxurious Rockland District of Victoria
The historic Rockland section of Victoria in British Columbia has stately homes, government residences, a grand Castle, delightful gardens, an eclectic Art Gallery and the Langham Court Theater, plus an inviting array of Victoria bed and breakfasts for the discriminating traveler. You may just want to try them all out and vote for your favorite! The Rockland section is a quick 5-minute drive from the Inner Harbor and Downtown area. Sitting above Victoria, it provides magnificent views of downtown, the ocean and mountains…
Begin your day by walking through the lovely 32 acres of gardens surrounding the Governor’s Residence and then down a little lane to the Fairholme Manor. As you enter this 1885 mansion, magnificently restored by owners Sylvia and Ross, you encounter an elegant world with impeccable attention to detail. Each room has its own unique artwork and fresh flower arrangements. Some of the guest rooms at this bed and breakfast have breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains, others soft leather chairs, others deep soaking tubs with candles and fireplaces. It is the quality of care by the owners and staff that elicit rave reviews and the wish to stay longer, if only to be able to enjoy another scrumptious breakfast perfectly presented.
Now walk through the mostly residential streets of this historic neighborhood and up a hill till you arrive at the legendary Craigdarroch Castle. Four floors of rooms chronicle the lives of the Dunsmuir family. The Victorian stained-glass windows and leaded glass are in themselves well worth the visit. In addition, the oak paneling, the views overlooking downtown Victoria and her harbor, and the 2000-pound billiard table, along with the docents’ stories, give one a perspective into the Victorian life of this grand city. The minimal entrance fee helps fund the continuing restoration of this castle.
For your next bed and breakfast in Victoria, stay at the Edwardian mansion called Abbeymore Manor where you have a wide selection of rooms and rates, all offered with the warm hospitality of your caring owner/hosts Ian and Anne. Share stories and a glass of wine or tea around a large fireplace in the common room. Breakfast is a filling affair, whether you dine at a table for two or enjoy conversations with other guests. Everything from wireless Internet access to TV and DVD players is available, but what stands out the most at this Victoria bed and breakfast is the professional and attentive care your innkeepers provide.
Walk down the street to one of the best art museums in Canada, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. While it has over 15,000 works in its permanent collection, including some incredible amber and ivory carvings from China, it also focuses on many local artists, even providing programs to help them develop to their full potential. One can see Pacific Northwest favorite works, such as Emily Carr’s First Nations landscapes or portraits by artist Myfanwy Pavelic, in addition to an ever-evolving display of exhibitions.
And for your third night, head to the award winning Prior House Inn, a bed and breakfast in Victoria with a rich history of its own. This heritage Tudor-style home, built by former Premier Edward Prior in 1911, has won both the 4-Diamond AAA rating as well as the 5-star Canada Select Award. Stay in the Lieutenant Governor’s Royal Suite to experience luxury, include the canopied King Bed, mountain and ocean vistas from the balcony, as well as your private Spa bathroom with its gilded walls, crystal chandeliers and an impressive marble massage tub for two. Breakfast any season offers lovely views of the English-style gardens with brick paths, as well as a dining room featuring white oak woodwork, or you can choose to have breakfast in bed. Innkeeper/owner Candis, an experienced world traveler herself, along with her staff, provide every amenity a guest might need.
Don’t forget the shopping. The Rockland section of Victoria offers Antiques Row, up and down Fort Street with everything from furniture to china to silverware and Victorian bric a brac. As you journey back to the ferry leave time to stop at Mattick Farms for original artwork as well as jewelry, glasswork and ceramics. There is also a Farmer’s Market and plenty of offerings for wine connoisseurs and Foodies.
Stay at one bed and breakfast in this stunning Rockland section of Victoria or make your trip into an adventure by trying them all; it is a memorable experience either way. While tourists flock here in the summer months, Victoria offers a very temperate climate, with far less rain or snow than one assumes, so this city shines in every season! From grand accommodations to grand experiences, art to castles to gardens to shopping, Victoria makes an extraordinary getaway.
Still undecided? Browse through the 19,000 B&Bs and country inns that specialize in other events and locations that may interest you. ILoveInns also offers Bed and Breakfast Gift Certificates, a perfect solution to help celebrate any occasion.