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There are a number of reasons to visit Vancouver Island and a visit to our province’s capital is definitely one of them.

We go to Victoria several times each year to visit family. However, we don’t stay with family – preferring not to be a burden on our hosts and enjoying the comforts and surroundings of accommodations in the Inner Harbour.

This visit we stayed at a charming old house called Pendray Inn & Tea House located on the Inner Harbour and part of a complex known as the Huntingdon Manor Hotel.

Pendray Inn & Tea House

This charming historic manor was built in the late 1800’s by William Joseph Pendray who lived there with his wife and 4 sons until his untimely death in 1913. The manor was sold by the Pendray children in 1939 to the Missionary Sisters of Notre Dame des Anges who used it as a girl’s bordering school for many years. In the 1980’s it was purchased and restored. The Huntingdon Manor Hotel was built next to it.

Pendray Inn & Tea House

Pendray Inn is a boutique hotel offering lovely Victorian-era rooms with modern-day touches for perfect comfort.

Their breakfast (included in the price of your stay) is presented on a three-tiered platter and boasts a delectable combination of sweet and savory flavours with excellent coffees and a variety of teas. They also offer traditional afternoon tea with fancy sandwiches, sweets and other delectable goodies.

Things to do in Victoria? Check out Hermann’s Jazz Club on View Street for some great live music. Butchart Gardens is always a treat. The Royal BC Museum has some amazing displays. If you like to go through old stately manors be sure to visit Craigdarroch Castle.

Hermann’s Jazz Club
Phil Dwyer & Ryan Oliver at Hermann’s Jazz Club

There is a very retro, (think 1970’s) style restaurant next to the Huntington Manor called Harbour House Restaurant that serves oysters Rockefeller, steak Neptune, trout almondine and all sorts of yummy European-inspired dishes with waiters who prepare your Caesar salad right at your table the way they used to so long ago.

Harbour House Restaurant, Victoria, BC

Why not take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the downtown area or visit Beacon Hill Park in the James Bay area – just a short walk from the Downtown Harbour area. You can also go whale-watching in Victoria. There are several companies offering tours located on the harbour. We have gone out with Prince of Whales tours and had a first-rate experience.

Victoria, BC

And, just once, you should probably stay at the renowned EMPRESS HOTEL – the beautiful building with all the vines growing up its magnificent facade. We have stayed there – it was dated but charming.

The Empress Hotel Victoria, BC

The famous Bengal Lounge was repurposed in 2016 as a multi-function room – so the wonderful jazz in the Raj decor is no longer. However, we did hear a great guitar duo in the Lobby Lounge located in the middle of the Empress. The waiter there hinted that the Bengal Lounge would be making a comeback and that very little had been done to alter its appearance other than a fresh coat of paint and some new carpet. The Bengal Lounge was the place for drinks and jazz for over 46 years! When you visit, be sure to find out if its up and running again.

The former Bengal Lounge, Empress Hotel , Victoria (stock photo)

Other places we have stayed in Victoria:

The Laurel Point Inn – fabulous, modern and right on the Harbour.

The Hotel Grand Pacific – also on the Harbour and very nice if a bit dated.

Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa – about 20 minutes out of the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. Located next to a picturesque marina. Highly recommended. Excellent dining room.