Why is that sometimes locals are the last to know where the hotel treasure is buried?
Yesterday I took a wrong turn in downtown Vancouver and ended up on Homer Street, one block off my usual walking circuit.
When I looked around to get my bearings, I noticed a brightly painted heritage building–the Victorian Hotel–which I took to be brand new.
Turns out this independent budget hotel has been quietly earning an international reputation for several years now, and after touring the property I can see why.
In a city where “cheap” and “charming” are pretty much mutually exclusive terms, the Victorian Hotel is a genuine exception.
The hotel is located on Homer near Pender, on the border of one of Vancouver’s edgier neighbourhoods.
Give it five years and the rapidly gentrifying street will be more gloss than grit. But for now the location–which is more down-at-heel than actually dangerous–is the only less-than-desirable aspect of this 50-room property.
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For everyone’s peace of mind, you have to buzz the front desk to gain access to the lobby.
Once inside, though, it’s like you’ve entered a quaint European auberge, complete with a welcoming fireplace and breakfast room.
The front-desk staff are faultlessly polite and helpful.
The rooms are immaculate and well-appointed with large comfortable beds, fine linens and dark wood antiques. Some share bathrooms, which are also clean and stylish.
It’s true that the vintage hardwood flooring is a tad squeaky and the walls are perhaps thinner than in new hotels, but the charm factor is very high here. (Besides, if you don’t already travel with ear plugs, you should start.)
The windows actually open and while there is no air-conditioning, such extreme cooling is seldom necessary in Vancouver’s coastal climate. Fans are available in every room.
Rack rates range from $69 to $179, and include free wireless and a simple breakfast.
Behind the building, secure parking is available for $10 to $15 per night, depending on the season. (But a car is hardly necessary; it’s an easy walk to most Vancouver attractions.)
From now on, the Victorian will rank high on my Top 5 list of budget hotels in Vancouver.
Stayed at the Victorian Hotel? Please share your experience in the comments section below…
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