Photos by Jenny Hawes
Searching for a perfect Island staycation? Look no further than Brentwood Bay Resort, tucked in the peaceful harbour located close to the Mill Bay Ferry. Offering luxurious hotel rooms, a spa, marina, restaurants, eco-adventures, and outdoor patio space, this destination will provide you with the perfect balance of outdoor adventure along with the opportunity to pamper your body and tempt your palate. General manager Natasha Richardson states this succinctly, encouraging guests to simply “do nothing for a while except to experience joy.”
Built in 2004, this beautiful resort was the vision of four local businessmen, who purchased the property where the previous Brentwood Lodge was located; they replaced the original building with a structure that is visually stunning and captures the essence of a West Coast retreat. The resort was sold in 2013 to an offshore company, but is still run very much like a local independent business with great connections to the community, making it a fabulous destination for visitors and locals alike.
Upon check-in, guests are greeted with a glass of bubbly from the Saanich Peninsula’s Sea Cider Farm, a lovely way to kick off your stay. The 33 rooms at the resort are beautifully furnished and offer spectacular water views. The resort’s bottom floor is pet-friendly, so for a small fee guests are welcome to bring along their pet. While guests may choose to bring their children, it should be noted that both the pools and spa area are not open to anyone under 16.
Visitors will appreciate the beauty of Brentwood Bay Resort with its solid wood structure and West Coast feel. Beautiful paintings, etchings, and sculptures done by local artists are featured throughout the hotel, adding to the overall ambiance of this space. The relaxing and peaceful aura of the resort is indisputable, and views of the beautiful harbour are always within your line of vision.
And if you are looking for exceptional dining experiences, Brentwood Bay Resort will meet your culinary needs. The Arbutus Room (currently open only on weekends) features casually elegant West Coast dining, accompanied by live Jazz music in the evenings. The pub is popular with locals and hotel guests alike and features everything from pub fare to sushi. Guests of all ages, including children, are welcome here, as this is very much a community gathering place.
COVID has certainly presented its share of challenges to the resort, although Richardson is quick to point out that it “was not the worst thing that has ever happened. We took it as an opportunity to pause; we rewrote our mission statement and reassessed our values.” It became an opportunity to reflect on what they were doing and make a decision to “do what we’re doing a little bit better.”
They have appreciated support from the local community who have taken the opportunity to stay at the resort, visit the spa, and dine at the pub and restaurant. The resort is also thankful for government supports that have been put into place, recognizing that they have been more fortunate than many of Victoria’s downtown hotels. Their occupancy rates this past March even exceeded bookings from March 2019. Richardson senses that both staff and guests now have a greater appreciation for what Brentwood Bay Resort can offer, and she feels that everyone has “a new sense of gratitude.”
If you love the outdoors, then Brentwood Bay Resort’s marina also offers guests some extraordinary experiences. Paddleboard and kayak rentals are popular and there are so many great opportunities for exploring the local inlets, such as the beautiful Tod Inlet, which backs onto The Butchart Gardens. Post-COVID, customers will also be able to once again take advantage of the marina’s boat, which offers eco tours, taxi services, and private rentals, including the opportunity to dine on board!
Brentwood Bay Resort has been recognized by the Victoria Chamber for its outstanding service, having won both Employer of the Year and Business of the Year awards in 2016. The culture created at the resort embraces respect and value for both customers and staff. “Everyone is deserving of an extraordinary experience, even the staff,” Richardson says. “There’s a lot of laughter, a lot of camaraderie—we tease each other, we compliment each other… it’s pretty special.”
So, if you are looking for an extraordinary experience right here on Vancouver Island, now is the time to book your Brentwood Bay Resort getaway. Reservations can be made by calling the resort directly or booking online. Enjoy some well-deserved “peace and joy!”
Address: 849 Verdier Ave, Brentwood Bay Instagram: @brentwoodbayresort
NOTE: At time of publication, COVID restrictions require that only patio dining service is available at the resort.