Many of Victoria’s older restaurants and accommodations, and even Royal Victoria Golf Course, have scary stories attached to them. Guests at Abigail’s Hotel often ask for a ghost story, and the incredibly helpful staff would like to tell them something. Unfortunately, the ghosts did not come.
On the edge of Victoria city center, just steps from Inner Harbor, Abigail’s Hotel is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. No longer! I’ll let the cat out of the bag! I have lived here for more than 20 years and I drive countless times, always thinking what it was like. I was in a number of majestically old hotels and they were all nice but often disappointing. Not so with Abigail.
As we pass the hotel entrance, we immediately notice the well-kept English gardens. Passing between Coach House and Inn, both buildings look very similar. At first glance, we could not say that they were built 50 years apart. We will park and we will be immediately welcomed by Tomáš, the super friendly reception staff. He leads us to our room and fully informs us about the hotel and services. Breakfast in bed sounds tempting, but we opt for breakfast with other guests.
Our room is spacious and decorated with almost every equipment we could ever wish for. Are they delicious welcome cookies, a cozy couch in front of the fireplace, a bed with four posters or a marble bathroom with a spa bath and a rain shower? Our room is decorated with rich country furniture, goose feathers and pillows, a silk bedspread and pillows with a good throw. It is luxurious and very comfortable.
The library in the main building is a meeting place, and snacks and free snacks are available from 05:00 to 07:00. In a short time we meet friendly people from Louisiana, Nevada, Ontario and Alberta. Tomas is at hand and takes care of us.
For dinner we go for a short walk to the center, no more than 3 or 4 short blocks. We visit a very popular noodle house to find out what it’s all about. Well, not what we expected, but a unique experience and very tasty food! I didn’t expect to ruin my wife with wands and a pull-out box, but there is nothing good for my queen!
In the morning we sit down for a delicious gourmet breakfast. Most guests have a large table. When we arrive late, we sit at a table for four, and soon a young couple from Oregon joins them. Abigail’s is designed and operated so that people can easily communicate with each other, which increases the joy of visiting. If you come in privacy, the spacious rooms can be your private hide and you can order breakfast in bed!
After breakfast, Marion Hansen (CEO) will take us on a tour of the hotel. Each room is unique, but they all have the same special features that make Abigail unique. All employees, from marketing, management, cleaning and catering, are friendly and helpful. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would stay anywhere else.
You can tell how much they care, especially when Marion tells us how he invited some of the neighbors to Christmas dinner. The owner’s philosophy is certainly well rooted in all employees and is evident in the care and attention to detail in the design and style of the hotel as well as in the services provided to guests.
When we look, we get a small gift bag containing two bottles of water, gifts and a guide to other “selected accommodations”. Thanks to my work in tourism, I am really appreciated by companies that take it seriously. This business has indeed received its “five stars”.
Now is the time to play tourists! Our choice for this day is a visit to the Victoria Victoria Gallery. The Art Gallery is minutes from Abigail’s Hotel and is located in the historic Spencer Mansion in the Rockland neighborhood. We go there because there is an art exhibition by Takao Tanabe, an artist born in Seal Cove, British Columbia. The artist holds several important awards and is internationally recognized. His art provides a unique view of the land, sea and sky seen from his extensive and beautiful landscape paintings. The sheer size of his paintings represents an amazing vision of Canada and especially the West Coast.
We continue our exploration and set out for lunch in Sidney by the sea. Since we hit most of the local restaurants, we are looking for a new experience. A friend mentioned the Dakota restaurant at the Victoria Flying Club, so let’s check it out! From our table we can see the runway, so after lunch a number of taxi planes quite close.
We heard that breakfast was appreciated and found that they serve breakfast all day on weekends. We make our selection and enjoy a very good lunch.
After lunch we will explore Sidney and do some shopping and trips.
On the way home, I think of our wonderful stay at Abigail’s. I think of scary stories that I could make up for inquisitive minds. The fact is, they just don’t need a ghost. Abigail is for sale!
Reflections on Abigail’s: calm, quiet, comfortable, luxurious but not flashy, friendly, meeting place, charming, romantic, very special. The best accommodation in Victoria!