Review: Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Since safe travel during a pandemic is all about travel around your neighbourhood, it’s time for a review and report of a hotel from my home province’s capital in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. This hotel is situated in beautiful Downtown Victoria. It is a perfect location for a stay away from Vancouver for those looking for a hotel that is walkable from the Downtown Victoria core.

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Review: Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

“A pleasant Marriott Hotel that is full featured, conveniently located, but is due for a cosmetic furniture update. It’s currently an excellent value on Marriott Bonvoy points”

Planning and Getting There:

This was the first time I’ve stayed at this particular property in about 10 years. I usually prefer to go to my usual favourite on Vancouver Island, and one of my favourite Westin Hotels of all time; the Westin Bear Mountain. Unfortunately. the Westin Bear Mountain is situated well into the suburbs on Bear Mountain amongst a golf course with limited dining options. This time, I decided being downtown in Victoria would be a better option with more options for dinner for this quick one night stay. The city of Victoria is an occasional seasonal cruise ship destination with 260 ship visits in normal times (2019 numbers) and is often filled with tourists in the summer months.

I booked this stay via the Marriott website direct. As I booked with Marriott Titanium status, I was promised an upgrade to the best available room (including suites), lounge access, and a guaranteed late check out to 4 PM. Despite being in the high summer season, thanks to the lack of international travel and a closed border with Canada and the United States, the rates were pretty soft. The hotel is presently a Marriott Bonvoy Category 5, and is available from 35,000 points.

The hotel is situated just steps from the Inner Harbour area of Downtown Victoria. The hotel is steps from most downtown restaurants, offices and is also situated close to many attractions, including the Victoria Museum and Whale Watching day trip attractions in Victoria.

The hotel is on the border of the downtown area in a transition region that leads to a residential area. I find this really appealing as it’s better than being in the middle of a downtown commerical zone that is dead at night.

The Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour (Center Buidling)

Checking In:

I self drove to the hotel and arrived by car. There was a locked parking garage with a security gate so I parked in the front loading zone and walked into the hotel. When self driving to a hotel, I always like to park directly and head straight up to the lobby but that wasn’t an option today thanks to the security gate.

Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour – medium rise
Front doors – Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour

It was about 5 PM when I arrived. There was no one in line at front desk, which was manned. I happened to notice that there were 3 suites available on the Marriott app for purchase on the way over to hotel. As a Marriott Bonvoy Titanium level member, the Marriott App was showing me a soft upgrade to Concierge Floor King Bed. Since Marriott has taken over the loyalty program from Starwood Preferred Guest, I find that you have to be much more aggressive in asking for upgrades and benefits that you’re entitled to, otherwise hotels will just pass you over. Marriott Titanium level members are entitled to the best available room, including standard suites. As a result, this time, I pro-actively asked for suite upgrade at the check in. There was a little checking on the computer and a suite was offered up as available on the 13th floor. I was asked about whether I wanted a mobile key and I just took the regular key.

Lobby – Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour

With key in hand, I self parked the car and headed up to room.

The Room: A One Bedroom Suite, 1 King, Sofa Bed, Corner Suite, Balcony.

I led myself into room #1306, which was a one bedroom corner suite. The room was configured with a king bed, a sofa bed, a small balcony and was on the corner of the thirteenth floor.

The first impressions were good. It was a nice large room. My first impression was that it was a nice large room but wow, was it ever dated in color scheme. It contained the usual, and now very dated, colors of India in Marriott gold and red. It was probably the original colors from when the hotel opened in around 2007.

One Bedroom Suite – Corner
Separate Dining Area
Sitting area in Royal Yellow and Red Colors

Despite the colors, it had a full nice separate dining area and seating area. The room was also quite spacious.

The bedroom was quite comfortable, with a large sized king bed. The room also featured a large old school style armoire that hid a television set. The armoire was so large, it could even fit the old cathode ray tube television sets.

King Bed – One Bedroom Suite
Comfortable Marriott “Red” – perfect for relaxing
Old School Styled Armoire

There was a nice sized bathroom that was quite large. The bathroom featured two vanity sinks, with ensuite access off the bedroom and to the front door.

There was also a separate room and separate shower and tub. The shower was a little on the small side by modern standards, but perfectly adequate for a Marriott hotel.

The room also featured a wet bar, a microwave and a small fridge, which was handy for cooling off the bottled water in the room.

A well equipped room with a Wet Bar, Fridge and Microwave

Back in the living area, there was a nice view of the local residential area overlooking Beacon Hill park and the back of Empress hotel.

Balcony Views from Room #1306
Views looking towards the Victoria Museum

I was pretty happy with the room. It’s always nice to have a little extra space.

The hotel layout was as follows. It appeared that there were at least two suites per floor on the front side of the hotel.

Floor Layout – Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour

Around the Hotel:

There is an “M” Lounge at the hotel. It’s right off the lobby. It was closed thanks to my travels during the pandemic. As a result. I don’t have any photos for this particular report. It would have been available to me as an Elite Member on a complimentary basis.

M Lounge Access Door

There was a small gym on the second floor with the indoor pool. There were treadmills in the gym and free weights. This would be perfect for the winter months, but it didn’t make any sense to me to use indoor treatdmils when you are almost next to some of the most gorgeous coastline in the Pacific Northwest just steps from the hotel.

Indoor Pool

Nearby the Hotel:

Instead of hanging out at the hotel, I decided to go for a run through nearby Beacon Hill Park.

Beacon Hill Park is a very short trot from the hotel. It is a large city park surrounded by an urban residential neighbourhood.

I ran through the park to Mile Zero marker of the Trans Canada Highway.

Mile Zero of the Trans Canada Highway

There were also spectacular coastal views nearby from the hotel.

Victoria Coastline
Views to the United States across the water from Beacon Hill Park

I headed back to the hotel and went to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

On may way out the next day, I happened to notice quite a few commercial furniture boxes being staged in the underground package. I suspect that a furniture update for the rooms is shortly underway on a phased basis. This is great news for this particular property as it has many things going for it.

The Marriott Inner Harbour Bottom Line:

I enjoyed my stay at the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour. It was a great full featured hotel with a good location. The Corner Suite corner is a great upgrade as a Titanium member. I thought it was a steal at a Category 5 but the rooms need a little bit of an update. I really enjoyed my stay and despite the older decor, the property met all my needs. Thankfully, it seems that an update is not too far off. Hopefully, this property remains a Category 5 after the update as it represents a great value.

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