I won a 2 night stay at this beautiful new posh resort called Parkside in downtown Victoria and we loved it so much we stayed an extra night. This is an urban vacation resort that I’d have no problems recommending to my family, friends and colleagues. They are very service oriented and they are also very respectful of your privacy at the same time. We have stayed at ‘fancy’ places before but some of them we never returned to due to snobby or bad service. We were treated very well and had a great experience during our stay there. Parkside‘s run by Aviawest and it is targeting LEED® Platinum Certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design; Green Building Rating System and principles of sustainability). A lofty but very responsible business model and goal. I have more respect for companies who are environmental and/or socially responsible.
We were impressed by the beautiful outside facade and the landscaping work before we had entered the building. If you’re environmentally conscious you’ll also love that their underground parking lot is already set up for electric cars with chargers on the walls; the lot is also heated.
We checked in the evening of November 26th and were greeted by two young staff members. Our check-in agent was very friendly and took the time to give us a briefer on the resort’s layout. She also gave us information on the art show that was happening in the resort’s atrium area that evening and updated us on what movie was playing in the private theatre as well.
Our suite had contemporary and comfortable furniture and everything was as clean as expected for a brand new resort. The suite featured 2 gas fireplaces; one in the living room and one in the bedroom with remote controls for setting the temperature. The kitchen has all brand new appliances including a full stove/ranges, microwave oven, new fridge with a freezer that has compartments, a dishwasher and an electric kettle. There is also an in-suite washing machine in one of the side closets. Just off from the kitchen is the first bathroom; this one had a shower. The main bathroom is accessed from the bedroom and featured a deep bathtub that is big enough to fit two people. The bed is very comfortable and the sheets were fit for royalty. For entertainment you can get your fix with either one of the two flat screen TVs in the suite. A large one is in the living room and a smaller one is mounted in the bedroom. The suite has a nice sized deck and you’re protected from harsh weather conditions by the surrounding buildings and walls.
After we settled and unpacked we decided to head down to check out the pool and hot tub facilities. I had gone down to the atrium a bit earlier to see the art show there. My partner isn’t as keen about viewing art so he stayed in the suite while I went to look and talk with the artists. The first place we entered as we went to the pool was the changing area. The change rooms were immaculate and there are lockers for guests to use but you’ll need your own padlock if you want to secure your items. There were only 3 other people using the facilities when we went down the first evening. Dean and I both enjoyed the hot tub area but we both found the pool to be a tad too cold to stay in for too long. It would be lovely if the pool temperature was increased by a few degrees for a more comfy indoor swimming experience. What I loved most about the pool and hot tub is the fact that they are both high in ozone and low in chlorine. I’m pretty sensitive to chemicals like chlorine and usually have red eyes or some kind of irritation when I use facilities that have a high chlorine content. Neither of us had any physical irritation after using Parkside‘s facilities! There’s only 10% chlorine in the pool and hot tub so it didn’t even bother me that much when some water went up my nose!
The next day my parents and my friend Tina came to visit me at the resort. While we were chatting in the suite I received a call from the concierge, Jeff, asking me if I was interested in a tour of the resort. I thought it would be a fab way to learn more about it and invited my parents and friend to come on the tour with me while Dean was at work. Our tour guide was Jonathan, a friendly young man, and he did a nice job of showing us the features. We loved the atrium and lobby areas; both are furnished and decorated beautifully and plants are abundant. The Penthouse lounge and patio were wonderful and although we didn’t spend too much time up there we thought it would be a great place to gather with other guests and friends. The waterfalls in and outside the resort are a great way to numb one against the downtown traffic noise; it’s like sleeping while there is a rainstorm outside. Dean and I will most likely be back at the resort next Spring or Summer to see what has changed since our initial visit. I’m looking forward to seeing how the roof top patio gardens bloom and smell – apparently there is a lot of lavendar plants up there and it will be a ‘scentual’ heaven come Spring!
Two features of the resort that I wish we had spent more time using were the private movie theatre and the fitness room. We didn’t have time to utilize all the features available but that is even more reason to go back there for another staycation/respite time.
What I wished that Parkside offered or would change:
1] In-room menus of local restaurants for guests who wish to order in food
2] In house restaurant or cafe that offered breakfast; apparently there’s a cafe being built on the lower level but I’m unsure if that will offer full breakfasts
3] Telephone directories in each suite – there was none in ours nor in the suites of some other guests we talked to while there
4] Increasing the temperature of the pool so it is more comfortable to swim in
5] Bathrobes for guests
6] Staycation packages for locals
I love staycations because I’m a caretaker for a disabled parent, am disabled myself and sometimes just need a short break from the daily stress/responsibilities. Staycations allow me to remain close to home in case there’s an emergency to be attended to and they definitely cut down on transportation expenses. Try out Parkside for your next vacation or staycation – you won’t regret it!