To celebrate our 12th anniversary, Hubby and I splurged and booked two nights at the Sooke Harbour House which is one of the top 100 hotels in the world, as voted by Conde Nast Traveller readers -- and it is in our back yard, less than an hour away.
And you know what? It was one of the best experiences I've had both for accommodation and dining, despite a major, though completely unexpected hitch.*
Our room included a large shower (large = half the size of our bedroom at home) and a private jacuzzi tub on the deck. Add a fireplace and a queen size bed plus high ceilings and lots of little extras and I could have been happy with just that.
Of course there is also a 5 star restaurant on site that specializes in fresh, local fare; the hotel is situated on the water's edge, not far from the Southern end of the West Coast Trail; and the hotel boasts an impressive and ever-changing array of art by local artisans and a big library, free for guests to use during their stay. They even offer small televisions and dvd players and had an impressively eclectic selection of films (including two we hadn't seen).
Would I go back? Heck yes, if our budget allowed. Would I recommend it to others? Absolutely.
And you know what? If you live in the region, you should go have a peek anyway -- through the "quiet season" (i.e. now) they have an open house every Sunday from 1-4; you can peek in the rooms (each one is decorated to a theme -- ours was the Phycologist's Study) and see all the artwork.
*We had selected the "Kitchen Adventure" package which included three hours in the kitchen with the chef and staff along with a tour of the gardens. Unfortunately, just a short time before we were set to meet in the kitchen, the chef was called away for a family emergency and the sous-chef was out of province and understandably unreachable. We were extended a gift certificate for a "do-over" of that portion, including another night in the hotel -- far beyond the minimal service I have come to expect from the hospitality industry in recent years. (I'll let you know when we take advantage of the do-over.)