Where to Stay: Loden Hotel
Loden Hotel is next level - everyone is friendly, helpful, and attentive. I immediately noticed the small details that make a hotel stand out: like housemade tea and local ginger beer in the lobby if you need a refreshment, or complimentary water and chocolates awaiting you in the room upon arrival.
The room is so chic - I love the modern, luxe decor with a midcentury, homey vibe. And do you see that huge bathtub?! I live in the city so I have a standard-sized tub, so that's the first thing I check out in a hotel room when I travel. Loden Hotel's tub comfortably fits two, so I popped over a few blocks to LUSH Cosmetics and picked up some bath bombs for an evening in.
For a full "MTV Cribs"-styled tour, watch my Snapchat video at the end of the post!
Where to Lunch: Homer St. Cafe & Bar
Homer St. Cafe, which is every Instagrammer's dorky picture-perfect dream. Seriously, the French doors and patterned tiles gave me decor inspo for my future house. We had brunch here and shared the Nutella banana Monte Cristo over coffee before our entrees arrived.
What to Do: Stanley Park & Granville Island
Loden Hotel is their complimentary bicycles! The hotel is a mere few blocks away from Stanley Park, so we went for a gorgeous, picturesque ride around the loop. Vancouver is such a bike-friendly city, with easy-to-identify and generous bike lanes that even put Seattle to shame!
Where to Dine: Tableau Bar Bistro
Tableau Bar Bistro also happens to be adjacent to the Loden Hotel lobby, so that was convenient for us to swing in for dinner. We started with glasses of champagne paired with local Joyce Point oysters and a charcuterie plate. The menu is classically French, so of course, Husband ordered steak frites and I had mussels frites. We subbed out one order of fries for sautéed mushrooms, which were so buttery and divine. Lastly, we concluded the meal with mango sorbet topped over a coconut creme brûlée.
VANCOUVER to VICTORIA
How to Get There: Harbour Air
Harbour Air is only minutes away from Loden Hotel, and the hotel offers a complimentary shuttle. This was our first time on a seaplane, and it's an awesome way to travel! For starters, we only had to check in 30 minutes ahead of time and boarding took 5 mins -- plus, the whole flight was 25 minutes. Usually, a ferry ride over to Victoria takes hours. Not to mention, being in a smaller aircraft, I felt (like a bird!) so much closer to the scenery and the views were breathtaking.
Where to Stay: Magnolia Hotel
Magnolia Hotel who walked us up a few blocks to the hotel. Magnolia Hotel has an elevated, classic charm that fits in so well with the style of Victoria. The room is cozy (equipped with a fireplace!) and the decor is sophisticated. I was pleasantly surprised to find a deep-soaking tub (!!!), and they provided a bottle of bath bubbles made by a local purveyor.
There is a sense of community within Victoria that permeates throughout Magnolia Hotel. For example, I chatted with the doorman who was attending high school and working there part-time. He had the idea to grow herbs on the rooftop, got his plan okayed, and now the hotel uses his mint for their drinks!
What to Do: Bike Loop > Chinatown & Downtown
Magnolia Hotel also provides complimentary bikes, as well as various routes for you to tour depending on your interests. We chose "Bikes, Beans & Blooms" and took off on a lovely ride, with some of my favorite stops being the Government House and Beacon Hill Park. At one point, a horse-drawn carriage trotted down the park as I was near a trickling creek shaded by a willow tree, and I felt like I was in a quintessential Victorian novel!
Where to Eat
Catalano, the restaurant connected to the lobby of the Magnolia Hotel.
Cicchetti Bar (order the prosciutto-filled cheese croquettes).
Magnolia Hotel. Husband ordered the halibut fish and chips, and the halibut was caught in Haida Gwaii, BC. We also shared the chilled seafood platter.
VICTORIA to SEATTLE
How to Get There: Kenmore Air
If you're interested, book the "Best of Two Cities" travel package here. Thank you to Loden Hotel and Magnolia Hotel for the best time!