By WAHEEDA HARRIS
A peaceful retreat from the busy streets of Victoria, this Tudor-revival-style bed-and-breakfast is three blocks from the Inner Harbour area, close enough to walk from where the seaplanes land.
The main portion of the 23-room Abigail’s Hotel was built in the 1930s as the Bessborough Apartments, named after the Governor General of Canada at the time, the Earl of Bessborough. In 1985 the building was converted to a bed-and-breakfast inn, undergoing a careful restoration, and was listed on the Historic Registry of the City of Victoria. The property has received awards many times over: it was on the TripAdvisor Best Hotels list of 2012 and was named one of the 10 most romantic B&Bs for 2012 by BedandBreakfast.com.
A stay starts out with a warm welcome: seasonal flowers and fresh-baked cookies are placed in every room. Every morning, guests are served a three-course breakfast and every evening a cinq à sept (happy-hour bite) with hors d’oeuvres.
Antique wood furniture, such as writing desks and armoires, fill the rooms, which are decorated with bold patterned floral and striped textiles in rich reds, yellows and greens, as well as historic art of old Victoria. Rooms come in five styles, though each room is individually decorated. The Sunflower rooms are the smallest at about 185 square feet and with queen-size beds; larger Country rooms have one king-size bed or two doubles; Fireplace rooms have a king-size beds and wood-burning fireplace.
The largest (350 square feet) rooms are the Honeymoon rooms, on the top floor, with two-person Jacuzzis in marble bathrooms, four-poster king beds with custom-made throws and wood-burning fireplaces. The six suites in the Coach House may be a bit smaller but have all the same amenities as Honeymoon rooms plus leather love seats facing the fireplace and are in a newer building, constructed in 1998. All rooms have mp3 docking station and wireless Internet.
Beyond the warm lures of the rooms, you can mingle in common areas such as the library, which has a piano, or on the outdoor patio, or get some pampering at the Pearl Spa Suite, where treatments include massage, body wraps and manicure/pedicure.
906 McClure St.
Victoria, BC V8V 3E7
1-800-561-6565 or 250-388-5363
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