Hotel Grand Pacific

Hotel Grand Pacific

22 March, 2012
West coast getaway
Victoria, BC offers in refined eco luxury

Victoria, capital of Canada’s westernmost province British Columbia, is one of the sunniest places in Canada and is a popular getaway for those looking to escape from nearby and often-rainy Vancouver.  The eco-luxurious Hotel Grand Pacific, only a half hour ride from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal (if you’re coming by ferry from Vancouver) and just a block from the US ferry terminal, is a great place to spend a few days relaxing in Victoria.  We recently visited and were warmly welcomed by Grand Pacific’s amiable concierge and staff.
Guests arriving at the hotel are first greeted by a family of ducks gliding along in the small pond in the front. We later found out this actually part of the property’s integrated pest management program.  With such a well-planned ecological initiative, it’s not surprising that Hotel Grand Pacific has been awarded a 4-Key Eco-Rating each year under the Hotel Association of Canada since 2005.
With 304 non-smoking rooms across ten floors and panoramic views of both the harbour and city streets, the hotel’s excellent location offers a great perspective of Victoria’s downtown area.  The Pacific rooms overlook the calm waters of the picturesque Victoria Inner Harbour; at night, you can see the whole downtown Victoria area glowing warmly as all the buildings light up.  In all of the guest rooms, automatic infrared sensors enable the hotel to control energy usage by only turning on heat while guests are present.  Throughout the property, energy efficient lighting, low-flow toilets, low-flow showerheads and non-toxic cleaning supplies contribute to a healthier and more eco-friendly guest environment.
Adjacent to the majestic BC Legislative Buildings, the hotel’s convenient location provides easy access to Victoria’s downtown area where you can stroll along well-known landmarks such as Bastion Square, Market Square and Chinatown - the oldest one in Canada! - as well as antique shops on Fort Street and the numerous local coffee houses.  For those seeking nature experiences, there are numerous whale watching tour boats that you can join, with ticketing right across from the hotel. 
The hotel itself offers a serene atmosphere, and you can easily while away an afternoon with a cup of organic coffee or green tea in your own hotel room if a rare rainy day should occur.  On the note of amenities, Hotel Grand Pacific’s team pays detailed attention to sourcing eco-friendly and locally made products, including their tea and coffee, while bath amenities are biodegradable and cruelty-free.  Even used guest soap is donated to a local organization to be sanitized and turned into detergent, which is then sold in local grocery stores.  Guests are encouraged to minimize waste by using the recycling bins in all the rooms, as well as to change towels and sheets only when needed.  
Local sourcing is at its best when it comes to the dining experience here.  Hotel Grand Pacific’s chefs are committed to sourcing locally-made fresh ingredients and this “farm-to-table” concept is reflected exquisitely in the wide variety of options at the hotel’s restaurants, lounge and café.  From deliciously smoked salmon to Asian-inspired congee served with Ocean Wise BC salmon and halibut, only the freshest ingredients are selected to create savory dishes, and thoughtful organic wine pairings round out any meal.  Understanding that food and beverage contributes to the majority of the hotel’s waste stream, Hotel Grand Pacific is also developing a comprehensive food wastage minimization and composting program.
Hints of the East can be found throughout the Grand Pacific which fuse beautifully with the West –including a delightful dim sum menu served on weekends, tea-inspired cocktail options, and Oriental furniture found throughout the hotel.  Unknown to the untrained eye, the independent hotel’s Asian owners have even incorporated Feng Shui into the design of the hotel by building the hotel into the shape of a dragon, with the dragon’s spine formed by the hotel’s entrance canopy and the duck pond serving as the wing of the dragon, complemented by marble tiles and carpet that resemble the dragon’s skin.
Considering that business travellers and meeting functions play a major role in the hotel’s clientele, this seems a nice idea, as the Feng Shui may bring luck and fortune to business conducted on the premises or by its guests! On the green side, Hotel Grand Pacific keeps wastage at business functions to a minimum with measures like serving water in jugs rather than individual bottles.  If you like to keep fit while on business trips, the hotel’s Victoria Athletic Club runs yoga and other fitness classes.  Not to be missed is the brand new “SportsArt Green System” athletic equipment that enables you to create energy while working out on the treadmill and bikes, and the energy generated feeds back into the electricity grid!  Hotel Grand Pacific sets a milestone in being the first hotel in the world to incorporate this feature into its fitness facilities.  As an added incentive, you can even earn points by tracking how much energy you have produced and redeem points for discounts, products and services at the hotel and local businesses.
Whether in Victoria for business or vacation, Hotel Grand Pacific is an easy eco-friendly choice that offers great value combined with a high degree of quality and service. We look forward to seeing more great things from this very special property.

By: Karry Lai


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