A family vacation is ALWAYS better when you choose the right place to stay. We sure experienced that at Old House Village Hotel & Spa in the Comox Valley.
Awe…March Break. Beautiful and wonderful March Break.
The time of year where our kids get two weeks off from their rigorous studies to run free and wild. I loved March Break as a kid: the freedom, the adventure, the vacation from my job… I mean school.
Now it was my kids’ turn to take a vacation from school and enjoy some family vacation time!
One little problem though… I hadn’t planned anything! Nothing, nada, zilch. I know! Is that even possible for a travel blogging family?!
The first week had passed and we were rounding into the weekend. It was clear to everyone, especially Gretta who was holding down the home-front, that we needed to get out. So I spontaneously made a call to Old House Village Hotel & Spa in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island and booked a one bedroom suite!
When I made the joyous family announcement on Friday night that we were heading on vacation in two days, the kids weren’t too impressed. It took some convincing for them to believe I was serious… it may have had something to do with me making joke family announcements before about heading to Hawaii.
I know, I know… how awful. But it’s fun to yell out “We are going to Hawaii!!!” every now and then.
Eventually when they realized I was serious the cheers rang out and the whirlwind of packing began. By Sunday morning the minivan was all loaded up and we were on our way up island to the Comox Valley.
We had never been to this region of the island before and only had a vague idea of what we would do for fun. To be honest, it was a little unsettling for a vacation planner like myself. What were we going to do for 4 days?
One thing I knew for certain. I took my own #1 piece of travel advise and made sure I didn’t make a mistake on our accommodations. A vacation is ALWAYS better when you feel at home where you are staying.
By choosing a luxurious west coast inspired hotel with on-site dining, spa, and outdoor heated pool, I knew for certain we were in good hands. And it proved to be very true as our choice in accommodation made our family vacation a giant success.
Here are 6 reasons the Old House Village & Spa deserves high reviews from the Traveling Islanders:
1. The Room (One Bedroom Suite)
Our one bedroom suite truly felt like a home away from home. Boasting 550 + sq ft with a vaulted ceiling and balcony, it felt very spacious.
We had everything we needed and more. We had a living room with queen size sofa bed, fireplace, two TV’s, a fully equipped gourmet kitchen, dining room table, very comfortable separate bedroom with a California king bed and top quality linens, soaker tub in the bathroom, thick large towels, plush chenille robes and we even had a closet washer and dryer!
From the penthouse to deluxe studio rooms, Old House Village Hotel & Spa has an excellent selection of luxurious rooms to meet your needs and your budget.
2. Hotel Amenities
Outdoor Heated Pool – This was the #1 highlight for the kids! They would have lived in the pool if I would have let them.
Having the pool outside was a real novelty too. The water temperature was perfect if you stayed active, but if you’re looking for a hot, relaxing soaking experience then go in the hot tub. As for the size, just picture a normal hotel pool.
Oh Spa – Who says you can’t go on a parent escape for a little pampering at the spa during a family vacation? Gretta had her first facial and LOVED it. I had a full body relaxation massage and melted into my happy place. Taking advantage of the on-site spa really added a special element to the vacation for Gretta and I. I’m so glad we made time for some Oh Spa pampering.
Complimentary Bikes – Old House Village recently launched this activity. In fact, it’s not even included on their website yet. The hotel is located right in front of a bike/walk path that follows along a river and then loops around a small airstrip by the ocean and back to the hotel. We enjoyed such beautiful ocean and mountain views on our ride! We loved it so much that I took the boys out the next morning for another go ’round.
Complimentary Continental Breakfast – The kids’ highlights of the hotel included the pool, pushing the button in the elevator, using the key card to enter the room and eating the continental breakfast. Muffins, cereal, croissants, bagels, fruit, yogurt and apple and orange juice filled their bellies each morning. It was a modest continental breakfast, but it hit the spot, was free, and for some reason we didn’t know about it before we arrived so we were pleasantly surprised.
3. Staff & Service
The staff were very pleasant, friendly and always looking to make sure our stay was as comfortable as possible. If you need anything, just be sure to ask and they’ll do all they can to serve you well. The service is very much “Island flavour”… as opposed to downtown Victoria or Vancouver. One is not better than the other, just different.
4. On-Site Dining
We had one of the best family meal experiences ever! ‘Locals Restaurant’ is the on-site restaurant of Old House Village Hotel & Spa. They have exquisitely perfected cooking with truly local ingredients. WOW! After our dining experience we found out that ‘Locals’ was voted #8 by trip advisor for fine dining restaurants in all of Canada! And they deserve it.
During the summer don’t expect to just show up on the weekend without a reservation. The owners mentioned to us that their reservations fill up even three weeks in advance for a weekend. It’s definitely worth it, so book your table early. Expect to pay fine dining prices and enjoy your delicious meal!
‘Locals’ is not open for breakfast on weekdays, so if the continental isn’t what you are looking for and you don’t want to cook in your room’s gourmet kitchen, we recommend Atlas Café. Their breakfast was outstanding. ‘Locals’ is open for brunch on weekends starting at 10am, so that’s a great option as well.
5. Things To Do In The Area
We had nothing planned before arriving at the Old House Village Hotel & Spa, but that wasn’t a problem. After visiting the Vancouver Island Visitor Centre upon entering the Comox Valley, we discovered a plethora of activities to keep us busy for weeks. We only had 4 days and were left wishing we had more time! We explored beaches, waterfalls, an Air Force Museum, rode bikes, and our favourite… seeing the wild sea lions of Fanny Bay. Check out the top 5 FREE activities in the Comox Valley
6. Overall Feel Of The Hotel
As soon as you pull up, you’ll feel the quality and notice the difference. Old House Hotel’s west coast inspired design, with its stone and wood finishes, relaxing color palette of warm neutrals, soft greens and rich browns, is indicative of Vancouver Island luxury properties. I love Island owned and operated luxury hotels, there is just something so unique and fresh about them.
For more info on Old House Village & Spa visit them online at www.oldhousevillage.com
Where is your favourite family vacation accommodation on Vancouver Island or elsewhere in the world?? Please share! Start the ball rolling with a comment below.
Tips & A Few Things To Know Before You Go:
• As always, if you are sensitive to noise like I am, ask to be booked into a quieter room. The building closest to the road unfortuantely does have some draw-bridge traffic because of a grate used on the bridge. If you don’t like pool noise, then ask for a room overlooking the river and not the pool.
• There is a fitness room, but we were so active I didn’t take the time to use it. It looked fully equipped with modern fitness machines. It’s location in the basement across from housekeeping offices was quite odd to me, but it was still fully functional.
• The continental breakfast is modest. If you like a big, full breakfast then you aren’t looking for a continental. If the breakfast room is full or if you prefer to eat in private, then it is fully acceptable to take a tray back to your room. The front-desk person refreshes the breakfast room throughout the morning, so the level of crumbs on the table, counter etc. will depend on when he/she popped in to tidy up last. We found the level perfectly acceptable and we made sure to clean up after ourselves.
While our experience at Old House Village Hotel & Spa was complimentary, you can rest assured that my thoughts, opinions, and findings are my own as always.