Having made the decision to bring Penny with us on our weekend getaway to Victoria, BC, we loaded up the car and headed off to catch our ferry (it’s about a 90 minute ferry ride from the Tsawwassen ferry terminal to Swartz Bay and then a 30-minute drive from Swartz Bay to downtown Victoria). We had pre-booked a room at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, a lovely boutique hotel which has earned the reputation as being one of the top 10 luxury hotels in Canada. Upon our arrival there, we were delighted to find that it was just steps away from the Victoria waterfront, Parliament Buildings, Maritime Museum and lots and lots of incredible shops and restaurants!! The friendly staff were delighted we had brought Penny with us, informing me that their dog-friendly establishment regularly welcomes the canine set.

Upon checking in we were shown to our luxurious and tastefully appointed room that had a breathtaking view of the picturesque Inner Harbour. Flopping down on the king size bed with its super-comfy mattress and luxury linens, I knew I’d be getting a good night’s sleep here (a prerequisite for any successful getaway!). Next I checked out the bathroom where pampering took on a whole new level as I found it well stocked with all my favourite Aveda products (soaps, bath balms, shampoos, lotions, etc), big white fluffy towels, plus it had both a soaking tub and a separate shower!

I had the foresight to bring Penny’s favourite West Paw bed along so she’d have the comfort and security of her own bed to curl up in and it was definitely doing the trick as she, too, was quickly settling into holiday mode, being content to curl up and snooze for a while. Since I was  planning to leave her alone in the hotel room for a few hours that night (her first time being left alone in a hotel room ever), I was keeping my fingers crossed she’d be okay and not put up a fuss and disturb other guests. I figured having her own bed would probably help with any separation issues, but as an extra measure of caution, I added a dose of Rescue Remedy to her drinking water which helps overcome anxieties. Also, a tired dog is usually a more relaxed dog, so prior to leaving her on her own, I took her out for a stroll along the inner harbour and shopping areas. It was a beautiful, warm evening and we met and chatted with loads of people along the way (both locals and tourists) which, in my mind, made this historic city, even more memorable. 

Penny was a model guest and we look forward to returning to Victoria and the Magnolia Hotel for another stay soon.

Here are some of the photos I took while there:

The promenade along the Victoria waterfront (just minutes from the Magnolia Hotel)  is a great spot to sit and take in the ambience of this busy harbour…

BC’s parliament buildings…


Sailing through Active Pass on the way to Swartz Bay… 


Click here for more info on Hotel Magnolia and Spa.

Click here for information on Victoria.