Top 9 Reasons to Spend the Holidays in Victoria BC

There are many reasons to consider spending the Holiday Season on Vancouver Island…lovely mild weather, incredible scenery, and fun, friendly people to start. But there are plenty of themed events to take in as well. I’ve chosen 9 but there are many more!

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  • #9 – 24th Annual Festival of Trees in support of BC Children’s Hospital. Each year a variety of business leaders present their staff decorated Christmas trees to adorn the public spaces throughout The Bay Centre in downtown Victoria. Shoppers are encouraged to view the trees then donate to vote for their favourite. The 2015 campaign raised over $23,000 for a very worthy cause.
  • #8 – Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase – Another fundraiser for a great cause: Habitat for Humanity. Last year $38,102 was raised for “Building homes – Building Hope”. There are 2 categories: professional & home baker. Entries are judged during a kick-off gala evening at The Laurel Point Inn where they can be viewed until January 3rd, 2016. Tip: don’t take in this event when you’re hungry!
  • #7 – A Sentimental Christmas featuring soprano Eleanor McCainEleanor McCainDecember 11-13, 2015. Celebrate the season with the Victoria Symphony’s traditional concert of yuletide cheer featuring soprano Eleanor McCain. Maestra Tania Miller and the Victoria Symphony will be joined by choristers from the Victoria Choral Society for a concert full of Christmas favorites including an opportunity for the audience to join in with sing-a-long holiday carols.

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  • #6 Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show – Tuesday, Dec. 15/15 – 7:30 PM. It has been 8 long years since this incomparable 5-time Grammy winning act has graced the stage in Victoria. They normally appear at the summer Jazz Fest so this special Holiday Season appearance promises to be a real treat.
  • #5 17th Annual Sing Along Messiah – December 16th, 2015 – 7 PM at Alix Gooldin Hall and presented by the Civic Orchestra of Victoria. This event is the perfect opportunity to give those vocal cords a workout on some of the most challenging Christmas music around.
  • #4 Magic of Christmas at world famous Butchart Gardens – from Dec. 1st, 2015 thru Jan. 6th, 2016. A tradition since 1987, the lighting crew works for 2 months preparing the hundreds of thousands of lights for the December 1st light-up ceremony. Throughout the festive season the ice skating rink in Waterwheel Square adds an extra experience to the lighting extravaganza. Each evening the Festive Brass and Traditional Carollers perform in the crisp night air.
  • # 3 Christmas with Holly Cole – December 19, 2015 – 8 PM15-16-Specials-Holly-Cole-1030x1030

  • Deck your holiday season with the sounds of Holly! Juno-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Holly Cole returns to the Victoria Symphony and will delight audiences with her versatile and distinctive voice. Mixing jazz, pop and your favourite holiday music, her unique interpretations and original music are applauded as being highly musical, intensely innovative, and refreshingly witty.
  • # 2 One Tree Exhibit – Nov 14, 2015 thru January 15, 2016. For almost a century this old growth Big-Leaf Maple from the Cowichan Valley stood witness to the events that shaped Vancouver Island. It needed to come down in October 2014 for health and safety reasons. Initially destined for the wood pile, the visionaries at Live Edge Design and the Robert Bateman Centre had a dream. Together they gathered 42 artists who, in turn, created nearly $175,000 worth of incredible art-work from this old, dying tree. Now the public is invited to celebrate this tree through an exhibit of the artist’s work showing at the Robert Bateman Centre. Come see this impressive community project that celebrates a 100-year-old-tree through the creations of 42 artists from Vancouver Island and across Canada.
  •  # 1 Grand Opening of Ultimate BnB“The best vacation rental suite we’ve ever seen” – T & P, Cochrane Alberta.  The number one reason to spend the Holiday Season in Victoria is the chance to be among the very first guests at our brand-new vacation rental. As an introductory offer we are keeping our rates at their current Low-Season levels throughout the month of December. Look for our listing on your favourite travel site:
  • VRBO
  • FLIPKEY
  • TRIP ADVISOR
  • AIRBNB
  • TRAVEL MOB

As your hosts at Ultimate BnB we wish everyone a truly delightful Holiday Season and the very best for 2016!

 

 

 

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What’s In A Name?

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In the world of Vacation Rentals, the name Matt Landau resonates with many property owners. He has accomplished much at Cuatro Tulipanes in Panama City. Mr. Landau is recognized as a force within the industry and revered for his generosity when it comes to sharing knowledge. In his book, The World’s “Most Efficient Primer” on Vacation Rental Marketing he offers 20 actionable tips, each doable in 20 minutes (or so). Tip # 1: Give your vacation rental a name.

When we told our friends the name of our new Bed & Breakfast we were met with gasps and looks of horror. “You’re setting yourself up for failure. Your reviews will be filled with comments like, “it was good, but it was hardly ‘the ultimate”. Others felt that we would come across as arrogant or braggarts and that potential guests would be turned off. What do you think? We’d love it if you would take a minute to answer our poll question and provide a comment.

If you’re interested in our rates, available dates, or if you would like to make a reservation we are listed on the following vacation rental sites:

VRBO

Air BnB

Flip Key

Travel Mob

Thank-you for your interest in Ultimate BnB and please check back often.


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Ultimate BnB: An Introduction

There is only ONE Ultimate because there is only one…YOU



Property Description:

  • Brand new 1 Bedroom + Den suite with ocean, forest, mountain and city views
  • Self-catered breakfast included in the price (local, fresh, and organic where possible)
  • 768 sq. ft.
  • Private entrance, self-contained with high-end (Miele/Bosch) appliances
  • Italian Granite countertops with tile and premium Canadian Maple hardwood floors
  • In-suite laundry, dishwasher and very well outfitted kitchen
  • Ultimate BnB has only one rental unit. It’s the best and only one we have: thus the name – Ultimate!

The best holidays include rest & relaxation, pampering, and joyous discovery. Our wonderfully appointed private and fully self-contained ocean-view suite has been carefully designed and outfitted to meet those ideals. Cleanliness, comfort and thoughtful details are a given. And they’re a great place to start, but the real difference maker is service. Lots of people will choose a hotel/resort over a vacation rental for that very reason;on vacation we all want to be ‘spoiled’ a little bit.That’s not to say we wait on you ‘hand and foot’ but we try very hard to go the extra mile for our guests:

  • Need a lift from the airport or ferry terminal? We can do that!
  • Need a restaurant or theatre recommendation? No problem!
  • Need directions to 2 Jack Nicklaus designed world-class golf courses just 15 minutes away atop Bear Mountain? We can help!
TrufflesWith many years of award winning hospitality service, we understand the tiny details that can make a vacation fabulous.

Ultimate BnB is away from city traffic and noise yet minutes to shopping (Big Box & Outlet stores), hiking, golf, and many south-island attractions. Off-street parking and private entrance allow for a come-and-go-as-you-like vacation.

The pampering begins with soothing warmth that greets your toes from our gas-fired in-floor radiant heating system and the humidity controlled HRV system completely recycles fresh-air every 4 hours. As well, our on-demand hot water boiler means you’ll never be out of hot water and complements all our home’s enviro-friendly mechanical systems. As you awake, reach for the remote control, lower the window coverings and take in the breathtaking ocean view. Step up to the window and enjoy the vista before you:

  • the 565 acre old-growth forest and lagoon at Royal Roads University
  • Fisgard Lighthouse at historic Fort Rodd Hill National Park
  • The City of Victoria
  • Cruise ships, freighters and plenty of marine traffic
  • On clear days, marvelous Mt. Baker and the Cascade Mountain range just behind the San Juan Islands.

Oh, and in the evening, enjoy the same view with the added bonus of twinkly city lights beneath starry skies while relaxing in the soaker tub. Magical!

Ultimate BnB is equipped with Miele and Bosch appliances, Natuzzi Italian leather chaise lounge and swivel chair, solid wood furnishings throughout, tasteful art selections and accents that reflect this gorgeous part of the world you’ve chosen to visit. Your kitchen is well equipped and ready for a culinary adventure or… warming pizza; you choose! Missing something? Just ask, we’ll do our very best to help.

The bed is a queen-sized leather-framed Scandinavian design and there’s plenty of closet space. The tasteful décor found in the bathroom sets the scene for more pampering. The glass door on the shower allows for taking in the view while the Maax Jazz tub was chosen to allow for a ‘pleasurely’ satisfying soak. A convenient ‘towel-tree’ stands beside the Italian granite topped maple vanity.

Need a little space after a long day of ‘togetherness’? That’s where the separate Den comes in. There’s a desk for writing a letter or e-mail. (There’s reliable, no-charge Wi-Fi/Internet throughout the suite). A comfy love-seat to curl up on and read a book or…? For a romantic evening, curl up back in the living room in front of the fireplace and enjoy Netflix, listen to iTunes, YouTube or? A great time to crack open an award winning bottle of Vancouver Island wine; there are many to choose from!


The Garden
The Garden
Great Room
Powder Room
Room With a View

Outside you will find 2 large terraces surrounded by understated greenery so as to not detract from the magnificent panoramic views.  Patio furniture is available in-season and a natural gas barbecue is available in summertime.

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Some notes about being pampered:

  • We only have one rental unit so guests get our undivided attention. That’s why we chose the name Ultimate BnB
  • Ultimate BnB is a self-catered bed & breakfast experience. What that means to us is that when we travel we like to operate on our schedule and we like knowing ingredients for the most important meal of the day are supplied, ready for us and are included in the price. The self-catered option allows us to do that. We can create a romantic gourmet brunch after a glorious sleep-in, or grab a toasted bagel, glass of orange juice and a piece of fresh fruit at 7:00 a.m. on our way out the door to whichever adventure the day may hold.
  • You can’t miss our lovely productive garden when you arrive. We happily share seasonal offerings when they are available and the garden-bed outside your suite is filled with fresh herbs…please help yourself.
  • In the kitchen, award-winning locally roasted coffee from Caffe Fantastico, Silk Road Teas, jams/jellies, etc.
  • Toiletries like Salt Spring Island Soapworks)

Your Hosts @ Ultimate BnB

Christopher Columbus?

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Hi, we’re your hosts Laurie & Faye, and we’re excited to be opening our new, “Ultimate BnB” bed & breakfast. The unit is perfect for  1 or 2 people and is located on Vancouver Island (ranked # 7 In the Best Islands in the World: Reader’s Choice Awards 2015 by Conde Nast magazine) on the Westshore of Victoria BC, Canada.

Faye



About Us: It took nearly 40 years for us to find each other; another 3 years to ‘test the waters’ before taking the plunge. We married on July 15th, 1995 at Sooke Harbour House, a lovely seaside resort just down the road from our current home.

Putting together our Ultimate BnB has been a labour of love. For us, it has been one of those ‘someday’ projects…one we were never quite certain we would actually get to do.

Faye: “I come from a business background but my interests include music, food, gardening and travel. In the mid to late 80’s I was the GM at an import/export wholesaler in Winnipeg MB. It was an exciting time for me because we were among the first companies in Canada to develop trade with China and other countries in the Asian Pacific region. Laurie and I met in 1992 at an industry trade-show in Victoria, BC. While ‘testing the waters’ as Laurie likes to put it, we joined forces and began to grow our tourist retail business, Maple Leaf Gifts. We operated 2 gift shops that anchored either end of the Victoria Conference Centre in a perfect location right next to the famous Empress Hotel. We loved meeting people from around the world and many came back to visit us year after year. I must have made an impression because I was nominated for the City of Victoria’s hospitality award and won it 2 years running. After the successful sale of that business in the spring of 2002 we took some time for travel before launching our current consulting practice where we fill the CFO(Chief Financial Officer) role for a small group of business clients.”

Laurie: “I share many interests with Faye, but with a twist. I am a former professional musician. I graduated Grant McEwan University in Jazz performance in the 80’s while Faye was learning international trade! As an owner of Southern Sound Recording Studios I worked in sound engineering and production. I recorded albums for a variety of artists and worked on radio and TV commercials for both regional and national accounts. I have released an album and a CD under my own name as well. Several years back I was fortunate to be part of Victoria’s Jazz-Fest as a member of the George Essihos Quartet when we opened for Downbeat magazine’s male vocalist of the year, Kurt Elling at Alix Gooldin Hall.  In 2000, we were invited to appear on CBC Radio’s weekly jazz show ‘Hot Air’. At that time it was hosted by Paul Grant. The video posted below is a slide-show I put together from one of our many trips to Tofino, BC. I used the Bill Evans tune ‘Interplay’ that we recorded in Studio 2 in Vancouver as a ‘soundtrack’.

Faye & Laurie – Why we chose Victoria: “We met in Victoria. Like most transplants from elsewhere in Canada, we each, for separate, yet similar reasons looked to ‘find a way’ to live in the most beautiful part of this great country and to be able to enjoy its temperate climate year round. Truthfully, we simply wanted to escape those ferocious and legendary Canadian winters!”