A pretty good harbour view from the elevator, Tim Pawsey photo

When we were judging the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Victoria, B.C., we stayed at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which, it strikes me, is one of the capital’s better, if largely unsung hotels.  In fact, we’ve rested our head on HGP’s pillows a number of times over the last few years but rarely had the time to take a good look (or taste) around.

The highlight was a hosted dinner from The Mark menu. The Mark is the hotel’s petite and elite dining room (just 24 seats), a cocoon-ish paneled haunt off the main room and bar on the ground floor.

What struck us in particular was just how artfully conceived and executed these plates were (with highly attentive service to go along). Take a look:



Fraser Valley squab (iphone)


Pacific oysters on the half shell, Tim Pawsey photo

Hecate Strait halibut, Tim Pawsey photo

Roasted pear tart, Tim Pawsey photo

MignardisesThe Grand (right across from the Clipper and Coho U.S. ferries dock) is well-named, a substantial hotel, indeed, with many of the quite spacious rooms enjoying an impressive view of the inner harbour and beyond, or of Juan da Fuca Strait across to the Olympic Peninsular. In fact, the first time you notice this is as you ride up in the western, glass sided elevator. Splurge on a window-wrapped deluxe suite for the best panorama.

The place runs smoothly, thanks to an energetic staff which rates among the most obliging we’ve met, including during several small conventions here.

Hotel Grand Pacific is also a key player in upcoming Victoria Taste, July 21-24, when it hosts popular Swine and the Vine (a whole organic pig roasted on the patio), followed by Vancouver Island vs. The World blind tasting.

Full festival details at www.victoriataste.com—and more to come here.

Deuce Days 2010 cars in Hotel Grand Pacific forecourt, Tim Pawsey photo