Hotel at a Glance: Villa Marco Polo Inn
The Villa Marco Polo Inn is an elegant B&B in Victoria’s Rockland Quarter, a neighborhood known for its elaborate estates. The five-bedroom Italianate mansion channels Marco Polo’s homeland with murals on the wall of the Tuscan countryside, meticulously maintained Mediterranean-style gardens, and a marigold-hued stucco facade. The property is within a 30-minute walk of downtown Victoria and the inner harbor, and just a 5-minute walk from Craigdarroch Castle, an enormous home built in the 1890s by a coal baron.
- Wake up to a breakfast of seasonal fruits, fresh pastries, preserves, a savory entree such as eggs benedict, and a sweet entree such as ginger pear pancakes.
- Romance package: The optional romance package comes with a dozen roses, a bottle of sparkling wine, and a box of chocolates.
- Five spacious suites are outfitted with plush robes, WiFi, Persian rugs, and an iPod with docking station.
- Borrow a book or board game from the cozy library, equipped with a wood-burning fireplace.
- Treat yourself to an in-room spa treatment such as a facial or deep-tissue massage.
Victoria, British Columbia: Historical Capital City Surrounded by Natural Beauty
Located on the southern part of Vancouver Island off Canada’s Pacific coast, Victoria has a history as a gold-rush town and naval base, which can still be seen in the 19th-century warehouses downtown and the Victorian mansions along James Bay. Nearby, the Royal BC Museum delves into the region’s history with an impressive collection of artifacts and artwork, including a modern history gallery showcasing indigenous totem poles and masks. And since it’s the capital of British Columbia, Victoria has its share of beautiful government buildings, the neo-baroque British Columbia Parliament buildings being foremost among them.
With Victoria’s quaint character, horse-drawn carriage tours are a fitting way to explore the city’s natural treasures. Tally-Ho Carriage Tours trot through Beacon Hill Park and past James Bay’s exquisite gardens. Whale watching, kayaking, and other open-air pursuits are also popular activities for active travelers. For longer getaways, dedicating a day trip to surrounding rainforests can let you see Vancouver Island’s varied wildlife and terrain, including the craggy mountains in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park.