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Hotel Rialto 3.5

Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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Review Summary

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  • Great downtown Victoria location, across from City Hall 
  • Tasteful contemporary rooms with microwaves and mini-fridges
  • Swanky on-site tapas bar serving drinks and small plates
  • Hot breakfast and quick lunches available in pleasant lobby restaurant
  • Large wine and beer store on-site (with discount for guests)
  • Free vouchers for breakfast pastry and a cheese plate
  • 24-hour business center with computer and printer
  • Classy private dining room for meetings or events
  • Free access to drop-in classes at nearby gym
  • Free Wi-Fi


  • Interior rooms may have views of a wall
  • Street-facing rooms can get noise from outside
  • No fitness center on-site
  • Upgraded breakfast costs extra fee
  • Ongoing renovations could be noisy (through March 2016)

Bottom Line

Hotel Rialto is a 51-room, upper-middle-range boutique hotel exceptionally well-located in downtown Victoria right across from City Hall. The hotel has a breakfast cafe, trendy tapas bar and lounge, and an on-site wine and beer shop. Rooms are clean, contemporary, and tasteful, if not somewhat generic, with microwaves, mini-fridges, 40-inch flat-screen TVs, and bathrooms with heated floors. Wi-Fi is free, and guests receive a voucher for a simple breakfast, with upgraded options available, as well as a voucher for a cheese tray in the tapas bar. Another option, about five minutes away, is the upper-middle-range Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina, which can be slightly pricier than the Rialto but offers an outdoor pool and proximity to the harbor. 

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Clean, contemporary hotel with stylish dining options

Hotel Rialto is a 1911 heritage building with a brown brick facade finished with ornate white detailing. The building underwent a major 2011 renovation of the main floor and further renovations of the guest rooms through 2013. The building had various other uses before becoming a hotel -- it was once a pharmacy and, apparently, even a morgue. The lobby is small but pleasant with a clean contemporary feel, marble floor, white walls, and light wood reception desk. This space leads to the popular Veneto Tapa Lounge on one side, and the hotel's restaurant, Cafe Veneto, on the other. The Cafe has a classy dark-wood coffee bar with orb pendant lights, large street-facing windows, marble floors, and pleasant wood cafe tables. The tapas bar has wood floors, a marble bar, and beige leather couch and chair seating. The Rialto's central location makes this a hotspot for leisure travelers, though some business guests can be spotted here, too.


Exceptionally located in downtown Victoria, directly across from City Hall

The Rialto is exceptionally well-located in downtown Victoria, on a busy main road directly across the street from City Hall. Government Street, a major road that's host to restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions, is just an eight-minute walk from the property. Chinatown is a few minute's walk to the west and the Inner Harbor can be reached in about 15 minutes on foot. Victoria Inner Harbour Airport is less than a 10-minute drive away, while Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (with BC Ferries from Vancouver) are both about a half hour drive from the hotel. Vancouver International Airport is a few hours' drive. Parking is not available on-site, but public parking is available nearby for an extremely reasonable fee.


Tasteful, neutral rooms with microwaves, mini-fridges, 40-inch LED TVs --  but some street noise

Rooms at the Hotel Rialto have neutral, contemporary decor -- uninspired, perhaps, but tasteful -- with beige wall-to-wall carpeting, white walls, and dark-wood furniture. Deep mattresses are outfitted in Serta Perfect Sleeper Bamboo linens. Bathrooms are plain white and have heated, ceramic tiled floors, standing showers, hairdryers, and free individual toiletries.

All rooms are air-conditioned and include 40-inch LED TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some have iHome stereos. The simple wooden work desks are topped with wood-and-metal lamps, and coffeemakers. Wardrobes include umbrellas, and ironing facilities are available from reception. Each room also has a microwave and mini-fridge. Upgraded rooms such as the Superior King Suite include extras such as kitchens, living rooms, separate bedrooms, and large bathtubs. 

While rooms are clean, they occasionally show signs of wear and tear, such as marks on the furniture or lampshade tears. Interior rooms may only have views of a neighboring wall, but street-facing rooms can have nice views of downtown. Street-facing rooms can get noise from outside, but all guests are given earplugs.


Tony tapas bar and lounge, wine and liquor store on-site, and free breakfast voucher

Café Veneto is the hotel's stylish but casual lobby restaurant, which serves up a daily breakfast and quick lunches. Guests receive vouchers for a free baked good, like a pastry or muffin, and a drink for breakfast. They can upgrade to full hot breakfast -- eggs Benedict, French toast -- for an extra fee. The Veneto Tapa Lounge is a sleek and popular "resto-lounge" open in the evenings, which serves small plates and classy drinks to both hotel guests and locals. Guests receive a voucher for a free cheese plate at the tapas lounge. The hotel is also host to Vintage Spirits, one of the largest beer and wine shops in the area, with a large selection of local brews, and guests of the hotel nab a 10 percent discount.

While the hotel has no pool or fitness facilities of its own, it offers free drop-in classes at the nearby Studio 4 Athletics, a four-minute walk from the property. The hotel has a classy private dining room that can seat up to 38 people for meetings or events, and a 24-hour business center with a meeting table, chairs, computer, printer, and TV. Daily newspapers are available in the lobby and Wi-Fi is free.

Guests can also take advantage of a 24-hour front desk and concierge services, though there is no room service. Two bikes are available for rental on-site. Extras like airport transfers, babysitting, parking, and dry cleaning or laundry service are available for additional fees.

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653 Pandora Ave, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1N8, Canada

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