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The Oswego Hotel 4.0

Victoria, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Central Victoria location, a three-minute walk from the ferry terminal
  • Spacious apartment-style suites with sleek kitchens, some with balconies
  • On-site restaurant with weekly live jazz 
  • Underground self- and valet-parking (free for guests with hybrid cars)
  • Fitness room with cardio machines and free weights
  • In-room spa services available
  • Meeting room with audiovisual equipment and free parking for meeting attendees
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout 
  • Pet-friendly, with dog bowls and organic treats and waste bags

Cons

  • Wi-Fi occasionally spotty
  • Rooms lack blackout curtains
  • No swimming pool or hot tub
  • O Bistro not open for lunch

Bottom Line

The 80-room Oswego Hotel is a romantic four-pearl property in the center of Victoria, on British Columbia's Vancouver Island. All of the units are suites -- ranging from Studios up to Two-Bedroom Boutique Suites -- and all come with modern kitchens full of stainless-steel appliances. Amenities include in-room spa services, a fitness center, and an on-site restaurant with weekly live jazz. Underground self and valet parking is also available, but it costs extra (except for guests with hybrid cars, who get to park for free). Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel, but can occasionally be spotty. Travelers wanting to stay somewhere with a pool may prefer the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour instead. 

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Scene

Contemporary all-suites hotel popular with long-term tourists and business travelers

Popular with business travelers, tourists, and long-term visitors, the four-pearl Oswego Hotel is a contemporary 10-story all-suites property that resembles a chic apartment building. The reception area is bright and colorful, with low ceilings framed with cedar beams and light-wood paneled walls decorated with pastel-hued abstract paintings. Guests are greeted with Granny Smith apples at the front desk, beyond which sits the hotel restaurant -- O Bistro -- which follows a similar decor scheme with the addition of floor-to-ceiling windows and a cozy living area with plush chairs and a coffee table. Both spaces are illuminated by a mix of embedded ceiling lights, soft lamps, and a couple of circular-framed contemporary chandeliers. A gas fireplace in gray stone adds a rustic Pacific Northwest touch to the space. 

The hotel attracts business travelers and tourists alike, and the large, apartment-like suites make this property a good choice for long-term guests who want to do some of their own cooking. Pets are welcome and get special treats, including dog beds, food and water bowls, cards with details on area dog parks, and even locally manufactured dog treats and waste bags. 

Location

In the center of town, walking distance to the ferry pier, conference center, and tourist attractions

Map of The Oswego Hotel

The Oswego Hotel is located on Oswego Street, a main thoroughfare that leads up from the ferry terminal, a three-minute walk away. From there, visitors can catch ferries south to Seattle and Port Angeles, both in Washington State. There are plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop in the surrounding area and most major attractions are within a short walk of the hotel. It's an eight-minute walk to the Royal BC Museum (which also has an IMAX theater) and a six-minute drive or 20-minute walk to Chinatown, the second-oldest in North America. The Robert Bateman Centre -- a museum showcasing the works of the Canadian naturalist artist after which it's named -- is a five-minute walk from the hotel. Miniature World is a 10-minute walk away, and the Bug Museum takes just a couple of minutes more to reach. The Victoria Conference Centre is a 10-minute walk from the hotel while the Victoria International Airport takes half an hour to reach by car. 

Rooms

Apartment-style rooms with sleek kitchens, and big bathrooms with separate tubs and showers; some have balconies

The Oswego Hotel features 80 apartment-style units ranging from Studios to spacious Two-Bedroom Premium and Boutique Suites. Premium One- and Two-Bedroom Suites are located on the seventh through ninth floors, while the Two-Bedroom Boutique Suites are located on the top level. All units come with 32-inch flat-screen TVs, ceiling fans, and irons/ironing boards. Decor is consistent throughout the units, and features an off-white and beige color palette contrasted by dark-wood furniture and matching mirror and picture frames. Some rooms also have large furnished balconies, and the Two-Bedroom Boutique Suites feature huge terraces big enough to host 25 people, making them a good choice for travelers looking to entertain. 

All units have kitchenettes or kitchens with stainless-steel appliances including ovens, microwaves, and dishwashers, plus glass-top flat electric stoves. French press coffeepots and fair trade gourmet coffee are also provided. Larger units feature full kitchens with huge fridges and granite-topped islands with large washbasins. The same granite countertops can be found in the bathrooms -- which are more or less identical irrespective of room type -- and include separate glass-walled walk-in showers, soaking tubs, free toiletries, and bathrobes. Bathrooms have lots of additional storage space in the form of drawers and wall-mounted shelving units. Wi-Fi is free throughout, though there are some reports of inconsistent signal strength. 

Features

Excellent bistro for breakfast and dinner, meeting room, fitness facilities, and on-site parking

The hotel's on-site restaurant, The O Bistro, is open daily for breakfast and dinner, with extended hours for brunch on weekends. Food is served a la carte, with a breakfast menu dominated by egg and carb-heavy dishes served with fair-trade espresso, Irish coffee, or mimosas. The menu expands on Saturdays and Sundays to include brunch treats such as salads and sandwiches; a gluten-free brunch menu is also available. The restaurant doesn't operate during the lunch hours, but reopens early for dinner every day and features salads, soups, seafood, and meat-based Pacific Northwest cuisine. There's also a decent wine list with primarily local bottles, plus a couple of ales on tap and a good selection of classic cocktails. Live jazz performances take place weekly. Restaurant catering is also available in the on-site Kingston meeting room, which can accommodate eight to 20 people -- catering packages include free underground parking for guests, which otherwise costs a fee for all but those driving hybrid cars. 

Wi-Fi is free throughout the hotel and dry cleaning is available for those who don't want to use the on-site washers and dryers. There is a small and basic fitness room with cardio machines and free weights, but there's no pool, sauna, hot tub, or spa; however, in-room massages and facials are available from an external spa company.

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Address

Hotel 500 Oswego St, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 5C1, Canada

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