After the tedious hours of our flight, the ferry ride to Vancouver Island, with its promise of majestic scenery and fresh sea air, was an enticing prospect. To reach our first destination, we boarded the service that runs from Tsawwassen in Vancouver to Swartz Bay in Victoria, a 95-minute trip that glides through Active Pass, a picturesque strait separating the Galiano and Mayne islands. During our ride, we encountered a pod of orcas.
Brentwood Bay Resort
From the Swartz Bay terminal, we drove 20 minutes southwest to Brentwood Bay Resort, a secluded waterfront hotel nestled in a sheltered bay on the forested Saanich Peninsula. There, the staff were cheerful and friendly and greeted us with refreshing flutes of local cider. The main structure encompasses the lobby, a boutique selling handmade regional crafts, a pub with a large selection of locally crafted beer and a downstairs spa popular for its vinotherapy treatments.
All 36 guest accommodations offer spectacular views of the serene Saanich Inlet. Our OceanSuite came with floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors, a gas fireplace, handcrafted furniture, a neutral color palette, local artwork and a private terrace. The spacious slate-tiled bath included a shuttered window that made it possible to appreciate the ocean views while soaking in the tub. (In addition to suites, the property has two-bedroom OceanVillas ideal for couples traveling together.)