Ilona was a very gracious hostess and aa very good cook. She was very accommodating. Hotels.com had booked us for 2 people and not 3 as we requested. Ilona was able to accommodate us in an apt. Suite .Genuine Hotels.com guest review
"quaint bed and breakfast"
Hemingway's was overall nice but not spectacular. If you are staying here, I definitely recommend having a car. I took the bus in and out of downtown that weekend and it is a decent walk walk to the and from the bus stop. The room itself was nice enough and felt like things had not been updated since the 1970's (mostly in a good way). The strangest […] thing was that the manager/owner kept touching my shoulders. I like my personal space and I am not sure why she kept reaching out to my shoulders in nearly every conversation. Sweet woman, just a little too much in my personal space. Read moreGenuine Hotels.com guest review
"Friendly and helpful host"
lovely and comfortable interior with individual room temperature control. The host is pleasant and very helpful with sightseeing ideas and directions. Breakfast was delicious and varied.Genuine Hotels.com guest review
"Not What We Expected-Rundown and terrible location"
We were incredibly disappointed by our stay at Hemingway's By the Sea. The hotel was grossly misrepresented and due to the terrible experience we checked out as soon as possible during the first day of our stay. The description promised a suite with a balcony, fireplace, microwave, and a kitchenette. Instead we had an old room that smelled like dust […] in a converted house without any of those amenities or a connected bathroom. The location is in the middle of a busy and noisy residential street that is far from the ocean and Victoria. The walls were so thin that we could hear coughing and snoring from rooms on the other side of the hall. There are much better hotels and bed/breakfasts on the island that are less expensive than Hemingway's By the Sea. Don't make the mistake that I made. Read moreGenuine Hotels.com guest review
"Hemingway Suite (SWEET)"
We just returned home today from our three night honeymoon stay at the Hemingway's by the Sea, staying in the Hemingway Suite. From the stained glass mermaid window and mirror in the bathroom, complete with two shower heads and a large garden tub made of marble; to the partial canopied extremely comfortable king size bed; to the personal balcony; to […] the mammoth fireplace, this room was the epitome of luxuriousness. The European style breakfast was a fantastic spread, different each day with cheese and fruit plates, variety of breads and one or even two main dishes made from fresh local ingredients, plus a great cup of coffee or tea! The owner Ilona and her daughter Nicole were excellent hostesses, great company and very helpful. We will return!! xoxo Read moreGenuine Expedia guest review
"Happy in Victoria"
The room was very clean and very comfortable. Our hostess was delightful and really tried hard to fit our schedule, make us comfortable, and help us with the activities we had planned. We felt safe both in the neighborhood and in the room. We would go back.Genuine Hotels.com guest review
"Hemingways by the Sea"
Our stay was just what we wanted in comfort and convenience. Ilona, our hostess, was knowledgeable and very helpful with restaurant suggestions and sight seeing. We enjoyed the African decor of our room and had good company around the tasty breakfast table. Howard and MarilynGenuine Expedia guest review
"Location Not near the sea"
The hotel is not close to either the sea or any other attractions. There is a local bus a few blocks away, but running times are not posted. Rooms were ok, but for the price not worth it If traveling on the ferry, definitely do not recommend it due to the time the car must be at the ferry to get in line. Transportation back to hotel is not convien […] ent Read moreGenuine Expedia guest review
Quiet neighborhood a short distance from downtown Victoria! The room was spacious, quiet and with a view of the bay. Very hospitable hosts!Genuine Hotels.com guest review
Unfortunately the owner was ill and in the hospital. Her daughter was there in her place. As she lives in Germany, she was unfamiliar with the area and was of little help with transportation etc. we were pretty much on our own and quite a distance from the Wharf. It's not walking distance unless you don't mind a couple of miles. The house was chaing […] but we would never have stayed there had we known the location. No water views by the way. The water taxi was fun but also a distance and pricey. We ended up having to go to the wharf and stayed all day, until after dinner as it was too difficult to go back and forth. Once we found out about public transportation it was cheaper but we found that out on our own and on our last day. Read moreGenuine Hotels.com guest review
"Hemingways by the sea"
Service was great. The condition of the room was great. Much better than staying at a hotel. Very clean. very quite. The breakfast was excelent. Worth every penny. My wife and I will be staying there again next year.Genuine Hotels.com guest review
This was my first experience at a bed and breakfast and I really enjoyed it. Everything was very tidy and clean. The owner was more than happy to give suggestions and help us find our way around Victoria as well as local dining. We would say that it was a great place to stay!Genuine Hotels.com guest review
The location is beautiful although a bit difficult to find and a little out of the way. However, this seems to add to the feeling of intimacy and beauty of the surrounding areas. Ilona was wonderful and could not have been nicer or more accomodating.Genuine Hotels.com guest review
"Great night at Hemingway's By the Sea"
We recently spent one night at Hemingway's By the Sea. Very clean, friendly, and helpful place. Hostess got up to make us an early breakfast Sunday morning. Easy parking, and short drive to Victoria center. Very restful, quiet night's sleep.Genuine Hotels.com guest review
We enjoyed 3 nights at the B&B. A great location and value so long as you have a car. Everything was excellent. Breakfast in particular was finely prepared and elegantly served. It was nice to feel spoiled a little.Genuine Expedia guest review
"A unique B & B experience"
We rented the Hemingway Suite which is the former master bedroom in this large Tudor style home. It is an enormous room with the most comfortable king size bed. There is a lovely balcony and a sitting area with a sofa couch if there were more than 2 people. So there is plenty of room. The bathroom is large as well with a huge bath tub and double shower. […] There is also a coffee maker, bar fridge and microwave. If you were travelling with another couple you might find the lack of a bathroom door (just a curtain) a bit strange. Ilola, the host, is very attentive, offering tea and lots of advice on our arrival. She prepares delicious and ample breakfasts. The location is not exactly "By the Sea" but within walking distance. Make sure you check out Saxe Pointe park. Downtown Victoria is a short drive and there are buses to take you there as well. Ilola works hard to make your stay feel special and the house is beautifully kept and clean. Read moreGenuine Hotels.com guest review
"Good service and breakfast"
The location is minutes from downtown. Ilona was very helpful and friendly. She and her daughter provided very nice breakfasts. Music played during breakfast and food included crepes, french toasts, bagles, fruits, eggs, bacon, coffee, tea, smoked salmon, soft boiled eggs and more. Ilona helped us to plan our day trips. The room we rented was large […] and clean. Would recommend to others. Read moreGenuine Hotels.com guest review
"Could be so much more"
Location is remote to downtown Victoria but easily reached by car. There is nothing charming about the location - there is no view nor scenic neighborhood. The house was very clean and the room commodious. No air conditioning but we did not need it. The hostess Ilona was not there - apparently she had become ill so family has come from Germany to lend […] a hand. That may have made a difference because what I was most looking forward to was a great homemade breakfast by Ilona and what we got instead was extremely mediocre. For the price I paid for the room, we would have been better off in town. So, in short, if Ilona is around and the price is right, this might be a great place to stay. But without her legendary hospitality, it is just a house in the suburbs that serves a weak breakfast. Read moreGenuine Hotels.com guest review
Good service under trying circumstances! The owner was hospitalized and her daughter took over and was excellent!Genuine Expedia guest review
Nice, comfortable B&B good location to downtown .owner was very helpful.Breakfast was fantastic .Genuine Expedia guest review
"home away from home"
very comfy beds. excellent decor, great breakfast. gracious hostess.Genuine Hotels.com guest review
Magique, exceptionnel, chaleureux, agréable, propre, bien tenueGenuine Hotels.com guest review
07/09/14 kickin_11 Ottawa, Canada
While the owner of this B&B tried very hard to accommodate us, we were extremely let down and felt misled by the website. We expected to see lots of old world charm in this place and knew that it wasn't going to be 'new', but we didn't expect there to be outdated carpeting throughout and a dirty odour. Everything seemed to be dated... the bed mattress, linens etc... We thought we had rented a room with a private bathroom in the room, but it was actually a bathroom down the hall. Also we thought it was strange to find a half bar of soap wrapped in a tissue at the bathroom sink. For the price we really felt that we would have received much better quality all around. The carpets were dirty, yet we were asked to take our shoes off at the door. I wore a pair of white socks as I didn't want to walk on the floors barefoot. Within 5 minutes the bottom of my socks were grey. The bed... while the bed frame was charming, the mattress we slept on wasn't. There seemed to be a hump in the middle of the bed and I felt like I was rolling out of bed all night. The fridge.... the door to the fridge was open when we arrived and when we tried to shut it we realized that it was balancing the fridge so we had to use a piece of wood to stabilize it when the door was closed. Food... the fresh fruit was about 2 days passed being fresh, the French toast really hard to cut, but the boiled egg was fantastic. The worst part... the odour. There was an odour I can not describe that I just couldn't stand. We stayed our first night to give the place a fair chance, but had to leave in the morning. We cut our losses and left. The owner... very friendly and tried very hard to accommodate us, but I think the place needed a face lift and perhaps that is why it is for sale. Maybe it is too much for her to handle anymore. We have stayed in other B&B's and have always enjoyed them. In fact we had just left another B&B, in another city, that was immaculately clean and well maintained for less money... so perhaps that is why were let down with this one.
"Very friendly and kindness owner"
07/06/14 d_style0901 Oregon, Ohio
We spent very wonderful time for staying. We got a lot of advices for sight seeing from host. It was very helpfull for us. We want to stay next time . Also we want to recommend this B&B for my friend or family.
"Very friendly and helpful owner"
06/14/14 bigelskis Oceanside, New York
This a nice house situated in a residential neighborhood. Ilona is a very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful hostess. The breakfasts she cooks are good and substantial. Just be aware that the location is fairly far away from town (we did walk it, but it is a very long walk) and this is not really a bed and breakfast per se, but is a converted house. It suited our needs, but if you want to be in the center of town you will need to look elsewhere.
"a nice getaway"
05/31/14 Brian L
My wife and stayed there for the last two nights of our visit to the Island. It was a very nice and relaxing place to stay. Ilona was a great hostess who was a delight to talk to and provided great breakfasts.
09/17/13 Megan N Vancouver, Canada
My boyfriend and I came here for my birthday week and it was so relaxing. The B&B was right by a beach/ park called Macauley Park, so it was nice that the beach was right there. The B&B was in a very quiet neighbourhood which was nice b/c we're from a busy city. The owners were so nice and quirky and really friendly. They had plenty of ideas on where to go for site seeing and different towns along the coast. We stayed in the Hemingway suite which was so spacious and uncluttered. It was a large room for two people and had a really nice bathroom with a huge tub. The B&B is also only a 10 or 15 minute drive to downtown Victoria. There are also grocery stores in the area. Ilona and her daughter were so gracious and made sure we had everything we needed. All in all it was so much fun and we made so many memories there. I would definitely go back to stay when we get another chance.
"We'll pay more downtown next time..."
09/16/13 soni k London, United Kingdom
My friend and I booked our weekend stay at Hemingway's via Hotels.com where we paid $178/night plus tax for the 2 bedroom apartment (named as The Lion's Den on Hemingway's own personal website). Upon arrival, we were disappointed to find that the property was not quite as pictured on the websites (hotels.com and hemingway's own site). Although we were greeted very kindly by Ilona and her daughter, the mood quickly became uncomfortable when Ilona indicated that we would both be sharing one bedroom. After a discussion about my booking and showing her my email confirmation clearly reflecting a booking of the whole apartment, she requested an additional payment from us, her reason being that she needed to make some profit from her bookings. We were tired from a long day and agreed to pay her because we'd already paid a total of $400+ for two nights and did not want to forfeit the total amount over it. The apartment was sufficient in that the beds were comfortable, nice bedding, it is however, completely outdated. The bathroom was clean but nonetheless it appeared like something out of the 70's and just didn't give one the feeling of cleanliness though I would not go as far as to say that it was dirty. The toilet flush is so loud, there has to be something done about it (using the bathroom in the middle of the night results in a startled awakening for any other occupants of the suite). The sink tends to clog up quickly and you have to give the water a few seconds to drain. The room named as Peru (the door has a small sign labeled Peru) which is named the The Lair on the Hemingway site, is cozy but unfortunately the pipes are SO LOUD. Everytime the water was running (somewhere in the b&b i'm assuming) the noise would awaken me and didn't make for a very restful sleep. It totally sounds as if the water is about to come bursting through the walls. The suite itself is situated next to the main kitchen, coffee at 8am and breakfast at 9am makes for a very noisy morning. If you are going for rest and relaxation, I would seriously consider all of the above and to be fair I will state that perhaps a room located elsewhere in the B&B might be more pleasant. The dining area is a nice open space with 2 small and 1 large table, very spacious and the part I liked the most. The breakfast was also light & good, cheese on bagel, scrambled eggs, turkey/veggie on toast, fresh fruit, tea/coffee. The whole experience with charging us extra money the night when we checked in left a slightly bad impression upon us. The location is away from the city centre but to be honest it is not a long drive to get in to the city. The sea is nearby as the name indicates, no complaints there as we were aware that it was Hemingway's BY the sea and not Hemingway's ON the Sea. Overall, if they would most importantly be honest about their pricing and sort out the issue with the insanely loud pipes/toilet, it could make for a good stay.
""Hostess with the Mostest""
09/15/13 Lorri W Redmond, Oregon
We were celebrating our 35th anniversary with a trip to Vancouver Island. Hemingway's-by-the-Sea was our first stop. We stayed four nights. My husband and I have been staying in Bed and Breakfasts for almost 30 years. Ilona stands far and above any of the innkeepers we've met. We stayed in the Key West room. Waiting for us was an anniversary card and a lovely vase of flowers. The room has a huge bay window with binoculars for exploring. We were quite comfortable, but wished there were some drawers for our clothes. We were spoiled for the first two days as we were the only guests and had Ilona and Nicole to ourselves. Ilona was recovering from a scary health issue and had her amazing daughter, Nicole, helping out. In spite of everything, Ilona was vivacious, warm and tremendously helpful. She has a stack of Victoria maps which she highlights as she talks about places to go and things to see in Victoria. She showed us a good place to park our car and then walk across the bridge to downtown. Ilona strongly recommended the Maritime Museum, which did not disappoint. It was a perfect activity for a rainy day (in September!) The breakfasts were varied with many choices. There was always music playing softly in the background. The day we left, Ilona had written out points of interest for our drive to Nanaimo. What a special lady. PS upon our return home, we had an email from Ilona and Nicole telling us how much they enjoyed having us at Hemingway's-by-the-sea. Classy!
"Hemingway Suite was SWEET!"
09/05/13 Annie P Port Townsend, Washington, United States
We just returned home yesterday from our three night honeymoon stay at the Hemingway's by the Sea, staying in the Hemingway Suite. From the stained glass mermaid window and mirror in the bathroom, complete with two shower heads and a large garden tub made of marble; to the partial canopied extremely comfortable king size bed; to the personal balcony; to the mammoth fireplace, this room was the epitome of luxuriousness. The European style breakfast was a fantastic spread, different each day with cheese and fruit plates, variety of breads and one or even two main dishes made from fresh local ingredients, plus a great cup of coffee or tea! The owner Ilona and her daughter Nicole were excellent hostesses, great company and very helpful. We will return!! xoxo
"Happy in Victoria"
09/03/13 Beth M Colfax, Washington, United States
This is why we love bed & breakfasts! Our room was clean and comfortable, and we slept really well! The hostess was delightful and very accommodating. She tried very hard to meet our every need for comfort, schedule, and help. It was relaxing and lovely. We stayed in the Kenya room. The bed was extremely comfortable. The large (private) bathroom was just across the hall from the room and though it was not en-suite, it was private, convenient and clean. Breakfast was delicious. It was quite close to downtown without the noise and traffic of downtown. Very pleasant stay!
"Large room, very comfortable bed & delicious breakfast"
09/02/13 Linda R Edmonton, Canada
This was our first B & B experience so I was anxious that my husband enjoy it (he seemed uncomfortable being in a house rather than a hotel). We booked the Hemingway's Suite which was enormous. It had a new king-size bed that was the best bed I had found in a hotel ever! There is a large soaking tub and a lovely balcony. There is a minimal kitchen facilities but we didn't use them. Ilona and her daughter were very welcoming offering a hot drink or filtered water on our arrival. They also made great recommendations for sight seeing and dinner. The breakfast in the morning was beautifully presented and excellent. My husband and I enjoyed our first B & B experience. As he noted, this is not a cookie-cutter experience. Every B & B is going to be an adventure. He seems up for that! Our first impression of the property was a little disappointing as we approached it via the sketchy streets of Esquimalt. It is not on a large property. We thought it would be "by the sea" so we were surprised to find it on a suburban street. However, it is only a short walk down to the nearby Saxe Point park overlooking the harbour. It is a beautiful spot. The area is quiet and close to downtown Victoria. I found it a bit pricey for a B & B and because it was a distance from most of the tourist sites however, if you want a lot of room and a great bed and a yummy breakfast, then this is the place for you.
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