For our stay in Victoria, we stayed at the beautiful Delta Ocean Pointe Resort, just a 5 minute walk outside the city centre (across a little bridge or a water taxi trip). The resort is huge with a breathtaking view of the harbour. We had ocean view rooms with views like this in the day:
At night, the parliament building would light up, so that was even more amazing. Aiden loved to watch the float planes landing and the water taxis passing by.
We had two rooms at the hotel: one for Mom, Dad & Damien and one for Babby & Aiden. Each room came with a king size bed, two arm chairs and an ingenious desk/luggage rack. All of the rooms are very new and crisp looking after renovations earlier this year, so it felt very luxurious. Each room had some nice perks for the technology-savvy traveler including power sockets at the height of each side table, amazing wireless (we were able to stream tv from our home media server!) and an integrated section at the desk with power strip, HDMI, VGA, Ethernet, audio. We were very impressed.
The beds were amazing – it made us realize we need a new mattress at home! As you can see Damien loved spending some playtime on our bed, though he slept in a crib supplied by the hotel.
When we arrived at the hotel, the kids were given gift bags, which is all a part of the family travel program they have in place. Each child was made to feel very welcome at the hotel, from the moment they arrived. In addition to the gift bags, the hotel provided a list of family activities in Victoria as well as at the hotel. We didn’t partake of the storytime at the hotel (it was too late for our little ones), but that was really neat to hear about. As you can see, Aiden also enjoyed some time in the hotel pool, which overlooks the harbour:
The only downside of the new renovations was the lack of a bathtub for the kids’ baths. As you can see, we made do; each child had his bath in the sink! And, though I often use hotel baths, I did enjoy the rain shower faucet in the extra-large walk-in shower.
Aiden slept on a little cot in the other room. He was very excited about his little bed and thankfully does not seem to remember that he fell out of it on his first night! He did well sleeping there the next night – without a nap, he didn’t toss enough to loosen his blankets.
We greatly enjoyed our trip to the Delta Ocean Pointe – it was the perfect location for us. The walk was completely doable and we even took the water taxi back one afternoon, so that was a nice extra adventure. Being on the other side of the harbour also made it possible to take a beautiful ocean-side walk to Spinnakers for dinner! We dined at the hotel restaurant for 2 breakfasts and 1 dinner – review of that to come.
Check out all our photos of the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort here.
Disclosure: we received a discount on both rooms; reviews are my own.
Last weekend, we took a toddler-free trip to the Sunshine Coast to stay at the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. This was our first time taking two nights (three days) away from Aiden; in the past we’ve spent one night in Vancouver and one night in Whistler. We had been to Rockwater once before, several years before we had Aiden, and had fond memories of how peaceful and relaxing it was.
It took us about 3 hours from our house to reach the resort, including ferry wait and crossing, which is quite reasonable for a Vancouver getaway. You need to drive about 45 minutes from the ferry terminal to the resort, located near Halfmoon Bay. The resort offers access to many outdoor activities as well as the on-site spa services. Our goal in going to Rockwater was to relax completely – we didn’t want to play tourists this trip, we just wanted to relax. And that we did!
Our tenthouse suite
We stayed in one of the luxurious tenthouse suites. Far from what you’d imagine of anything that has the word ‘tent’ in it, the tenthouse suites offer all the high-end luxuries of resort hotels (king bed, soaker tub, fireplace, heated floors) and then some (check out this view). You won’t find such privacy or stunning views at any other hotel!
My views, though, mostly consisted of this:
I spent a rather embarrassing amount of time in that tub – and I read 2 books over the course of 3 days, so that should tell you a little something about just how chilled out we were during our stay. It was fantastic to rest my pregnant self in the tub or nestled in a pile of pillows on the bed next to the fire. So nice!
The view from our tenthouse balcony
Each tenthouse offers its own breathtaking vista of Secret Cove. Whether you’re enjoying the view from your bed or your deck, it’s easy to forget there are other tenthouses near you. Our first night we had a major wind storm, which did disturb our rest a little bit – quite noisy, as you can imagine, from within a tent. Our next night was perfectly restful (though I am apparently incapable of sleeping in anymore).
Ianiv spent some time when it wasn’t raining to enjoy the deck (I was in the bath, of course) and take some photos. At night, he spent some time stargazing as well – it was breathtaking! It’s easy to forget how much of the night sky we miss seeing when we live in the city – I only wish we could have taken a photo of that to share with you!
We ordered room service one morning from our tenthouse and took our other breakfast, and both dinners, in the Rockwater restaurant. Review forthcoming.
Check out all our photos from our stay here.
Disclosure: we were given a discount for our stay at Rockwater, though our choice to stay here and our review were not swayed by this.
This Fall, Disney opened up a new Resort in Oahu called Aulani. I am a big Disney fan, so we made a point of going to see it, stopping for dinner after our day out visiting the sights of the Island. Aside from how gorgeous the property is, my first impression was definitely: “Where’s the Disney touch?” Aside from the gift shop, the resort was almost Disney-free. Apparently the resort was meant to celebrate Hawaii, though as a guest I think I may have missed the Disney touches.Although Mickey Mouse came out to say hi at one point, only hotel guests are allowed to take a picture with him. Big sad on that one.
We walked the property checking out the fun tube route and waterside, the wading pool and the infinity hot tub looking out over the manicured beaches. All very impressive. I know from the website, the on-site activities are impressive, so I think that part of the resort would be fun to experience. As a plus, the resort does cater to younger kids with their kids club.
The resort is quite far away from Honolulu and Waikiki, so most of your meals would probably have to be on property, as a guest. There are 4 restaurants and 2 bars – and all are very expensive. As a guest, you could expect your stay to be very expensive based on food alone.
We dined at the Makahiki buffet restaurant, which was a pricey $43 per person. Despite the hefty price tag, the food was very impressive. The assortment was large, as each section of the buffet was kept small and refreshed often. From fresh seafood and sushi to many hot meal items including some traditional Hawaiian dishes, we definitely made the most of our meal. The desserts were particularly impressive, including the mini lava cakes. Yum. There was also a kids buffet, featuring food that kids may eat more of such as pizza and macaroni.
If you’re very hungry and willing to make the drive, the meal is worth it – thankfully, if you eat on property, at least the parking is free!
I think a stay at Aulani would be amazing, but only if you go expecting to pretty much stay on property or if you rent a car. I think having to dine on property at the Disney prices is crazy, but perhaps it would be worth it for all the amenities the resort offers. What do you think?
Aside from our Luau date night, we decided to spend one more night on our own while on vacation. My pregnancy food aversions steered me clear of the steakhouse or seafood options, so we went to Sergio’s Italian Table at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I wish we’d gone to Tropics instead.
The restaurant is quite dated. Upon first entering, we were told the restaurant wasn’t serving alcohol, but we could bring our own. Weird. When we were seated, we were given stale bread – Mmm. Our dining options were restricted because apparently someone forgot to do the ordering. What we did order – myself the Bolognese – was very unimpressive. About as plain as it could be made, with poor ingredients, and very oily. A sad meal for our date night!
More Dining at Hilton Hawaiian Village
Another restaurant we wouldn’t give rave reviews to at the Hilton Hawaiian Village would by CJ’s New York Style Delicatessen. We went there for brunch one day and found the service poor and the food ok – but not outstanding.
On the flip side, we did very much enjoy the Round Table Pizza for lunch a couple of times, had an ice cream at Lappert’s Ice Cream and hit up both of the Starbucks locations. For full dining options, read here. The Tapa Bar also makes a mean Blue Hawaii.
We ate both a brunch and a dinner at the Tropics Bar & Grill at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. This was my favourite restaurant on property and one I wish we’d gone to instead of some of the other choices we went to. The restaurant is right on the beach with both indoor and outdoor dining. The restaurant was even featured on the series Hawaii Five-0 where they were served a Blue Hawaii cocktail.
Although we didn’t get Aiden his own kids meal, we still were given a kids package each time we sat down, containing a colouring book and stickers. Great idea on the stickers.
Ianiv & I dined at this restaurant twice, though our mothers also took Aiden there on their own one night. On that night, they had very poor service from their waiter, but on our two subsequent visits together, the service was stellar. The meal was great both at breakfast and dinner – the burger even comes with a cute mayo bottle. I’m all about the cute. Plus, the burger was the best I had on the island (some places served it too raw for my taste).
The restaurant plays live music every evening with a beautiful view of the sunset. Worth a visit!