RUGGED COASTLINES, FINE DINING, IMPECCABLE SERVICE AND WONDROUS WILDLIFE AWAIT ON VANCOUVER ISLAND
Located west of mainland Canada, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, is within easy reach by ferry or plane for people traveling from the United States. An array of meeting space awaits on the island offering exciting team-building opportunities, sumptuous dining venues and spectacular coastlines to explore.
Victoria, British Columbia, rests on the rocky southern end of Vancouver Island and is located just 40 minutes from the Victoria International Airport. The city’s British heritage is evident in its Victorian architecture, traditional afternoon teas, sculpted gardens and expansive parks.
Magnolia Hotel & Spa, a stunning venue with exceptional service, is located only steps from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The hotel boasts European-inspired guest rooms and 1,073 square feet of meeting and banquet space accommodating a maximum of 110 people. Each room is flooded with natural light.
Ronette Nyhan, director of sales, proudly declares, “The Magnolia Hotel & Spa is perfect for small executive board meetings, incentive groups, and retreats. We provide outstanding food from The Courtney Room, personalized service and professional staff. Meeting planners can relax knowing their groups will have all the technology, sustenance and service they need to make their event a success!”
Fairmont Empress is a picturesque hotel offering more than 23,000 square feet of meeting space. Recent renovations included adding state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment in the meeting facilities. The hotel boasts an executive meeting space with harbor views and two of Victoria’s largest ballrooms. The Fairmont Empress has complimentary WiFi, a swimming pool, and one of Victoria’s best “high teas” offered in the Lobby Lounge.
Tracey Drake, director of public relations, says, “Following a stunning restoration in 2017, Fairmont Empress offers the perfect mix of iconic heritage and modern luxury, providing a wide range of meeting spaces and state-of-the-art technology. Dubbed as the ‘castle on the coast,’ Fairmont Empress presides over Victoria’s sparkling Inner Harbour in one of Canada’s most beautiful and walkable cities.”
Victoria Conference Centre connects to the Fairmont Empress through a series of opulent passageways. This enormous venue is bright and airy with floor-to-ceiling windows and offers complimentary WiFi. The Centre has 73,000 square feet of meeting space with a variety of meeting rooms, including a 400-seat theatre.
Miranda Ji, vice president of sales, says, “Victoria Conference Centre is bright and spacious with unique meeting spaces that provide optimal networking opportunities for delegates.”
Oak Bay Beach Hotel sits on a spectacular stretch of the Pacific Ocean. Completely rebuilt in 2012, it is one of Canada’s top boutique hotels featuring a full-service spa and heated mineral baths overlooking the ocean. Oak Bay provides a plethora of meeting spaces from an intimate gathering space for eight in The Study to a 300-person reception in the David Foster Foundation Theatre.
Oak Bay provides state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, complimentary WiFi and free parking. Madone Pelan, director of sales and marketing, says, “The Oak Bay Beach Hotel offers meeting planners one of Canada’s most accessible luxury oceanfront resorts, located an easy seven -kilometer walk from downtown Victoria attractions and is close to local shops and restaurants. Oak Bay Beach Hotel is an ideal venue for everything from small board retreats to larger hotel buyouts for incentive programs.”
Out and About in Victoria
Butchart Gardens is an enchanting oasis a short distance from the center of Victoria. The beauty and tranquility of the lush greenery and seasonal floral displays provide a memorable setting for a meeting or event. The Gardens offers a variety of light-filled indoor and outdoor spaces. The venue can accommodate up to 220 seated guests and 400 for a reception. Whether it is an intimate retreat or a lavish festivity, Butchart Gardens will be an unforgettable setting for a memorable event.
Victoria is known for its temperate weather and outdoor activities. Whether a group is interested in golf, cycling, hiking, kayaking, whale-watching tours or fishing excursions, opportunities abound for outdoor team building.
Chefs in the area find inspiration from the fresh, bountiful ingredients available nearby on both the land and sea. Chinatown offers eclectic shopping, tea shops host traditional English teas, and local spas are available to rejuvenate tired guests.
Nanaimo is just over 70 miles north of Victoria and 34 miles across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver, British Columbia. With easy access to Nanaimo’s airport, seaplane and ferry terminals, reaching the city is quick and efficient.
Coast Bastion Hotel is a full-service destination with two large rooms and several breakout rooms accommodating groups of up to 300. This ocean-view hotel has an onsite restaurant, multiple guest room styles, complimentary WiFi and a fitness center.
According to Elverna Edwards-Mailloux, the director of sales and marketing, “The Coast Bastion Hotel is situated in the ‘heart’ of downtown Nanaimo and adjacent to the busy and scenic waterfront and is the ‘premier’ hotel in Nanaimo.”
Vancouver Island Conference Centre is Canada’s newest full-service conference center offering ultra-smart technology and multiple meeting room options. Whether a group requires room for 20 or 800, the Centre has it. The abundance of floor-to-ceiling windows allows visitors to enjoy the natural light and grasp the local vibe while looking out at the city.
The city offers over 500 guest rooms within walking distance of the Centre making it easy for attendees to peruse quaint shops and dine at local eateries in the city’s hub. Gina Bethell, sales manager, says, “From a versatile ballroom/trade show floor, nine multi-purpose meeting rooms to three reception lobbies, the VICC is the most versatile venue in the area.”
Best Western Dorchester Hotel is located just steps from one of Nanaimo’s many harbors and the downtown shopping area. The boutique-style hotel designed with 70 rooms and suites offers business travelers stunning views and easy access to meetings and events onsite.
Relax on the expansive rooftop guest patio for a spectacular view of the ocean or visit the fitness center for a workout. WiFi is complimentary and overnight parking is free for guests of the hotel. Nick Ranger, catering coordinator, maintains, “We are centrally located on Vancouver Island with one of the best views of Nanaimo’s harbor.”
Out and About in Nanaimo
Nanaimo is one of Vancouver Island’s premier outdoor destinations. With more than 200 parks and trails ranging from flat paved surfaces to steep rugged terrain, there is a hiking or bicycling trail for everyone. Visitors can enjoy refueling in Nanaimo’s eclectic culinary scene where foods span from local specialties to ethnic delights.
Thrill seekers can get their adrenaline rush by bungie jumping or zip lining, and those preferring a calmer sport can bask in the year-round temperate weather playing a round or two of golf at one of the many courses located within the city limits. The cold clear ocean around Nanaimo is home to huge quantities of sea life and three underwater shipwrecks making it a spectacular location for scuba diving.
Getting to Victoria and Nanaimo
Victoria Clipper’s high-speed passenger ferry is the fastest and most convenient way for visitors to travel from downtown Seattle to Victoria’s Inner Harbor. Whether you are heading for a conference, a company retreat or a group celebration, peacefully sailing through the scenic San Juan Islands is a relaxing way for your group to leave the daily grind behind.
Sailing directly from Port Angeles, Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula, the Black Ball Ferry Line provides daily round-trip service to Victoria. For visitors wishing to fly to the island, Victoria International Airport has frequent daily flights from Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport.
Magnolia Hotel & Spa
• 64 guest rooms
• 1.073 square feet of meeting space
• Three meeting rooms
• 40 seated capacity in largest room
Ronette Nyhan, director of sales
• 464 guest rooms
• 23,000 square feet of meeting space
• 22 meeting rooms
• 450 seated capacity in largest room
Lisa Klimek, director of catering and conference services
Victoria Conference Centre
• 73,000 square feet of meeting space
• 21 meeting rooms
• 1,500 seated capacity in largest room
Miranda Ji, vice president of sales
Oak Bay Beach Hotel
• 100 guest rooms
• 3,930 square feet of meeting space
• 170 seated capacity in largest room
• Five meeting rooms
Madone Pelan, director of sales and marketing
Black Ball Ferry
Vancouver Island Conference Centre
• 38,000 square feet of meeting and event space
• 10 meeting rooms
• 1,400 seated capacity in largest room
Gina Bethell, sales manager
Coast Bastion Hotel
• 179 guest rooms
• 13,595 square feet of meeting space
• 10 meeting and event rooms
• 300 seated capacity in largest room
Elverna Edwards-Mailloux, director of sales and marketing
Best Western Dorchester Hotel
• 70 guest rooms
• 5,000 square feet of meeting and event space
• Five meeting rooms
• 150 seated capacity in largest room
Nick Ranger, catering coordinator