Canadian architect Arthur Erickson (1924-2009) is best known for his modernist public buildings, including Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology, Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall, and the San Diego Convention Center. But in Victoria, British Columbia’s waterfront capital city, Erickson also designed a wing of an upscale 200-room hotel: the Inn at Laurel Point.
Here’s the scoop:
With a stellar location right on the city’s harbor, the Inn at Laurel Point resembles one of the cruise ships or ferry boats that dock nearby. The building’s two wings, the original Laurel Wing and the newer Erickson Wing (named for its architect), are both angled to take advantage of the water views on both sides of the point where the hotel sits.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The hotel’s best rooms are located in the Erickson Wing, where the 65 Asian-style units, which start at 400 square feet, feel serene and calming, with lots of natural wood, big windows, and private balconies with vistas across the harbor.
The spacious spa-like bathrooms, with doors inspired by Japanese shoji screens, have soaker tubs, separate showers, and L’Occitane en Provence bath amenities. The only thing they’re lacking is easily accessible towel rods.
Starting at 300 square feet, rooms in the more economical Laurel Room are simpler and smaller, with more standard bathrooms, but many still have views of the water.
Room amenities in both wings include coffeemakers, fridges, and complimentary wi-fi, which you can access in the guest units and public spaces.
Hotel Facilities and Services
The hotel has a small indoor pool and fitness room. If you’d rather get your exercise outdoors, the building is located directly on a waterfront path the follows the harbor — a scenic running or strolling route.
A unique feature of the inn is the original artwork — vases, bowls, paintings, sculptures, and more — that’s displayed in the guest rooms and throughout the property. The art comes from the collection of the hotel’s late owners, Paul and Artie Arsens.
Another highlight at the Inn at Laurel Point is the food in the lobby-level Aura Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a window-lined dining room and outdoors on an expansive patio, both overlooking the Inner Harbour action.
Aura’s Executive Chef Takashi Ito emphasizes local and regional products and creates particularly imaginative seafood dishes with influences from across the Pacific Rim.
Nightly high-season double room rates at the Inn at Laurel Point start at CAD$319 in the Laurel Wing and at CAD$414 in the Erickson Wing — cool design, plus city and harbor views, included.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. The Inn at Laurel Point, along with Tourism Victoria, arranged my stay for review purposes.