We ended up spending a night at the Best Western Dorchester following a booking snafu at the Coast Bastion. Going in, I was actually looking forward to the brief stay because I kind of liked the Dorchester’s “vintage” look. You could tell, even from just the outside, that the Dorchester was at least 50 years old. Of course, that’s a non-issue for me; I tend to like staying at older properties because they often have interesting stories to tell if only we have but the eyes to see and the ears to listen.
In terms of location, the Best Western Dorchester is more than ideal. Situated in the heart of downtown, the hotel is a mere stone’s throw away from the popular Harbourfront Walkway, Maffeo Sutton Park, Seaplanes and Convention Centre. Other attractions such as the Old City Quarter and Casino are but a few minutes’ walk. Thus, if you want to be in the heart of the action, you can’t get much better than the Dorchester.
Entering the Best Western Dorchester, you can’t help but feel there’s a slight elegance to the place. The lobby, in particular, seamlessly blends the “old world” with the contemporary in a seamless way and manner. The lobby area’s fountain further adds to this slight air of elegance. The various hues of grey found throughout the hotel, which some might find kind of drab and lifeless, do much to help the Dorchester exude a sense of calm despite being in the heart of downtown.
Check-in was a breeze. The hotel staff were efficient and friendly, which I appreciated after the earlier booking error at the property just across the street. They pointed out the complimentary full breakfast served in the AM (which we didn’t try), as well as some of the smaller amenities like free parking and a small business centre. We tend to take small things like this for granted in contemporary hotels.
We had a king room on the ground floor. And while the Dorchester markets itself as a boutique-style hotel, I didn’t particularly care for the space. The room was tiny and the (hard) king bed took up probably close to 85% of the area in the main room. In fact, the edge of the bed had less than a foot of space between it and the dresser/TV stand. In instances like this, there’s little room for luggage! On the plus side, at least the bathroom wasn’t nearly as compact. That said, probably the biggest inconvenience experienced during the short stay had to be the air conditioning unit above the doorway. Simply put, it did not function properly – even after a call to the front desk. It blew warm air all throughout the night, making an already warm room that much more uncomfortable. On their website, the Dorchester Hotel asks, “How much more can you ask for?” I say, “how about an air conditioner that works during the summer?”
While the location of the Best Western Dorchester is practically unbeatable and the staff friendly I did not particularly care for the compact nature of the accommodation, nor the ill-functioning cooling unit. Had this equipment worked properly, this hotel, overall, would receive a higher rating; however, the heat made sleep quite difficult – something further compacted by the stiff bed. less
NanaimoResponse, Director of Operations at Best Western Dorchester Hotel, responded to this review
Good Day Pookycake
Thank you very much for taking the time to post your comments about your recent stay at the Best Western Dorchester, yes we are an older historic landmark property in Nanaimo, having been situated as a hotel since the early 1900's. The style of guest room is of the old traditional style of cozy and compact space with all the amenities available. The hotel staff take great pride in providing great service, value and location for all our guest.
I am so very sorry that you were not in one of the recently refurbished guest rooms where the new furniture is light in colour and very sleek and contemporary but not loosing the feeling of the hotel. With all older buildings of the early of the last century air conditioning and heating technology has vastly improved. I am so very sorry that the heat was set to high for your arrival and the air conditioning unit was not functioning in the early part of this month. I will have our maintenance look at situation.
Thank you again for your comments about your stay, as guest feedback is always welcome.
Director of Operations