{review} The Parkside Hotel & Spa

Parkside Hotel & Spa

Couples choose Downtown Victoria’s, The Parkside Hotel & Spa for its chic, eco-friendly, urban design and amenities that can’t be found anywhere else

The Parkside Hotel & Spa is downtown Victoria’s one-of-a-kind venue when it comes to wedding and events. This boutique wedding venue offers stunning, unique ceremony and reception spaces which cater to both intimate and large gatherings, and which fall well within most budgets.

From rooftop gardens and the soaring glass walls of the atrium to lovely water features and Parkside’s gorgeous lobby fireplace, this venue has style. In addition to chic, urban style décor, brides and grooms are treated to on-site wedding coordinators, a private movie theatre option, fantastic spa facilities and the incredible City Club Lounge high above the city. Let us tell you more…

Putting weddings first…

The Parkside Hotel & Spa opened its doors in 2009 with three event spaces in place though the wedding market was not initially targeted. It was only after the Hotel was bought in 2013 that the fourth venue space, The Urban Ballroom, was created. From that point on there was no stopping The Parkside from becoming a chic, urban-style, premier wedding location in Victoria, offering one-of-a-kind reception and ceremony sites.

The Parkside Hotel & Spa is known for its strong practices of sustainable efforts while providing guests a top notch level of comfort and overall experience. They feature some wonderful, unique amenities that keep guests coming back such as The Atrium which features plants from Crystal Gardens and beautiful ponds full of vibrant Koi fish. The pool facilities at The Parkside are without equal in downtown Victoria. The huge pool and Jacuzzi space is dominated by an intricate tiling pattern all around creating a peaceful environment.

The Parkside Hotel & Spa’s style is contemporary featuring modern tones and is punctuated with vibrant accents and local art throughout. The hotel is very versatile, able to suit a variety of styles and themes, allowing a couples’ vision to come to life.

The hotel features some of Victoria’s largest guest rooms.  Featuring LCD televisions, kitchenettes or full kitchens, separate bedrooms, spa-inspired bathrooms and private balconies. The Ring has personally stayed in many of The Parkside Hotel’s suites and they are great for families coming to the wedding and perfect for couples and their entourages ‘getting ready’ moments. And let’s not forget the great views of the downtown areas as well as Beacon Hill Park and the gorgeous mountain ranges.

One thing The Parkside prides itself on is how the entire hotel staff are involved in a wedding. As Chelsea, the Sales & Catering Coordinator explains, “The hotel designates a strong, organized Events team to work closely with each couple and be there through every step of the planning process leading up to the special day. The Sales & Catering Coordinator is there from day one planning, designing and organizing with the couple, while the Hotel’s Banquet Captain is present on the day of the wedding, ensuring a smooth and perfect day. The Sales & Catering Coordinator also ensures that every Manager on property as each department plays a role in the execution of a perfect event. All hands on deck, so to speak

Dimitri and Nicole were effusive regarding their wedding experience at The Parkside! “We just loved our service! We had lots of little things that we did differently as a bride and groom – things that made our wedding unique – and The Parkside Hotel staff was always willing to accommodate in order to help make our day and wedding weekend perfect!! We felt very special and that the event staff really love their work and that allowed us to ensure our loved ones were well taken care of.”

Happy circumstances with St. Ann’s Academy…

The Parkside Hotel & Spa is blessed with being right across the road from the famous St. Ann’s Academy, which is a popular ceremony choice for couples. Brides and grooms, along with family and friends, get ready and stay at The Parkside for their St. Ann’s wedding, often ending the day with a reception at the hotel. This venue is also a favorite support venue for the many other churches located within blocks around The Parkside Hotel & Spa.

When couples plan a St. Ann’s wedding ceremony followed by a Parkside reception, they can take advantage of the photography opportunities found on both locations, particularly throughout the lush gardens of St. Ann’s.

While The Parkside is more than happy to support St. Ann’s Academy weddings, they are quickly creating a reputation for being a ‘one stop shop,’ offering modern, sophisticated ceremony and wedding reception options all in one fabulous location.

Choices, Choices, Choices…

When a couple first steps into The Parkside Hotel & Spa, they cannot help but notice the glass walls and water features of the three storyAtrium, which is filled with lush plants, “bringing the inside out and the outside in.” Twinkle lights dangle like stars from the ceiling, creating the most lovely afternoon or night time ceremony. Guests (up to 160) are seated on either side of the pond and the bride and groom exchange their vows on the bridge between.

The Rooftop Gardens offer another ceremony and reception location option. They seat up to 120 guests and provide spectacular views of downtown Victoria while you exchange your vows, or your guests enjoy a delicious meal. The rooftop gardens is home to a variety of native plants, flowers and trees amongst Parkside’s designer outdoor living space.

The newest space available for couples (and their 150 or so guests) is the Urban Ballroom, a modern and sophisticated event venue featuring tons of natural light, high ceilings, and doors that open onto the hotel’s patio showcasing the fountains and koi ponds.

The City Club Lounge, set atop the eighth floor, offers an event space that is made even more spectacular by its ocean and city panoramas, which is the jewel in the crown for The Parkside. The City Club Lounge (which can accommodate up to 100 guests) is by far the most popular space, likely because there is simply no other like it in downtown Victoria. The lounge features a wrap-around balcony, floor to ceiling windows, outdoor fireplace, and views of downtown Victoria. The night time views of Victoria’s city lights creates a ‘New York sophistication’ while still providing that sought after intimate feel that couples want when planning the event of their lives.

Demetri and Nicole, who married August 8, 2014, chose The Parkside Hotel & Spa for a few reasons; “We picked Parkside as our ceremony venue because their Atrium has gorgeous open windows that makes it feel like you’re outdoors but being under a roof prevents worry of weather issues! The beautiful botanical garden had the perfect location for our ceremony – a bridge over the pond filled with Koi fish! We also liked that our guests from out of town had a convenient place to stay that was at the same location as the ceremony and our rehearsal. The hotel is perfect for those from out of town as well because it is located downtown, close to Victoria Harbour, and close to tourist attractions.”

Your on-site wedding coordinator

Chelsea, The Parkside Hotel & Spa’s Sales & Catering Coordinator, is quick to point out that, “the hotel and its modern spaces sell themselves! I really find the rewarding part to be there from start to finish. It’s an honor to be part of creating a truly special day for each couple.”

Even though Chelsea admits that she has probably ‘seen it all’ when it comes to weddings, she loves working with this unique venue and being able to offer couples that “suburban-chic twist” that The Parkside is known for, that can’t be found anywhere else.

Chelsea is on standby, helping with every step of the way throughout each engaged couples’ wedding planning process. She was previously a Banquet Captain for the hotel, so she knows everything about the planning and operations of hotel events, including what works and what doesn’t. She is ready to make suggestion in each and every circumstance.

During the first consultation, the couple and the Sales & Catering Coordinator will discuss what the couple envisions for their wedding day – indoor or outdoor ceremony, traditional reception or a cocktail reception. Perhaps a ceremony, on the Rooftop Gardens, followed by a cocktail reception in the City Club Lounge, then a sit-down dinner in the Urban Ballroom. A general timeline of the event – ceremony start and end times, photos, reception start and end is developed. If the couple requires catering services Parkside’s coordinator will provide sample menus and discuss what the couple is looking for so they can communicate with their exclusive catering company, Truffles, to ensure their vision is perfect for their day. And if they are they hoping to bring in a decorator – what are they hoping to do with the space décor wise, and the many further details a wedding involves!

On the wedding day, The Parkside’s Events team assists vendors with setup, prepares the ceremony and reception spaces to the very last details, and liaises with the wedding couple, their family, and the wedding commissioner. “Our team ensures that the DJ or musicians, decorators, and catering set up on time, as well that the wedding commissioner arrives on time.”

Nicole couldn’t say enough about The Parkside’s service. “The outstanding personal attention of [Parkside’s] staff made this experience wonderful. From coordinating the décor setup for our ceremony, ensuring our guest rooms all had their welcome packages, bringing in furniture and décor for a unique rehearsal night cocktail layout, and great communication throughout the whole planning process, it was clear The Parkside staff had our best intentions in mind. The hotel even let us use their movie theater to set up a guitar hero night for the day after our wedding to entertain our guests. Our particular wants and needs for our wedding weekend were addressed completely.”

Leila, who married in May 2014, commented on her experience. “We had the pleasure of dealing with The Parkside Hotel Event Team. They were more than attentive, responsive and cooperative with our last minute changes. The venue was gorgeous and needed minimal decorations. They were flexible and accommodating when it came to viewing the venue and answered all of our questions quickly and efficiently. This is a stunning and unique location where you get the outdoor feel without the worry of poor weather.”

Once the wedding has come to an end, both the couples and their guests are left with memories to last a lifetime!

A few of our favourite things

–  The Parkside Hotel & Spa has won various different awards from Trip Advisor; most recently, Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award and Certificate of Excellence.
– In October 2014, The Parkside Hotel & Spa was rated #13 Best Resorts in Canada by Condé Nast’s Readers’ Choice Awards.
– The Parkside’s dedication to sustainability. In fact, the hotel has been awarded 5 Green Keys (out of 5) for its Eco-Rating and 2010 Energy & Environment Award: Hotel Association of Canada.
– The small bistro off The Parkside Lobby, Tre Fantastico – fun entrees and interesting twists on coffees and teas.
–  The private movie theatre. How fun is that?!
– The proximity to St. Ann’s Academy and its gardens (for ceremonies and photo ops)
– The Parkside’s downtown Victoria location means it is close to shopping, exploring and night clubs
– The Guest Services Team pride themselves on being able to help anyone with restaurant, shopping and sightseeing recommendations, so guests can fully experience the modern art of hospitality!

Details, details, details…

The Parkside Hotel & Spa provides several different packages, including ‘Ceremony Only’, starting from $1295.00, Reception Only, starting from $1695.00, or a combined package. Each package may include, but is not limited to:

– 10 complimentary ceremony parking for guests of honor
– Wedding Rehearsal in event space (scheduling in advance required)
– Wedding Concierge; dedicated Banquet Captain on-site for wedding day
– Pre-event planning consultation with Sales & Catering Coordinator
– Use of hotel grounds for photographs
– 25% off for Bride & Groom at The Parkside Spa the month of the wedding
– 15% off Bride & Groom’s friends & family at The Parkside Spa the month of the wedding

The average bride spends $5000 to $6000 depending on how elaborate the food and drink choices are. Wedding charges include a 15% service charge fee.

A $500.00 deposit is required to book with a payment schedule. Couples should book as far in advance as possible though The Parkside Hotel & Spa has gained a reputation for pulling off quite the last minute weddings when called upon!

Contacting The Parkside Hotel and Spa…

The best way to contact The Parkside’s Sales & Catering Coordinator about hosting your wedding, is by email events@parksidevictoria.com or phone 250-940-1200</>. The Parkside will set up a time for you to come in and meet with their coordinator and have a private tour of the property! You can also visit The Parkside online at www.parksidevictoria.com.

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