Come vacation time, you want to go where the people aren’t—to replace traffic and high-rises with rainforest and sweeping ocean views. But when it comes to luxury escapes, most often they’re so remote that getting there is a chore (float-plane or boat access only) or a bore (three ferries and a day spent sitting in your car). Villa Eyrie, a European-style luxury alpine resort on Vancouver Island, is just 30 minutes by car from Victoria. And once you’re there, you’ll see that this hidden island gem has everything you need, including...
1. Beautiful views: Where Lake Como meets West Coast
After undergoing massive renovations a few years ago, this former dated island hotel has been transformed into a grand Lake Como-esque resort with ornate villas, gardens, hiking trails, a mineral pool, helicopter pad and footpaths sprawling over 100 alpine acres on Malahat Mountain. Most every villa suite has Villa Eyrie’s signature panoramic view of the ocean and Finlayson Arm and you can even stay in your own private six-suite villa.
2. A truly elevated alpine restaurant
A common sight at Villa Eyrie? Spotting chefs dashing outdoors to pick produce fresh from the resort’s own garden. The dining concept at Alpina Restaurant is of the terrain: decidedly alpine, that marries the best of European traditions (the executive chef Mario Gross was snapped up from a Michelin-star restaurant in Germany) and West Coast cuisine. If not grown directly on site, everything is sourced from within a 100-kilometre radius. The restaurant also sits at 1,800 feet, so it has a stunning (and award-winning) view of the ocean-meets-Island scenery unfolding before you. And the wine? Around 90 percent of the resort’s wine cellar is a greatest hits showcase of the best of B.C., with a heavy focus on the local Cowichan Valley and the Okanagan. Villa Eyrie has five of the best Wine Spectator-rated rosés in their inventory, along with old world wines from alpine regions in Europe, like northern Italy and France.
3. Unbeatable access to island activities
Hiking, sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming, fishing, boating, whale watching—every great outdoors activity is at your fingertips at this accessible spot on Vancouver Island. But that’s just the start. Supercar enthusiasts will love that there is a world-class Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit down the road. And Villa Eyrie is part of the luxury automotive group GAIN, so the resort has a host of modern car rentals at their disposal (Maserati, Mercedes Benz, BMW and Alfa Romeo to name a few). You can get picked up for your custom Cowichan Valley wine tour, or you could drive yourself around in one of these luxury vehicles—the choice is yours.
4. A Tuscan spa experience
Even the spa has a 180-degree view of the Saanich Inlet. Inside the resort’s Italian-inspired Tuscan Spa there are relaxation treatment rooms, a manicure and pedicure lounge, and the spa combines local island herbs with organic ingredients to create treatments tailored to your needs.
With everything it has to offer in one place (that’s so close in proximity to Vancouver and Victoria) it’s easy to see how the Italian-inspired Villa Eyrie will quickly turn into one of B.C.’s most sought-after coastal getaways. The remote, natural beauty and views of a Tofino, with the elevated dining experience and mountain-village feel of a Whistler. Leave the office at 5 p.m. and check in by 6—that’s the perfect weekend getaway.
For more on Villa Eyrie, visit villaeyrie.com