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“Good value”
Review of Helm's Inn

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Helm's Inn
Ranked #21 of 49 Hotels in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
North Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
107 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Good value”
Reviewed 7 May 2012

I have stayed several times at Helm's Inn and it suits my needs very well.
It is clean and well priced for what you get which is a little kitchenette, TV, full bathroom, fresh coffee and very close to downtown Victoria.
Some of the rooms are a bit dowdier than others, but all seem to have the same set up.
On one visit, the room I had had a distinct odor that wasn't gross, just unpleasant. Couldn't figure out what it was, but was only there for 2 nights.
Someone commented that the cleaning was a bit lacking and I have to say that one day the bathtub was NOT cleaned. Otherwise, everything else was taken care of.
Helm's Inn is very good value.

Room Tip: I think it was room 227 or 225 that had that odor. All third floor rooms I've stayed in have be...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pennymasae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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512 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
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English first
Penang Island, Malaysia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012

Helm’s Inn at Beacon Hill Park. Victoria’s Best Kept Secret. The official Helm’s Inn website proudly proclaims itself as “Victoria’s Best Kept Secret”. Its competitive pricing, prime location (ie its proximity to the Victoria Bus Terminal & Top Victorian attractions) plus its homely atmosphere definitely qualifies it to be in the running for “Victoria’s Best Kept Secret”. We were in Victoria, Vancouver Island just end of last month for 2 days and 2 nights in April 2012.
We are a family of 3 adults (parents and grown up child) from abroad on a 4 day trip in spring to Vancouver Island, BC with Victoria as our first stopover. Relying entirely on public transportation, it was highly important that the hotel that we stayed in was within walking distance to: 1) The bus terminal AND 2) The top attractions.

Location
As our PacificCoach bus from Vancouver slowed down at the traffic light junction of Douglas Street & Belleville Street, we spotted Helm’s Inn. It was a mere 1-2 minutes walk (120 m away) from the Victoria Bus Terminal.
As far as location goes, we were ecstatic about how accessible Helm’s Inn was to the Top 3 listed Victorian attractions on TripAdvisor: From the back of the hotel - The Royal British Columbia Museum & its Cultural Precinct, 2 minutes walk/ 150m away – Helmcken House, St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, Thunderbird Park, Netherlands Centennial Carillon & Mungo Martin House, Wawadit’la. The British Columbia Parliament Buildings (3 mins walk/270m away) & the famous Government Street where the legendary Fairmont Empress Hotel stands and blocks of souvenir shops (approx 5 minutes walk) were all equally accessible on foot. Victoria’s Chinatown, Canada’s oldest Chinatown (Fisgard St) is still walkable – 15 mins walk roughly. From the front of the hotel: The Beacon Hill Park, also a 2 minutes walk/ 140m away.

External Façade
Externally Helm’s Inn is an unassuming 3 storey establishment with a bright red neon signage. It consist of 3 separate buildings – ‘Thunderbird building’, ‘Parkside building’ and ‘Mount Royale building’. The reception is situated at the ‘Thunderbird building’.

Room
As mentioned, Helm’s Inn consists of 3 separate buildings. Helm’s Inn has 48 rooms which were all recently refurbished & there are generally ?3 different room types ( depending on which building that you are staying in).
My family stayed in a one bedroom suite in the ‘Mount Royale building’ (the oldest building). It came with a king-sized bed and is fully air-conditioned/ came with heater. I’m not sure whether ours was considered a basic room type/ mid-range type but it was adequate for the 3 of us. There was an extra CAD 10/day charged for a 3rd room guest. The interior was tastefully done. The bathroom was clean and came with a bathtub/shower combo. There is a safe in the room – large enough to accommodate my laptop etc. We appreciated that the room was equipped with an iron and ironing board as well as hair-dryer. The kitchenette was well-equipped – came with a refrigerator, toaster, microwave, kitchen utensils. This came in handy since it was rainy on arrival – so we had waffles and noodles in the room before setting off for our day of sightseeing once the weather cleared up. There was a dining table with 3 chairs. The complimentary wifi was smooth .

Breakfast
Helm’s Inn has no cafes/restaurants on board. Not something to gripe about since downtown Victoria was within walking distance.

Service & Hospitality
This is one area which is a mixed bag thanks to the human factor.
First the positives:
Complimentary coffee and tea are provided in the lobby/reception all day long and during tea-time, complimentary biscuits are provided as well. The sitting room near the front foyer had a homely feel to it which was ideal for reading or just chilling after a full day of sight-seeing. There is free internet access provided in a special little nook just adjacent to the reception desk.
Coin-operated laundry facilities are provided in the ground floor of the ’Thunderbird building’ near the front foyer.

Now for the downside - the variable staff reception :(
This is one area which whilst passable could be improved on. Depending on which staff you encounter , you may give a thumbs up or thumbs down to Helm’s Inn. Which is a bummer considering that Helm’s Inn has a lot of positives. We stayed here for 2 nights so I guess we managed to meet at least 3 different reception staff. I wished that we had remembered the names of the staff so that we could provide constructive feedback but anyways.
We arrived at around 2 pm. Check-in time is 4 pm officially so we had to wait for a short while for our room. We were impressed by the guy who attended to us during check in. Regrettably we can’t remember his name but he was a young guy with a beard I think. He greeted us warmly, managed to get us checked in within 10 mins or so and enthuasistically attended to our queries about places of attractions and even drew us maps.
The same couldn’t be said about some of the other staff on duty on different shifts. A couple of them were rather indifferent to us although we were in the lounge for a good 15 mins or so. Whilst they were not in any way rude, we wished that they could have at least acknowledged our presence with a smile or a hello. Perhaps we had just encountered them on a bad day.

We have visited several countries in different continents and Victoria, British Columbia indeed ranks highly in our list of favourite places to visit. Like a sign that we saw from across the street from Helm’s Inn states : “Night is for Sleeping, Day is for Resting”. Victoria, BC is a city made for walking/ biking which makes Helm’s Inn an ideal base to travel from. Whilst there is room for improvement for Helm’s Inn in terms of the staff reception, we would still recommend Helm’s Inn to friends and family intending to visit Victoria, BC as the plusses outnumbers the negatives.

Room Tip: There is no elevators, so if you are travelling with middle-aged/elderly family members it would be...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DeeWei
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qualicum Beach, Canada
Level Contributor
235 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 April 2012

We stayed at the Helms Inn while on a golf trip to Victoria. It has recently been refurbished and all 29 rooms are suites with full kitchens. We didn't need this type o0f facility but the room was very clean and very cozy. The winter rate of $72 was very appealing. It is very well located in downtown Victoria very close to the harbor. It doesn't have a restaurant but it is very close to many eateries. They do serve coffee all day in a very nice sitting area. Unfortunately their is not an exercise area. We will be back in the summer and if available, it is definitely a place we would stay.

Room Tip: this is an excellent place for an extended stay.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank larryjude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

Very pleasant stay,friendly and comfortable. Near Imax and other attractions.

Room Tip: Some rooms better than others, so ask for the best.
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jasullivan2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
291 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2012

To be frank, i didn't have much expectation when i first saw this hotel, which appeared a motel to me consisting of 3 low layer plain building.

However, after i checked in, everything is beyond my expectation and surprisingly good.

Pro:
excellent location: that's main reason we picked this as 2nd night in Victoria after Fairmont. It's just 2 min walk from Fairmont, 1min from Pacific coach station, BC Museum. What's more, Beacon Hill Park is just next to the hotel across the street.
Large suite fully fitted and newly decorated: It's true suite including a bedroom, a living room (quite spacious with sofa and TV), kitchen (it's large fully equipped again but pitty we don't have time to use it), bathroom, large closet. It'll be perfect if you need to stay Victoria for a few days and like to experience local ppl living.
Reception with free fresh apples, free coffee, free newspaper/magazine, and free advice from the staff which helped us a lot.
Wifi is free and stable too. They got free computer at reception for guests use as well
Price: all-in CAD100 sounds good deal to me. Actually, room and facility are much new and better than Fairmont:)

Con: really can't think of much. Maybe just no free breakfast?:)

Room Tip: it's true suite. g/f is good as you don't need to carry luggage for stairs.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank singdong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Helm's Inn

Property: Helm's Inn
Address: 600 Douglas St, Victoria, British Columbia V8V 2P8, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Victoria Capital Regional District > Victoria > James Bay
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
#13 Family Hotel in Victoria
#19 Romantic Hotel in Victoria
Price range (per night): ₹ 6,379 - ₹ 12,174
Hotel Class:2 star — Helm's Inn 2*
Number of rooms: 42
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Helm`s Hotel Victoria
Helms Hotel Victoria

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