On the Trans-Canada Highway, at the northern tip of the section known as the Malahat, nearly equal distance from Victoria and Duncan, there is an exit that leads up a mountain road, past a few homes and a lot of trees, to its end point: a resort nestled serenely on the mountaintop, with views that encompass Victoria, Sidney, Bear Mountain, the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker, and even Saanich Inlet. Welcome to Villa Eyrie.
The resort was built as three Lake Como-inspired villas, with a total of 38 unique suites, each one with its own special touches. You can even rent a whole villa, so your family holiday can be held in virtually complete privacy. General Manager Daniel Vogel, who last worked at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, says, “We offer fantastic service, but we want this place to feel comfortable and approachable, whether you are staying a week or are just dropping by for dinner.”
Speaking of dinner, Italian-inspired coastal cuisine at the Summit Restaurant is simply fantastic. There are plenty of a la carte options, but there are always also two or three large plates, served a la famiglia, which add a festiveness and camaraderie to the proceedings. The restaurant is designed so that there are many options for what amounts to semi-private dining, with discreet spaces everywhere—no sense of being crowded at all.
There is an onsite greenhouse that grows seasonal vegetables and herbs such as tomatoes, lettuce, leeks, green onions, chives, basil, thyme, and rosemary. There is even a barn, which is home to horses (available for guests to ride happy trails) and to some chickens, who provide the freshest eggs possible. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all delicious. And before dinner, take advantage of the panoramic, bucolic views from the huge outside patio area, lying just below the restaurant’s edge.
A Tuscan-themed spa and saltwater indoor swimming pool make for difficult choices as to where to spend your time. That is, time when you are not exploring the extraordinary beauty of the surroundings, including pristine trails, with varying degrees of difficulty, for hiking or strolling. A plenitude of golf courses and proximity to all kinds of ocean activities round out the roster.
Villa Eyrie also has the capacity to host all kinds of business retreats and corporate functions. “We have a sister property, the Vancouver Island Motor Circuit,” Vogel explains. “So, we often host groups who are spending time at the Circuit as part of their island adventure.” The ability to sequester one, or even two, of the villas in their entirety means the Eyrie can meet the demands of larger groups, both private or corporate, while maintaining the pristine service environment that a couple or a small family will expect.
Villa Eyrie has thought of everything to make a visit here memorable. Helicopter pad, the barn with those horses and chickens, an approachable warmth of service with no detail left unattended—this is a special place. And nature has been thought about, too. There is no light pollution from nearby cities, so starry night dinners are something very special. The Big Dipper with your port, walnuts, and Stilton? Absolutely. Scenic, elegant, the best hospitality, top-notch amenities, natural splendour, and the finest in dining and wine. This is serenity defined.
Read more in Travel.