September 27, 2001
My twin-bedded room was generously proportioned --- the beds appeared to be ‘queens’ rather than ‘twins’ --- with plenty of flat spaces to pack and unpack luggage. Amenities included a larger-than-normal bathroom with coffee-maker, ironing board and iron, and hair drier. And, large windows, overlooking the harbor, that I could actually open and shoot pictures through.
The harbor with marred slightly by the busy street below, which carried most of the city’s transit-bus routes. The taking-off of seaplanes could have annoyed some guests, but I’m a former student pilot and enjoyed watching them. Also, the building was soundly-built enough that closing the windows shut off much of the noise.
The lounge was ok, but opened off the main lobby immediately adjoning the entrance and front desk; it could be noisy at times. The check-in attendant was very attentive, helpful and knowledgable, but occasionally overwhelmed when confronted with arriving guests and ringing telephones simultaneously. There was, alas, no swimming pool.
This restaurant in this hotel, the amusingly misnamed ‘Cafe Casablanca’, is no ‘cafe’ at all: It’s a superb fine-dining restaurant whose menu and wine list would be standouts in a city ten times the size of Nanaimo. It’s one of the reasons I highly recommend Hotel Best Western Dorchester.
From journal Nanaimo, B.C.: A Vancouver Island Interlude