Amoré By The Sea Lives Up To Its Name
By Lynn Welburn
Contributor to TravelinkPublishing
Imagine a secluded resort where you're lulled to sleep at night by the lapping of waves on a sandy beach; where your wake-up call is the twittering of quails, and where 'amore' is embodied in resplendent luxury.
Now forget your imagination because at Amoré by the Sea, it's reality.
Located only 20-minutes from Victoria, this lovely getaway is listed as one of the 15 most romantic B&B's in the 2002 edition of Arrington's B&B Journal. So you can imagine what you'll find: luxuriously appointed, spacious rooms with a queen-sized bed, and a jetted jacuzzi tub where you can relax while the rain patters against the window, inviting you to snuggle more deeply in the warmth of the fireplace. And views that stretch across miles of deserted beach and to the distant twinkling lights of the city.
Amoré by the Sea is run by Denise and David Spence who decided a few years ago that they so enjoyed running a bed and breakfast, they wanted something larger and more gracious than what they had. After looking around, they finally settled on a large, rather rundown family waterfront home on 1.5 acres. The rural setting of Metchosin was ideal, but the home needed a lot of work to create what they both imagined - high-end accommodation with those homey touches that make the B&B experience so satisfying.
"Guests love the peacefulness here," says Denise Spence, "As soon as they walk through the door, you can see a kind of disbelief come over them as they realize its serenity".
She echoed our sentiments exactly.
Check-in time is from 4 to 6 p.m. daily and because we arrived a few minutes early, we took the time to stroll across the lawn and bask in the vista of a seemingly endless sand and pebble beach.
The waves brushed up against the shore. A seal played hide and seek in and out of the water. A family of quails ran along the lawn, their cute top-knots bobbing as they scurried to safety in the nearby brush. While it had taken only a quarter hour to get to Amore from the bustle of Victoria, we might as well have been on another continent, it was so tranquil.
Amoré by the Sea offers beach-themed guest rooms with panoramic views and simple, yet elegant decor. In addition to guest rooms, there's a dining area where Denise serves up a multi-course gourmet treat each morning at 8:30 a.m. sharp, a common room where you can curl up with a book by the fire, a six-person beach-side hot tub as well as a seasonally-heated 25-foot indoor pool. One of the spots to enjoy at Amoré is its Seaside Spa where therapists and estheticians will pamper you from head to toe. Services include aromatherapy and reflexology massages, skin care, pedicures, manicures and facials. An especially romantic touch is Amoré's "Couples" massage.
A short stroll away lies a wildlife sanctuary, centred around a secluded lagoon at Albert Head Beach. The sanctuary provides refuge for such a wide variety of birds, birdwatchers visit from all over the world. For us, it was the perfect way to digest Denise's superb breakfast and when we returned at dusk, we were treated to other wildlife - deer, otter and seals.
If you want to venture further afield, Amoré by the Sea rents kayaks and bikes, both of which are a delight to use since the surrounding waters are well protected, and cycle paths are flat. Within a half hour's drive, you can enjoy the year-round beauty of Butchart Gardens, delve into history at Fort Rodd Hill (wear good walking shoes) or check out the Fisgard Lighthouse. Built in 1860, it is Canada's oldest west coast light, and although it was automated in 1929, Fisgard Lighthouse and Museum is open to the public year-round, offering two floors of displays.
Victoria's more urban fare, of course, is within easy reach and is always hopping with activity: live theatre, museums, shopping (Antique Row is our favourite) and terrific restaurants. For an evening of ultra candlelight and romance, head for the award-winning Victorian Restaurant, overlooking the Inner Harbour or the Blue Crab Bar & Grill, arguably the best seafood spot in the city.
As a place to celebrate anniversaries, engagements or other special occasions, Amoré by the Sea is hard to beat, and the Spences offer a number of romance packages that include flowers, chocolates, massages and other heart-winning touches. For us, however, the real charm of this B&B is that it is so near to Victoria, yet seemingly a world away?.. a greatest getaway that is as romantic as it can be spontaneous.
If You Go:
David & Denise Spence
Amoré by the Sea Bed and Breakfast
246 Delgada Road
Victoria, British Columbia
Tel: 888-828-4397 (toll-free)
Web site: www.amorebythesea.com
From downtown Victoria, follow Douglas St. North out of town. Douglas St. becomes HWY 1 North at Walmart.
Follow HWY 1 North (5km) to Exit 10 (Colwood) which turns onto Sooke Rd (HWY 14).
Follow Sooke Rd (6km), turn left onto Metchosin Rd. Follow Metchosin 3 1/2 km.
Turn left onto Farhill Rd. Follow signs to Albert Head Beach & Lagoon.
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