Vancouver Island rakes in awards at 2023 Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards

Graham Cox

Travellers seem to be singing Vancouver Island’s praises, according to multiple readers’ choice awards lists published by travel company Conde Nast Traveler earlier this week.

The 2023 readers’ choice awards were released Tuesday, with Victoria and Vancouver Island being celebrated as prime travel destinations, as well as multiple resorts and hotels.

More than 520,000 people participated in Conde Nast’s readers choice awards survey this year, which is now in its 36th iteration.

Out of all the “small cities” in the world, Victoria was named the best small metropolis to visit this year.

It was followed by San Sebastian, Spain, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in second and third place, respectively.

“A popular day trip from Vancouver, British Columbia’s capital city well deserves a visit of its own,” reads the Conde Nast website.

Travellers are encouraged to soak in the views of the ferry ride between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen, and take in some of the cafes and bakeries that line the Inner Harbour, according to Conde Nast.

“If you’re seeking a more rural escape, disconnect in the ancient forests with a road trip on Vancouver Island,” said the travel company.

This year, Conde Nast voters also placed Vancouver Island as the fourth best island in North America to travel to, outside of the U.S.

It was beaten by Isla Holbox, Mexico, in first place – Cape Breton, N.S., in second place – and Isla Mujeres, Mexico, in third place.


Meanwhile, several Island hotels and resorts were among favourites, based on votes by Conde Nast travellers.

The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino was voted the third best resort in Canada, and the Brentwood Bay Resort in Brentwood Bay was rated the ninth best.

“We are thrilled to be recognized as one of the top 10 resorts in Canada by the Condé Nast Traveler’s 2023 Readers’ Choice Awards,” said Natasha Richardson, general manager of the Brentwood Bay Resort, in a release Tuesday

“As a member of the Vancouver Island community, having the opportunity to continually put our beautiful home on the map and showcase the exceptional and unique beauty is wonderful,” she said.

Conde Nast readers also named several Greater Victoria hotels as the best in Western Canada.

The Oak Bay Beach Hotel was named the seventh best in the region, the Fairmont Empress was voted 10th best, the Magnolia Hotel & Spa was ranked the 11th best – and on nearby Salt Spring Island, the Hastings House Country House Hotel was voted the 14th best hotel in Western Canada.

Adam Chan

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