Hotel Blog

The best place to stay in Nanaimo!

Photo by Mi Wok

Did you know that in Japanese, “Nanaimo” means “seven potatoes”? “Nana imo” = seven potatoes. That’s not where Nanaimo got its name, but it’s the kind of fun, quirky fact you’re likely to learn when you visit Nanaimo – that’s because Nanaimo is a fun, quirky place! From its unconventional street names (“Dingle Bingle Hill,” Buttertubs Drive” and “Twiggly Wiggly Road” are all examples, and yes, they’re actually called that) to its colourful citizens (just walk downtown for half a day and you’ll meet some memorable – and lovely – folk!), Nanaimo is a mix of the weird and the wonderful, and that’s just the way we like it.

Come discover Nanaimo this October!


As if Nanaimo weren’t weird and wild enough, Gabriola Island will always be there to complement Nanaimo’s adventurous spirit. A small artist’s community a short ferry ride from downtown Nanaimo, “Gabriola” is shorthand for those who step to the beat of their own drum. Filled with adventurous souls and incredible visionaries, normally the art studios of Gabriola is closed to all but the artists who live and work there… until, that is, Thanksgiving when every year they hold an open house so visitors can see what they’ve been working on all year!

Taking place October 6-8, Gabriola’s Thanksgiving Studio Tour returns for its 22nd year! Worth visiting in its own right, on this weekend Gabriola really opens up to everyone who comes to its shores. It’s a great day trip, and a great opportunity to find utterly unique pieces of original artwork for your home, or for unforgettable gifts for the holiday season! Have a fun experience and get your Christmas shopping done early while supporting local artists – it’s really win-win-win.

If you’re looking to take in Nanaimo in all its glory, stay in the heart of the action – book a room at the Best Western Dorchester Hotel. Just steps from downtown Nanaimo and the harbour, you can grab a coffee (or a pint) at local haunts like The Vault, hop on the Gabriola Ferry, or just explore to your heart’s content! 
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