- Homemade Irish Cream Whiskey – It’s like Baileys, but better. Make a big batch ahead of time, and it can keep for up to two months. Be sure to use a quality whiskey – such as Jameson’s, and you’re set for success. Did I mention that it’s cheaper than the store bought stuff as well? You can have fun with the flavours too. Try and infuse it with peppermint, vanilla, or cinnamon. One word: YUM! Click here for an amazing recipe.
- Soothing Homemade Bath Salts – Here’s the great thing about bath salts, they are so simple to make and you can put whatever you want in the recipe. Maybe you’re stressed out from having your in-laws over, there’s a recipe for that. Perhaps you’re hung-over from one too many rum and eggnogs with your cousins, there’s a recipe for that. Or maybe you just need a relaxing time to yourself with no distractions, there is also a recipe for that. Disclaimer: Results may vary with every bath. These bath salts do not cure hang-overs or get rid of in-laws. Click here for awesome recipe ideas.
- Family Cook Book – I’m sure everyone’s family has those special recipes that are passed down from generation to generation. Like grandma’s meatloaf, who doesn’t love meat loaf? It’s time to put away that old disorganized cookie tin where you are currently keeping them. Why not have them organized in a nice way that is easy to find and use. One idea is to get crafty and DIY, similar to a scrap book. Another idea is to have them digitalized and put onto the computer, so the recipes are easily sharable; there are tons of companies who are doing this right now. Here is one idea to get you started.
- Chocolate Nut Bark – For the chocoholic. Everyone knows someone with a sweet tooth. The staff at work is going to love this holiday-time treat. Try it with dark chocolate for that less-sweet sensation, or even mix it up with white chocolate. Heck! Why not get crazy and add some dried fruit. There is a ton of recipes out there to try, check out this one it is simple and delicious!
- Coffee Cup Sleeves –I don’t know about you, but I love my coffee. I always use a sleeve for my coffee when I’m getting my coffee to go. Does anyone enjoy burning their fingers on the cup? This idea is so great because they are re-useable and absolutely adorable. Did you know that approximately 80% of Canadians drink coffee? That means there is a very high chance that his DIY is going to be a hit with more than one person on your list this year. This blog has as an easy step by step tutorial.
Celebrating 150 years of Canadian Pride
Canada 150 marks a celebration like no other. Over 100 free live performances are scheduled for 11 days leading up to the culmination of events this Saturday, where nearly 50,000 proud Canadian’s will gather in Victoria’s Inner Harbour to celebrate what it means to be truly Canadian. For those needing a brief history refresher, Canada Day, formerly known as Dominion Day, marks the historical event in which Canada gained their independence from Great Britain in 1867.
Canada Day celebrations kick off at 12pm on July 1st. The day will be filled with multicultural artistry, diverse food & beverage offerings, and live music, and of course a grand finale fireworks display to commemorate our nation.
Grab your flags and be sure to check out this eventful Canada 150 Day schedule in downtown Victoria:
Main Stage, BC Legislature Lawn:
12pm: Coast Capital Savings living flag tee shirt pickup
2pm: Coast Capital Savings living flag photo
3:00pm: Elder Blessing
3:15pm: Esquimalt Singer & Dancers
3:30pm: Lekwungen Traditional Dancers
3:50pm: “O Canada” – Valdy & The Childrens Choir
4:10pm: Stella Swanson & The Rosie Joyfuls
4:55pm: CIBC Reaffirmation Ceremony
5:30pm: Dirty Mountain
6:15pm: De Temps Antan
7:10pm: En Karma
8:05pm: The Funk Hunters
Harbour Stage, Ship Point Inner Harbour:
12:30pm: Mexican Folklore Dancers
1:15pm: Lilia’s Polynesian Dance Co
2:00pm: To be announced
2:50pm: Sooke Community Choir
3:30pm: Shan-e Punjab
4:15pm: Fortune Killers
6:00pm: Stinging Belle
7:00pm: Deep Sea Gypsies
8:00pm: Band of Rascals
Top 6 Reasons To Use a Realtor
There is a time and a place for DIY, but buying or selling your home is certainly not one of those! For most, buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your lifetime. Your realtor will save you time and money, all the while supporting you during a highly sensitive time. The following is Premiere Suite’s top 6 reasons to use a Realor:
Negotiating skills are essential if you want the best deal. Realtors are skilled negotiators because they are able to bring an objective voice to a very subjective situation. They are able to remove themselves emotional aspects of the transaction, which enables them to negotiate professionally on your behalf.
Your realtor will have the inside track on properties before they even hit the market. On top of MLS listings, they have access to every home on all market sources, including ones that may not be listed publicly.
3) Access to information
Agents have heaps of information that will come in handy when deciding on a property. They can provide neighbourhood details such noise levels and quality of schools, home features and precautions, as well as market conditions such as how long the house has been on the market, square foot cost of similar homes, and other important criteria that will help guide you on your decision.
4) Understanding the fine print
Shopping for a home is the fun part, but navigating your way through complex contracts and legal arrangements can leave your head spinning. Today’s contracts are often 50 pages or more, with added riders and addendums on top of that. Because real estate agents know the buying & selling process, they can navigate you through lengthy and confusing paperwork that goes with the transaction.
5) Emotional support
For most, property represents the biggest purchase you will ever make. With that comes a rollercoaster of emotions that accompany the excitement and stress of the buying/selling process. Having a concerned, yet objective 3rd party will keep you focused on the most important issues. And when you reach that moment of buyer’s remorse, your realtor will offer professional, objective advice when you need it most!
6) Connections in the industry
Your realtor has spent years, if not decades, building connections with industry professionals. Utilize your realtor’s networking – they can recommend the best lawyers, mortgage brokers, bankers, inspectors, and even tradesmen for renovations.
Join Premiere Suites and the Women’s Real Estate Network to find out if Corporate Rentals are right for you!
When: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 to
Where: Premiere Suites, 834 Johnson Street, Victoria, BC
Price: CAD25.00 /per person (Refund policy)
Please come join us and be inspired by an amazing panel of Women real estate investors, business owners and educators. We have an incredible line up of speakers that will be sharing their knowledge, expertise and stories with all of us.
Does the thought of making extra money with a vacation or corporate rental locally or globally get you revved up? Are you confused about the regulations and the amount of work involved? Is a turnkey property that someone else manages for you they ticket for you?
Join Rachelle and Beverly as they give an overview of what to expect and how to prepare to enter this now global billion dollar economy.
President & Managing Partner
Rachelle was teaching French at the University of Victoria when she first heard about Premiere Executive Suites. She was intrigued by a hotel model that utilized fully furnished condos for accommodation, and after some investigating with her business partner they purchased the franchise for Victoria BC. 10 years ago they started with one apartment and $3000, which has now grown to nearly 50 apartments and a staff of 10. In her years of running the Victoria location, Rachelle has enjoyed meeting new guests and clients from all over the world. She enjoys traveling, particularly cycling trips through Europe, and is very fond of French white wines.
Owner and founder of the Magical Marketing Booth, Beverly combines twenty years of diverse experience with her passion and expertise in the tourism and hospitality industry. Bev has held senior sales and marketing roles in the hotel industry and has used her strategic alliances ability to garner exclusive, long-term business agreements with prestigious clients. Bev delights in using her creativity to offer clients unique insights, perspectives and relationships gained through consistent and proven successes.
Her “magical” ability is in her enthusiasm for matching a large network of suppliers and buyers in the leisure, luxury, corporate, incentive, and educational markets. Her strong community involvement spans tourism and chamber boards, chairing organizations such as Vancouver Island Meeting Planners & Suppliers, the Liaison Committee of CFB Esquimalt, Friends of Protecteur, VI South Film Commission, and the Victoria Hospital Foundation. Bev plays golf, is dedicated to her family and friends, and loves to travel and experience new adventures. Premiere Suites Victoria is thrilled to have Beverly join our team! Her warm, outgoing demeanor and drive for professional growth are an inspiration to us all.
Experienced Bylaw Officer
Eleven years in municipal government with five years focused on bylaw enforcement in two of Vancouver Island’s largest municipalities. In this general overview, Mia will highlight common enforcement matters to consider before buying a property and how to manage your way through the compliance process should a violation occur. The key is understanding the regulations and doing your due diligence.
6:15pm – Registration
6:30pm – Laurie & Liza welcome and real estate up-dates
7:00pm – Mia Frankl
7:30pm – Rachelle Keeley & Beverly Booth
8:00pm – Discussions, questions, roundtable
Your $25 Pre-Paid admission will include an evening of real estate knowledge, networking with like-minded women, a glass of wine and light snacks.
We look forward to seeing you there!
The 10 Things You MUST do During the Holiday Season in Victoria BC
Victoria is a magical place, and it truly comes alive during the holiday season. The city is adorned with twinkling lights, carolers and buskers liven up the streets, and festivals & events take place in every neighbourhood. Premiere Suites Victoria has narrowed down the top 10 events you do not want to miss this holiday season!
1) Vote for your favourite Christmas tree while supporting the Victoria Hospitals Foundation at the 25th Annual Festival of the Trees. Hosted by both the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Bay Centre this year, you will look up in wonder at 85 beautifully & creatively decorated trees
2) Magic of Christmas at the Butchart Gardens is a holiday tradition that you do not want miss. This family friendly, pet friendly event runs the month of December into early January, and features the “12 Days of Christmas” light display throughout the gardens, along with festive brass bands and Christmas carollers, as well as outdoor ice skating.
3) Beat the crowds at the malls and visit Father Christmas in Old Town. You can get your picture taken and share your holiday wishes with this jolly spirit at the Royal BC Museum. Santa will be waiting for you on Fridays-Sundays from 11am-3pm on the first 3 weekends in December.
4) Feast your senses on the creative inspirations constructed entirely by holiday gingerbread! The Inn at Laurel Point is host to Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase, where professional and amateur bakers alike display their masterpieces for all to enjoy.
5) The boats in Victoria’s Inner Harbour are lit up in a vibrant display of Christmas lights during the Marina Light Up. Take in the delightful display as you wander the downtown causeway with a loved one, hot chocolate in hand.
6) On Saturday December 3rd, come be a part of the Ogden Point Christmas Light Up in support of the Mustard Seed. Stay and see the IEOA Lighted Truck Parade, which begins at Ogden Point at 6:30pm and arrives at the Western Speedway by 8:30pm with many viewing locations in between!
7) Marvel at the lights of Centennial Square and downtown Victoria from atop the 20 meter Ferris Wheel Ride. Santa will be there, along with food vendors and holiday entertainers – sure to make this a memorable Christmas event.
8) There is no better place to do your Christmas shopping than at one of the many Christmas Markets offered in Victoria. Find that perfect something for that special someone in your life made by a local vendor with love.
9) Bundle up and bring the family down to the Delta Victoria Ocean Point Resort to enjoy one of Victoria’s great Christmas traditions – Christmas Starlight Cinema in the Inner Harbour. Don’t forget your lawn chair, blanket, and warm drinks – heaters provided by the hotel.
10) Unleash your Christmas spirit as you sign and dance along with the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir. You will have a hard time staying seated through the high-energy sounds of Motown, R&B, Gospel, and Raggae!
Premiere Suites offers their top tips for buying a condo in Victoria
So you have decided to take the plunge and dive into the property pool. Congratulations! Victoria’s real estate market is smoking hot and there is no better time to get on board and start making your investment pay off. With units selling faster than you can view them, it’s important to do your research so you can make a quick, educated decision to get the suite of your dreams.
Here are our insider tips on buying a condo unit in Victoria:
*Set your sights high
Literally and figuratively speaking, higher floor units are more desirable. They come with a better view, are perceived to be safer, and are the brightest and quietest from street noise. Of course with every floor you jump, your budget does as well. Be prepared to spend at least $10,000 additional per floor for a comparable unit.
*Size does matter – But layout is just as important
Consider a unit that is 1000 square feet that is a one bedroom suite plus a den. In the same building, another unit that is also 1000 square feet has a 2 bedroom configuration. Which floor plan gives you the most flexibility? Which layout offers an inviting, open floor plan? Bright, open concept spaces generally most desirable and have the best resale value.
*Location location location
This has been drilled into us, but what does it mean to the home buyer? First, determine what is going on in your neighbourhood. Is a development craze happening? This could be a smart time to invest, as property values tend to rise with infrastructure developments. Do a little homework to source new developments in the area – will you lose your view if a new building goes up next door? Buying street facing (or better yet, a park facing) unit will, at a minimum, protect your privacy and partial view. Remember that lifestyle and convenience are paramount to condo living. A little research into businesses, amenities, and entertainment/recreation venues in the area will go a long way into marketing your unit for rent. Knowing what businesses are coming into the area will affect the future value of your property.
*Get to know the property management
When run properly, strata’s can save you a lot of time, worry, and money, while protecting your investment from depreciation. Do not hesitate to request a copy of meeting minutes or other relevant documents to the management of the building. Consider past special assessments made and outstanding issues that could add costs in the future. When was the reserve fund last used? About strata fees: do not be afraid of the additional price tag associated with strata’s – they are there for a reason. Too low can mean that the building is not being maintained and can affect the depreciate rate. Strata fees that are considered to be high are normally associated with the amenities and common areas within the building. Consider how important spaces like fitness centres, pools, meeting rooms, party rooms, and communal terraces are to you.
*Plan to live there, even if you plan not to
When purchasing our first property, my father-in-law gave us a piece of advice that has always stuck with me. In our search for an investment property, he advised that whichever condo we decided on, we must be willing to live in it, even if we planned not too. Sounds simple enough, but when shopping for an investment property, many only think of the rental potential or resale value, and ignore a scenario where they may have to occupy the unit at a period in time. His advice proved rather useful, for rather than flipping the unit upon completion, we decided to live there for the first year to take advantage of the First Time Home Buyer Program. Had we not chosen the 2 bedroom unit on the sunny side of the building, it is unlikely that our time there would have stretched to 6 wonderful years of downtown condo living. At the end of the day, it’s about keeping your options open.
*Secure a parking space
Even if you do not have a car or plan not to use a parking stall, buying a parking stall alongside your condo unit should be on the top of your “Must Have” list. With parking spaces are becoming increasingly scarce in the city, your unit will be far more valuable with the added benefit of a secure parking stall. There will always be someone willing to rent the space from you if you find it sitting empty.
*Hire a professional realtor
With the lightning-speed rate of sale in Victoria, it can be frustrating at best to get your name in the game, when cash offers are being accepted on the spot. Your realtors will be your best friend during the buying process. Thy have ins on units before they even hit the market, will be your negotiating hero, and will keep you focused on what’s important while making one of the largest purchases in your life. Best of all, it costs you nothing, as the seller pays the commission.
The message is clear, concise, and simple. “I attract to my life whatever I give my attention, energy, and focus to, whether positive or negative.” This is the Law of Attraction in a nutshell. I have to admit the first time I was introduced to the Law of Attraction I was a little skeptical. I hadn’t yet heard about the theory, and it was my old boss who gave me a CD to watch at home. Did you see I just dated myself there? Ah well. Disk in hand, my 20 year old brain immediately sent off warning bells because a) it was work related (or so I thought), b) I thought self help was cheesy (20 year olds have it all figured out, right?), and c) in no way was I going to volunteer 2 hours of my evening without getting paid (I had a lot to learn). Except that I did volunteer those hours and I did take something from it. I may not have been acutely aware of it, but my life did seem to take a turn for the better. My career was taking off, I got married, achieved awards, won a free cruise, and several months later yet another free trip. I felt lucky. Really lucky. I did get a little carried away with the luck factor and started buying lottery tickets for the first time in my life. Of course I wasn’t THAT lucky, but it did make me really think about it all. Maybe it wasn’t luck bringing me all these successes, but my own positive energy enabling me to create these things I wanted in my life.
What prompted this thought is the arrival of an anticipated event in Victoria. Michael Losier is a motivational speaker, radio host, and bestselling author the Law of Attraction. He is hosting a full day event to teach you how to apply the Law of Attraction to your advantage so you can use Law of Attraction deliberately to attract more ideal customers, clients, opportunities, and resources for a successful business. Register for the full day event on October 1st here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/michael-losier-law-of-attraction-tickets-27317255647
With Labour Day behind us and temperatures reaching into the 20’s, the stage was set for a weekend of indulgence as thousands gathered at the Royal Athletic Park for the annual Great Canadian Beer Festival. The energy was high as people sipped on local and national brews reaching as far east as Nova Scotia. Victorians are serious about their beer, with artisanal beers gaining popularity every year. Listen beyond the buzz of tipsy chatter and you will hear conversations about lactic fermentation, quinoa and amaranth composition, cask conditioning, aromatics, finishes, and how toasted coconut and curry powder add a whole new meaning to India Pale Ale. Victoria’s own Spinnaker’s featured local ingredients this year, with fresh hops grown right on site at Spinnakers, and local honey being showcased in their Queen Bee Honey Kolsch. Albeit a beer festival, crowds gathered at Tod Creek Cider, who featured an organic triple-hopped craft cider. Music kept the vibe elevated throughout the day, and food trucks satiated the festival goers so they could keep drinking until the end.
For one magical weekend we came together to celebrate two things that go together so well. Canada and Beer: a match made in heaven.
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa has always been one of my favourite hotels. A background in tourism has awarded me a vast knowledge of hotels, and the Magnolia Hotel was a name that often arose in the industry and was requested by business and leisure travelers alike. I never hesitated to recommend this hotel, for to me it represented Victoria so well. Welcoming, just the right size (not too big, but still lots to do), and full of charm. Not to mention it’s ideal location smack-dab in the heart of the city and only a block from the harbour.
Needless to say, Premiere Suites Victoria is very excited to enter a partnership with this gem in our city.
Magnolia Hotel and Spa is the perfect accommodation option for our short term guests. The 64 room boutique hotel is small in size, but big on amenities. Guests on business will appreciate complementary internet, phone calls, and faxes, as well as the 24 hour business center. The establishment hosts a fitness center with infrared sauna, as well as an alluring spa to unwind and relax after a long day. This upscale boutique hotel offers valet parking, and laundry & dry cleaning service. Foodies will feel at home eating at the Mediterranean inspired yet locally sourced Catanano’s Restaurant and Cicchetti Bar (Pronounced chi-Ket-tee, meaning small bites or plate of food).
Take a peek at the menu. I just finished my lunch and my tummy is already growling at me after seeing this! House made chorizo in puff pastry with rosemary honey and sea salt? Yes please! http://www.ferrisoysterbar.com/catalano-restaurant/
We love this boutique hotel, but we’re not alone! Did you know that the Magnolia Hotel was voted one of the top hotels in Canada by Conde Nast Traveler, and recognized as both a Top Hotel in Canada and a Top Luxury Hotel in Canada by TripAdvisor’s Travelers Choice awards… for the last four consecutive years? It has also been recently awarded #10 Business Travel Hotel in the WORLD by Conde Nast Traveler.
So what does this mean for you? When our guest’s check in at the Magnolia Hotel and Spa, we know they will be taken care of with the kind of undistracted attention you can only receive in a boutique hotel with just 64 rooms. And our partnership allows us to share the savings of our corporate rates with you, our valued guest.
We look forward to hosting you in Victoria!
Whether we are ready to admit it or not, it’s almost that time of year again. The Holidays are fast approaching us. This time of year brings so many things to be thankful for like family, rum and eggnog, the smell of home baked goods, those crisp and cool frosty mornings, rum and eggnog, out-door ice skating, and hoping for snow. Did I mention rum and eggnog?
I’m sure we all have a few people on our list who are difficult to shop for. The simple brother who is impossible to shop for, the aunt who has everything, or the sister-in-law who is thrilled with whatever you get her but secretly she hates it. Well, why not mix things up this year. Keep it simple and do it yourself. I’ve put together a list of DIY gifts for the Holiday’s that are a sure-fire win! Not to mention they are simple, because if you’re like me if it looks too complex it will turn into one of those Pinterest fails. Yikes!
The Fall 2014 edition of Capital Magazine launched this week, and we are ecstatic to be front and centre with a full-page spread. The positive feedback we have received already truly warms our hearts, and is a reminder to all of us why we work in the hospitality industry. Premiere Suites definitely has a competitive advantage that is hard to beat.
Although I am still a new addition to the team at Premiere Suites Victoria, from day one I knew that Premiere is not your average 9-5 job. Every day for us is different, and that’s what keeps us loving what we do. Everyone is special in their own way, we’ve accepted it. When guests have special requests I am always doing my very best to accommodate, even if that means taking a trip to a building to measure how high the parking garage is…or counting how many TV’s are in a given suite. It’s just part of what we do. We understand that a lot of our guests have to be away from their families and loved ones for extended periods of time when travelling for work. That’s why we strive to make every guests stay as comfortable as possible.
Our Niche in the Industry
When it comes to pricing and luxury for extended stay guests, we believe we are in a good spot. A fully furnished condo with us costs less than a comparable hotel. Ours are larger, include parking, cable, internet, housekeeping, and in-suite laundry. A big advantage to staying with us is that all of our stays longer than 30 nights are non-taxable. What you see is what you get, and what you get is a lot. Literally bring your suite case and you’re home.
“Life’s too big for a hotel room”
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