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Dine Around offers true Victoria experience to locals

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Imagine your body stretches as you slowly sprawl out on your king-sized bed, eyelids warming to the light, the smells of fresh linen and ocean breeze caressing your nostrils. You’re on vacation, and you haven’t even left your city.

If you’re one of the patrons lucky enough to jump on the deals of Victoria’s 10th-annual Dine Around & Stay In Town event from Feb. 21 to March 10, you already know what’s in store: participating restaurants offering special three-course menus for $20, $30 or $40 per person, and select hotels offering accommodations from $79, $99 and $129 price points.

For Victorians who have never tried their hand at vacationing local-style, the event — presented by Tourism Victoria and the BC Restaurant & Foodservices Association’s Victoria branch — offers a rare opportunity to find out, first-hand, what thousands of tourists keep coming back to our city to see.

When it comes to that postcard-perfect glimpse of Victoria, the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa is one location that gifts that rare view of the city to let even residents feel like they are getting away. And the Delta hits the Dine Around event with a double whammy: offering guests a night’s stay from the special $99 range, then a dining experience at LURE Restaurant & Lounge from the $30 point, with a special celiac menu.

While the Delta can’t compete with the heritage of tradition that hotels like the Fairmont Empress offer tourists eager to spend for the experience, the Delta's newly renovated rooms and updated amenities provide guests a refreshingly modern take on our city. Situated on the Songhees side of the Inner Harbour, the resort is garnished with a full waterfront setting, an award-winning Spa, complimentary health club, indoor swimming pool, tennis/racquet courts and guest service that every team member is proud to brag about.

While it might be in your best interest to disconnect from life for a while, guests can also integrate work with the Delta's new "SmartDesk" work area, with more technology hook-ups in one spot than anyone on vacation should utilize. For those rubbing their hands together at the idea of relaxing, The Spa at Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe was voted first for "Best Place for a Manicure & Pedicure in Victoria," and third for "Best Spa in Victoria," by Victoria News’ Best of the City awards in 2012.

Perhaps what sets Victoria's Delta apart, however, is LURE Restaurant & Lounge, and chef Dan Bain. Bain came to the restaurant in 2005 as saucier before becoming head chef in 2011. And with Dine Around specials like grilled pork tenderloin made with fresh tagliatteli, cambozola cream, pine nuts and apricot-carrot chutney, it’s easy to see why. Bain has been known to use his fiery passion for marine biology to give his own innovative take on local ingredients with culinary artistry — think stenciled messages specially inscribed to impress your date. From roasted carrot bisque to white chocolate mouse, diners will want to stay all night. Add on the sommelier suggested wine pairings with each course for $20, or have even more fun sampling the bevy of house-created artisan cocktails, like the gin-cucumber "Crouching Tiger."

Even if you only make it for appies, LURE’s best-kept secret is its unsurpassed views of the city’s beautiful Inner harbour from every seat in the house, making it the ideal spot to take anyone who wants a truly Victorian experience. M

Contact the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa (45 Songhees) by phone: 250-360-2999/1-800-667-4677, or online at deltahotels.com/Hotels/Delta-Victoria-Ocean-Pointe-Resort-Spa.

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