The Red Chair, a brightly painted vintage piece, moves from inn to inn, exploring the best of the USA. It’s inaugural trip to Canada, a tour through B.C., saw it spend a few days at the Oak Bay Guesthouse.
“It’s like having family come visit, they drag it around to visit everything,” said innkeeper Lori LeCount.
The Red Chair’s story started in Cape Cod in 2012 when it stayed at that region’s finest inns. It has grown to become a harbinger of good things for inns across the US. It has become a symbol of good work.
“For us it will be a chance to pause and see some of the places we don’t always go,” LeCount said. “It is a bit of a kudo. Not everyone gets to host the chair. It’s affirming, somebody identified us as one of the best.”
The Oak Bay Guesthouse was built in 1912 on spec and sold as a private home; after about a dozen years it started hosting guests as Newport Inn. During the war it became a boarding house for women and children left behind, then a boarding house for seniors. In 1975 it was overhauled to make it look much as it is today, boasting 14 washrooms, 11 guest rooms and a generous owner’s apartment.
The Red Chair enjoyed some time looking out at the cherry blossoms from the guesthouse sunroom. LeCount’s other Oak Bay plans for the chair included the spa at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel up the way, Red Art Gallery on the Ave, a pint at the nearby Penny Farthing Pub, Willows Beach and the chairs (Red’s cousins perhaps?) at Kitty Islet.
Red came from Birds of a Feather Victoria in Colwood, staying at Oak Bay Guest House from March 9 to March 15, heading afterward to Marketa’s then Dashwood Manor in Victoria before traversing to Ucluelet to finish out the month.
Learn more about its quest for great inns, and perhaps a few snapshots from its time in Oak Bay, at redchairtravels.com online.