Did you ever wonder where B&B owners go to get away from it all? They go to other B&Bs! Even though we have to tie them to their chair so they don’t clear the table after breakfast, we love when our fellow innkeepers come for a visit. Pictured above is Janice and Gordie from the Long Lake Waterfront B&B in Nanaimo who came over with friends for a spring get-away. The Long Lake Waterfront B&B was the first B&B my husband, Gary, had ever been to. He was delighted when Gordy asked him if he wanted a ride on his sea doo around Long Lake. For Gary, that created a standard for all other B&B’s. There is always something wonderful to experience in every different B&B. They are as unique as the folk who run them.
Gordy taking guests for a ride at the Long Lake Water Front B&B.
Ross and Nancy from Royston House B&B also visited us this winter. Ross is an organic gardener whose passion for keeping things natural has led to his property certified as a backyard habitat by the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Nancy brought me some delicious preserves she made from their organic gardening including some crab apple jelly that reminded me of home and some delicious apple juice. I can’t wait to go visit them after the Royston House season. They are just a hop skip and jump away from the Kingfisher spa where my daughter and I will be going to celebrate the end of my busy season and the completion of her master’s degree. Doesn’t that sound like a great get-away at the end of the season?
A holiday is always a treat when you can find someplace different than home. There is no place more different for a weekend get-away for us "Ucluetians" than Vancouver, called affectionately “the Big Smoke”. Even though Vancouver is chocked full of the excitement and sounds of a city, we have found a “home away from home” when we stay at B&Bs. The two that are my all time favourites are the West End Guest House in down town Vancouver and Thistle Down B&B in North Vancouver.
The West End Guest House is in on Haro street. It is a short walk to any downtown Vancouver sites and though it is only one block off Robson it is so quiet that you can’t hear any traffic noise from the B&B. Evan and Ron have a sherry hour at 5 p.m. where fellow guests congregate in the main parlour to meet. The decor is beautiful lush textures without the fuss of doilies. This heritage house will make you feel that you are a welcome addition to the neighbourhood.
Thistle Down B&B is just a short walk from the Capilano suspension bridge and hikes up the Thistle Down's backyard mountain. Ruth is an interior designer who has created a feeling of comfort and style in this North Vancouver B&B. It is not uncommon for Rex to serve up fabulous breakfasts in his kilt followed by their beautiful scottie dogs. The many bird feeders in their back yard will entertain you throughout their delicious breakfasts.
This winter I have planned on visiting more B&Bs on Vancouver Island so that I can make recommendations to my guests. I am excited to have been invited by Ian of Abbeymoore Manor to come and stay. Abbeymoore Manor won Trip Advisor’s traveller’s choice award as the #1 bed and breakfast in all of Canada! Because we presently hold Canada’s #7 place, there will be much to learn from the good folk at Abbeymoore. I will let you all know how Abbeymoore has become such a highly rated B&B. Perhaps Ian will permit me to pass on some recipes in my fall blog?
If you are looking for an exceptional experience in B&Bs, in other areas of British Columbia, check out the offerings in the BC Innkeeper’s Guild www.bcsbestbnbs.com/ All the B&Bs I have mentioned are members of the guild. The BC Innkeeeper’s Guild is the only provincial B&B organization in BC and was established to create quality assured lodging options. Though the properties vary from ocean front resorts to heritage houses in the city, I have always been pleased with the guild properties I have stayed at. They are all just a cut above.