5 Unique Places to stay in Powell River – that aren’t your parents’ basement
Visiting family in Powell River is often part of the reason we come back to Powell River, but just because they have ample room in the basement for you–and possibly your significant other–it’s not your only option. If you’re visiting a special community like Powell River, it’s worth scoping out a neat place where you’re bound to enjoy the natural beauty, relaxing ‘island but non-island’ time, and the abundance of stunning sunsets over the ocean.
I surveyed local friends and did some online research to bring you five great places to stay in Powell River and the surrounding area this summer.
Set in Powell River’s most historic neighbourhood of Townsite, the Old Courthouse Inn was built in 1939 in the Tudor Style architecture, and once housed the Powell River Courts, Jail, Police Station and all other Provincial Government Services. The Inn was restored and renovated in 1997; the updates respect the history of the building while updating the amenities to modern standards. With every overnight stay, guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast at Edie Rae’s Cafe, next to the lobby. With only eight rooms, make sure you inquire far in advance to enjoy the warm hospitality and eclectic antique décor that will remind you of the days gone by.
Whether you’ve had one heck of a year or decade, Beyond Bliss Spa and Hotel Suite is bound to relax even your subconscious. Situated a block from the ocean, in the centre of town, this spot is great for those who don’t want to drive much while on vacation. From your room, you can walk downstairs to their full-service day spa and salon, across the street for lunch at one of the many great restaurants and coffee shops, and down the street to Willingdon Beach. If Beyond Bliss Spa and Hotel Suite sounds like a dream to you, I would recommend flying to Powell River from Vancouver with Pacific Coastal (it’s a 25 minute flight and about $250 return), or walking onto the ferry from Comox as the Hotel is just a short walk away from the Westview ferry terminal connecting Powell River to Vancouver Island. I suggest booking the #302 Ocean View King Suite with a gorgeous view of the harbour and the Straight of Georgia from the large living room, bedroom, and private deck. This suite can house up to 4 guests, when using the queen size sofa bed. Be sure to book your day spa or salon services when booking the suite to ensure you can enjoy both at the same time.
A jaunt further north along the ocean
The next three accommodations are just outside of Powell River; just north of the city and in Lund and Bliss Landing respectively. If your main objective is spending time with your significant other, these three locations might be perfect for you. They’re all located between 20-40 minutes north of Powell River making them secluded but close enough for get-togethers with your Powell River family.
3. The Blitz Beach House
Tucked between Powell River and Lund, you’ll find this oceanfront vacation suite ready to embrace you with its gorgeous views of the Salish Sea and its islands, cozy and charming suite perfect for two, private deck, and fire pit just past the high-tide line. Bring your kayaks as this property also boasts a shallow ramp into the ocean to launch your yaks for a day on the water.
If the wild west coast is something you want to witness, visit this beach house in the off-season for storm watching–check out their website for pictures of the up-close and personal view of the ocean spray. If you’re in Powell River for a business trip, I recommend you book this suite, bring your significant other to relax in paradise during the day, and then enjoy a couples’ dinner on the private deck with a nice bottle of champagne to accompany the sunset views.
Past guests have this to say about the Blitz Beach House: “Thank you for creating such a magical place, we’ve enjoyed every moment, from morning coffee on the patio to spectacular sunsets, we are already planning our next visit.”
Ask an avid boater, sailor, kayaker from the Pacific Northwest and they’ll tell you of their experience coasting past the small town of Lund (population ~250) towards Desolation Sound–or of their dream to one day do so. Lund is known as the Gateway to Desolation Sound–BC’s largest provincial marine park.
The Lund Hotel has had many incarnations, starting in 1905 when the Thulin brothers established the first hotel in Lund (on Tla’amin’s traditional territory), in 2000 the Tla’amin Nation co-owned and operated the hotel with Powell River mayor Dave Formosa–and most recently in 2016, the hotel and the land it sits on became 100-percent owned by the Sliammon Development Corporation.
Outdoor activities are abundant in Lund; spend the weekend or week exploring the area with a zodiac tour through Desolation Sound, kayak trip to the Copeland Islands or a guided hike through the coastal rainforest on the world class Sunshine Coast Trail with Terracentric Coastal Adventures.
If your travel partner is of the romantic kind, I recommend checking-in for the ‘Romance’ package at the Lund Hotel which includes two nights in the Superior Oceanfront King Suite with a private balcony, chilled sparkling wine upon arrival, and several activities to consider adding on. Be aware, this hotel is called “The Historic Lund Hotel” for a reason; if you’re arriving expecting the luxury of the downtown Vancouver Marriot, you will be disappointed. But if rustic and clean rooms are what you’re after with the most stunning sunset imaginable–you’re in the right place.
Lund doesn’t only play to your natural interests, but also your taste buds. Visit Nancy’s Bakery in the morning for a gooey and delicious blackberry cinnamon bun (said to be a favourite of Oprah when she yachted in the area in 2009), and enjoy the visits from the front porch as locals and tourists alike walk in. In the evening you have several choices including the Laughing Oyster located nearby in Okeover Arm, owned and run by Chef Dave Bowes.
5. Cabana Desolation Eco Resort
This place is on the top of my list of next adventures. As the description on their website goes, Cabana is located on an uninhabited, 240-acre island in the heart of Desolation Sound. Inspired from the eco-lodgings of Costa Rica, where local resources from the land provide a “simple, rich, ambiance for immersing in comfortably in the lush rainforest.” For dining, the open-air Cabana Café provides guests with a space to enjoy gourmet health-conscience food and chill out reading a book or talking over a glass of wine.
One Tripadvisor reviewer described her stay: “Imagine 4 days in the wilderness, but with comfortable beds, hot showers and gourmet meals. Oh, and awesome guides who are enthusiastic, flexible, and always smiling because they love their job. From the moment we arrived, we felt special, looked after, and comfortable.”
The owners of the resort also own a sea kayaking company, which makes this resort perfect for “guests seeking active adventure, whether it is sea kayaking the varied shorelines, exploring the flora & fauna of this rain-forested island, snorkeling under the stars or stand-up paddle boarding.” At around $800/person for three nights, maybe keep them in mind for a very special occasion.
Writing this review from a downtown Toronto coffee shop is sending me down memory lane and homesick alley. Although a trip back home to Powell River may not be in the cards for me this summer, I hope you get a chance to visit it for me. Whether you choose to cozy up with Mumsie and Dad or stay at one of the many other accommodations available in Powell River, if the sun is out and you’re near the ocean, you’re bound to have a wonderful visit!
For additional information about accommodations in Powell River, visit the Tourism Office.
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