I found this cabin online and from the photos, it looked beautiful. 23 acres facing west overlooking the Trincomali Channel and the Gulf Islands. 2 floors - 2 bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom, wood-burning stove. BBQ. Large deck.
While the website states that the cabin is 100 feet away from the owner's house, they do not show you that you are overlooking the owner's house from your cabin, and that the beautiful panoramic view on the website is actually from the owner's deck - not yours! The view from our cabin was still beautiful, don't get me wrong, but there's always this sense of being on somebody else's property, spying in on them. And people were always coming and going from the house, so you never felt alone. Even if you wanted that extra bit of privacy, there weren't any curtains or blinds on the windows or on the sliding glass door.
Another thing the photos don't show you is the new dirt road plowed across the landscape in front of your cabin. And what we thought was a lawn was sparse patches of dry wild grasses, thistles, and blackberry vines. And lots of dried animal poo! It was like dried horse pasture, but even the horses no longer existed next door. When I called to inquire about trail rides next door, the person on the phone informed me that the old owners of the property had the horses, but that the horses are long gone - the new owners don't have horses.
All these little things together started to add up, hence the "Somewhat Unsatisfied" rating.
The bathroom was nice - had a large shower. There were plenty of clean towels which was fantastic, but surprisingly no soap - not even hand soap! We had to go out and buy some.
There were two bedrooms, but the beds were pine-planked futons with 2 inch "mattresses" - not very comfortable to sleep on, especially for one week! Our bed actually broke one night when it was sat on! The leg just twisted off! The leg was a plank of pine held in by one screw.
The old paperbacks on the shelves were a nice find - loved reading Kurt Vonnegut! The view from upstairs was great. Having a phone was nice, but the phone book was old!
The kitchen was spacious but had an obvious mouse infestation. There were mouse droppings all over the sink area, by the stove top, on the window ledge, and so on. The coffee maker doesn't open, so let's hope no mouse droppings fell into where you pour the water!
Having a dish washer was a nice touch.
The gas stove top was very useful, but I wish we knew ahead of time that there was no oven. I wouldn't have brought so much frozen food to be baked!
There were also some basics missing, like sugar, salt, and pepper. Some pots had no lids. The knives and the can opener were dull or didn't work well.
There was a sign saying that we had to separate our garbage into compost and non, and that you have to keep the compost inside. And yet, there was only one garbage can! Nowhere to put the smelly compost!
We also found out we had to bring all our non-compost garbage off the island, which was fine, but I wish we knew about this before! Otherwise you have to pay $7 per bag for a local company to do it for you.
The wood burning stove was really great to have in the evening, but there was nothing to poke/prod the logs with, and no obvious fire extinguisher in any case there was a need for it.
What's funny is that when we voiced our concerns to the housekeeper when we met her at the end of our stay, she actually agreed with us and said other guests have also been deceived by the website.
This B&B built in 1890 is incredible. The owners are very friendly and interesting to talk to. The house itself is an absolutely beautiful heritage home with a detailed history outlined in photo albums available for viewing. The property the B&B is on is absolutely the best. The front expanse of lawn looks out to the ocean. You can watch the BC Ferries going by as well as whales! We didn't see any whales when we were there but many others have. Numerous deer call this property home. The literally graze the property for hours. The owners also have quite a few sheep which they shear and use the wool to make comforters. The breakfast was delicious and included: a mango puree dish, fresh cinnamon buns, an egg dish, cereal, etc.
The B&B and property are so nice we spent most of our time there. In warm weather you can enjoy croquet on the front lawn and if its raining head inside to curl up by the fire with a book from their great collection while taking glimpses out the front windows at the boats passing by or a beautiful sunset.
This was my first time paying for accommodation on Galiano. Prior to this I had camped or stayed with family friends, but I had never actually had to seek out B&B type accommodations, so this was a first for me. Fortunately, I found this 5 star B&B on the same road where our family friend's vacation home was, so I knew the neighbourhood and I knew we'd be in for an excellent experience.
First of all, this B&B is quite unlike what you'd normally find on Galiano. Rustic it ain't! It's a modern mansion with perfectly manicured lawns and gardens. There's even a tennis court! Very high end and yet, the owners, Sue and Ken (a couple that left managing pubs in the UK for laid back island lifestyles) are super chilled out and cool and fantastic hosts! They're available if you have questions or need recommendations. They are very frank and honest and will tell you quite accurately what to expect. Sue's recommendations for the Daystar Market and La Berengerie were spot on!
Delicious breakfasts in the morning - every morning something different. There was a basket of fresh-baked pastries, fruit, and then the main entree. The breakfast was a relaxing casual affair and a great way to meet other travellers.
Ken and Sue are very friendly and have a great sense of humour. They also have two dogs - Cassie and Dylan, two golden retrievers. You can take them for walks along the beach, which is what we did!
There's direct beach access located across the back lawn. You have to climb down a wooden staircase to get there, but it's beautiful. It's not a sandy beach, but a rocky coastline with some of the most beautifully eroded sandstone. Lots of tidal pools rich in marine life at low tide (purple starfish, green sea anemones, hermit crabs, jellyfish, etc).
Did I mention that they have a hot tub on their deck?!
Our suite (the Otter Room) had a very comfy bed, a fireplace and a very spacious bathroom. The bathroom had a jacuzzi, although we didn't use it, mostly due to strict summer water restrictions on Galiano. I loved the natural handmade soap in the shower. I also loved the stuffed animals (otters!) on the bed, the complimentary sherry at the bedside, and the complimentary bookmarks!
Downstairs, if you care to venture there (we never did) was a huge entertainment room with a big screen TV and DVD, stereo, etc. The whole deal. Very impressive but perhaps better enjoyed on a dark and stormy day. In the height of summer, you want to be outside on Galiano!
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