They say that the journey is just as important as the destination and that is certainly true with this trip to Powell River. Even though it took us over 6 hours to get there, it was an amazing journey and perfect for a young family. We took the Horseshoe Bay Ferry to Gibsons and then the Earls Cove ferry over to Saltery Bay. Each section of travel took approximately an hour, and those were perfect breaks for the little people in the car.
Their favourite part of the trip was our time on the ferry. The ferry route was spectacular and we were travelling on some of the most scenic waterways. The stunning ocean views were picture perfect as we cruised between the islands. The air was warm and the kids loved being out on the deck while we looked out into the water for whales, birds, and other boats.
We were full of anticipation as we made the final 20-minute drive from Saltry Bay to Beach Gardens Resort in Powell River. As soon as we turned the corner and drove down the tree-lined driveway we were met with a mix of old and new. The old little cottages surround the main hotel entrance – a 1960’s wood bungalow that oozes charm and screams “beach” over and over again. Around the bend the modern three-story hotel looks out over the marina and the beach. It’s a unique combination offering visitors the best of both worlds.
And as a writer I should continue to tell you about the great amenities that the hotel has, about the awesome pool for the kids to play in, the amazing restaurant or the great hotel room views. Those were all the things we came for. What we got was so much more.
We spent the entire weekend at the resort as a family – playing on the beach, in the ocean, in the pool, and even playing games at the dinner table. We forgot about all of our roles and responsibilities, put our electronics away and spent time playing, exploring, sitting quietly on the beach digging for sea glass and really enjoying our time together. We had long conversations, we laughed – a lot, we didn’t have a schedule to adhere to or anywhere to be other than exactly where we were… it was amazing. We had found a little piece of heaven!
So this blog post has transformed from what I thought it would be to what it really was – the ultimate family escape. Here’s why I think every family should check out Beach Gardens:
- The Beach
It may be in its’ name but the beach at the resort is unbelievable. It is picture perfect with turquoise blue water and a white sandy beach that makes you wonder if you’re standing in a postcard. The kids loved looking for treasures as they unearthed sea glass, found star fish, beautiful sea shells and crabs. The wind had brought dozens of jelly fish to the shore and the kids got to be within arm’s reach of jelly fish… we quickly told them not to touch and once they learnt how to treat jelly fish stings, they were sure to keep their hands to themselves.
- The Rooms
We stayed in the newer rooms where our balcony looked directly over the marina. The rooms were lovely and clean and had everything you needed, but with the marina and ocean in the backdrop it was hard stay in the room! We spent our evenings looking out over the ocean watching the sun set… talking about our adventures of the day and planning for our activities the next day.
- The Activities
We were fortunate to be spoiled with a kayaking trip around the resort on Saturday morning. The kids got to ride in a tandem with Dad while I got a single to tour around and take pictures. Being able to explore the ocean from the ocean is entirely different than exploring from the beach. We ended up right beside a beautiful blue heron. It was a combination of eco- tourism and fun adventure and amazing learning experience for the kids.
4. The Pool and Resort Amenities
The indoor pool was a great way to escape the heat and cool the kids off. The hotel grounds had lots of little places to play – from grassy areas to the beach, to the tennis courts, there were more places to explore than we had time.
- Local Food
We enjoyed our dinners at The Savoury Bight Seaside Restaurant. We were greeted by friendly staff, great food and an amazing view. We brought table games down to dinner which kept the kids busy and gave us time to sit and enjoy some family time while we waited for our meals in the beautiful setting. When a bit of a chill snuck into the air the kids loved the table side blanket service – what a great touch!
Before we even arrived for our stay, we could tell that the staff are passionate about their resort and wanted to ensure that we had a great trip. Joan is the Manager and clearly loves the resort – she has been on staff for 38 years! Her warm demeanor and passion for her hotel was evident when we met her and she showed us around. Jonathan is the manager of the restaurant and the resort and went above and beyond to make sure we were having a great time every chance he could. You really get an small town feeling from the staff as they welcome you to their “home.”
We expected to have a wonderful family getaway – what we walked away with was so much more. We found a hidden oasis, a true BC treasure and we have some wonderful memories of a beautiful place and a wonderful experience. Check out the video from our trip:
Beach Gardens Resort in Powell River …. A trip every family should experience!
For more information about the Beach Gardens Resort in Powell River check out their website.