Hastings House Country Estate, an all-suite property situated on
the harbor in the town of Ganges on Salt Spring Island, recently
marked its 25th year of operation with a gala. A member of Small
Luxury Hotels of the World, it appeals to a select group of clients
at the high end of the upscale market. While guests come from
across North America, its prime target markets are the Northwest
and West Coast of the U.S. and Western Canada. It takes just 15
minutes to fly to Salt Spring Island via floatplane from the
Vancouver International Airport.
Arriving in the early afternoon allows clients to join fellow
guests for tea in the living room of the Manor House, which dates
back to 1939.
Nine of the 18 suites are in restored historic buildings situated
on the property’s 22 acres, including the two spacious suites on
the second floor of the Manor House, which offer leaded-glass
windows, stone fireplaces and wide-plank wood floors.
The Post is a cozy two-room cottage occupying the original
Hudson Bay trading post on the island. There are five suites
Greenhouse, Hayloft, Meadow, Sealoft and Woodland in the fully
restored Farmhouse that dates from the turn of the 20th
Hastings House’s newest accommodations are seven Hillside suites
(completed in 1999), each featuring sea views, living room,
king-size bed, fireplace, heated tile floors, soaking tub and
Activities for All
Guests craving physical activity have plenty of options for daytime
recreation, including biking, hiking and kayaking. A 62-mile
circular route provides a great workout for cyclists and also
offers a glimpse of the island’s forests and beaches. There are
many trails for all abilities one of the best is the hike to Baynes
Peak at the top of Mount Maxwell (1,929 feet) for spectacular views
of Salt Spring and other nearby Gulf Islands.
Kayaking is a favorite pastime for both residents and visitors,
and experienced guides will take individuals or small groups on
excursions around the island to places inhabited by otters, seals,
sea lions and eagles. After returning to Hastings House, guests can
unwind with a range of in-suite spa treatments, including shiatsu,
aromatherapy and reflexology, as well as facials, pedicures or an
aroma steam wrap.
Culture vultures will also find plenty to sate their appetites
on the island, with galleries and art studios in the town of Ganges
just a short walk from the property.
Salt Spring Island is home to many artists, including painters,
sculptors and woodcarvers. Potters, jewelers and metalworkers also
display and sell their wares at studios and galleries listed on the
Studio Tour brochure available at the hotel.
Salt Spring is also known as the “organic food capital of Canada”
because of the many organic-vegetable growers, combined with an
abundance of fresh seafood and locally produced wine and
Hastings House chef Marcel Kauer is a strong advocate of organic
dining, with recipes featuring locally grown produce, as well as
fresh vegetables and fruits from the hotel’s gardens.
Each five-course dinner menu offers guests a choice of four
entrees from a constantly changing selection of meat, game and
seafood. By popular demand, fresh local Salt Spring lamb is
included as one of the entrees on every dinner menu.
Salt Spring Island is accessible from Vancouver
International Airport by floatplane on Seair: 604-273-8900;
800-447-3247, Harbour Air Seaplanes: 800-665-0212 and Salt Spring
Air: 250-537-9880. Floatplanes travel from Seattle to Salt Spring
from May to September: 866-435-9524. There is also ferry service
between Vancouver on BC Ferries: 888-223-3779; www.bcferries.com and
from Anacortes, Wash., outside Seattle on Washington State Ferries:
Hastings House is open from mid-March through
mid-November. Spring and Fall rates start at $260, while summer
rates start at $320 800-661-9255; 250-537-2362