Salt Spring Island Property Offers Tranquil Escape

SALT SPRING ISLAND, British Columbia If you have clients searching for an off-the-beaten-path destination that offers natural beauty and luxurious accommodations, Hastings House might be the answer. The charming 11th-century-inspired, Sussex-style manor house is located on the southern gulf island of Salt Spring Island.

By: Richard J. Simpson

SALT SPRING ISLAND, British Columbia If you have clients searching for an off-the-beaten-path destination that offers natural beauty and luxurious accommodations, Hastings House might be the answer. The charming 11th-century-inspired, Sussex-style manor house is located on the southern gulf island of Salt Spring Island.

“We are trying to be very simple and very rustic, and yet offer elegant and superb service,” said Bonny O’Connor who owns the property with her husband Jerry Parks.

I recently visited the Relais & Chateaux property, a 25-acre country estate atop a bluff overlooking the harbor where floatplanes land and boats ease across the water into their slips.

Accommodations include the Farmhouse East and West, two-story oceanfront suites with wood-burning fireplaces and private porches; the Manor East and West, two-room suites on the second floor of the Manor House; the Post, a two-room private garden cottage that is popular with honeymooners; the Barn, five guest suites including a two-room unit that opens to a grassy meadow overlooking the sheep pastures; the Churchill Cottage, including a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room and two additional bedrooms; and the Hillside Suites, the seven newest. I stayed in one of the latter, enjoying sea views from my private balcony and luxuriating in a deep soaking tub.

Complimentary guest services include a morning hamper with fresh pastries and coffee or tea; a full English breakfast (try the farmer’s breakfast with lamb sausage or Black Forest ham); afternoon tea; robes and oversized towels; mountain bikes; firewood for in-room fireplaces and stoves; and transportation to and from the ferry and floatplanes.

The new spa should encourage longer stays, O’Connor said. As charming and inviting as the rest of the property is, the spa is a definite draw with such treatments as massages, facials, aromatherapy, manicures, pedicures, steam showers and paraffin treatments. I had a relaxing 90-minute facial that combined aromatherapy, a facial massage, essential oils and scrubs.

Recreation & Dining

There’s plenty to do on the island. Visitors can enjoy golf at the Salt Spring Island Golf and Country Club (250-537-2121), horseback riding (250-537-5761), cycling (S.S. Kayaking for rentals, 250-537-4664), bird watching, fishing, cruising, diving and hiking. Clients also can rent a car and visit local artisans on the Salt Spring Island Studio Tour (250-537-9865), cheese farms and the Gulf Islands Brewery (250-653-2383).

Executive Chef Marcel Kauer and his team prepare palate-pleasing dishes with herbs and produce from the property’s gardens and orchards. I savored the roasted leg of Salt Spring Island lamb with baby potatoes, Belgian endive and honey mustard. Guests can also choose from an ample selection of spirits from the Okanagan wine region. Call 800-661-9255. Web site: www.hastingshouse.com.

Adventure Travel JDS Africa Middle East JDS Destinations
>