Red Revels in Revelstoke

January 23rd, 2016

The Red Chair had an awesome visit in Revelstoke, in BC’s Kootenay Rockies region!

After spending the holiday season in West Kelowna and Peachland, the Red Chair hopped on the bus to reach his next BC B&B hosts at the Courthouse Inn Revelstoke. With Revelstoke Mountain Resort on its doorstep, Revelstoke has become a prime winter sports resort in British Columbia.  With more than 20 feet of powder on the ground, and the longest vertical in North America, you just knew that Red was going to revel in trying all the different winter sports available to BC travelers in this eastern part of the province.

Was it love at first sight at Revelstoke Mountain Resort?

Was it love at first sight at Revelstoke Mountain Resort?

The Red Chair checks in at Courthouse Inn Revelstoke

The Red Chair checks in at Courthouse Inn Revelstoke

The innkeepers at Courthouse Inn Revelstoke, Shawn and Young Seon, had arranged all sorts of adventures for Red’s stay with them, just as innkeepers often assist their guests to make the most out of their stay.  Red went snowboarding, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, curling, and dogsledding!  Wow, talk about a busy schedule, but all of this is available to the traveler who comes to Revelstoke, so Red didn’t want to miss any of it.  Red loved the snowmobiling on Frisby Ridge and especially the dogsledding with Revelstoke Dog Sled Adventures. Red is an animal lover, you know. He even met a special someone on the slopes at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, a special romantic someone that is.  After all his new snow adventures, it was great to take the free ferry ride to Halcyon Hot Springs to soak those sore muscles and relax with a few libations.

snowmobiling on Frisby Ridge Revelstoke

snowmobiling on Frisby Ridge Revelstoke

In between all the snow activities, Red did check out the town of Revelstoke of course.  There was a private showing

at the historic Roxy Theatre, the Revelstoke Museum, some more libations at Mt. Begbie Brewery, and 5 pin bowling at the Cabin, where he also tried the famous fishbowl drink.  Are we seeing a pattern here?  Red’s very comfortable Marie Antoinette Room at Courthouse Inn Revelstoke was a wonderful place to relax and rest up from all the activities, only to start the following day with a great breakfast and more adventures!  Revelstoke has had so much snow that Red even got Revelstuck!  Not that he minded spending more time to enjoy the hospitality at the Courthouse Inn and more snow adventures, before getting on the bus again to meet the innkeepers at his next stop at the Greenwood Country Inn in Pemberton!  Red revelled in Revelstoke and is having such a great BC adventure!

Red Celebrates the holidays!

January 9th, 2016

The Red Chair spent the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in the Thompson Okanagan region 0f BC.  He shared Christmas celebrations with Sue and Dann and their family at A View to Remember in West Kelowna and then was handed over to innkeepers Tanya and Rocky at Pineacre on the Lake in Peachland to ring in the New Year.  With lots of snow on the ground in the Okanagan, Red had a wonderful White Christmas, and boy does he look good on white!

Outdoor ice hockey at Big White Ski Resort

Outdoor ice hockey at Big White Ski Resort

Red is contemplating how to get up the 60 ft. ice-climbing tower at Big White

Red is contemplating how to get up the 60 ft. ice-climbing tower at Big White

Handing over the Red Chair from West Kelowna to Peachland

Handing over the Red Chair from West Kelowna to Peachland

After the Christmas celebrations at A View to Remember B&B, Sue took Red to Big White Ski Resort for an awesome day of fresh air and Okanagan powder!  Red enjoyed a snowmobile tour and a horse drawn carriage ride, checked out the gondola and the ice climbing wall, and laced up a pair of skates to take part in that quintessential Canadian winter sport, outdoor ice hockey, his own version of the Winter Classic!  He showed a real aptitude for hockey, so maybe we’ve got another Wayne Gretzky in the making (with a little more practice)!

Red loved his week at A View to Remember and all the great things he saw in the West Kelowna area, but it was time to meet some new innkeepers at Pineacre on the Lake in Peachland.  Sue got together with Tanya for the handover.  Pineacre on the Lake B&B is located right on

Making many friends at the Peachland Polar Bear Swim on New Year's Day 2016

Making many friends at the Peachland Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day 2016

Lake Okanagan, and guests, including Red, staying in any of their three self-contained suites enjoy stunning views of the lake year round.  Their own private dock offers great opportunities for watersports and soaking up some of the great Okanagan sunshine. Peachland is a small and charming lakefront community with beautiful level beaches, great golf, vineyards, summer time Craft and Farmers Markets, and lots of water activities of course. Tanya took Red to check out the Peachland Museum, a unique 8-sided BC heritage building, and he was reminded of his school days.  Red and Tanya walked the Peachland waterfront and enjoyed the fabulous views of the lake and stopped by at the Peachland Bell Clock. Peachland’s other claim to fame is its bats. Yes, bats!  In fact, the town has one of the largest bat colonies in the province and they’ve found a home in a heritage school house.  As a result of the bats, Peachland has very few problems with mosquitoes, and their droppings, or guano, is sold locally as fertilizer.

Red visits the Peachland museum and is reminded of his school days.

Red visits the Peachland museum and is reminded of his school days.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

at the end of the dock in Peachland

at the end of the dock in Peachland

New Year’s Eve brought bubbly and hats and noisemakers and congenial company.  To celebrate New Year’s Day and the start of another great year of the Red Chair Travels, Red took a brave dip into Lake Okanagan at the Polar Bear Swim!  Now he’s a REAL Canadian!

Soon it was time to say goodbye again and Red hopped on another bus to travel through the snow covered mountains all the way to the Kootenay Rockies region in eastern BC. Here he’ll find his next “home away from home” at Courthouse Inn Revelstoke, just like regular B&B guests do when touring BC with B&B!

The Red Chair visits Port Moody and West Kelowna!

December 27th, 2015

The Red Chair Travels second stop on its first ever trip to Canada was in the Metro Vancouver community of Port Moody.  As innkeepers Mary Ellen and Barry at Port Moody’s Mainstay Oasis B&B welcomed him, Red was starting to get into the Christmas spirit.  From their waterfront dock on Burrard Inlet, Mainstay Oasis guests and Red were able to enjoy the carol ships.  Red also enjoyed one of Mainstay’s afternoon tea parties by the Christmas tree.  And of course Mary Ellen took Red to show him all the special places in her community: they walked the trails in the rainforest at Buntzen Lake and caught some sunshine and a break in the rain; they stopped at the Moody Station Museum and the Port Moody Arts Centre; they admired the engine sculpture at Port Moody City Hall and then returned to Mainstay to relax on the dock with a friend.

Red relaxing on the dock at Mainstay Oasis after a day of touring the Port Moody area.

Red relaxing on the dock at Mainstay Oasis after a day of touring the Port Moody area.

Red enjoying a Christmas Tea Party

To get to his next friendly B&B destination, Red had to hop a bus to get through the Coastal mountains to West Kelowna, as there was quite a bit of snow on the roads to the BC interior.  Sue and Dann at West Kelowna’s A View to Remember B&B were Red’s next hosts and he would be staying with them through Christmas. And boy, did they have a busy schedule planned for Red!  West Kelowna is in the Thompson Okanagan region of BC, known for its many wineries and fruit orchards.  The southern Okanagan has Canada’s only true desert at Osoyoos.  Red ‘s first breakfast at A View to Remember included some local mapleapple syrup on his french toast!  Then they were off to explore the shores of Okanagan Lake, the old CPR Wharf, the Gellatly Heritage Nut Farm and the Fur Brigade Trail.  To celebrate the holidays Sue took Red to see the Christmas light display at Candy Cane Lane and they rode the famous Kettle Valley Steam Train Christmas Train.  Of course this being wine country, winery visits were not forgotten and fortunately Red (and the innkeepers!) had a designated driver when they visited Bottleneck Drive and the Westside Wine Trail!  To top off this visit in the Kelowna area Sue took Red to meet the folks at the Green Tourism Canada office, as a View to Remember is a Green Tourism designated property.

at the entrance to Mission Hill Winery

at the entrance to Mission Hill Winery

Red is the featured attraction at Little Straw Vineyard in West Kelowna

Red is the featured attraction at Little Straw Vineyard in West Kelowna

Kettle Valley Steam Railway Christmas Train - best seat on the train!

Kettle Valley Steam Railway Christmas Train – best seat on the train!

Even though winter travel is a bit of a challenge here in BC, especially in the interior where Red will be traveling most of the next two months, his innkeeper hosts will get Red safely from one Bed & Breakfast to the next. Not as many visitors to our province get to see BC in the winter time so the Red Chair Travels is getting a a pretty special tour!

The Red Chair Has Arrived in BC!

December 13th, 2015

The Red Chair has arrived in BC and has started its journey around our beautiful province and some of our great BC Bed & Breakfasts.

Once travelers took pictures of “flat Stanley” in unusual places and situations, now it is the turn of The Red Chair.  This ordinary wooden chair has become a new celebrity and has traveled from Bed & Breakfast to Bed & Breakfast on the US East Coast, through southern states and up the West Coast, to here, its first appearance in Canada.

Canada Place at night

Canada Place at night

It’s all part of a multi-year B&B awareness program that focuses on a traveling red porch chair to highlight the comfort, uniqueness, hospitality and friendliness of Bed and Breakfasts. Since its start in New England in 2012, B&Bs and inns have taken inspiring photos of the Red Chair from beaches to bandstands.

Viewing the Christmas lights at Canuck Place

Viewing the Christmas lights at Canuck Place

“Red” arrived in Vancouver from his adventures at the Camano Island Inn in Washington State (he went zip lining!) to Granville House B&B in Vancouver on December 4th.  The weather wasn’t very co-operative, but intrepid innkeepers Randy & Pam from Granville House took Red around their city.  You can’t visit Vancouver without visiting Stanley Park, so off they went to see the totem poles, the horsedrawn carriages, the mermaid, and the famous Lions Gate Bridge.

Red enjoys the view of the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, even in the rain

Red enjoys the view of the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, even in the rain

Being busy innkeepers, some of Pam and Randy and Red’s adventures took place in the evening, such as a visit to Canada Place, a landmark in Vancouver harbor and the original Canada Pavilion at Expo 86. Now it is home to the cruise ship terminal, World Trade Centre, FlyOver Canada and the Pan Pacific Hotel.  It being December, Red then enjoyed the Christmas lights at Canuck Place, North America’s first free-standing children’s hospice located in the historic Glen Brae Manor.  A major supporter of the facility is the NHL Vancouver Canucks hockey team.

Red has now checked out of Granville House B&B, its first Canadian and BC Bed & Breakfast host.  After visiting the great city of Vancouver, the rest of his trip will have a lot to live up to!

BC Innkeepers Welcome the Red Chair!

December 4th, 2015

Media Release: BC Innkeepers Welcome The Red Chair

In partnership with BedandBreakfast.com, BC Innkeepers is very excited to announce the first trip to Canada by The Red Chair. The Red Chair will be arriving from Washington State into BC, its first ever appearance in Canada, on Friday December 4th at Granville House B&B in Vancouver.

What is The Red Chair? The Red Chair is a symbol, a movement, a phenomenon, a happening. Not just a simple wooden chair, this bright red vintage object is moving from place to beautiful place, and inn to inn, exploring the best of the USA and Canada, via gracious innkeepers wanting to show their hospitality.

The Red Chair will be visiting only BC Innkeepers members, and only those members identified as having not only great B&Bs, which all of our members have, but also having a great social media presence promoting their B&B. We will be working with those who host the Chair to promote their adventures on our blog and our social media channels, and will thereby be promoting and showcasing the Bed & Breakfast industry and the specific regions and cities it will be visiting .  The regions that will be hosting the Red Chair include Vancouver Coast Mountains, Thompson Okanagan, the Kootenay/Rockies and The Islands.  The Red Chair will experience lakes and rivers, landmarks, museums, vineyards, ski resorts, whale watching and all the unique and special places that B&B innkeepers so enthusiastically share with their guests, as promoters of their region and communities.  The Red Chair Travels is also receiving support from, and will be visiting, Green Tourism Canada on December 21st when it is in the Kelowna area.

BC Welcomes the Red Chair!

BC Welcomes the Red Chair!

Check out the Red Chair website to learn all about how this journey started and all the great places the Chair has been on its way to British Columbia.  Our BC innkeepers are looking forward to sharing our beautiful province with the Red Chair!

About BC Innkeepers

BC Innkeepers is a province wide professional Association of B&B innkeepers formed for education, marketing and representation purposes.  Our members are independent B&B innkeepers of British Columbia, Canada who must adhere to the standards of our quality assurance program with regards to guests’ comfort and security.  Look for our members and our signs around the province.  For more information, please visit our website. To learn more, please contact Administrator Ingrid Vermegen.

About BedandBreakfast.com
BedandBreakfast.com, based in Austin, Texas, is the most comprehensive global site for finding bed and breakfast properties, with more than 12,000 properties worldwide, representing nearly 80,000 rooms. It is owned by HomeAway, Inc., the worldwide leader in online vacation rentals.  BedandBreakfast.com helps travelers find and book the ideal B&B or small inn through informative descriptions, photos, and more than 210,000 consumer reviews.  BedandBreakfast.com offers convenient gift cards welcomed at more than 4,000 B&Bs in the United States and Canada, with no restrictions or blackout dates.

Innkeeper Recommendations: Cool Christmas Season Events

November 11th, 2015

With Christmas just 6 weeks away, we asked our innkeepers what kind of great Christmas season events in their area they would recommend to their guests.  There are so many ways to celebrate the holiday season, but here are a few wonderful ways to get into the Christmas spirit.

The innkeepers at ThistleDown House in North Vancouver recommend Capilano Canyon Lights, from November 27th to January 3rd, 2016.  This event is now in its 10th season and getting better all the time they say, and it’s just across the road! The Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of Vancouver’s major attractions, but have you ever visited during the holiday season?  Lights, lights, and more lights, transform the bridge, the Cliffwalk, Treetops Adventure, the forest and the canyon into a magical wonderland.  The world’s tallest living Christmas tree (at 153 feet, or almost 47 meters) lights up the sky, there are gingerbread houses to decorate, singing with the band, and you can book a Owl Prowl with a Snowy!

Book a stay at Mainstay Oasis B&B in Port Moody for December 12th, and watch the parade of Carol Ships right from their waterfront balcony or dock.  Carol Ships are a common sight on the BC coast, but here you’ll get a comfortable front row seat, along with some holiday treats and a cozy room just down the hall.  What a wonderfully relaxing way to celebrate the season!

The small town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island is flooded with people on Thursday November 26th when Santa arrives at 6:30 pm to flick the switch to light up the town for its annual Ladysmith Festival of Lights. A parade follows down First Avenue, there is a craft fair, entertainment, and fireworks, and the more than 200,000 lights stay up through the first week in January.   Rhonda and Ed at Hawley Place Bed & Breakfast invite you to come and share this wonderful Christmas event in their town.

Nanaimo innkeepers love the Yellow Point Christmas Spectacular!  This is a show extravaganza featuring musicians, singers and dancers, lights and Christmas decorations, laughter and great entertainment. Popular music, classics and seasonal favorites will be performed during 17 shows at three Island venues: Yellow Point’s Cedar Community Hall, the Sid Williams Theatre in Courtenay and Nanaimo’s Port Theatre.   Enjoy this great event with the whole family!

However you celebrate the Christmas season, we hope it is a great time with family and friends, taking in the many wonderful sights and sounds around our beautiful British Columbia.  From all our BC innkeepers, have a very special Christmas and holiday season!

 

Innkeeper Recommendations: Favorite Kelowna Area Restaurants

October 15th, 2015

This month we asked some of our Kelowna innkeepers what their favorite Kelowna area restaurants are. Kelowna has grown tremendously over the last twenty years and with the many award-winning wineries in the region, great food just has to be part of that Okanagan experience.

Great food at Blue Saffron Bistro in West Kelowna

Great food at Blue Saffron Bistro in West Kelowna

West Kelowna innkeeper Sue at A View to Remember gives high praise to Blue Saffron Bistro at Volcanic Hill Estate Winery, saying it’s hands down the best dining in West Kelowna.  Another place a lot of their guests enjoy is Thai Fusion, with the best authentic Thai flavors, great value for money, and run by a lovely Thai family.  Two very different dining experiences, both great in their own way.

In Kelowna itself, innkeepers Jim and Deb at Willow Beach B&B most often recommend Waterfront Wines, Bouchons Bistro, Raudz and Micro Bites, and Mamma Rosa.  Waterfront Wines, “urban eats + drinks”, has been voted “Okanagan’s Best Restaurant” by Vancouver Magazine for six years in a row. That’s pretty impressive. Bouchons Bistro is a classic french bistro with an 800 bottle climate controlled wine seller and three certified sommeliers on site, and is a recipient of a Wine Spectator Magazine Award of Excellence.  Guests at Willow Beach have also enjoyed the restaurants at Quail’s Gate Winery and Mission Hill Winery nearby.

authentic Thai flavors at Thai Fusion Restaurant

authentic Thai flavors at Thai Fusion Restaurant

So many choices!  Great wine, great food, great B&Bs = a great Okanagan get-away.  With the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival now over, it’s a great time to book a little Okanagan vacation at one of our great B&Bs. Our innkeepers will definitely help you make the most of your time with great food, great wine, the great outdoors, and exceptional accommodation and hospitality!

Innkeeper Recommendations: Favorite Victoria Restaurants

September 9th, 2015

The question innkeepers are asked probably more than any other is “Where should we go for dinner”. While some guests are visiting family or friends, or attending an event, many of our Bed & Breakfast guests are on holidays or getting away for a few days, so they are looking for a great place for dinner.  We asked some of our Victoria innkeepers which restaurants in the capital city they recommend to their guests, based on their own dining experience and feedback from other guests.

Great atmosphere at Cafe Brio

Great atmosphere at Cafe Brio

Innkeeper Anne at Abbeymoore Manor has two Victoria restaurants she often recommends with consistently positive feedback. Cafe Brio on Fort Street in downtown Victoria has been in business with the same owners for many years. It has a great atmosphere, lively ambiance, great staff who know their menu, and wonderful owners who will stop by your table to make sure you are happy with your meal. The food is local, fresh and changes with the seasons, and they serve 1/2 portions, which is great for smaller appetites or to try several different things.  Anne’s other recommendation is Padella Italian Bistro where passionate chefs Kyle and Zoe work with local farmers and even their own backyard to provide the freshest ingredients.  They offer an endless variety of great soups, homemade pasta and can and preserve fruits and vegetables for sale at the restaurant.  It’s a favorite eatery for locals too and that’s always a good sign!

Just one example of the great food at Cafe Brio

Just one example of the great food at Cafe Brio

David and Toshie are the innkeepers at Marifield House in Victoria.  While they say they do not go out for dinner very often, feedback from their guests has been great about 10 Acres Bistro + Bar + Farm, a farm to table experience featuring organic products grown on their own farm and featured in the bistro. Located close to the Empress Hotel in downtown Victoria, 10 Acres is another great choice for dining in Victoria.

At Fisher House Bed & Breakfast in Victoria’s downtown James Bay neighborhood, innkeepers Jen and Cal love Heron Rock Bistro, which is just a few minutes walk down the road from their B&B. They love the fresh local food with a “touch of France”.  Another favorite is Il Covo for their authentic Italian trattoria experience.  Both of these Victoria restaurants have great food at reasonable prices, and Jen specifically recommends the deserts, such as homemade tiramasu or Heron Rock’s blue stilton cheesecake!  Sounds awesome!

Our innkeepers really are knowledgeable about great dining in Victoria and you can’t go wrong with asking them “Where should we go for dinner?”  When you book your next stay at one of our Victoria Bed & Breakfasts you get so much more than just accommodation!

 

Innkeeper Recommendations: Nanaimo, the Harbour City

August 8th, 2015

Nanaimo, “the Harbour City”,is the second largest community on Vancouver Island. It’s the second major ferry terminal on the Island and receives traffic for all points north and west, so it’s a busy place that people often pass through on their way to somewhere else.  Yet there are many reasons to stay a few days in Nanaimo and explore all the city has to offer.  We asked our Nanaimo innkeepers for a few reasons why you need to visit the Harbour City.

Gordie & Janice at Long Lake Waterfront B&B love the Harbourfront Walkway, a stretch of 4.5 km running along the waterfront from the downtown harbour to Departure Bay. Along the way you can shop, grab a coffee or an ice cream, have a picnic, or dip your toes in the saltwater Swy-A-Lana lagoon.

Also from the Harbourfront Walkway you can take a 10-minute ferry ride to Newcastle Island, a provincial marine park, which dominates the view from downtown. Hike or bike the forested trails or explore the beaches.  A second island in the Nanaimo harbour is Protection Island, and it is home to Canada’s only registered floating pub, the Dingy Dock.

Stroll the Harbourfront Walkway in Nanaimo

Stroll the Harbourfront Walkway in Nanaimo

Karen at Hammond Bay Oceanside B&B loves the walking trails and the more than 200 green spaces in the city.  Hammond Bay is located between Pipers Lagoon Park and Neck Point Park, two very different parks.  There is drive up diving from Neck Point Park, and great diving in the Nanaimo area in general with three wrecks that have been sunk in the area.

Of course two of Nanaimo’s major claims to fame are the Nanaimo Bar and the International Bathtub Race.  Pick up a self-guided tour brochure for the “Nanaimo Bar Trail” at the Visitor Centre and don’t forget to taste this sweet chocolaty treat! The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race is held in July from Maffeo Sutton Park, and has been a famous local event for 48 years. so you’ve got to see it at least once!

Of course, all of our Nanaimo Bed & Breakfast innkeepers have insider knowledge of their city, so a stay with them will not only give your great accommodations, delicious breakfasts, and outstanding hospitality, but all the best information for an enjoyable stay in Nanaimo!

Innkeeper Recommendations: North Vancouver Attractions

July 11th, 2015

Everyone knows Vancouver of course, but what about North Vancouver? Communities such as North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and others, are all part of Metro Vancouver, and often included when one talks about “going to Vancouver”.  But they each have their own character and specific attractions, and our North Vancouver Bed & Breakfast innkeepers are a great source for all the details on some of those lesser known places that you might want to explore.

North Vancouver climbs up the North Shore Mountains, so it is wooded, lush and green, and pretty steep in places, and gets its fair share of rain.  But the views over Vancouver towards Vancouver Island and Washington State are fantastic.

The most famous attraction is of course the Capilano Suspension Bridge. along with Cliffwalk and Treetops Adventure.  But there’s another suspension bridge in North Vancouver at Lynn Canyon, a favorite of innkeeper Crystal at Crystal’s View Bed & Breakfast.  Lynn Canyon Park first opened in 1912 and is now a 617 acres favorite destination, with many hiking trails as well as the suspension bridge. Quite a different park is Waterfront Park, with open areas, great city views, plus it’s right beside the seabus that can take you into downtown Vancouver.

Great view from North Vancouver over downtown Vancouver

Great view from North Vancouver over downtown Vancouver

One of innkeeper Keith at Willows Inn’s favorite parks is Whytecliff Park, which unfortunately is actually in West Vancouver!  This small park has something for everyone; a lovely sheltered beach, spectacular viewpoint, grassy area with picnic tables, a bit of rock climbing for the kids.  There is great diving off the park, and the waters of the park were designated Canada’s first Salt Water Marine Protected Area in 1993. One of Keith’s favorite North Vancouver restaurants is Kypriaki Taverna, offering good wholesome Greek food at reasonable prices.

You can’t visit North Vancouver without stopping at the Lonsdale Quay Market for a more urban experience.  The Market features not only fresh food vendors but artists and crafters, all located on the lower Lonsdale waterfront, again right near the seabus terminal.  All the innkeepers at our North Vancouver Bed & Breakfasts have picked up some fresh local produce for their delicious breakfasts there at some point!

A delicious breakfast starter!

A delicious breakfast starter!

And why not end your visit to North Vancouver with a trip up Grouse Mountain, the Peak of Vancouver! If you’re a fitness buff, you can hike the Grouse Grind but if you want to take it easier and enjoy the views on the way up, take the gondola! You can have “breakfast with the bears”, visit a working beehive, take a 2-hour zipline adventure across Grouse and Dam mountains, or get up close and high, really high, on a wind turbine!  And everywhere enjoy the spectacular views! We did say North Vancouver climbs the North Shore Mountains right, so really, you just can’t miss the views from almost anywhere!