Posts Tagged ‘BC Bed & Breakfast’

Bed & Breakfasts Are Not The Same As Airbnb

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

What is a Bed & Breakfast and what is an Airbnb?  Many people are confused and think that an Airbnb is the same as a Bed & Breakfast.  Recently while planning to attend a concert, my travel companion was talking about staying at a B&B, but what she was actually talking about was an Airbnb, not a true Bed & Breakfast.

A beautiful guest room at Okanagan Oasis Bed & Breakfast

Airbnb is of course only one type of Short Term Rental (STR) accommodation, there are other companies offering the same, but Airbnb has that name recognition pretty much around the world.  Airbnb accommodations have exploded in the last several years and are changing the accommodation landscape dramatically, especially in urban centers.  In fact, the growth in Airbnb properties and other STRs are causing so many issues related to rental availability in communities and competition for hotels, motels, lodges and Bed & Breakfasts, that communities are starting to having to deal with this and are creating bylaws and regulations.  In British Columbia this is only happening at local levels, as provincially the government has not dealt with this issue.

The BC B&B Innkeepers Guild is an association of true Bed & Breakfasts.  Members must meet certain criteria to be able to join, including a business license, insurance showing the operation of a B&B and a recommended 2 million liability coverage, a Foodsafe certificate, and safety features such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency exit plans, first aid kits, fire inspections in some cases, sufficient lights for night time safety, etc.  Our members offer a high standard of service, safety, comfort and especially hospitality, as well as breakfast included in the rate.  In the Bed & Breakfast world “Airbnb” stands for “bed no breakfast”.

A Delicious Breakfast at Abbeymoore Manor Bed & Breakfast – always included

At the recent public hearings in Vancouver our President Sue Willis and Board member Clair Oates were both on the speakers list to address STRs from the perspective of true Bed & Breakfasts.  Of the 134 speakers over the 2-day public hearings many speakers were from Airbnb properties, speaking about the costs of living in Vancouver and how they could not afford to live there if they did not have the opportunity to rent out accommodation in their home.  What is happening though in many communities is that many owners are renting out suites or apartments in rental buildings without living on the premises, or having landlord/strata approval for such.  Many rental buildings have multiple Airbnb units which in some cases are causing all sorts of problems for the permanent residents in those buildings.  In some cases, whole apartment buildings are being rented as Airbnb units.  In resort communities, so many units are rented as STRs, that resort companies are having great difficulties in finding staff for the season, because there is no staff accommodation available.

Relax at Quarrystone Bed & Breakfast on Salt Spring Island

Both our President and Board member who spoke at the Vancouver public hearing emphasized the need for regulations to govern short term rental accommodations, regulations that would level the playing field for previously existing accommodations such as Bed & Breakfasts and hotels.  Short term rentals should be licensed, should be paying taxes, and should have proper insurance.  Our B&B innkeepers take great pride in meeting our industry standards but that all comes at a cost of course, a cost that Airbnb type rentals do not have.  These STRs should be licensed so that they are visible and can be regulated and taxed.  They are benefiting from the visitors to our communities, so they should contribute to the funding that markets our communities and brings those visitors, and not have a free ride.  Our members are almost all feeling the impact of Airbnbs in their neighborhoods and the reputation of the true Bed & Breakfast is also being impacted by these short term rentals.  Airbnb is not a Bed & Breakfast and they should not be allowed to advertise as such unless they actually offer an included breakfast and the owner lives on the premises, offering personalized hospitality.

BC Innkeepers will continue to speak on behalf of all true Bed & Breakfasts in BC to preserve and protect this unique type of guest accommodation, by working with the Tourism Industry Association of BC, the Fairbnb Coalition and others .  So no, Bed & Breakfasts are not the same as Airbnb.

Out And About This Spring

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Now that spring is finally here, our thoughts are turning to a bit of travel and festivals and events we might like to take in.  Once the temperatures rise a bit more and some sun sticks around, it will be a great time to be out and about this spring.

May 4 – 14 are the dates for this year’s Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.  Special events, tastings and food & wine pairings will be held at wineries and restaurants from Kamloops to Osoyoos in the Thompson Okanagan region.  From a bocce tournament & picnic to a wine tasting & garden party and special events celebrating Moms on Mothersday, the Spring Wine Festival offers a great variety of events.  Don’t forget to check their website on May 4th for the bottle bucket list; visit any 8 participating wineries during the festival or attend a signature event, tag your photo @OKWineFest with the hashtag #BottleBucketList and enter to win great prizes.

Enjoy vineyard dinners at Okanagan Wine Festivals

Victoria hosts the Highland Games & Celtic Festival in May

At Fisherman’s Wharf in Vancouver, Saturday May 13th is the date for their Spot Prawn Festival.  You can’t get prawns any fresher than this when you buy them directly off the boat from the people who catch them.  The feature event is the Spot Prawn Boil, plus there are cooking demos, recipes available for you to try, live entertainment and a kids’ corner.  The festival was founded by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC.  Tickets for the Spot Prawn Boil sold out fast, well before the festival date, so get them early!

Victoria on Vancouver Island hosts the ever popular Highland Games & Celtic Festival on May 20, 21 & May 22 in Topaz Park.  Other events associated with the Festival are happening a full week before the weekend long celebration.  Events include piping & drumming, highland dance and Irish dance, heavy events, whisky school, clan tents and dog events.  Be sure to wear your walking shoes!

As B&B Innkeepers who provide breakfast to our guests, we are often confronted with dietary restrictions ranging from vegetarian to gluten free or certain food allergies.  On May 28th at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, Canada’s premier vegan & vegetarian expo, VegExpo, will take place.  Come and find out what new and innovative products have come on the market, enjoy cooking demonstrations (of course!) and free samples, while the kids can enjoy an interactive kids’ zone.  Over 200 local and international exhibitors are expected.  Last year’s event broke the record for highest attended one day show at Canada Place, with more than 11,000 people visiting.  Some innkeepers may be among this year’s crowd!

Of course our  BC Bed & Breakfast innkeepers in all these cities will be happy to assist you with more information and best transportation options to all of these events, while making your stay an event in itself!

Book Your Romantic Get-Away….at a BC Bed & Breakfast

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Have you made any plans for that special day of romance, Valentine’s Day?

romantic roses and bubbly for Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day seems to go back to an early Roman fertility festival celebrated on February 15th called Lupercalia.  Pope Gelasius 1 then named this a Christian holiday on February 14 to celebrate St. Valentine around 496. Which St. Valentine was being celebrated remains a bit of a mystery as there were three early saints by that name.  Rather strangely, all three Valentines are said to have been martyred on February 14th. The most widely believed Valentine to be celebrated was a priest who fell in disfavor with Emperor Claudius II around 270. One legend goes that he continued to perform marriages in opposition to a prohibition by Claudius who believed that single men made better soldiers.

A special treat on Valentine’s Day

Not until the 14th century did this Christian feast day become associated with love and romance in the UK through a poem by Chaucer for the occasion of the engagement of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.  People started to exchange hand made cards made with lace and ribbons and cupids.  By the 1850s it had spread to the US when a book publisher’s daughter started to mass produce Valentine’s cards.  Today in Canada, Valentine’s Day is the fourth most lucrative retail event after Christmas, Back-to-School, and Mothers Day.

A B&B Get-Away includes a beautifully presented breakfast

Chocolate, flowers, cards, wine and jewelry are still the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts to that special someone in your life.  In 2014, 12.3 million dozen roses were imported to Canada, mostly from Ecuador and Columbia!  But travel is also becoming a more popular way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Canada.  And you can still get the chocolate, wine and flowers when you chose a lovely Bed & Breakfast for a romantic get-away. Many B&Bs offer special romance packages that can include such things as chocolate-dipped strawberries or a box of chocolates or hand-made truffles, sparkling wine, fresh flowers or roses; sometimes a spa visit or in-room massage can be arranged, or a cheese & fruit tray along with wine.  Some B&Bs have deliciously decadent spa baths or old-fashioned claw-foot tubs, or hot tubs under the stars.  And of course there is that beautifully presented breakfast you’ll get to enjoy the following morning!  As B&Bs are generally small businesses with the innkeepers/owners directly involved, it’s easy to get in touch and customize your romantic get-away just the way you would like it.  Bed & Breakfasts are all about wonderful hospitality so the innkeepers will be happy to assist to make your get-away just perfect!

Whether you are looking for an urban get-away with other exciting places to visit close by, or you’re looking for that peaceful retreat in the country, on the beach, in the mountains, or in the forest, there is sure to be a BC Bed & Breakfast to suit your tastes.  Can’t get away around Valentine’s Day?  How about a gift certificate instead for later in the year?  All you have to do is pick the B&B that appeals to you and your special someone, make that call and look forward to a very special get-away!

Celebrate the Holidays at a Bed & Breakfast

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Want to get away for the holidays?  A great choice for celebrating the festive season if you’re not spending it with family and friends is to book a stay at a BC Bed & Breakfast.

Many B&Bs are festively decorated of course, but being a Bed & Breakfast, you’ll experience not only a great place to relax and rejuvenate and be pampered, but you’ll still get that personal touch of a home-like environment.  Personalized hospitality is what Bed & Breakfasts are all about, and innkeepers know the fine line between interacting with their guests and leaving them to enjoy their privacy.

Look who wants to celebrate Christmas at this B&B!

Look who wants to celebrate Christmas at this B&B!

If you’re a skier, we know a great B&B in Pemberton that puts you right near the slopes at Whistler/Blackcombe. Our North Vancouver B&Bs are a great place to stay if you’re tackling the local ski hills at Cypress, Grouse or Seymour.  Our members in Revelstoke and Golden are situated in great ski resorts, and don’t forget the Okanagan with its great powder!

a Christmas corner at Misty Meadows Bed & Breakfast

a Christmas corner at Misty Meadows Bed & Breakfast

Want to spend time in the city instead?  There is no shortage of things to do even at Christmas time, starting with enjoying the Christmas light displays at the new maze in Vancouver (the world’s largest) and Van Dusen Botanical Garden, or the Twelve Days of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.  Or take a day trip up Island to see the Ladysmith Festival of Lights with stops along the way. Walk the seawall in Stanley Park, along the oceanfront at Dallas Road in Victoria, or the Kelowna Boardwalk to get some exercise and fresh air in between the mulled wine and Christmas cookies!  Your B&B innkeepers will surely have some to share with you and offer some special touches when you’re staying over the holidays.

Christmas at Clair's Bed & Breakfast in Ladner

Christmas at Clair’s Bed & Breakfast in Ladner

Or maybe you’re looking for some quiet time together to cuddle up and watch a movie or grab that book you’ve been waiting to read uninterrupted.  You can do that too at a B&B as we try to  make your stay just as you would like it.  Escape from the busyness of this crazy, hectic time of year and just BE.  Find your favorite B&B for all holiday activities right here.

Of course if you are visiting family or friends, B&Bs are still a great place to stay if their house is already full.  Enjoy the days with your family and then come back to your peaceful B&B at the end of the day, and start the next morning with a delicious, relaxed, and beautifully presented breakfast.  We want you to feel special and enjoy the holiday season!  If you do, you might like to give a B&B get-away to someone special in your life for another special occasion, so they can enjoy that same great BC Bed & Breakfast experience!

We wish all our guests, past and future, a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, and a healthy and happy 2017!  We hope to see you next year!

Great BC Hiking

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

British Columbia is a nature lover’s paradise so you know you’ll find great hiking everywhere in BC.

On Vancouver Island’s west coast you’ll find the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.  While this trail is 47 km long, it does have several access points so you can hike sections of it. The trailheads are at China Beach (southern point), Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Beach, and Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew (northern point).  This is definitely a wilderness trail at a moderate rating, although day hiking from the southern and northern trailheads tends to be somewhat easier.  Botanical Beach and its tidepools is a definite must stop before or after your hike if the tide is out.  Fabulous views, an isolated shoreline, pounding surf and old growth forest make for inspiring surroundings, but be aware of bears and cougars!

Near Kelowna in BC’s Thompson Okanagan region you’ll find the Blue Grouse Mountain Trail, again with a moderate rating.  The trail is 8 km long with fantastic views of Okanagan Lake.  You can do the full 5 hour hike or just do a 2 hour one by parking at the lower communication tower.  There are some steep sections but they do level out and the intermittent open areas give you better and better views the higher you go, until you have a 360 degree view at the top, all the way to Big White near Vernon.  Things to watch out for are prickly rosehip bushes on some of the steeper sections and little cacti.  For an easier alternative around Kelowna, there is the trial in Knox Mountain Park, along the east side of Lake Okanagan.  This 4 km trail makes for about a 2 hour hike, with a beach and a picnic area at the end of the trail.

Hiking in the Okanagan region

Hiking in the Okanagan region

A favorite trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park is the Elfin Lakes trail.  It is a moderate level trail that is well marked.  The return hike is 6-8 hours for the full 22 km to the third lake.  There is a big shelter but you must make reservations ahead of time, as this is a popular trail, with the park just 70 km north of Vancouver and close to the “outdoor recreation capital of Canada”, Squamish, BC.  There are several other trails in Garibaldi Park, and a total of over 200 km of trails in the Squamish area at different difficulty levels.  The area is also well known for great mountainbiking.

Fabulous views from a Kootenay hiking trail

Fabulous views from a Kootenay hiking trail

In the Selkirk Mountains of the Kootenays region, check out great hiking in Valhalla Provincial Park. This park is located on the west shore of Slocan Lake, north of Slocan and Castlegar.  There is a great network of hiking trails in the park of various difficulty levels, some only with boat access.  A great choice for a day hike would be the Slocan Evans trail along the lake with great views and lots of opportunity for swimming.  Park on the east side of the Slocan River in the village of Slocan to reach the trailhead.

These are only some of hundreds of hiking possibilities in British Columbia.  Our BC Bed & Breakfast innkeepers will know many of the local hikes in their area and will be able to give you detailed information.  Where ever your BC hikes take you, always make sure you’re prepared and let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.  Enjoy our BC wilderness at your own pace!



It’s The End Of The BC Road For Red

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

Sadly the Red Chair was nearing the end of his journey in British Columbia.  After his visits to Birds of A Feather Victoria Oceanfront and the Oak Bay Guest House, the Red Chair had one more visit scheduled at a Victoria Bed & Breakfast, Marketa’s. Unfortunately the innkeeper was ill when he arrived, which is always a challenge for a Bed & Breakfast, unless there is a partner or staff involved in the business.  So Red had a chance to rest up a little bit from his almost four months journey through beautiful British Columbia.  But, he did get to go out and about with Marketa to explore another part of Victoria.  The nice thing about Red’s visit to Victoria was that while Victoria has many famous attractions, Red got to explore some of the lesser known places around the city.

Red enjoys the view from Victoria's Beacon Hill Park

Red enjoys the view from Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park


Red meets a seal at Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria

Red meets a seal at Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria

Off on a whale watching adventure with Eagle Wings!

Off on a whale watching adventure with Eagle Wings!

Beacon Hill Park is a jewel right off Victoria’s oceanfront, where on a clear day you get a fantastic view across the ocean to the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. Many varieties of birds visit the park and Red made the acquaintance of a peacock, who wasn’t that impressed with Red’s color!  A wander down to Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf, with its funky shops, restaurants and float homes, led to a meeting with a different kind of critter, a curious seal, who was probably looking for a handout!  Red also had a lovely lunch at Marketa’s favorite trattoria.  His biggest adventure though, was on the water, when they went whale watching with Eagle Wings Tours.  What a thrill!  Red had been really lucky with the weather during his Victoria visit and had really enjoyed this City of Gardens in full spring colors!

Kayaking past Majestic Ocean B&B on the Pacific

Kayaking past Majestic Ocean B&B on the Pacific

Red is ready to hit the Wild Pacific Train in Ucluelet

Red is ready to hit the Wild Pacific Train in Ucluelet

Red the pool shark at Bostrom's B&B!

Red the pool shark at Bostrom’s B&B!

Another bus ride took Red up Island again and across to the west coast, to the little town of Ucluelet. Around Ucluelet and Tofino, its better known neighbouring community, you’ll find the famous Pacific Rim National Park Reserve which is made up of Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands and the West Coast Trail.  The Pacific Rim area is a hugely popular tourist destination almost year round.  Two of Ucluelet’s finest innkeepers shared their hospitality with Red.  Innkeeper Judy at Bostrom’s B&B on Little Beach Bay and innkeepers Tracy and Ted at Majestic Ocean B&B took Red on another whale watching trip!  Wow! Spring and fall on Vancouver Island’s west coast is the time for the grey whale migrations.

Ucluelet also has a wonderful aquarium that features only locally found sea life, and releases these critters back into the wild.  Talking about wild, Red had to take a walk on the Wild Pacific Trail, one of BC’s top trails according to TripAdvisor readers! This 9 km trail wanders along the coast through the rainforest with a different view around each corner. After his hike, Red relaxed on one of the several oceanview decks at Bostrom’s and tried out the sauna AND the hot tub before taking in a game of pool! Over at Majestic Ocean B&B and Kayaking, Red had another opportunity to go kayaking, right on the Pacific Ocean!  The Broken Group Islands are a favorite destination for kayakers and Majestic Ocean offers both lessons and guided trips to explore tiny islands and hidden coves.  Wildlife sightings can include bears, whales, eagles and many other sea creatures.  Here too he was able to relax in the hot tub at the end of another adventurous day, that also included a walk on Long Beach!

Red was reunited with some of his BC innkeeper hosts at the BC B&B Conference!

Red was reunited with some of his BC innkeeper hosts at the BC B&B Conference!

There was one more bus ride to go in Red’s journey in BC!  From Ucluelet Red headed back to Duncan in the Cowichan Valley, where innkeeper Ingrid picked him up so he could catch a ride with her to the BC Innkeepers Conference near Vancouver, where he was reunited with some of his previous BC Bed & Breakfast hosts!  This was going to be the end of Red’s journey through BC and we are so sad to see him go.  It’s been an honor to be Red’s first Canadian hosts, and to showcase the beautiful province we live in.  Many visitors each year share parts of the same journey that Red was able to enjoy, with all its attractions and recreational opportunities.  BC has so much to offer and we hope you too will come and visit.  We’ll be happy to host you and help make your trip an unforgettable journey too!  Safe travels Red!

Red reaches Vancouver Island

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

As the Red Chair continues to visit BC Bed & Breakfasts, he took one more bus ride to reach his next destination, Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. Waiting to welcome Red were innkeepers Bill and Anna Maria at Cornerstones B&B.  Innkeepers of less than a year, they were looking forward to showing Red around their new home on the Island. A surprise was waiting for Red when he arrived on Valentine’s Day and was serenaded by the Qualicum Beach Pipe Band!  He also received an official welcome to Qualicum Beach by the mayor and council; he was a VIC after all, i.e. a Very Important Chair.  Red and the innkeepers then hit the road to do some exploring.  Their first stop was Vancouver Island’s University Deep Bay Marine Station where Red was allowed to go right into the research labs and also studied a grey whale skeleton.  They visited Cathedral Grove where the biggest trees are over 800 years old, 250 ft. (75 m) high and 29 ft. (9 m) in diameter. You can imagine Red was a little intimidated! Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Mooberry Wines were also definitely worth a visit, before a game of golf.  After all the winter sports the Red Chair had tried, it was a treat to play a relaxing game of golf, followed by a brew and a tasty bite to eat. Red enjoyed a very civilized afternoon tea at the beautiful Milner Gardens and visited the Old School House Arts Centre.  In between all the great outings to explore his first Vancouver Island community, Red relaxed at Cornerstones B&B and spent some quality time with the resident canine Coco! Vancouver Island was already a great place to visit and he’d only just started!

The Red Chair studies the grey whale skeleton at the Deep Bay Marine Station

The Red Chair studies the grey whale skeleton at the Deep Bay Marine Station

Red at Cornerstones sign

Red checks in at Cornerstones B&B in Qualicum Beach

Red checks out the mural town of Chemainus and its popular Chemainus Theatre.

Red checks out the mural town of Chemainus and its popular Chemainus Theatre.

The Red Chair next headed south to Ladysmith Bed & Breakfast Hawley Place, where innkeepers Rhonda and Ed were ready to be his next hosts. Red had now arrived in the Cowichan region which has Canada’s only maritime Mediterranean climate zone, which allows for a wide variety of agricultural products, including award winning wineries. Innkeepers Rhonda and Ed took Red and introduced him to all the businesses around the historic First Avenue of downtown Ladysmith. They paid a visit to the Ladysmith Museum and wandered down to Transfer Beach, a great family friendly beach area with a playground, kayaking and summer music concerts. Ladysmith is also known for its Festival of Lights, when the whole town lights up for the holiday season.  Heading south out of town, they stopped for a visit at the Yellowpoint cranberry farm on their way to the “Little Town that Did”, Chemainus.  Known for its many outdoor murals, antiques and artisans, Chemainus is also home to the very popular Chemainus Theatre Festival.  Red was also in the right spot at the right time to witness a log barge unloading a load of logs.  Pretty cool.

Red wanted to get a picture with the World's biggest hockey stick in Duncan

Red wanted to get a picture with the World’s biggest hockey stick in Duncan

The Kinsol Trestle on the Trans Canada Trail is one of the highest trestles in the world.

The Kinsol Trestle on the Trans Canada Trail is one of the highest trestles in the world.

Red hit the ice at the local curling club for another new winter sport

Red hit the ice at the local curling club for another new winter sport

Rhonda and Ed traveled with the Red Chair down to Duncan, the commercial centre of the Cowichan Valley, to meet up with his next host, Ingrid, from Cobble House Bed & Breakfast, in the village of Cobble Hill. Red had heard that Duncan had the biggest hockey stick in the world so he definitely wanted to get a picture!  He also checked out the 1912 railway station and some of the many totems, as Duncan is known as The City of Totems.  He had now arrived in the heart of the Vancouver Island Wine Region, and not only did he visit several wineries like Blue Grouse and Unsworth, but also BC’s first estate cidery, Merridale Ciderworks, as well a Red Arrow brewery (of course he loved that name!) Another unique Cowichan company the Red Chair visited was the Vancouver Island Salt Company, which harvests and produces sea salt right from the waters here off Vancouver Island. Red visited the Teafarm, the only place in Canada that grows tea, and they had a special welcome sign out for him, as well as a tea room full of funky chairs to chat with! Innkeepers Ingrid and Simon also took Red to see the Kinsol Trestle on the Trans Canada Trail, one of the highest trestles in the world. The Trans Canada Trail will be the longest trail in the world once it is completed in 2017.  Of course the Red Chair did spend some time enjoying the peace at Cobble House, which is located on a forested acreage, and then spent his final morning with innkeeper Ingrid at the local curling centre!

Red and the Olympic Rings

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

After his wonderful stay and the great adventures the Red Chair had in Revelstoke, his next bus trip took Red to the Whistler and Pemberton region.

red joincs the service Greenwood

Red joins the service in Pemberton

relaxing by the fire at Greenwood Country Inn in Pemberton

relaxing by the fire at Greenwood Country Inn in Pemberton

The innkeepers at the Courthouse Inn Revelstoke had shown Red such an awesome time trying everything from snowshoeing to dogsledding, that he needed to catch his breath for just a little bit.  Good thing he next arrived at the Greenwood Country Inn in Pemberton where innkeeper Margit was ready to spoil him and where the fire was so relaxing!  And, they had a hot tub and there are few things more wonderful than sitting in a hot tub with snow all around you.  So peaceful! He did venture out into the community to join a Sunday service and to check out the depth of the snow and the thickness of the ice.  The innkeeper lent him a Vancouver Canucks shirt to keep him warm.  A snowbound Greenwood Country Inn is the perfect place to relax in winter. Thank you Margit for looking after Red so well!


Fortunately the trip to Red’s next BC Bed & Breakfast was just a little bit down the road to Whistler BC. Whistler of course, was home to the skiing and sliding events at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, so another first for Red, an Olympic community.  He was welcomed to Whistler by innkeepers Jackie and Joern at the Cedar Springs Lodge.  Joern Rohde is also a photographer, so we were expecting great pictures and got them!  With Whistler’s reputation as a top ski resort in North America, plus its Olympic legacy, there was lots to see and do.  Red found a few more winter sports he hadn’t tried yet and they were all about speed, at the Whistler Sliding Centre.  Considered the fastest track in the world, Red took a big breath and threw himself down the track on the skeleton and in the 2-man bobsleigh.  What a rush!  His legs did feel a little shaky after that so he headed to the Bearfoot Bistro for a shot of vodka in the Ketel One Ice Room.  The Ice Room is the coldest tasting room in the world at -32 degrees centigrade (-25 F), so even vodka tasting is a winter sport in Whistler!  On the opposite side of the temperature scale, Red also enjoyed some margaritas and a little too much tequila at Mexican Corners in Whistler.

Of course Red had to visit Whistler Village, the hub and heart of Whistler, where you’ll find great shopping, dining and apres-ski and nightlife.  He was pretty awestruck by the Olympic rings and also took a spin on the free ice rink at Olympic Plaza.  He met some great folks and the Pride flag at the end of the Whistler Pride & Ski Festival, and of course Red fit right in with the Pride flag, and the Canadian flag too for that matter!  With so many adventures during the days he spent in Whistler he was also very happy to check into the Scandinave Spa and refresh in the hot baths and relaxing waterfalls and get a massage.  At the end of the day, his bright and comfortable room at Cedar Springs Lodge was waiting for him.  Over a delicious breakfast in the morning he was able to share his adventures with the other B&B guests at the lodge, and hear about theirs, always such a great part of the Bed & Breakfast experience.

Red was pretty awestruck by the Olympic rings in Whistler

Red was pretty awestruck by the Olympic rings in Whistler

Red goes sledding with a new friend in Whistler

Red goes sledding with a new friend in Whistler

The Ketel Once Ice Room at Bearfoot Bistro, the coldest tasting room in the world

The Ketel Once Ice Room at Bearfoot Bistro, the coldest tasting room in the world

Red loves the colors of the pride flag - Whistler Pride & Ski Festival

Red loves the colors of the pride flag – Whistler Pride & Ski Festival




The Red Chair Has Arrived in BC!

Sunday, 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!

British Columbia’s other winter sports!

Monday, February 9th, 2015

While downhill skiing and snowboarding get most of the attention, British Columbia also has more than 50 cross-country skiing areas, plus opportunities for snowshoeing, dogsledding, and snowmobiling.

The Kimberly Alpine Resort and the Fernie Alpine Resort in the Kootenay Rockies region, Manning Provincial Park in southern BC, the Callahan Valley at Whistler Blackcomb, as well as the Cariboo Chilcotin region, offer networks of groomed cross-country trails. In Northern BC you’ll find great cross-country opportunities at Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers, and in Northern BC’s biggest city Prince George, host of the Canada Winter Games this month, the Otway Nordic Ski Centre has a 45 km network of trails for your enjoyment.

BC cross-country skiing

BC cross-country skiing

Want to try something a little different while enjoying the outdoors?  Snowshoeing is becoming a very popular activity in BC and it’s a great workout!  These are not your grandmother’s snowshoes either, but much lighter and more easily maneuverable. Snowshoeing allows you to really enjoy the winter landscape you’re passing through, as you’re not going at the same speeds as skiing of course. Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain, Manning Park’s Lightning Lake Loop, and Yoho National Park are great choices, while Kimberly’s Alpine Resort offers an evening of snowshoeing and chocolate fondue at their Kootenay Fondue Tour!  Yum, that sounds like an awesome combination!

Is snowmobiling or dogsledding more your speed?  There are more than 70 snowmobiling clubs in British Columbia which maintain networks of trails for their members.  You can take groomed trails or if you’re a more experienced sledder find more powder and steeper areas, always keeping in mind that you’ve got to stay safe! If you’re an animal lover as well as an outdoors enthusiast, you might enjoy dogsledding.  Let a driver run the sled for you, or learn how to do it yourself.  What a great experience to glide through a silent and snow-covered landscape, disturbed only by the yapping of the dogs and your commands!

BC dogsledding through the snow!

BC dogsledding through the snow!

With winter snow around for a good part of the year, why not get out and about and enjoy it? Wherever you go and whatever activity you chose, book your stay at a BC Bed & Breakfast as your local innkeeper will have all the information you need, and will know all the best places to go, so you’ll get maximum enjoyment out of your BC winter vacation!