Posts Tagged ‘Nanaimo Bed & Breakfast’

Innkeeper Recommendations: Nanaimo, the Harbour City

Saturday, 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!

Row, Row, Row your boat….To Nanaimo!

Saturday, June 8th, 2013


Paddle up and saddle up to experience everything the beautiful City of Nanaimo has to offer. With one of the longest shorelines in Canada on one side and an amazing forested mountain backdrop on the other, the city of Nanaimo is a classic West Coast community, offering natural beauty at every turn. Go from a fun, recreational wilderness to a unique urban experience in just minutes.

Nanaimo is a very age-friendly town, offering activities for families, adults and seniors! Take your family down to the beach, or have a picnic at one of the over 50 amazing parks Nanaimo has to offer. Have a date night at the City Centre and try one of the many culinary adventurous and delicious restaurants. And don’t forget about Dad on Father’s Day! Woodgrove Mall is your official stop for some amazing presents to tell dad how much you love him – and while you are there, make sure you pick up something for yourself!

Tourists and City-Folk alike flock to many of Nanaimo’s great festivals including the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race (July 26-28), the Maple Sugar Festival and  The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival! Teams from all over BC and the US come to Nanaimo for a weekend of competitive races and celebrations on Nanaimo’s waterfront,  July 5th -7th. Did we forget to say, Admission is FREE!

Plan a couple of weekends to experience what Nanaimo has to offer, and that includes some amazing Bed and Breakfasts.  Amazing hosts, great hospitality and beautiful places will continue when you stay at a Nanaimo Bed &Breakfast. Make your weekend even better by booking a package special at a couple of local B&Bs.

Kennedy House

Flying Cloud

MGM Seashore B&B

The Whitehouse on Long Lake

Hammond Bayside Executive Suite Inn

Long Lake Waterfront Bed & Breakfast

Pine and Picket

Hammond Bay Oceanside

We look forward to seeing you in Nanaimo and an early “Happy Father’s Day” to all those Dads out there!

Stop and Smell the Flowers

Monday, May 9th, 2011

May is a terrific month here in British Columbia.   The weather is getting warmer, the rhododendrons go crazy and gardeners know it is time to plant, weed and feed.  On Vancouver Island, between Port Hardy in the north and Victoria in the south, there are over 18 notable gardens to visit!  Here, from north to south, is a brief overview:

Ronnings Garden is located at the head of Holberg Inlet 65 km west of Port Hardy on the gravel road to Cape Scott.  Its two hectare site features twin monkey puzzle trees.  Call 250-288-3724 for visitor information.

Shepard’s Garden, near Port McNeill, is a family garden of flowers and forest on a 1 1/2 hectare site.  Bulbs and flowering shrubs provide an early display of color.  Named for and by the owners, Bill and Marilyn Shepard, the number of perennials increases as they find new plants that will overwinter in the northern island climate.

Mystic Woods Nursery, just outside Campbell River, is a work in progress with an ever expanding display garden.  This year the nursery is concentrating on unusual perennial grasses, herbs, trees and shrubs.  Your Campbell River Bed & Breakfast hosts will be able to direct you to Mystic Woods.

Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, founded and maintained by Brian Zimmerman, is near Courtenay and showcases over 3,000 rhododendrons in a wooded setting along with ferns, ponds and a labyrinth.  Peak bloom time is through the end of June.

The Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park is in Comox and is known for a variety of stately trees, including oaks, and deodar cedars.  Shrubs include hundreds of rhododendrons.  Each spring thousands of annuals are planted in beds near the old lodge to provide a fabulous and colorful display all summer long.   Our Courtenay Bed & Breakfast members will have all the information you need to enjoy a visit to both of these wonderful gardens.

The Old Rose Nursery is on Hornby Island, reached by ferry from Buckley Bay between Courtenay and Qualicum Beach.  It boasts over 1000 varieties of roses and is open from June through mid-August.

Milner Gardens and Woodland between Qualicum Beach and Parksville is a 28 hectare property with a 4 hectare developed garden of stately lawns, beds and borders, a small orchard and hundreds of rhododendrons.   Staying at our Nanaimo Bed & Breakfasts or our Errington Bed & Breakfast will put you just a leasurely drive away from Milner Gardens.

Dashwood Gardens is  on a 1.6 hectare site near Stamp Falls Provincial Park and Port Alberni.  It features thousands of daffodils and other bulbs.  Peak viewing is in the spring.

Tofino Botanical Gardens boasts a specimen of the oldest living tree in the world, the alerce, as well as the giant Himalayan lily with its large waxy leaves.  In the late spring the Himalayan lily produces flower spikes up to 4 meters high that bloom in July.  The garden also has a compare and contrast presentation of plants from the Chilean Coastal Rainforest which has a similar climate to Clayoquot Sound but a very different evolutionary history.  Of course the Tofino and Ucluelet area deserves a visit of more than one night, so book your Ucluelet Bed & Breakfast in advance of your visit.

Hazelwood Herb Farm, near Ladysmith, has over 500 species of plants which over the centuries have been considered herbs.  Many are found in the formal garden designed to resemble the 18th century herb gardens of Europe.  Medicinal and culinary herbs are grown in raised beds and sold in the gift shop.  Quite likely our Ladysmith Bed & Breakfast hosts use herbs from Hazelwood Herb Farm as well!

Mayo Creek Gardens, at Lake Cowichan, is on a 1 hectare north facing slope and features rhododendrons and native plants in a complimentary display.

Duncan’s Providence Farm in the Cowichan Valley explodes with plant and animal life in the springtime.  Visitors thrill to blossoms and lambs, fields and forests.  Cowichan Valley Bed & Breakfasts are located nearby.

The grand daddy of them all, Butchart Gardens, is stunning at any time of year.  Forget me nots and English daisies show their colors as do so many other spring flowers in April and May with the warmer and sunnier weather.  Located on the Saanich Peninsula, several Saanich Bed & Breakfasts are close by for your accommodation needs.

Victoria is home to several other amazing gardens.  The first is Abkhazi Garden, a heritage home and garden, created in 1946 by Prince Nicholas Abkhazi and Princess Peggy Abkhazi.  It is a one acre garden with dramatic rocky outcroppings, Garry oaks and great vistas.  Blooms are most prolific in late spring and early summer but the garden is spectacular all year round.

Finnerty Gardens, a part of the University of Victoria campus, is a lovely 1.6 hectare space boasting some 3000 trees and shrubs plus over 200 rhododendrons.  It is an all year garden, but spring is especially vibrant.

Hatley Castle – Royal Roads is a 180 hectare forest .  The Royal Roads section includes an Italian garden, a Japanese garden, a rose garden, croquet lawn, lakes and streams.  The rose garden is at it’s best in early June, but has much to offer  all year, with a number of unusual growing trees and shrubs.

Finally, Glendale Gardens and Woodlands is a two hectare garden in Conservation Park with a natural setting complimented by walking trails and bird viewing stations.  It has a wonderful winter garden, the Doris Page, featuring grasses, flowering shrubs and trees.  Spend at least a day exploring these Victoria area gardens by booking your stay at one of our Victoria Bed & Breakfasts.

However you choose to route your Vancouver Island garden tour, rest assured that your British Columbia Bed & Breakfast hosts will provide wonderfully comfortable rooms and great breakfasts to make garden hopping even more fun and exhilarating.

Got the Winter Blues? Visit the “Old Wine in New Bottles” Festival

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Nanaimo, the harbour city, hosts the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra’s very special “Old Wine in New Bottles” festival January 19 to 22.  The festival is certain to be a delightful romp through a myriad of tastes, sights and sounds.  Events include wine competitions, the Wine Makers’ Gala Dinner, concerts and wine tastings.  More than ten BC wineries, including Vancouver Island wineries, are participating so expect something to delight even the fussiest palate. In addition to the variety of events being held, invited artists are creating original art bottles to be auctioned. The bottles will be on display and available for bidding at Gallery 223 from Jan 2 – 19.

Says an excited Pierre Simard, artistic director, “The original thought was of wine as a metaphor for old music made new; the idea has now become a huge happening!”

That happening includes two luscious concerts featuring guest conductor Ivars Taurins of Toronto (Festival Concert I on Friday January 21) and Vancouver Island Symphony conductor and director Pierre Simard (Festival Concert II on Satureday January 22) and opportunities to have questions answered at pre- and post concert talks.  Hurry and visit the Vancouver Island Symphony Orchestra website for details on the concerts and events.

If you want delicious accommodation in Nanaimo to compliment the fine wine and music, be sure to book at one of the excellent Nanaimo Bed & Breakfasts featured on the BC Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Guild website

Moyra Turner 2010 Recipients – Nanaimo Bed & Breakfast

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Moyra Turner Hospitality AwardNanaimo Bed & Breakfast is awarded top hospitality award in Kelowna at annual B.C. Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Guild’s conference.

Neil and Vivian Reinhart of the Flying Cloud Bed and Breakfast were awarded the Moyra Turner Hospitality Award for personifying the highest standards of innkeeping hospitality. They have operated the Flying Cloud for seven years in the Hammond Bay area and have greeted hundreds of guests from all over the world. Neil and Vivian are active promoters of Nanaimo and its surrounding area through Tourism Nanaimo and Tourism BC.

Vivian – graduated 1971 with a degree in Home Economics with a textile and design major from UBC. Employed by Peter Garrett of Total Look Interiors working there until 1974. Vivian joined the airlines for a couple of years of travelling. That couple of years turned into 27 years while doing design consulting on the side. Vivian met Neil in 1996 while living in Kelowna and was lured to Vancouver Island after their marriage in 2000.

Neil – background in marketing with Scott Paper while living in Vancouver (raised and educated in Edmonton). Moved to Vancouver Island around 1967 where he and former wife raised two sons and opened three restaurants – the last of which was sold in 2002. After his marriage to Vivian in 2000 and they bought their dream home in 2002 where Neil and Vivian planned to share their beautiful location with guests from around the world. Ingrid, Viv & Neil Reinhart

Both Neil and Vivian have been surprised and delighted with how enjoyable it has been to greet guests – a league of nations at the breakfast table some mornings and other times hosting friends and relatives of neighbors that have not the space to provide accommodations in their own homes. Vivians background in the customer service as well as first class flight attendant training and Neils restaurant plus marketing background has been invaluable in their present vocation. Their 5 year plan is now in it’s 8th year and they plan to continue as long as the Flying Cloud keeps its lofty place above Departure Bay.

The Reinhart’s are a part of a dedicated group of fellow B.C. Bed & Breakfast Innkeepers Guild members in Nanimo who hosted the annual B&B conference in Nanaimo for 2009. They brought over 100 delegates to Nanaimo for 4 days. The Nanaimo Guild members exemplify the goal of exceptional hospitality while promoting the city of Nanaimo and supporting its restaurants, theaters, art galleries, shops, parks and tourist activities. For a list of all the Guild members in Nanaimo and surrounding areas please go to

The B.C. Bed & Breakfast Guild awards the Moyra Turner Award to those members who best personify the highest standards of innkeeping hospitality. Moyra Turner was a much loved and respected member of the guild, who gave effortlessly to her guests and fellow members. Never seeing the glass half-empty, she was a caregiver who lived to please those around her. Moyra passed away from cancer in 1999, but will live forever in our hearts.