Sunshine Coast, British Columbia

Nature and Luxury

Sechelt Silhouettes Copyright Shelagh DonnellyIf you crave a little luxury while soaking up nature, practice rolling this name off your tongue: Tuwanek. Situated on BC’s Sunshine Coast,  northwest of Vancouver, The Tuwanek Hotel is a boutique, waterfront B&B that offers three themed suites in addition to a spa suite and five cottages. Oh, and you may want to know that each cottage comes complete with a private hot tub and fire pit, as well as a barbeque.

While You’re There

You’d like a bit of pampering?  Well, The Tuwanek has its own day spa where, depending on the season, an appointment could be the perfect follow up to Sunshine Coast hiking, kayaking, sailing, golfing, diving, bird watching or snowshoeing.

Sunshine coast harbour 6093 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Forest 8392 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Whatever else your plans might include, consider a drive and then a 4-km/2.5-mile hike to Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park, home to a twice-daily natural spectacle in which tides change and reverse the saltwater’s flow. What does this mean? Simply put, you are in for a visual treat, enjoying turbulent rapids that draw visitors from around the planet; here, up to 200 billion gallons of water flow between Jervis and Sechelt Inlets.

Skookumchuck Narrows Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

You may or may not be among the extreme kayakers in the water but, if you do a bit of easy homework to time your hike and arrival at the Narrows with the peak of the tidal surge, you’ll be well rewarded.

Sunshine Coast Forest 183 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Boy in Water 8420 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

 

Accommodation

We stayed in the African Queen Suite. The ensuite, complete with slipper tub and walk-in shower, is more spacious than many Vancouver condos’ (flats’) kitchens.

Tuwanek Tub 6135 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

The Egyptian linens on the king sized “cloud bed” reinforce the sense of being pampered, as do the robes and slippers in the closet. Technology is the order of the day, with in-room digital music, in-floor heating, Apple TV, Netflix and DVD. With the natural beauty all around, there was little occasion to watch television, but it was nice to have at hand. After an afternoon hike, we instead soaked up the views from the waterfront hot tub (below), nestled barely a minute’s walk down from our room.

Tuwanek _6124 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

You’ll have a bit of a drive if you want to dine out, so we found the Tuwanek’s waterfront barbeque handy at the end of the day.

Tuwanek Barbeque 186 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Views, from within the telescope-outfitted suite and its balcony, were superb. While enjoying the morning vistas from our balcony, the only sounds to be heard were our friendly neighbours’ conversations with the owner as she delivered their breakfast and chatted about their boating plans for the day.

Amenities

If the natural surroundings aren’t enough to make you completely forget work for a couple of days, rest assured that all suites and cabins have complimentary Wi Fi. Each suite includes complimentary use of a loaner iPad and the B&B has a Club Room with a compact business centre, games room and small movie theatre. There, Tuwanek offers VoIP – Voice Over Internet Protocol – capacity, with complimentary phone calls throughout Canada and the USA. When we visited, the Tuwanek offered, in its business centre, complimentary long distance calling to 38 countries.

By the Water Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

Sustainability

Rather than providing hard copy newspapers and journals, The Tuwanek encourages guests in the suites to access such resources through use of a loaner iPad. As is the case  elsewhere, guests are gently invited to use bedding more than a single day.

Horseshoe Bay Seagull's View Copyright Shelagh Donnelly
A bird’s eye view; a village stroll while awaiting the ferry departing from Horseshoe Bay to the Sunshine Coast

Getting There

If you’re considering incorporating a weekend or mid-week break at the Tuwanek along with travels to Vancouver, Victoria or Whistler,  you’ll find getting there – and learning the names of your surrounds – to be half the fun.

From the picturesque village of Horseshoe Bay, which is 22 km/13 miles from downtown Vancouver, the 40-minute ferry ride provides breathtaking views of islands, mountains and greenery.  Next, you’ll  drive 26 km/16 miles past the town of Gibsons, which became famous through television’s The Beachcombers, to reach Sechelt. Tuwanek is roughly nine km/six miles north of Sechelt, past Porpoise Bay Provincial Park and the town of Sandy Hook.