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The final post in a three-part series on "glamping" (glamorous camping).
It's 11pm on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada. As I soak in a hydrotherapy tub facing a glass-surface front overlooking the water, the light is slowly disappearing on the horizon beyond the Straight of Georgia. I’ve just had a superb dinner of locally sourced Pacific Northwest fare. After my luxurious soak, I'll take a rainforest shower and then proceed to my king-size bed for a night of sweet sleep. Can life get any better, I wonder? I'm staying in one of the luxurious tenthouse suites at Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, located on a scenic stretch of the Pacific Coast.
I had no idea what to expect. A five-star chef roasting gourmet marshmallows over a precision campfire, delivered to guests via room . . . er, tent service? Indeed, there was a night of smores on the beach below the resort, but the rest of my "glamping" idea didn’t quite match up – it was a lot more glamorous than I expected. The tenthouse suites at Rockwater aren’t quite tents as you’d imagine tents to be – they’re more like canvas-covered permanent structures decked out with all the perks of a four-star hotel room. But when it rains, the sound of raindrops on the canvas gives the experience a touch of adventure yet with all the creature comforts in place.
I spent my time at Rockwater enjoying a mix of soft adventure and relaxation. My days were filled with thrilling activities – from sailing to mountain biking to moonlight kayaking. But it wasn’t all action – there was plenty of pampering to boot. I had a revitalizing massage in an oceanfacing tent at the resort’s Spa Without Walls and a two-hour facial that left my skin glowing for days. And then there was the food! Of the many highlights served, two stand out for me: the local line-caught albacore tuna with sweet ginger sauce marinade and roasted sockeye salmon glazed with maple sake and served with a "forbidden" rice cake, baby bok choi, and ginger beurre blanc.
When I found out that Rockwater was offering a package in conjunction with the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts in Vancouver and Whistler, I instantly wished I could go back. Especially when I saw the low price – just CAD$1650 (approximately US$1475) for a seven-night stay through September 15, dropping to CAD$1520 (US$1359) from mid-September through November 1. When I calculated that this high-luxury special, Rock Between Four Seasons, shows you the best of British Columbia for just CAD $236 (US $211) per night (based on double occupancy), I felt like calling everyone I know and urging them to head to BC. This stellar deal gets you great value for your dollar – two nights in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver (gearing up to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games); two nights on the Sunshine Coast (contrary to the idea of ever-rainy British Columbia, it gets 2,400-hours of annual sunshine!); and three nights at the base of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler. The package also covers three dinners, three breakfasts, a signature massage at Rockwater’s Spa Without Walls; and a gondola ticket in Whistler.
In Vancouver, you'll stay at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, a classic property that just underwent a $20-million renovation. Located atop the fashionable Pacific Centre with more than 200 shops and services, the hotel is a stone’s throw from downtown shopping, theatres, and sports venues. Don’t skip dinner at YEW restaurant + bar, a trendy spot with lofty ceilings and wood-paneled walls, featuring a contemporary raw bar and over 300 wines by the glass. On the Sunshine Coast, you’ll luxuriate in your very own seaside tent suite facing the ocean – my recent stay there was unforgettable (read above)! In Whistler, your home for three nights will be Canada’s only Five Diamond resort, the Four Seasons Resort Whistler. This expansive property showcases an award-winning restaurant; full-service spa; 24-hour fitness facilities; outdoor pool and hot tubs; and an on-site bike rental store. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call direct at 1-877-296-4593.
This is the last in a series of posts on "glamping" (glamorous camping). Read about Anja's experiences at Paws Up in Montana and the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island.