This post by Carla Mont was originally published on the Hello BC blog.
Is there anything better than a room with a view? The lure of staying lakeside is strong, not just for the lovely views but for easy access to sandy shores and surrounding woods or vineyards. It also helps if your accommodation is top-notch. In British Columbia, you can have it all.
A wine country nest
For a weekend in wine country, head to Quails’ Gate, a family-run operation in BC’s Okanagan Valley that boasts not one but two lakeside retreats. The Lake House, a luxury four-bedroom property fit for 10, has a sprawling kitchen, multiple patios, and a private dock. The Nest offers cozier comfort for seven, plus access to a private beach. Wine fridge empty? Swirl and sip at a 30-minute Passion for Pinot Noir tasting or 60-minute Best of Boucherie Tour, and choose your favorites to bring back to your lakeside home away from home.
A historic hideaway
The lure of Okanagan Lake—a vast and deep pool of blue—can be traced to BC’s Gold Rush. It was in 1908, during days of boom and bust, that a stretch of sand on the eastern lakeshore near Penticton proved an ideal spot for newspaper magnate John Moore Robinson to build his dream home. The Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa served as a cultural centre, girls’ private school, and a family residence. Today, the inn boasts 12 finely appointed rooms, a restaurant, and a spa—all within reach of stellar wineries and cycling along the historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
Barefoot Beach Resort, on Skaha Lake’s warm, sandy shoreline, promises a stay that’s far from conventional. Here, 12 yurts, complete with private patios and barbecues, draw sun-seekers to BC’s Okanagan. Lazy days will be spent on the water, while evening respite will draw you back to your cool, circular shelter. Bonus: outfitted with skylights, the resort’s yurts offer plenty of opportunity to stargaze while you drift into dreamland.
A Rocky Mountain retreat on Emerald Lake
Set on the shores of its namesake lake, Emerald Lake Lodge is ideal for outdoorsy types, thanks to hand-hewn timber cabins surrounded by serious Rocky Mountain peaks. A haven for hikers, canoeists, and paddleboarders, Yoho National Park-situated Emerald Lake provides the ultimate home base for adventure. Following a day’s pursuits, it’s back to the main lodge, bedecked with century-old fireplaces and an oak bar salvaged from an 1890s Yukon saloon. We’ll drink to that.
A lakeside mansion
Kootenay Lake. Selkirk Mountains. For Selwyn G. Blaylock, this slice of heaven near Nelson was the ideal spot for a summer home. Built in the early 1930s, the historic Blaylock’s Mansion welcomes all with seven rooms adorned with period furniture and antiques, a billiards room, and a massage and steam-room facility. The property also boasts 13 acres of manicured gardens—including one of the largest arboretums in the Kootenay Rockies—an outdoor swimming pool, private tennis courts, and a gardener’s cabin that has been renovated for summer sleepovers.
Hot springs hot spot
The cottages and chalets at Halcyon Hot Springs provide excellent accommodation for those who love everything to do with water. Hop on an inflatable air mattress for a splash in Upper Arrow Lake, or opt for a soak in the resort’s healing, mineral-rich pools. The restorative springs at this year-round retreat draw enthusiasts in need of a reprieve; warm, hot, and even cold plunges revive the senses. Out of the water, the resort boasts a full-service spa, and the Kingfisher Restaurant pairs local ingredients with views of the Monashee Mountains and the pretty lake in the distance.
Ready for waterfront views and relaxation? Start planning your trip to BC.