On this day we were off for a two day and one night trip to Nanoose Bay. What is in Nanoose Bay you ask? Well for us: luxury modern accommodations, wildlife touring boat rides, picturesque views, and an elevated dining experience on Vancouver Island to explore.
Located on Nanaimo Island, it was a 2 hour ferry ride then a 30 minute drive by car to Nanoose Bay from downtown Vancouver. This would be my first time visiting the area and it was just the quick getaway I needed. With my new job, I am not able to take any vacation time until 1 year in, so a quick trip like this is the only way I can scratch that travel itch.
But be warned, there isn’t much in terms of city life, but if you are keen on disconnecting and enjoying the peace and serenity of nature this is for you.
We would be staying at Fairwinds development which includes the Fairwinds Residences, a set of luxury short-term rental condos, the Fairwinds Marina, and the Fairwinds Golf Course, among other lifestyle and wellness offerings.
We drove up as a group, but I would be bunking with Diana of @foodologyca fame. We shared a two bed room, two bath condo with a fully furnished kitchen and living room. Plus a gorgeous view of the marina from our private balcony for the night. There was even an in suite washer and dryer should we plan an extended stay.
The suite is spacious with vaulted ceilings. Well designed and decorated, set in a neutral palate. The living room centred around the view from the large windows. Seating is cozy with a soft leather couch and plush chairs with glass top side tables.
There is also a table by the foyer that can function as a dining room table or work desk, and another on the large patio to be able to eat towards the water. We would make do with the marble kitchen island and its couple of wooden stools. The entire kitchen had a simple glossy white motif with a stainless steel double door fridge, a pod coffee maker, water kettle, and matching stainless oven.
Within all its cabinets and cupboard are every tool needed to cook a meal. Shame we wouldn’t have the time to do that, as the kitchen had non stick pans, a full knife block, and a collection of chic serve ware. Not to mention the connected, and aforementioned Nanoose Bay Cafe downstairs has a boutique of local food products that includes groceries for purchase. This includes the likes of fresh leafy kale, carrots, and sugar peas. Plus eggs, yogurt, bacon, and sausages. (More on that concept and all its offerings later in the next post).
As for the washrooms the one in suite had a tub, whereas the master bath had a tiled rainfall shower. There were plenty of soft towels and Dove branded hair and body products for use, if you failed to pack your own. Both Diana and I had difficulty figuring out the same toilets in each washroom. There was a large circle with a power symbol on it, but the actual button to flush was a small protruding node to the side of it. We liked the toilet paper folded at a point, that greeted us as new tenants for the night.
Speaking of night, my favourite part of the suite, and the fondest memory I have staying there is our night on the patio. After a lengthy indulgent dinner at Nanoose Bay Cafe, Diana and I had intentions of receding back to our suite to enjoy the view more.
On the patio we discovered we had an electric fire bowl at our disposable and lap blankets. Comfy in our pyjamas, we would sprawl out on the outdoor sectional, curled up in our personal-sized blankets and watch day turn to night. We would not see the sun set from our room, but could catch glimmers of it as its glow reflected off the bay’s still waters.
The peace and nature’s quiet engulfs you. I would fall asleep by Diana, and have her prod me awake to go to bed.
Diana graciously offered me the master bedroom and bath, when I suggested we share the king bed to both be able to enjoy it. I have fairy tale fantasies of waking up with the sun in my eyes, and stretching out over fluffy hotel quality pillows and a crisp starchy comforter; just as they do in the movies.
And on this trip, it was mission accomplished. Coincidentally and unplanned Diana and I woke up around 5am with the need to use the washroom. And in doing so note how beautiful the rising sun looked. So we both rushed out to the patio with our phones to be able to encapsulate the view.
Sadly after our shared magic moment she was able to return to sleep in her dark and windowless secondary bed room, located by the front door, across from the washroom.
But I couldn’t figure out how to use the blinds, nor did I really want to hide the scenery. Therefore choose to stay awake and be distracted by the bobbing speed boats and yachts docked in the marina.
Just as well as we had limited time the next day and a classic fresh and healthy breakfast waiting for us at Nanoose Bay Cafe’s more Cafe grab and go focused half of the restaurant. (More of that in a separate post.)
Outside of eating and enjoying the views, we also got time to go for a boat ride. And this is definitely something I recommend that you do if you get the chance.
Haida Gold offers chauffeured boat rides around the bay. You only need to say what you like and Captain Mike Bellis will take you there.
As we took in the sea and sky we sipped on Aperol Spritz and snacked on personal boxed charcuterie, prepared by the team at Nanoose Bay Cafe.
Our water faring travels included a tour of the lighthouses. Seal spotting off the shores of one of the many small islands and parks.
Plus the ability to anchor and enjoy some time sunbathing on the helm of the boat. The latter also allowed me to cross another item off my bucket list.
This is definitely the best way to fully take in Nanoose Bay and get a great look at the Fairwinds Property from the back. There are also several trails to hike, but sadly we were on a schedule and didn’t pack the right gear to go hiking in.
Stay tuned for the next post with more on Nanoose Bay and Fairwinds Properties, including their new restaurant own and ran by hospitality industry veterans Eli Brennan, Alan Tse, and Chef Todd Bright, partners from Vancouver’s Water St. Café and Vancouver Island’s Qualicum Beach Café who have teamed up to open the new Nanoose Bay Café.
3521 Dolphin Dr, Nanoose Bay, BC V9P 9K6
Haida Gold Ocean Adventures
Fairwinds Marina, 3521 Dolphin Dr, Nanoose Bay, BC V9P 9K1