Gulf Island escape meets upscale luxury with one of B.C.’s best laid-back resorts much closer than you think

Many of us yearn for that remote West Coast island getaway where it’s just you, the ocean views and the orcas, but also love the creature comforts of high-end hotels. Things like king size beds, big-city-calibre gourmet feasts, and—the ultimate luxury—a good old-fashioned pamper fest at the spa. Poets Cove Resort and Spa, which is a luxury island retreat tucked away in a private marina on Pender Island, is exactly that have-the-best-of-both-worlds escape—and here’s why...

1. A laid-back nature escape

LobbyAs one of the Gulf Islands off B.C.’s coast, small-town Pender Island has all the eye candy its West Coast postal code suggests: twisted Arbutus trees, Georgia Straight vistas and wild neighbours (sea lions, porpoises, orcas, gray wales and river otters, to name a few), while offering ample trails, freshwater lakes, rolling farmlands, forest and beaches. The year-round population sits at 2,250 easy-going residents, where the vibe is relaxed, the nature scenes abundant and you can fly or boat in at your leisure. Plus, B.C. Ferries runs regular sailings to Pender—just 40 minutes from Victoria, or two hours from Tsawwassen.

2. Location, location, harbour location

ViewPoets Cove Resort and Spa is stacked vertically up the hillside in a secluded bay, so it wraps around the harbour and gives every one of its rooms a picture-perfect ocean view (jaw-dropping sunsets anyone?). There isn’t another luxury retreat like it on the Gulf Islands that offers this level of accommodation and amenities in such a beautiful, untouched location. The resort also has its own private, full-service marina with more than 100 slips, so you can boat in, boat out.

3. Three words: eucalyptus steam cave

SpaThe Susurrus Spa at Poets Cove has taken hydrotherapy to a whole new level. Hidden behind a cascading waterfall in a custom rock grotto, is the cleansing, delightfully herbal, Eucalyptus Steam Cave. After breathing in all the eucalyptus goodness, take a cold hydrotherapy shower and then soak away our big-city cares in the hot tub—it’s an ideal warm-up to a treatment at the spa. Susurrus is used to accommodating big groups, so they have perfected combo packages like the Triple Threat (facial, massage, foot reflexology) or the very bride-friendly Glow package (full body exfoliation, full body ritual wrap, aromatherapy massage and Eminence organic facial).

4. Island-to-table dining

BarThere are two restaurants and one café right at Poets Cove, so your dining needs are covered. Aurora is the delicious fine dining treat, the best on the island, and features local produce on a seasonal menu. Moorings Cafe is your espresso and lunch spot, with coffee, sandwiches and ice cream. Syrens Bistro and Lounge is the upscale pub hangout with solid eats made from fresh, local ingredients.

5. Hiking, kayaking, golfing and more

ViewsPart of the beauty of the resort is that you can start the morning sipping an Earl Grey on the patio or in a sea kayak, paddling around ocean caves and craggy rocks. There is so much to see and do, including on-site kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals, an on-site tennis court, a large pool, fitness centre, whale watching (from the shore!), hiking trails, ocean walks, boutique shopping (prepare to stalk up on small-batch island soaps and scented candles), golfing and cycling. Take a picnic to one of the local parks, or hike Mount Norman to watch the sunset.

6. Rooms for everyone

RoomThere are lodges, villas and private cottages that offer everything you need based on your type of trip. Is it a romantic couple’s getaway where you want your own hot tub, a destination wedding where you need lots of rooms together with big party spaces, a family getaway where you need space for both sets of grandparents? The luxe suites at Poets Cove range from one to three bedrooms, and while they all have great outdoor spaces, some have private hot tubs, and others have full kitchens, so you can cook together and never have to leave.

7. Sweet deals for an even sweeter stay

Poets Cove regularly offers great package deals with juicy discounts, like their Pay 3 Stay 5, which saves visitors two full days on accommodation in May and June for lodge rooms, villas or cottages. Keep an eye out on their special offers page for more.

CREATED BY BCLIVING, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH POETS COVE RESORT AND SPA