Do I even have to say the accommodation business has come a long way since the time when dreary, ugly hotels and sketchy motels seemed like the only choice? These days, B&Bs have a competitive edge by offering various themes or tempting seasonal package deals.
Put yourself in the Cowichan Valley, a pastoral heartland right between Nanaimo and Victoria and embrace country life with your loved one, or have family time at one of the specialty farm B&B’s. Call it agro-tourism; call it eco-friendly farm stays or a sustainable sleepover resource. Ok, I just made that last one up…. But needles to say, I am so happy with this trend and looking forward to seeing more.
Hillcrest Farm’s Bale & Breakfast is an Equestrian Dream Holiday
For the horse lover, the Hillcrest Farm offers visitors the chance to incorporate riding (or lessons) into their visit. In my case, I would just like to be around the horses at the farm for strokes and pictures. But how many B&Bs encourage you to bring your own horse along for some human-equine bonding? I haven’t checked, but probably very few. You can ride at one of the many horse friendly nature trails that are close by the farm.I definitely recommend planning that excursion for fall to experience maximum natural beauty.
Located in Cobble Hill near Shawnigan Lake School and Brentwood College, Hillcrest is one the oldest farms in the valley.The suite is very pretty; with softly country styled décor, and has a private sitting/extra room next door. The 4 piece private bathroom includes a large soaker tub for relaxing in. The suite costs$150 per night (and $50 for the extra room) with discounted longer stays.
You won’t be hungry or thirsty here, from the breakfast kitchen comes some diet considerate home baking, fresh fruit and farm eggs. And for lunch or dinner, walk or ride over to the bistro at nearby Glenterra Vineyards for lovely food and sample from a wide selection of their quality wines.
Fairburn Farms Offers a Unique Twist to the West Coast Dairy Farm
If you are interested in a more exotic animal to visit, travel a bit deeper into the valley by heading 12 km northwest to Fairburn Farm B&B for some Water Buffalo action!After a turbulent history, the family dairy farm is now run by its third generation owners. They offer an hour and a bit tour for their guests to learn about the history of the farmstead and how they ended up milking Water Buffalos for cheese making. You can sample the end result, the Mozzarella di Bufala.
For those trying to top their friend’s unusual wedding spots, Fairburn Farmis available for weddings and special occasions. The 19th century farmhouse on 130 acres has many great photo opportunities!
The rooms themselves are decorated in a traditional country sense and have quite a few different room and bed configurations for extra friends and family members. If you are looking for more privacy, there is a self- contained rustic cottage on site with many sleep options too. Rooms range from $105 to $150 depending on the season, and the cottage is $145 a night.
I’m always pleasantly surprised by what I find exploring the Cowichan Valley. And it doesn’t have to be a wildly unique idea to bring me there, I appreciate simple and special as much as the next B&B-er.
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