Hollyhock on Cortes Island is a Truly Unique Experience

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One day while touring Cortes Island I came to Hollyhock, and spent an hour in the garden before I even made it inside to grab a brochure and poke around.

The garden is magnificent – truly the heartbeat of Hollyhock. Organic herbs, greens, veggies, and of course flowers, edibles, and eye candy alike bloom brilliantly on the property. It’s creatively inspiring for painters and photographers.

A Location Ripe for Education and Tourism

I walked around the area before going in and felt like I was in a very special, serene environment. After checking out the cob house in the woods used for meditating, which reminded me of a Hobbit-hole, I decided to stay on the down low so that I would not intrude on the guests’ personal time as they were bending and posing in various yoga positions.

The natural setting of Hollyhock is ripe for its many ongoing educational programs. Anything positive and forward-thinking in areas of personal development, social awareness, global environmental issues, art, music, and movement is the focus and intention of Hollyhock.

 What Else to Expect While Visiting Hollyhock Retreat

There have been many changes and modifications over the years to keep the business ecologically viable, as its roots sprouted from a Greenpeace background. There is an interesting story on how retreat’s founder listened to the wisdom he received from a gypsy woman’s prediction. That story and the ever changing course program schedule and room rates are on their website.

But we haven’t even gotten to the food yet! I was only able to see pictures of the organic, vegetarian buffets supplemented by wild fresh fish, all adorned by herbs and flowers from the garden. There also was evidence of very healthy but decadent desserts; a perfect combination. Hot and cold drinks with fruit service seemed readily available to everyone during their stay.


Guests Have All Kinds of Activities to try in a “Green” Lifestyle


If you are a guest at Hollyhock, expect a ‘back-to-basics’ style of lodging. There will be no phones or alarm clocks, and guests are encouraged to take minimal showers and to use green toiletries, preferably their own.


If you are not planning to participate in a program, no problem. There are other things to try like massage, acupuncture, reflexology, yoga of all types and levels, and guided nature walks. You can take your pick of private rooms in a beachfront cabin with shared or private bathrooms, or dorm style rooms. There are even tent sites for those who want full contact with nature.


There are a few ways to become involved in this movement of positive growth. There is a volunteer program and ways to donate, whether by money or passing along good supplies like electronics, instruments, or furniture, to name a few.


How to Get to Hollyhock M


From central Campbell River, you must take the ferry to Quadra Island which is only about 10 minutes. Wait there for your second ferry and depart to Cortes Island. Once you land, go southeast to Hollyhock, located on Highfield Road.


There is also the option to take a floatplane from Vancouver, Campbell River, and Victoria. Hollyhock has many other travel options outlined on their website, which includes ‘greener’ ways of traveling for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint.


Some call it a retreat; some call it a refuge, a sanctuary, or a healing center. Does it matter what it’s called? Most importantly, Hollyhock can offer you nourishment for the body, mind, and soul.


Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.

Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

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