10 Unusual Accommodations in British Columbia 10

8 Unusual Accommodations in British Columbia

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Yurt or houseboat? Cabana or cannery? In BC, these nine overnight options are anything but ordinary.

Note: This story (originally published in 2018) was updated specifically for the unique travel circumstances of 2021. Information is accurate at the time of publication; we recommend you contact businesses directly to confirm availability and familiarize yourself with their COVID policies.

1. Pangea Pod Hotel in Whistler

Pangea Pod Hotel in Whistler

Pangea Pod Hotel in Whistler. Photo: Pangea Pod Hotel

Priced between luxury and budget with a killer mid-Village location, Whistler’s Pangea Pods has ultra-hip communal space in its Living Room and Rooftop Patio, places to mingle before tucking into a cozy little pod—with shared facilities—and drawing the curtain for privacy.

2. Skwachàys Lodge in Vancouver

A luxurious suite in Vancouver’s Skwachàys Lodge, complete with aboriginal artwork and a king size bed.

Vancouver’s Skwachàys Lodge is home to liveable works of art. Photo: Craig Minielly at Aura Photographics

Eighteen one-of-a-kind guest suites designed by local Aboriginal artists and Vancouver interior designers tell stunning visual stories about First Nations culture and feature original artwork created by the participating artists. Vancouver’s Skwachàys Lodge is a social enterprise that provides the funding for 24 living and work studios for an Indigenous “artists in residence” program. Don’t miss: the rooftop sweat lodge, smudge room, and a nearly 13-metre (43-foot) totem pole.

3. Cabana Desolation Eco Resort in Desolation Sound

Eco-friendly cabanas nestled in a dense forest.

Cabana Desolation Eco Resort lodgings embrace the rainforest elements. Photo: Adam Vallance

Warm Pacific waters, abundant marine life, and cool cabanas set the scene on Kinghorn Island, off the northern tip of BC’s Sunshine Coast. Here, Cabana Desolation Eco Resort lodgings embrace the rainforest elements, via screens and breezy curtains, wrap-around decks, and open dining quarters. Don’t miss: a serene guided paddle through Desolation Sound with Powell River Sea Kayak.

4. B&Bs in Barkerville Historic Town

A quaint porch with seating for two at The King House Bed & Breakfast.

The King House is a history-rich bed and breakfast in Barkerville. Photo: Lynn Stevens for LoveWellsBC.com

There’s more than gold panning in Barkerville, an authentic 1860s Gold Rush town in the province’s Cariboo region. The King House and The Kelly House are history-rich bed and breakfasts, while the St. George Hotel, a restored Main Street hotel and saloon, offers seven rooms and a hearty bacon-and-eggs breakfast. Don’t miss: period costume-clad town namesake “Billy Barker” as he recounts his struggles and triumphs during BC’s Gold Rush.

5. Cassiar Cannery near Prince Rupert

Multi-coloured residences look out over still waters.

The brightly coloured buildings of BC’s Cassiar Cannery. Photo: Justine Crawford

Salmon rules at BC’s Cassiar Cannery, on the Skeena River, south of Prince Rupert. One of the longest continuously operated salmon canneries on Canada’s west coast—once home to cookhouses, machine shops, bunkhouses, blacksmiths, and more—Cassiar spotlights its historic past with overnights in refurbished residences, set on pilings above the tide. For an enlightening tour of an intact cannery town, you can visit neighbouring North Pacific Cannery. Don’t miss: exploration of the natural world with experts during Cassiar’s annual Ecology Week and other custom experiences, including women’s rejuvenation retreats.

6. Twin Anchors on Shuswap Lake

An array of houseboats anchored at the beach at sunset.

Twin Anchors in BC’s Shuswap Lake. Photo: Twin Anchors

A plunge into the warm waters of Shuswap Lake is just one of many houseboat perks in southcentral BC. Aboard Twin Anchors, would-be sailors can set off on boats suited for six or opt for vessels outfitted for up to 24, all equipped with full kitchens and comfy sleeping quarters (bigger boats boast hot tubs and waterslides). Don’t miss: swim, golf, or bike, all from your temporary on-the-lake address.

7. God’s Mountain Estate in Penticton

A woman lays in the bed of an outdoor suite covered with lush greenery.

View from God’s Mountain suite near Penticton. Photo: @jackiekaiellis via Instagram

Views of the heavens are on full display at God’s Mountain, south of Penticton, where an open-air, roofless room tempts with a private tub and a gauzy four-poster bed. Set in Okanagan wine country, the Mediterranean-style villa delivers on ambience, thanks to its vineyard-and-Skaha-Lake setting. Don’t miss: the estate’s Alfresco Dinner Experience with Joy Road Catering, where nibbles of seasonal Okanagan bounty and sips of local wine are complemented by an Instagram-ready longtable view.

8. The Domes in New Denver

Eco-friendly dome accommodations under an overcast sky.

The Domes in BC’s Kootenay Rockies. Photo: @traharn via Instagram

The Domes in New Denver offer accommodation like no other in BC’s Kootenay Rockies region. Here, curved interior spaces in four durable eco-friendly structures provide a modern, relaxing ambiance while private patios set in mature landscaped gardens complement views of the Selkirk and Valhalla mountains. Nearby, explore the upgraded network of walking and cycling trails along the shores of Slocan Lake. Don’t miss: a stroll through the heritage village of New Denver, home to a convivial summer garlic festival and the Nikkei Centre.

Featured image: Heritage buildings at Barkerville Historic Town. Photo: Rob Lloyd

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