Salt Spring Island is a delight, floating off the east coast of Vancouver Island. The main town, Ganges, is a pretty harbour with quite enough to do to fill in a few days - a great bookshop run by an extraordinarily helpful woman on the occasion that we were there, plenty of little restaurants serving the freshest of food without pretension, the kind of hardware store that we all want in our home towns and plenty more besides. Below the hotel, a mere trip down the hill, is Moby's, an unpretentious pub which serves delicious chowder and a good Bloody Mary and opposite is a curious tiny Patisserie, la Patronne and her husband escapees from the urbanisation of South West France, and she produces pastries of sublime lightness and flavour.
What of Hastings House, you ask? We did not know what to expect. It's perched above the bay, looking towards Ganges and is developed around a pastiche of a medieval farm house, an attempt by Warren Hastings to recreate his home in Sussex. It's not great and misses the original by a mile and I'm not sure that it's worth slavishly trying to maintain that connection. The main property is in dire need of refurbishment. But, strange as it may seem, the whole place works. Because the whole island embraces yesteryear and the values far removed from hectic urbanity, Hastings House feels right. Kelly and Cherryann, the general manager and his wife, steer their ship with a calm and steady hand and have a staff around them of talent who give real attention to the needs and wants of their guests. We could not have been happier and four idle and easy days simply slipped by in the most relaxing fashion. We just wish that we lived close enough to return in the summer when I imagine that the gardens are filled with colour. Vancouver is only 30 minutes away by floatplane which leaves from Ganges - we watched as it hoisted itself into the air like a bloated dragonfly - and wished that we could return to Hastings House and Salt Spring Island before very long.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hastings House Country House Hotel is a small waterfront luxury country resort, spa and restaurant sitting on 22 acres on the waterfront of Ganges Harbour, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. Enjoy luxury lodging, fine dining, wellness and relaxation in a casually-elegant atmosphere. Explore British Columbia’s natural beauty, Salt Spring’s mild climate and the warmth and creativity of its people. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hastings Hotel Saltspring Island