From the moment Rob and I stepped through the doors into the main log house at Siwash Lake, I was aware of how effortlessly cozy and comfortable it felt, but it took awhile for it to became apparent just how much effort and thought went into making it feel that way - for us!
We were greeted warmly by Allison, the owner, and on the way to our room, passed by the living area, with its overstuffed sofas and a huge beautifully worn coffee table in front of a two-story stone fireplace . . . I wanted to drop my purse then and there, and curl up in the pillows.
But our room beckoned - ours being the Lakeside Room, with its puffy queen size and pillow laden bed, overlooking our very own covered porch with wooden love seat. The porch overlooks the grassy slope in front of Siwash Lake with its backdrop of evergreens and Aspen trees and a small dock leads down to the lake, where we could see a row boat and canoe ready to untie should we choose.
We sat up in bed overlooking this wonderful scene each morning, with our coffee, tea and muffins (after a quick tap at the door told us our tray was sitting just outside). This was also the signal that breakfast would be ready in an hour in the DR.
So here we are, lounging on one of those very comfortable sofas, in front of a crackling fire, with our appetizer of the day, a really tasty lime hummis with baguette slices, and a glass of our favourite -Reisling (all wines are local - and pretty darn good!), and writing my review.
It is Day 2 of our stay, and this morning after a satisfying Frittata and bacon breakfast, we met Tamara, our Cowgirl Horse Guide extraordinaire, and as we hadn't ridden horses in decades, she took the time to explain everything we needed to know about our two horses, Chip and Belle, and we got to know them before we headed out. The care and respect that these people give their horses, and all the animals (pigs, cows, chickens, dogs . . . ) on the ranch, is incredible, and very obvious. It was something I sensed while looking at their web-site, and which made me pick this ranch above any others. As well, we were given a good recommendation from a co-worker.
We lucked out with perfect weather, and Tamara took us on a wonderful two hour horse ride on trails, through brush, over meadows, past lakes . . . all the while Spot, Ferny and Lilly, the three ranch dogs, raced ahead poking their noses in everywhere, barrelling into the water, then racing back, looking at us expectantly, like, "Hurry up you guys!" We had such a great time. Hubby wants to be a Cowboy now . . . and OK, maybe I kinda want to be a Cowgirl :)
After lunch, the clouds opened up and it poured, giving us the perfect excuse to sit here on the couch reading and writing till Happy Hour.
(I'm writing the rest from home now)
So, I can't believe I waited this long to write about the food, which started out great, and then just got better, turning into some-kind-of-wonderful every time we tasted a new creation. We were happy with the portion sizes - they aren't huge - the meals were inspired, and the perfect size for us. We've had pan seared scallops, smoked salmon on baguettes, fall-off-the-bone ribs, spot prawn pasta, griddle cakes with sausages, chick pea salad with turkey and avacado wraps, and the BEST rhubarb crumble I've ever tasted. Geez! I forgot to ask for the recipe!
I thought I should mention that there were many activities that we didn't do, and that was by choice. We just wanted a quiet relaxing couple of days. Next time! And there is a large man-made pond under construction that they will be stocking with trout and I look forward to that.
So it was truly a wonderful stay - even unexpectedly so. It is quite a drive on the gravel road to get to the ranch, and it had rained a fair bit before we arrived making the road muddy, and we weren't sure what we'd find at the end of it, but it was totally worth it. The road would be absolutely fine in the summer months.
The staff were all so friendly and made us feel comfortable right away. You can't help but get to know them a little while you're there, and it feels like you're leaving friends behind when it's time to leave. The morning we left, not only did Allison come out to the car to say goodbye, but Chef Wendy (wonder what fantastic thing she's dreaming up today!), Tamara, and Jackie, our Server, came out too! Oh, and so did the four dogs! I know, I said three dogs earlier . . . but Allison's Hubby brought home the sweetest, still-to-be-named puppy while we were there.
So there you go! We'll be back!
Oh, and I forgot! On the drive in we only saw one deer, but on the morning drive out we saw more deer, two of the biggest eagles we've ever seen, humongous (and I mean HUGE) cows crossing the road, some goats, horses . . . it was like icing on the cake :)
- Also Known As:
- Siwash Lake Ranch Hotel
- Siwash Lake Ranch Hotel 100 Mile House
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Escape to this luxury dude ranch and wilderness resort – an intimate and private hideaway for adventurous people who seek the finer things in life. Here you can ride to your heart’s desire, fish for trout in wild lakes and streams, sleep under the softest linens and dine on exquisite home-grown organic cuisine. Canada’s top eco-friendly luxury destination according to the Globe & Mail and ranked among ten luxury dude ranches by Forbes Traveler. ... more less