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“Breathtaking” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Rockwater Secret Cove Resort

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Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   5356 Ole's Cove Road | Halfmoon Bay, Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia V0N 1Y2, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Halfmoon Bay
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Delta
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Breathtaking”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2009

I don't understand why anyone would stay in a room or cabin when the tentsuites are so beautiful! We stayed in #63 and it was fabulous! Mostly private except for the tub wall. We would request tent #51, #57, or #65 if we go back as they looked more private. The only complaint is that there were ants on the floor but we figured that it goes with the territory. Other than that this place was impeccable. Very clean and luxurious, especially the ultrabain hydrotherapy tub and heated slate tile floors. The rainshower head had lots of pressure and we loved the endless hot water. I've never had 3 baths in one night before but this place beckons lounging in bed and soaking in a hot tub. We loved this resort, not a regular experience by far, and the continental breakfast delivered to our tent was delicious and included orange juice, coffee, yogurt, muffins, danish and a good assortment of fruit. There was way more food than we expected. The rate at this time of year is very affordable and worth every penny. The propane system broke down for about an hour so there was no hot water or fireplace for an hour or so in the evening but this did not disrupt our stay that much and at checkout we were pleasantly surprised that the manager discounted our room 50% for the incident. All in all an excellent time and we are definitely coming bac to Rock Water.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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420 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (169)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sechelt/Vancouver
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2009

I used to go to this resort when the Chefs were fabulous. New chef now, crappy food...AND I went to the spa on the weekend and the male waiter came running into the lobby frantic, yelling, 'OKAY, BRUNCH IS OVER NO MORE CUSTOMERS ALLOWED IN OKAY??' to the receptionist...how professional is THAT? Ah...like customers are right here in front of you and do you even see us as YOUR paycheck?? Geesh....Service is inconsistent, the main building is outdated as others have said and unless you just want to cozy up in the tent, I wouldn't bother. It's a beautiful property, but I want it all when I pay big bucks...oh, the massage? The girl wouldn't shut up....so one hour of listening her babble on and on when I am trying to relax? No thank you! I wanted to give my business to the coast because I live here but my money is too hard to come by just to support a business when they're not getting it. You want to charge lots, you better compare to the spa at the Fairmont. If not, see ya! Staff really need to learn about customer service. I wouldn't return.

Stayed January 2009, traveled solo
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chicago
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2009

This is our third visit to this resort and I have to say that something terrible has happened since we were there last.

We own property in Powell River (another ferry ride and a bit of a drive from the Rockwater) and about a year ago we realized we weren't going to make our connecting ferry, so we booked a tent suite at the Rockwater.

The room was beautiful and the location breath taking. We woke early and had a spectacular brunch in the dining room. Although the food was spectacular the dining room was extremely dated and it didn't make sense to us as to why the tents and food was so lovely and the dining room and general aesthetic of the hotel (including the staff uniforms) was so dated and tacky. The service in the dining room was not very professional, but the exceptional food made up for it.

We checked out and had a lovely conversation with the owner Deana and spoke about the sunshine coast and such.

When we were returning to Vancouver two days later we booked a table in the dining room, as we were so impressed by the brunch that we had. It took us several attempts to get through on the phone. It is strange to get an answering machine in the middle of the day on a Wednesday, but however we finally got through and booked a table for 7pm.

The food was incredible. Perhaps one of the best meals we have ever enjoyed in a restaurant in Canada. We asked our server (who was nice, but somewhat clueless about the food and wine) if she could ask the chef how he made the lamb shoulder so spectacular. The chef didn't just tell the server, but wrote out the recipe and then delivered it to our table where he spoke to us for 10 minutes. He was charming and very, very friendly. We have never gotten the lamb to taste the same, but we will keep trying.

Two months later we made a reservation to stay in a tent house again. It took us all day to make a reservation, as it seems that they cannot get to their phone and it takes them forever to return messages on their answering machine. I am still quite shocked that they do not answer their phones, but none the less.

We arrived and our room wasn't ready, so we ate lunch in the dining room, which was wonderful again.

We went to our tent, took baths in the incredible bath tub, took a nap in the luxurious bed and then dressed for dinner.

The chef out did himself again, although our server didn't seem to have a clue about the food and made me, perhaps, the worst martini I have ever had. Haha. Its okay as the rest of the experience was excellent.

Now for our most recent trip.

Once again it took all day to get through to the front desk and once we did the gentleman named Darren seemed clueless and fake. We found out later that he was the General Manager, which would explain the disaster that our most recent and last visit to the Rockwater Resort.

Our room wasn't ready, when we arrived at 4pm on a Tuesday and the dining room was closed. Nobody (including the General Manager) mentioned this to us when we booked our room. We went out to our tent house and it was freezing cold. Why would they book these suites when they cannot keep them warm? I couldn't tell you, but they did.

They brought out space heaters and offered us another room in the hotel, but upon viewing them we realized that the rooms were far below the tent suites, so we opted for space heaters and dealing with it.

We had to drive 30 minutes into town to eat. Dinner was ok, but we were disappointed to not be able to enjoy the excellent food at the resort.

We made a reservation for the following evening.

The food was mediocre and seemed like everything was loaded with butter. The food was incredibly rich and virtually inedible.

I made a comment to the server that the food has changed and they said that there was a new chef since our last stay.

The website for the resort still had Steven Ewing down as the chef on all the menus, but when we arrived it turned out to not be him in the kitchen.

We won't be going back to the Rockwater, but we are on the hunt for Chef Ewing and his amazing lamb shoulder.

  • Liked — the food before
  • Disliked — the food now
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2009

Just returned from a weekend in one of the tent suites at Rockwater. While we absolutely loved the tent suite, the rest of the resort was disappointing - not on par with the quality of the tents or with the overall impression given on the website.

We stayed in tent suite 54 - it was excellent with a fantastic jetted tub and a very comfortable bed. It was situated above the boardwalk that links all of the tents to the rest of the resort and, but for the fact that we were fogged in all weekend, would have had a great view. Our tent was close to a few others and noise carries pretty easily, but we were lucky to have quiet neighbours. The barking dog at all hours of both nights on the other hand was very annoying. For the ultimate privacy and location, try to book tents 56, 57 or 65.

Skip the restaurant - the food is very average and over-priced for what you get. The included continental breakfast was adequate but not impressive. The tea/coffee and mini-fridge in the suite were a nice touch - bring your own snacks and wine and enjoy the view from your suite.

One final note - bring a suitcase with wheels - it's a long, but gorgeous, walk out to the suites on the boadwalk. An offer of assistance with our bags would have been a nice gesture.

All in all, the tent suites are fantastic and a very cool "west coast" experience. The property as a whole could be amazing, but will need to make significant upgrades to its lodge, restaurant and spa to capture the luxury feel the tent suites are marketed towards. We paid the low-season rate ($300 all in per night) and feel that here are much better options at that price point - e.g. Whistler Four Seasons, or Long Beach Lodge or the Wickanninish in Tofino. We would recommend the tent suites, but with the caveat that the rest of the resort doesn't quite measure up... yet.

  • Liked — Tent suites were amazing!
  • Disliked — Lodge/restaurant stuck in the early eighties.
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2008

I first experienced Rockwater with my fiance (now husband) over a year ago. We wanted a relaxed and luxurious getaway with a flavor for adventure ... not an easy mix to find. Upon arrival, we were intrigued by the dirt road wandering up to the property. Around the last bend, were we ever surprised! The wooded drive gives way to the most majestic view of the cove; the hotel is exquisite with expansive grounds surrounded by lush forest and arbutus trees. The cabins dot the property and are quaint and quite rustic but when we peeked inside - wow! Gorgeous, spotless ... beautiful amenities like fluffy terry robes and decadent duvets!
After touring the grounds, the hotel and restaurant, we dipped our feet in the pool overlooking the ocean. Too cold to swim as it was storm season! We strolled up the boardwalk to our tenthouse suite - toasty and warm, heated slate floors and the most breathtaking sunset I have ever seen (and I am from NW Ontario!). Our dinner was 5 star cuisine - a great menu from the chef and fantastic wines! The staff is incredible ... they treated us like family! We loved our stay so much we booked our wedding the following June! Again, not one complaint! Kevin, Maria and the rest of the Rockwater staff made our holiday and wedding one to remember! Everything was looked after from start to end ... set-up, organizing, a rain tent (just in case), welcoming guests and delivery of gift baskets to rooms ... even a last-minute tuxedo emergency with the groom ... his button fell off and someone ran up all the way from the front desk to sew a new one on! What more can you ask for? Phenomenal.
We have already booked our one year anniversary!
I cannot recommend this resort property enough - if you are looking for a touch of adventure in the great outdoors, yet want to eat gourmet cuisine and enjoy the spa life, Rockwater is for you! Year round it is fantastic ... when the weather is warm prepare for kayaking, the outdoor spa, horseback riding, golf ... even private catered excursions. For even more fun, book a seaplane to fly you in! When it is winter, sit back and relax with a good book and a fine glass of wine. Absolute Heaven! Trust me, you will have a blast, rain or shine! Jennifer Gibson-Malone

  • Liked — Friendly and informed staff; excellent service! Beautiful surroundings!
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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West Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2008

Cheesy motel accomodations at resort prices! I stayed in cabin #8 with a friend for $179.00 per night. We were switched to an "upgraded" cabin at the last moment without our knowledge or consent. The "upgraded" cabin had not been aired or vaccumed. There were mouse droppings on the floor. The bathroom had probably seen its heyday in the 60s and had not been renovated since. The television, kettle, coffee maker and fridge looked liked bargain basement cast offs. There were not enough toiletries supplied and the towels were threadbare. The decor was "ecclectic" to say the least and there were draperies obscuring what was the only redeeming feature of our 1920s summer camp style cottage-the spectacular view. Staff were pushy wen it came to trying to sell outrageously overpriced spa treatments and dinners in their pricey restaurant. Don't be fooled by the slick website! This is an unprofessionally run "resort" and not worth spending your hard earned money on. Do I feel ripped off? You bet!

  • Liked — the location
  • Disliked — everyting except the location
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Coquitlam
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2008

The website offers very misleading pictures of Rockwater. I will admit that the view from the windows are some of the most spectacular I have ever had...that is where the luxury pictured on the web ends.

We had reviewed a number of higher end stays for a week over Christmas. All I can say we `are looking forward to leaving tomorrow...a few days early. To say the Honeymoon (usually the higher end accomodation) cabin is cozy is an understatement. We were told there was a tub...there was not..we asked about a microwave and were told there was one...there was not..I did not mind the rusticness but if I had wanted rustic I would have looked for rustic. I was looking for something a little better and did not find it.

I should have reviewed this site first. Apparently some of the cabins are renovated. Really.??

I guess that could account for the mold on the bathroom ceiling.

This is a place I would bring my buddies to stay on a drinking/golfing weekend but not my girlfriend or wife,

The food was great but appies and a couple of drinks for $150...it is definately overpriced...we went into town for the rest of our meals.

There is an old saying that goes when she's happy..everybody is happy...she saw the bathroom first ...they said there was a tub ...like I said , we're going home

  • Liked — the views
  • Disliked — the cabins and the highly priced restaurant
  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rockwater Secret Cove Resort

Address: 5356 Ole's Cove Road | Halfmoon Bay, Halfmoon Bay, British Columbia V0N 1Y2, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Sunshine Coast > Halfmoon Bay
Amenities:
Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Halfmoon Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Rockwater Secret Cove Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 38
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort is the Sunshine Coast's Premier 4 star year round resort, featuring 38 ocean front rooms, suites, tenthouse suites and cabins. The resort features a restaurant, lounge, and seasonal outdoor swimming pool. Ideal resort for getaway, corporate retreats and weddings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rockwater Secret Cove Hotel Halfmoon Bay
Hotel Rockwater Secret Cove
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort Canada/Halfmoon Bay, Sunshine Coast

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