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Gwaii Haanas National Park Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Daajing Giids, British Columbia V0T 1S0 Canada
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#5 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Daajing Giids
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4.3
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3.0
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2.4
Value
2.5
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Gwaii Haanas National Park Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Daajing Giids, British Columbia V0T 1S0 Canada
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Sandspit Airport39 miSee all flights
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PookyCake wrote a review Sep 2021
Victoria, Canada13369 contributions1713 helpful votes
+1
Rose Harbour is an interesting place. On the one hand, it is an area steeped in ancient and contemporary history: The Haida established camps, collected food and cultural materials here; they also built canoes in the area – evidence of which can be found a mere 10 minutes from the guesthouse and into the forest. In more modern times, Rose Harbour functioned as an important whaling station between 1911 and 1942. In its 30+ years of operation, grey whales, right whales, sperm whales and blue whales were processed on site. If you visit today, whale bones and remnants of the whaling station are readily visible. It’s a rather dark moment in human history, but it certainly adds to the aura of this place. On the other hand, history notwithstanding, Rose Harbour and its “guesthouse” is used by Moresby Explorers as part of its 4-day tour. For me, the accommodation represented the only lowlight of my MorEx experience. I should make clear that I’m not begrudging the history of Rose Harbour. It’s unique and adds to the Gwaii Haanas experience. What this review will focus on, though, is the accommodation since this is a listing for the “Rose Harbour Guest House,” after all. In short, I agree with many of the previous reviewers. The accommodation leaves a LOT to be desired. Described by Moresby Explorers as “unique and rustic,” it’s certainly unique – I’ll give it that – but it’s a little beyond rustic. First, once you land at Rose Harbour, you’re greeted by Götz (also spelled Goetz on the Rose Harbour Guest House website, which hasn’t been updated since 2012). He’s a hippie libertarian who’s been living at Rose Harbour since 1983 and he’ll gladly tell you about that – and his legal troubles with Parks – for hours, if you’ll listen. He greets you fully masked because he’s not vaccinated against COVID and, when you ask why he’s not vaccinated, his answer boils down to government conspiracy. Nice! Beyond being received by Goetz, you don’t see much of him . . . again, because of the pandemic. As for the accommodation, what should one say that hasn’t already been said? In my review of Moresby Explorers, I said this about the Rose Harbour Guest House: “[It] looks like it’s stuck in the 1980s – and not in a good way.” The furniture is old, the walls are thin, and the heavy army blankets aren’t the best. There is no electricity, so if you need to “do your business,” I’d recommend trying to do it before nightfall, otherwise tromping out to the 17th century outhouses – one about 20 or so feet away and the other a couple hundred meters away – can be a bit of a chore (several in our group complained about this!). Really, the only nice thing I can say about the accommodation is at least it was just for one night. Now, to be fair, the whole experience wasn’t all bad. The deer are wonderful – you could practically walk right up to them; the resident cat – “Mangee” – is a friendly sweetheart; and, Susan and Francis, the cooks, prepare wholesome, healthy meals for the guests. I especially enjoyed the Vietnamese salad rolls and black bean halibut dishes. These 2 women deserve many a kudo for their efforts! I understand MorEx uses Rose Harbour because of its proximity to Sgang Gwaay, and that’s fine; however, they really should encourage the host, Goetz, to do better. I’m sure they pay him well enough to afford some upgrades? On the upside, when you return to the Moresby Explorers floating lodge the next day, it feels like unbridled luxury in comparison . . . maybe that’s intentional ;)
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Date of stay: September 2021
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Andy G wrote a review Sep 2021
Surrey, Canada22 contributions8 helpful votes
We stayed here on Gwaii Hanaas for two nights this past week The food prepared by Frances in the new eating lodge was outstanding. The accommodation provided by Goertz was disgusting. The outhouse, which has a new system with a unhygienic styrofoam seat, didn’t work properly and was located by walking about 20 feet on a dirt path from the rooms. This was a problem in the middle of the night when it was pouring rain. The shower room was disgusting with dirty rags hanging on the wall and bricks covered in moss on the shower floor. Goetz made a fire so that there was hot water in the evening, however there were 10 in our group and the water in the morning was a cool trickle. The rooms are extremely rustic with flat pillows and army blankets. We were told that because of Covid, we were not to use the sink to brush our teeth but to stand on the porch and spit over the side. If the health department saw this accommodation, it would be shut down.
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Date of stay: September 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Tim B wrote a review Dec 2019
Vancouver87 contributions75 helpful votes
This is essentially a hippie commune, which means that the food (cooked on an old-school wood stove) is outstanding and the intimacy with nature is extreme. The location, like the rest of Gwaii Hanaas, is exquisite. Your host Goetz is affable but a bit prone to ranting about his legal run-ins with the park administration. On the downsides, the place is primitive - run-down in some places, smelly in others, and some of the staircases are essentially ladders. The (outdoor) toilets are right out of the seventeenth century.
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Date of stay: July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Islander wrote a review Jan 2019
1 contribution2 helpful votes
Please don't support these people. They run an unregistered, in inspected restraunt and their buisness model relies uponillegally fighting, processing and selling fish. Don't fall for the hope, Don't support poachers!!
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Date of stay: August 2018Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Cindilla T wrote a review Jun 2017
2 contributions2 helpful votes
This was a week long trip I took with four women friends. We arrived to warm welcomes and a quick tour and orientation of the property. Shown to our rooms in a guest cabin. Rustic and basic but clean and cozy. Plenty of field guides and other related reading material in the book shelves. A wood stove for heat and plenty of fire wood available. Heather kept things clean and well supplied, and started the fire in time for us to have hot showers when we returned each day after our adventures. Our meals were served in Susan's home and were the best food I have had, almost ever. Lots of fresh greens from the garden, really fresh seafood, and tasty treats, supplied for picnics on our outings. No meat and mostly organic and all delicious. Susan and Francis manage to cook these amazing meals on a wood stove and small two burner gas hotplate. They were both so caring and nurturing of us. Our guide Goetz, took us our on exciting boat trips to view wildlife that included, whales, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otter, puffins and many other birds. He took us into the rain forest and showed us giant trees, and tiny mosses. He is knowledgeable and obviously loves his surroundings. He paced himself to our abilities and let us take our time exploring the place. We always felt safe and well cared for whether in the boat or on the beach. We had lots of fun with him and many laughs. We had music and good conversations in the evenings. Goetz plays guitar beautifully. When we left we felt as though we had made new friends and vowed to return. If you are looking for a peaceful nature getaway this can't be beat.
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Date of stay: June 2017
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Hein P wrote a review Oct 2016
26 contributions1 helpful vote
Wij bleven een week in Rose Harbout Guest House, gefundeerd door een voormalig walvisstation. Het is een plek voor mensen die wel van een beetje avontuur houden. Het lijkt wat primitief maar alles is er: buitentoiletten, douchen in een voormalige werkplaats met houtgestookte boiler, reeen in je achtertuin en arenden en ijsvogels op het balkon! Iedere dag een andere excursie met de rubberbooy, veel weidse natuur, walvissen, zeeleeuwen, papegaaiduikers, en niet te vergeten een bezoek aan een al 100 jaar verlaten First Nations dorp waar de oude totempalen nog aan de waterkant staan.... Verzorging door de zeer deskundige Tassilo Goetz, en voor de inwendige mens door Susan Cohen doe er al tientallen jaren vegetarisch kookt uit eigen tuin, met eventueel vis die zij op de dag zelf ving ! Wij voelden ons enorm verwend. Je komt er met een watervliegtuig vanuit Sandspit (half uur), een rubber boot (5 uur), of.... per kano! Aanrader!
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Date of stay: August 2016Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Allen T wrote a review Jun 2016
175 contributions148 helpful votes
We stayed here one night as part of a Moresby Explorers tour. Scenic and convenient location for visiting SGang Gwaay. Hats off to neighbours and co-hosts Susan Cohen and Goetz Harnisch for amazingly diverse and productive gardens and general ingenuity to survive on the edge of the continent. The guest house is small and very basic. I don’t mind the wood stove, outhouse or wood-fired shower, and the beds are adequate but the furniture looks and feels like discards from a thrift store. For meals at Susan’s house, be prepared for a 100-yard walk which can be very wet (rain, long grass beside the path, and a bridge without railings over a small stream), and if you didn’t bring inside shoes, be prepared to wear your socks on a floor of reclaimed bricks. The food is organic and tasty, but slow (buckwheat pancakes – two people get one at a time, so if you want a second, be prepared for a half-hour wait; maybe the cook could get a few into a warming oven before guests arrive).
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Date of stay: June 2016
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Trip type: Traveled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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PhilG1955 wrote a review Aug 2015
Mississauga, Ontario27 contributions22 helpful votes
We were there as part of a MorEx 4 day trip and we had a good experience. We arrived well-informed as to what we should expect, i.e. a very rustic homestead and I had read all the stuff on-line about Goetz and Susan. The place is an old Whaling station now run as a guest house. Yes, they are off-grid, but there are solar-powered lights and candles in the rooms and the bedding was clean, We found the queen room on the ground floor quite comfortable (we didn't have to stay in Goetz's own house). There is drinking water available and the outhouse was pretty good as far as outhouses go! We also had a hot shower when we arrived and it was really great!... it's a wood-fired boiler and worked very well. The place is an eclectic bunch of buildings and a photographer's paradise. They have a wonderful garden and Susan does a masterful job of creating gourmet food in her kitchen on her woodstove. Everything you may have read about her cooking is correct! If you go expecting a odd, off-the-grid place with great food you shouldn't be surprised.
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Date of stay: July 2015
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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RBrimmell wrote a review Oct 2014
Victoria, Canada3 contributions14 helpful votes
This remote location is in two distinct parts-Susan's house, where one eats, and Goetz's establishment where one stays. Goetz is in charge of the day trips, except the packed lunches which are organized by Susan. He did take us to some great locations, and we were lucky with the weather. Susan's place is funky and congenial, and the cooking that she and her helpers do is remarkable, particularly as it's mostly done with a big wood stove. However, Goetz's part of the place is rundown and not up to guesthouse standards, even for a remote location. The mattresses are thin as are the pillows-you only get one! In fairness the sheets, blankets and towels are clean, but not much else is. The sponges by the sink (only cold water in the guesthouse) are disgusting. Mien host Goetz is moody, talks too much especially about his battles with Parks Canada, and feuds with people (including me).
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Date of stay: August 2014
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Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: Upstairs rooms are better
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Barbara B wrote a review Sep 2014
Calgary, Canada67 contributions19 helpful votes
+1
Google Rose Harbour Guest House and you will come across all kinds of stories. You'll learn about the owner, the 'issue' with Parks Canada, and learn about its secluded location. I was on a 4-day Morex tour, and was most interested in seeing Gwaii Haanas, and especially SGang Gwaay. Also, let me preface this review by stating that I backpack in the wilderness, I am used to sleeping in tents, roughing it, being self-sufficient, staying at basic backcountry huts, and the like. I love traveling off the beaten path, am fine with outhouses or lack of showers/hot water, and don't need luxury. I was expecting this place to be basic, which is fine and adds character. What I was not expecting was a rough welcome, a dirty house, and that smell inside. First off, we arrived at the owener's place just before dinner. We were greeted as we stepped off the Zodiac and could tell immediately that this would be an experience. No 'Welcome' or any small talk from him like that, but rather "who belongs together?" A couple, naturally, was assigned to a room with double bed. There were four single women, so he focused on us and said we'd share rooms and pee buckets (if we didn't know each other before then, surely we'd get to know each other better now). Two other men on the tour he'd "put somewhere different altogether". We 'toured' eachother's rooms, and they were on the top floor in his main house, complete with unidentifiable plants and sweltering heat. The four women were assigned to two rooms on the second floor that were up a ladder. Our room suspiciously had a cloth on the wall, I looked behind it, to find an opening to who-knows where. Mattresses had hard springs, but we slept surprisingly well. The walls weren't drywall, but felt more like cloth strung between studs. Thankfully the window opened to alleviate some of the smell in the house. The outhouse was fine, apart from the fact that there was half a roll of toilet paper for our entire tour (8 people), plus others who were staying there. A lady in our group asked if there is more, to which the owner blew up, asking who would need more toilet paper?! Pack your own if you go. There were candles and matches for the night, but no matchbox in the house that you could strike the matches on. Thankfully I had my headlamp from backpacking the week prior. The kitchen in the owner's house was dirty. The counter was over-flowing with dusty items, and trying to move anything revealed a certain stickiness. The table in that house had liquids spilled on it, likely a long time ago as it was now unidentifiable. Still worst though was that smell. On our arrival the owner also showed us where he lives in this house - behind a red velvet curtain, which seemed to give more an impression of a coffin. The women in our group bonded and we were happy to share rooms as we would not want to be alone in that house. What puzzled us is how this building can be approved accommodation of any kind. I am fine with roughing it, but assuming this guy is being paid healthily by Morex (which I'm assuming he is), one would expect basic standards (i.e., cleanliness). We brought our own bed sheets, so were glad to have those and not have to touch anything. A day later one person in our group had fallen ill, throwing up all night, and we learned that on the more recent tours they had a person get sick on each trip. The meal's at the house next door were great, such a contrast to where we stayed. Food was fresh, the selection in the garden was huge, and it was a great atmosphere. Apparently people travel all the way out there just to try this food. So, quite an experience, it's ok to bear it for a night to see the natural beauty of Haida Gwaii, just don't spend a week here or get into any opinionated discussions with the owner.
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Date of stay: August 2014
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Trip type: Traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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LOCATION
CanadaBritish ColumbiaHaida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands)Graham IslandDaajing Giids
NUMBER OF ROOMS
6
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ROSE HARBOUR GUEST HOUSE - Reviews (Daajing Giids, British Columbia)