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Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort
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Reviews (72)
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Reviewed June 21, 2012

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 :)

Room Tip: You know, we only saw ours, but knowing the care to detail that we saw, I would say it would be a very clean and comfy authentic ranch/country style room.
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Trudyleigh4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2011

My family of five (three children 9, 11 and 14) spent a week at Siwash in
late August. It was a fantastic holiday. All of us had a favourite
activity. Siwash is known for their exceptional horse program, which is
one of the main reasons we chose the place. My girls and I rode every day.
The youngest is horse crazy and takes English lessons at home, but our
teenager wasn’t so brave. Luckily the owner Allyson is passionate about
her horses and teaches western style riding with such care and attention
that both girls were in heaven the entire week--with their two horses that they
wished they could bring home with them. I myself was able to overcome my
fears and learned to sit a canter really well. My husband and son tried
riding with us and then opted to spend most of the week fishing, shooting and
doing wilderness survival. We all loved a swim in the lake out front of
the main lodge every day before dinner. And I kept up my fitness with a
walk in the woods before breakfast each morning.

The food was delicious and beautifully presented. We stayed in the
two-bedroom suite which was plenty of space for us all and the kids had
their own bathroom, a definite plus! Beds were so comfortable it was hard
getting up in the morning. All the little touches made such a difference,
for instance there is a choice of pillows on the beds, between soft and
firm, night lights in the bathroom, bottled water dispenser in the rooms
and so forth. It was as comfortable as being at home, but with as much
style and luxury as you get from any urban five-star hotel (except no
noisy air conditioning because the folks at Siwash are really green, which
was no problem as nights cooled down nicely for sleeping and there was
always a nice summer breeze anyway..)

What made this holiday most special for us all was what I would describe
as the spirit of the place. With all the nature around and the gorgeous
setting, plus guides and staff who were so knowledgeable and passionate
about the place and who treated anyone and everything, including us, the
environment and the ranch animals with great respect, it was really
inspiring. It was rewarding for our kids to be immersed in that. I’d
highly recommend SLR to others who are looking for an upscale, adventure
holiday, genuine peace and quiet, and to do something different and step
out of their comfort zone. Siwash is really remote and wild, and the rates
might seem lofty for some; but the resort was over flowing with generous
experiences for us all.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank Lesley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2011

We stayed for a week with our two children (8 & 11) enjoying riding, shooting, fishing, cards, swimming in delightful isolation and womderful scenery. The kids saw coyotes, wolves (they claim), foxes, bears and all manner of things. It was a trip they will always remember and demand to go back next time. If you can take a copter in and/or out it is even more pleasant! Picnic-ing at high altitude on the slopes of Mount Robson was unique!

  • Stayed: July 2011
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Thank kronkie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2011

Great people, well cared for horses, postcard views, 5 star food and rooms...all on solar power! This is a piece of heaven on earth, worth every penny! A week was not nearly enough...can't wait to come back!!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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1  Thank Amytb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2011

My husband and I have just returned from a wonderful and much cherished memory of our time at Siwash. On arrival we were greeted by Wendy and Jane who immediately made us feel very welcome and at ease. Jane showed us to our room and from then on attended to our every need and ensured we wanted for nothing. Allyson introduced herself to us shortly after and spent time assessing our riding ability to ensure we had horses to suit, she wasn't wrong, Pepper and Chip were just right for us and we spent many a happy hour with them over the next 6 days. A very patient and knowledgeable Kevin ensured we were capable of riding unguided and after the second day we were on our own which was the highlight of our holiday.
Wendy, the chef, delighted us every day with a variety of different dishes, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
The ranch was just as described and more, very professionally run but warm and welcoming, home from home.
The location is perfect, tranquil and together with the lakes and riding made this a wonderful holiday even though it was only for six days.
We chose Siwash Lake Ranch to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and Allyson and her team made this a very special occasion for us - we hope to return soon.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Margaret W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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