We stayed at Clearwater Springs Ranch for four nights in September last year (please ignore the fact it says Nov '11 above), and it was the outstanding highlight of a memorable 3 week tour of Alberta and BC. My Dad and I had taken this holiday to celebrate his 70th birthday, and we both agree that this was by far the best place we stayed (and we stayed at a few great places). Reading the more recent reviews, it is evident that the impeccable standards, and warmth of Sandie and Neil continue to wow their guests.
I must thank the reviewers who had stayed at the lodge before I had booked our trip, as I never would never have found this gem of a place otherwise. With such great reviews, the lodge had a lot to live up to, but I'm pleased to say that it far exceeded my already high expectations....
The location of the ranch is stunning, at the end of long driveway through the woods you emerge into a clearing, where the beautiful log ranch sits overlooking a huge meadow, with a backdrop of mountains and forests. It was my first trip to Canada, and this was the Canada of my dreams!
Sandie and Neil are genuine and friendly people, and this is reflected in everything they do at Clearwater Springs Ranch - from the building itself (which is amazing), to the delicious food and convivial atmiosphere they create. Nothing is too much trouble for them - Sandie helped us to book trips, and gave us very useful tips for exploring the park.
The communal meals were excellent, and very entertaining - our fellow travellers were great fun, and the wine flowed freely.
On that note - there are at least 2 bottle shops in Cleawater town, I would advise stocking up on your favourite drinks on your way through. We stayed so long that we ended up going back to town for resupply! That being said, Sandie and Neil normally have some bottles in reserve that you can buy at cost price.
I had initially booked to stay 3 nights, after heeding the many 'wish we could have stayed longer' comments by other reviewers. We actually ended up cancelling our next scheduled accommodation and stayed 4 nights - which probably tells you all you need to know about this place!
On our first night we met Sandie and Neil, plus their sons Will and Ed, and of course the mighty Quinn. Neil and the lads had to leave the following day, and Sandie then held the fort for the rest of our stay, and was a delightful host.
We initially stayed in the Garden room, which was perfect for us - massive room, immaculately clean and with the most comfortable beds you could wish for. On our fourth night we stayed in the cottage, and this too was excellent, especially sitting around the fire pit, sharing stories with fellow guests.
The communal areas of the ranch are all wonderful, and the general ambiance of the place is so relaxing and informal.
Being keen wildlife watchers we took the opportunity to explore the area around the ranch, and were fortunate enough to spot a black bear mooching across the opposite side of the meadow - although it was heading in the same direction as us, so we gave it plenty of space!
The park itself is a real treat, and somewhat quieter than some of the more well known National Parks that we visited. We were lucky enough to see the Chinook salmon leaping upstream on the Clearwater River, and also Osprey, Golden eagle, Bald eagle and Sandhill Cranes, to name but a few.
If you are considering white water rafting in this area, I can highly recommend it. Sandie booked the trip for us, and we had a perfect day on the river. The rafting season was coming to an end, so there were only the 2 of us and our guide in the raft (normally they don't run with less than 4 people, but some other folks cancelled at the last minute, but the company - Liquid Lifestyles - honoured our booking), and no other rafts on the river, so I guess we were lucky to have the river to ourselves that day.
We ended every day with a sundowner and dip in the hot tub - not sure life gets much better than that.
If you are thinking about booking at Clearwater Springs Ranch I would encourage you to do so - you won't regret it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxuriously appointed guest suites, food from local organic produce wherever possible and our Gold Award Spring water compliment the unique, pristine valley setting of 300 acres surrounded by the forests and mountains of the Wells Gray Park. Sit on your balcony, breath in the fresh clear air and listen to the silence - only interrupted by the sounds of the birds and animals and the distant tumbling of the waterfall across the valley as it falls from Battle mountain to the creek.Heritage Cottage for 2 - 4 also available! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Clearwater Springs Ranch Hotel Clearwater