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“Serenity by the Sea is a relaxing magical haven.”

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Serenity by the Sea Retreat
Ranked #5 of 11 Galiano Island B&B and Inns
Vancouver
1 review
“Serenity by the Sea is a relaxing magical haven.”
Reviewed September 5, 2009

My friend and I just spent one night at Serenity by the Sea, but the matchless views from our room and the welcoming host made our short getaway truly wonderful.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Lydia99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Victoria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2009

When we arrived at serenity by the sea we got out of our car and greeted the two younger workers , we thought they might direct us where to go to 'sign in ' but that didnt happen. There were no signs to tell us where to go and the workers just continued working without offering any aid.When we finally found the 'house' we were told we had to wait because they hadnt finished cleaning the room. So we wandered the gardens and sat on the cliff overlooking the ocean. The gardens and view were beautiful. When we got in our room , we found it to be spacious with nice views and a cute loft. Yet it was dusty with webs in the corners. There were towels put out for us, but since no one even showed us to our room we had no idea where the shower was. It was the second night of our honeymoon and we were looking forward to a clean accomadation and a nice hot shower. The whole time we were there we felt like we were intruding.The staff were loud , yet there was a couple friendly ones.When I finally did discover for myself where the shower was the second day , it was gross and there were dirty towels on the ground, no shampoo or soap for us either. I was so disgusted that we didnt shower the whole time and I ended up washing my hair in the tiny sink. Breakfast was delicious with pleasent conversation. But over all we were so dissapointed and feel like it was a massive waste of money and that the advertising was false. We were told from the website that there were spa services etc...we didnt even get shown to our room and shown around, never mind being offered those services. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.If it was 30 dollars a night you might get your moneys worth for the good food, but for over 100 dollars its absolutly a rip off.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank chantallyo32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SerenitybytheSea, Owner at Serenity by the Sea Retreat, responded to this review, June 28, 2011
Because we decided we wanted everyone to be able to experience the beauty and healing qualities of this amazing property, we have made it possible for those who can not come as guests to live with us in other capacities. One possibility that works for young people is to come as volunteers.
We regret that we could not let you know that the young people you here were not 'staff', but volunteers, and avoid your initial disappointment. Usually they are delightful people who bring their own gifts to Serenity and to our guests, so we are disappointed that on that day they did not step up either to help you feel welcomed, point the way to the house, or come to let us know you had arrived. Some from overseas are here to improve their English and can be shy.
Our check-in time has been set to make it most convenient for guests arriving from the ferry. This intention, however, can be undermined when guests are late leaving, because then we are rushing to make the room over. At such times it may not be possible to get to all the corners of a room that is 20' x 14' with a 17' high ceiling, and some cobwebs may escape our notice!
Although we emphasize the importance of serenity and quiet, and have a sound barriers in our floors, occasional bursts of laughter and music can still be a part of our evenings here. We regret that the noise disturbed you.
With regard to the services we offer, we look for a balance between 'selling' our services and making people feel 'at home'. In the end, rather than pushing it on our guests (because often that is exactly the kind of pressure people are coming here to avoid), we lean toward inviting them to ask for information on the massage, reiki, yoga or whatever they have seen on the website that has attracted them.
Thank you for pointing out how important it is for us to keep striving to find ways to ensure our guests will have expectations be more in alignment with what awaits them here, how we offer it, and what we so earnestly wish them to experience during their visit.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2009

I have been to Serenity by the Sea on Galiano island three times. I will be returning again, many times more in the future. My partner and I spent a blissful weekend in the Seaview Haven Chalet, and from the moment we set foot upon the grounds, we felt the harsh energies of the city melt away and such a relaxed peace came upon us. The hosts are lovely people who have created a beautiful escape from everyday life. We lounged on the patio, soaking up the ocean view, we hiked the many gorgeous trails and even discovered a beachfront that was completely unoccupied but for the seals that sunned themselve on the rocks. It was hard to leave that place and return to life in the city, but we are comforted by the knowledge that this special place waits for us when we are ready to return.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank myrrdon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 24, 2009

If your idea of a vacation is to unwind and open to new possibilities then this is the place for you. Serenity's setting is magical and mystical with a dash of the unexpected thrown in. Everywhere you look there is wonder. Sprawling gardens, breathtaking ocean views...and that bathtub! My favorite moments were in that tub! Nothing like experiencing the setting sun with a cup of tea and full on bubbles! Shera and Chidakash are fabulous hosts that will embrace you as family and hold the space for whatever you need on your journey. Nurturing massage, inspiring conversation....a darn good laugh over a lovely meal. This is truly a very unique place on planet earth and one that I am so thankful I found.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank aubergineorchard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver, bc
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 21, 2009

We just got back from a blissful weekend at Serenity by the Sea, on beautiful Galiano Island. My girlfriends and I enjoyed the "view from every window" chalet, sipping wine on the patio, admiring the paintings on the wall, and waking up the the soothing sound of ravens and the sea.

We had an sunset bath by the sea, amazingly toasty, and the clawfoot tub fit 3 of us side by side! Two of us had lovely Reiki massages on site and chatted to the warm and friendly owners who welcomed us in and shared discussions about art, spirituality, and their travelling.

The gardens are breathtaking with ponds, lavendar galore, hummingbirds, and a large garden with frilly kale that we were invited to eat for dinner. There was even a labyrinth in which to meander. We were a short walk away from several other art galleries and only regret not having time for the on site kayaks.

What a wonderful place to reconnect with yourself, your loved ones, or nature. We will be back someday soon.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank andypotts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2009

Having been to Serenity by the Sea Retreat in August of 2007 (solo), I suggested returning to Serenity for some much needed relaxation following our wedding. With approximately 500 guests in attendance and multiple celebratory events, my partner and I opted to escape from our urban wedding for a few days to recharge for our wedding reception (we split the wedding ceremony (which was an all day affair) and the wedding reception - so we could all better enjoy both of these functions)). Both of us share Punjabi ancestry and a Sikh religious background, so our wedding was filled with cultural elements from our Punjabi ancestry and our ceremony highlighted the importance of spirituality that Sikhi supports. After the multiple pre-wedding events and organizing this large and important event, we were really happy to be on the other side of the wedding ceremony ... so we jumped on a ferry ... and drove over to Serenity. The staff was very welcoming and offered to help us settle in (and carry our luggage and groceries to our cabin). The following day, we spoke with Chidakash and Shera and arranged not only Reiki and massage sessions but also sought suggestions for activities and dinner. We headed out for a short hike, had coffee at the cafe and returned to Serenity so that my partner could enjoy his first Reiki session. In the meantime, I decided to sit on the rocks and read ... and I couldn't help taking copious amounts of photos ... I have some great shots of my feet covered in my wedding henna on the rocks and in the water ... fabulous shots!!! The island is full of really friendly people and of course, my henna hands attracted lots of attention. When I returned to the main house, my partner was totally blissed out and opted to have me drive us to dinner at the Galiano Inn (amazing food and service ... and the view is sweet too!). We returned to our quiet cottage after a long walk on the beach ... it was a perfect day ... and we enjoyed tea in our cottage while playing fun card games. The loft style bedroom feels like it is nestled in the tree tops ... a totally wonderful experience for us urban folk!

The next day, we headed out for another hike ... and a long walk on the beach ... following our patio brunch ... came back for sandwiches on the patio (loved the patio!!!!) ... and then I enjoyed my Reiki session while my partner had his massage ... both totally relaxed, we headed back to the cottage, changed and headed for dinner. The pub was tonight's destination ... service was totally casual ... but the food was great. We had hoped to return to the Inn for the Banana split but they were closed ... instead we had some ice-cream from the corner store near the ferry terminal (not much is open in the evenings). The next day, I had my massage and my partner read on the rocks. Since this was our last day, we spent some time thanking Chidakash and Shera for this well needed break.

We returned to our final wedding festivity ... our reception ... completely peaceful and recharged ... totally what we needed!!!

We are still feeling the wonderful positive effects of this totally chilled out environment ... thank you for sharing your space with us and for opening it up to us urban dwellers ... who are in total need of this major dose of nature to feel grounded again!!!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank PinkGypsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
victoria, bc
1 review
Reviewed May 16, 2009

we have been staying at and recommending Serenity by the Sea to our friends for almost 7 years. we enjoy the comraderie of Shera and Chidakesh, hearing of their journeys and sharing meals made both by them and us. we have loved our morning soaks in the seaside tub, the gentle energies of all the different rooms we have stayed in with their inspiring art, body work with Shera, their innovative, inclusive games with our children and transformational walks in the labyrinth (and joyfully helped pick up the windfall too). we plan and dream here and we are grateful for the space and support to do so. always a great escape.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank benesserefarm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Serenity by the Sea Retreat

Property: Serenity by the Sea Retreat
Address: 65 Serenity Lane (off Ganner Dr), British Columbia V0N 1P0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Galiano Island
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Galiano Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Serenity by the Sea Retreat is a waterfront retreat haven with quiet, creative spaces--perfect if you are seeking quality time alone or with a friend, for re-connection, reflection, or healing and creative play. Cocoon yourself in a cozy, nurturing accommodation to relax and recharge your batteries. Enhance your retreat with massage, reiki, and a myriad of special features and services. Enjoy nature, sky and sea from our cliffside tub by the sea. Our garden embraces the dynamic vibrancy of waterfront, the soothing energy of our ponds and waterfall gardens, and the personal gifts of our meditation circuit and classic labyrinth. ... more   less 
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