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“Getaway Heaven!”

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Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa
Ranked #1 of 11 Galiano Island B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 1, 2013

The island runs on its own time, which is infinitely slower than that of cities. Galiano Inn is unhurried, quiet, and peaceful, though with impeccable service, and is tucked on the edge of Sturdies Bay with its own little sandy beach and overlooks Active Pass. We arrived by float plane (Salt Spring Air) and the innkeeper, Connie, met us at Montague Harbour and drove us to Sturdies Bay where the ferry docks and the inn is a five minute walk from there on the waterfront.

Linking the 1 BR units and the hotel rooms is the front desk, a fine-dining restaurant and a beach bar. Guests can have a hearty breakfast in the resto, lunch and a local ale in the beach bar (the pizzas are thin-crust Italian), and superb haute cuisine in the evening watching the sun go down over Sturdies Bay.

We had a unit with a well-equipped kitchen, a good sized bedroom and living room, but the patio and the bathroom were stars! The patio is covered and has a wood-burning fireplace, an overhead heater, and an efficient, vented electric grill. Here too is a huge jacuzzi tub with a privacy screen, so you can soak while smelling the sea and hearing the ferries swish by blowing their sirens. It's quite intoxicating! (No pix of this feature are suitable for posting!!)

The shower in the main bathroom is big enough for three people and has more nozzles than a car wash! Being shortish, the bank of six under the main shower head hit me square in the face until I realized I could redirect the spray. To the left, is a little seat with an array of ten needle sprays for your back. These were so powerful they hurt, but my husband loved them.

The view from the patio enchanted us. It changed constantly in the varying light and as the tide came in and out. On my first afternoon I watched the big ferries go by and the smaller ones dock right beside us. The super moon rose in front of us as we enjoyed our dinners every night.

The spa is considered one of the best in Canada and I can attest to that having enjoyed a full pedi and facial. The rooms look out over the ocean.

Behind the ocean frontage and the buildings are delightful gardens, including a pond and waterfall. Benches are scattered around and I saw many guests quietly sitting enjoying the plants and tranquillity. Most of the plants have been chosen for their suitability for a dry climate and many are indigenous. There's a yoga studio that looks out on the gardens too.

The most enticing attraction for guests who arrive without a vehicle is the inn's fleet of Mercedes-Benz SmartCars. We rented one almost every day and happily tootled around the island finding many delightful coves and panoramas. The tiny cars are perfect for the narrow country lanes and limited parking. I loved driving one. No good for families though...

TIPS: If you like to cook, take your own knives and a roll of paper towel; buy local produce at the farmers' market on Saturdays and at Cable Bay Farm on Tuesdays at Retreat Cove, otherwise shop at Daystar and enjoy a coffee with them.

Room Tip: All the 1BR units face the water; not so sure about the hotel rooms, but many do.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank PhotosbyPharos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GalianoInn, Owner at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2013

First of all, to answer your Room Tips question...EVERY room at the Inn faces the ocean. What is the point of an oceanfront Inn if it doesn't? (insert happy face here).

What an awesome description of Galiano Island and the Inn. You have done a great job of descibing everything from the Spa to the Oceanfront Restaurant to the Smart Cars, the view and the rooms. Would we be able to 'steal' your words for own website?

I love your description of our shower having more nozzles than a car wash! Should we have more 'instructions' for the multi-headed shower unit? It did create a surprise for you I see,but maybe that is a good thing (insert another happy face).

In short, thank you for the long and happy review. I hope we will see you again soon. And we all really loved the photograph you took of the Villa suites from the water. Hint hint hint.

Warm and happy regards,
Conny Nordin,
Owner, Inn Manager and Happy-Purveyor-of-Accommodation-to-Happy-Guests

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180 - 186 of 374 reviews

Reviewed August 28, 2013

Last minute accommodations -- pricey, but very very nice. Enjoyed hot tub. We loved Galiano Island -- hiking the Bluffs, cemetery (sea lions), and hiking Bodega Ridge. Sunset at Montegue park. The Indonesian take out food at the ferry terminal is excellent -- we "discovered" it on our way out, but could have used for picnic dinner.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank C R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GalianoInn, Owner at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Thank you so much for thanking us! We know that New York guests are generally well-traveled and have high standards: I am glad we met them. Did you know that Galiano Island is the exact same size as Manhattan Island? Except we have 1100 people who live here.

The Inn is pretty special, as you highlighted; and also the Island: the Bluffs (walking distance from the Inn), the "secret spot" of our pioneers' cemetery to see the wildlife and of course miles of beautiful hiking. The take-out is fun for sure: Indonesian-German food (bratwurst with nasi goreng anyone? We love to recommend other island fare. and this is one).

And thank you so very much for taking the time to write such a great review: it is so appreciated by boutique inns like ours. If you visit us again, we would certainly work on helping make the 'value' star go up to 5!

Warm wishes
Conny Nordin,
Owner, Inn Manager and huge New York fan.

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Reviewed August 21, 2013

My wife and I took a ferry to Galiano Island from Tswassen. We didn't take a car and just brought a backpack and a small carry on bag. We took the nice 50 minute ferry ride and walked about 5 minutes from the Ferry Stop at Sturdies Bay to the Galiano Inn. We loved our stay because the staff was friendly and helpful, and the location right next to the dock is perfect. In fact, the rooms all have a view of the Ferry Dock and the balconies all have a sweet view of the bay and you can see ferries passing back all day. My wife enjoyed a spa treatment. One of the highlights was having dinner there. The pecan crusted salmon was excellent! We rented a small Smartcar to explore the island and I enjoyed a quick and cold swim in Montague harbor.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank tf_tony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GalianoInn, Owner at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2013

Hello from Galiano Island all the way to New York City! As I mentioned to another reviewer, Galiano Island is the exact same square footage as Manhattan Island, except we have only 1100 people who live here.

One of our guests (was it you?) said that 500,000 people go on and off Manhattan every day on the Staten Island ferries alone: is that true? I have pondered ever since what it would look like if that many people ever arrived on Galiano.

Instead, as you mentioned, it is just a 5 minute walk to our quiet resort from the ferry, all the balconies have a sweet view of the bay and you can watch the boats and the world go by.

I'm glad you enjoyed our restaurant (woot woot!) we are always so pumped when a New Yorker praises our cuisine.

Thank you thank you for joining us and for writing such a great review. We hope to see you again. (And since you like cold swims...we do have a "Polar Bear" swim in that same bay, on New Year's Eve morning. Just sayin'

Warm wishes,
Conny Nordin,
Owner, Inn Manager and Huge New York City Fan

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Reviewed August 15, 2013

The scenery here is fantastic. The location is perfect for its beauty and convenience. (We walked from the boat, with two roll-aboards, no problem.) The 1BR suite rooms are lovely, with a luxe-felling contemporary decor. There's a fully stocked kitchen and eating area with table--you could easily spend a week here on vacation. Personal spa tubs, wood burning fires and grills compliment the massive outdoor spaces. The only minor gripe was the shower, which was a tad small, and oddly laid out. Did I mention the views? You could spend all day sitting on the grass watching boats steam by, then all night on your patio watching the moon rise over Mt. Baker. In terms of the mechanics, check in was a breeze (3 mins, tops) and Connie, the owner, personally, gave us a friendly welcome and just enough info to get us up to speed. The outdoor pizza bistro is charming and quick while the dining room menu (did not try) featured West Coast cuisine standards and thoughtfully curated wine list. (Or you can just buy fresh fish off the ferry dock Saturdays and cook in your room.) Yes, I paid almost as much as I paid for my last stay in Yountville -- but I felt I was getting value, as opposed to paying extra just to be where the action was.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank view_h0und
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GalianoInn, Owner at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2013

Thank you for all your wonderful comments! It is great for the staff (and yes, I confess, this happy Innkeeper and Owner too) to get acknowledgement for all the efforts we put into our resort and our guests.

It is also great getting the perspectives of different guests in reviews. You loved all our favourite things too: the decor, the full stocked kitchen, personal spa tubs and wood fire outside on the terrace.

Yes, you can definitely stay for a week in our villa suites (or more): you should really come again, then you can explore the other Canadian Gulf Islands, using Galiano as a home base! Besides, you really do need to try our restaurant and spa to get 'the whole effect'.

As they say in California's wine country....Cheers!

Conny Nordin,
Owner, Innkeeper and Happy-Welcomer-of-Great-California-Guests

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Reviewed July 30, 2013

As soon as you walk into the lobby you'll be wowed by the Kunamokst mural and the relaxing atmosphere of this wonderful resort. The grounds are spectacular and well groomed - such a great variety of flowering plants and bushes. Our King room was spacious and very comfortable. Loved the heated floors in the bathroom. Top notch resort with helpful and courteous staff. Galiano Island is a treasure and so is this Inn!

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Robin D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GalianoInn, Owner at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2013

Hello, Robin,

We are a "treasure"??? That is a wonderful compliment. hank you so much for coming all the way from Sarnia to the other side of Canada! We are so happy that we met your expectations in every way. People tell us that the Kunamokst Mural in our lobby is worth a trip to Galiano Island alone.

Our spectacular gardens (thank you for that superlative: we agree!) are so beautiful. The enthusiastic Innkeeper (me) is not allowed to week or plant: that certainly conributes to the quality.

And of course I am pleased you loved the special touches in all of our rooms. Our Staff try very hard to be the "helpful and courteous" ones that you encountered. Thank you for acknowledging them.

Warm wishes,
Conny Nordin, Owner, Inn Manager and One-of-the-Helpful-and-Courteous-Staff

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Reviewed July 26, 2013

This was our first visit to Galiano, though we have stayed many times on some of the other Gulf Islands. We stayed here on a mid-week special, which made the price a bit more reasonable. Our king room overlooked the ferry dock. The room was a good size, nicely decorated and comfortable but the layout was a little odd, with the sofa facing the door. The bathroom had a spa tub, but it took forever to fill it to a level above the jets. (Water conservation is a constant issue on islands, so it seemed strange to have this kind of tub in the room.) The shower was good, with decent water pressure. Our room was on the end of the building and it had windows on three sides, so it got nice cross breezes (it was a hot week on the mainland). It was nice to be overlooking the water. The grounds are well kept. Ferries go by and sound their horns fairly regularly as this is at the entrance to Active Pass. We didn't find that it bothered us. There is a long dock that runs into the bay where you can watch the ferries unload. We also saw otters and a seal in the evening from this dock. A tree right outside our room was a landing spot for at least 6 species of birds, including a downey woodpecker and a rufous hummingbird.

Our midweek special included a $25/day restaurant credit, so this covered some of the cost of breakfast each morning in the restaurant. The food there was very good, and the service was friendly. Breakfast service didn't start until 9:00, which I thought was a bit late. There are some places within walking distance that serve breakfast if this is too late for you. If you want to venture further afield for lunch and dinner you will need a car (either your own or a rental from the inn). Several places nearby serve lunch, but dinner options (after 3 p.m.) are very limited. The restaurant at the inn is fine dining only, with prices to match. There is a food cart at the ferry terminal (5 min. walk) that serves Indonesian and German food, and there is an ice cream shop that serves burgers. For anything else you need to drive. The Hummingbird Pub is the best bet for a casual dinner in pleasant surroundings. Near the pub is The Flying Black Dog food cart which serves a great outdoor lunch from Wed. to Sat.

I would recommend this place for people who want to do some serious relaxing. It's amazing how close it is to the mainland, but you could be in a different world. If you want to chill out and watch the ferries go by and read a book on the porch or the lawn overlooking the water, then this inn will do nicely. (There's also a good bookstore nearby.)

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TPT_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Location is perfect for leaving your vehicle at home and save the ferry expense.it is a short walk to the Inn from sturdies bay.
The reception was welcoming and the lobby art mural is delightful.Our one bedroom suite came as advertised out door tub,wood burning fireplace,ocean front,king size bed,flat screen TV,interesting shower with jet features.
Took advantage of the smart cars to travel the island $10 per hour,rustic beaches with local knowledge access required,definitely some interesting hiking possibilities.
Hummingbird pub was a Greta spot for lunch and looks as if it is party central in the evening with its own shuttle bus.
Unique stores close to the Inn,Now & Zen check the opening hours!
The spa at the inn was very good with a couples massage cottage with water features to listen to,managed to get a RMT by request,good service.
The restaurant food and ambience were good as was the value.A rather grumpy waiter overshadowed our meal although not completely and recommend the restaurant.Did not have a wood burning pizza although looked smelt excellent
Hot tub at the spa had its ocean front view obstructed by a massage tent,sauna was out of order which was placed in some enchanting gardens.
Grocery store at the end of the road was well stocked with a good stock of beer,wine and spirits
Overall a great place to relax and tranquil setting although the wireless Internet still allowed for contact with the real world if you needed which was very convenient.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Keith J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GalianoInn, Owner at Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 8, 2013

Hello, Keith J, and thank you for taking the time to prepare such a thorough review. I both appreciate and agree with each item....
I would like to acknowledge each item, as you took the time to write about them:

1. "Location is perfect for leaving your vehicle at home": It is close too! First ferry stop from Tsawwassen, save on car ferry costs, 6 minute walk..
2. "The reception was welcoming" (Woot! Woot! I hope that was ME)
3. "Lobby art mural is delightful" I have to put a word in here...check out the Kunamokst Mural website or the TripAdvisor site for it. Amazing AND delightful!
4. ."Our one bedroom suite came as advertised" Glad you enjoyed the outdoor bath, ,wood burning fireplace,and ocean views" :Lots of people say the pictures don't do it justice: what do you think?.
5. "Smart cars" BIG island, that's why we decided that renting these would be great for guests
6. "Hummingbird pub": We love that you loved the Island's Pub. We do, too (^:
7. "The spa at the inn was very good": You had the best part: the Couples Massage in the waterfall cottage in the garden. Pretty romanic!
8. "The restaurant food and ambience were good as was the value....but grumpy waiter" We acknowledge and agree with your assessment of the grumpy waiter who was also our Restaurant Manager. He is no longer with us. I hope you will try us again. Our current staff are insanely and cheerful!
9. WHAT? No pizza?? It is a must when you visit Galiano.
10. Hot tub at the spa had its ocean front view obstructed by a massage tent: True in the summer. We may have to revisit that experience.
11. "Sauna was out of order , in some enchanting gardens": The Infrared sauna is being installed as we write
12, Grocery store at the end of the road was well stocked" Yes! You do not have to bring anything to Galiano, we pretty much have it all (although fresh meat and fish are in the restaurants, but not in the grocery stores in our quiet season) Good selection of everything else.
13. "Wireless Internet": Yep, can't break our guests of those habits to stay connected. But it's free internet,so that's a good thing.

Thank you for acknowledging our strengths and where we need to improve: we have already made some of those changes. Hope to see you again! Since you did not try our pizza, stay with us again and it's "on me".

Conny Nordin,
Owner, Inn Manager and Consumer-of-too-many-wood-fired-pizzas-this-year
c.nordin@galianoinn.com

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Additional Information about Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa

Address: 134 Madrona Dr, British Columbia V0N 1P0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Galiano Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Galiano Island
Price Range: $183 - $279 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spectacular West Coast island resort, minutes from Vancouver, yet a world away. Luxury retreat in natural surroundings enhanced with beautiful gardens. Every Room and Suite has ocean views, fireplace, terrace, luxury ensuite. Our Oceanfront Spa has treatments unique in Canada,luxury steam rooms, garden treatments, flotation therapy. Award-winning Atrevida Restaurant in an architecturally stunning setting or casual outdoor setting with wood-fired pizza oven. Free WiFi, Free Phone, Free plane pick-up. Smart Cars, Dock for boats, golf, kayaking,whale-watching, shopping, hiking, famous Kunamokst mural. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Galiano Oceanfront Hotel Galiano Island

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