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“Warm hospitality in beautiful, serene spot”

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Sticks and Stones Country Cottage
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Warm hospitality in beautiful, serene spot”
Reviewed August 22, 2010

I spent three nights in August 2010 in the Arbutus Grove cottage with my husband and baby. The one-bedroom cottage was the perfect size for us, with our travel crib set up in the living room. The space looks out on a beautiful, quiet garden and there's a little deck where we relaxed after the baby went to sleep and in the morning with a cup of coffee. The kitchenette is well equipped and we ate most of our meals there. The hosts Rocky and Ralph were very accommodating and even allowed us to cook a pizza in their oven in the house. The cottage was clean - just needed some dusting to make it perfect. The queen bed was comfortable and bedding cozy. The bedroom was a bit tight, but of course with a baby we travel with a ton of luggage.

When we'd settled in, Rocky sat down with us and marked all the must-see spots on the map, including "secret" highlights. I'd heard that locals were very protective of their beaches off the beaten track, so it was a nice surprise to get directions. The cottage is on a quiet residential road and is a short walk from the ocean. For some reason, the water is warmer than in Victoria (due to the sandstone shelf maybe?) and my husband went swimming twice, accompanied by a friendly harbour seal!

Overall, the Arbutus Grove cottage was a perfect fit for us - comfortable, relaxed, baby-friendly, quiet and beautiful, with warm hospitality. Oh, and the added bonus of Rocky's famous carrot cake and morning lattes helped too! We had a wonderful stay on Galiano and would recommend a visit!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank gardencity1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
vancouver, b.c., canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 20, 2010

What a treat! We were welcomed by the owner bringing us homemade pie and ice cream--yummy! The quality of theaccomodation was outstanding and seemed quite new.. We were impressed by the airiness and brightness in the 2 storey, 2 bedroom A frame home. We found the kitchen spacious and well-equipped for cooking. Beds are so comfortable and each is tastefully decorated in a fresh, and uncluttered style. We enjoyed the one with it's own balcony with morning and all afternoon sun. The upstairs bedroom has an ensuite which has a decadent jacuzzi tub. On Galiano to reach this location you'd best have a vehicle, any bikers should be ,stronge/young able to handle a pretty solid hill back to the central roads. Far from the Madding Crowds! There is no "taxi" on Galiano. Ralph and Rocky are so friendly and helpful you could ask for their help--also they have scooters (and boats) to rent. We enjoyed the Pub and Marina restaurants during our visit. At the cottage, we brought own food supplies and just relaxed, cooked, read and walked. We loved the quiet area--on a dead end road, within the trees and sheltered from strong breezes, but with close beach access for pleasant walks on the stone beach facing Georgia Strait., It was a thoroughly pleasant and lovely place to stay. We will definitely return for a longer stay next time. Perhaps rent the lower level for extended family to join us. Our only recommendation is that a low fence in the front yard area-- around the picnic table and hammock--would be helpful for visitors with young children.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mcfranke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed August 16, 2010

I just spent a lovely, restful and relaxing weekend at Sticks and Stones Cottages on Galiano – the perfect home away from home (we wish we could have stayed forever!) and went on to post my review and found the nasty review from “R7K from New York” and was shocked. Looking at the droves of other glowing reviews and knowing how amazing my experience was, I can only deduce that either “R7K” is just generally an unhappy person or was just completely out to lunch. Our experience on Sticks and Stones was nothing short of fantastic. Ralph and Rocky (the hosts) could not have been more delightful – always there to help when needed but also respectful of our privacy. The cottage nestled in the trees was spotlessly cleaned and the bed was dreamy. Rocky came over with her carrot cake one afternoon and we honestly thought we had died and gone to heaven! An unexpected treat and was Mmmmmmm – delicious!

Ralph gave us some great pointers of what to see and do on the island and a map (which was very helpful) with directions to some local beaches. The beach near the cottage is a few minutes saunter away and the water was so clear and clean and proved to be a welcomed refresher to what was a scorcher of a day.
We did not bring our pet this time (and we will return) but when talking to Ralph and Rocky about it, we found out that they do charge a small fee ($5) per night to bring your pet (it isn’t easy to find pet friendly places) but they don’t even keep the fee themselves, they donate it to a pet rescue foundation on the island. I was so impressed by this – they obviously really care about their community.

Overall, Ralph and Rocky were the perfect hosts – we couldn’t have asked for a more relaxed environment to chill out and spend some time really just letting go of our hectic lives. I highly recommend staying here and we will be returning to Sticks and Stones soon!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank hawaii5oates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Summerland, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed August 14, 2010

A beautiful place to stay on Galiano. House has everything you will need with beach access across a country road. Dog friendly. Wonderful, wild, out of the way beach. Galiano has funky shopping, great artists, local pub, higher end dining and spa. A laid back wonderful vacation spot with great hosts Rocky and Ralph!!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank aquarius4901
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2010

Rudest hosts I have ever encountered. When we arrived, we had a few (3) dirty towels in the bathroom, which we immediately put in the washing machine. Also, I was expecting to be in the upstairs portion of the house (Arrow's Run)--I did not realize there was a basement suite which is separate from the upstairs. We mentioned both things to Rocky, in a polite and matter-of-fact manner. There were 5 adults there--we can all vouch for this. In a matter of minutes, Ralph (Rocky's husband) came over, asked me to come outside and spoke to me very aggressively, saying that I had upset his wife. He insisted that the towels were not dirty. He had printed a copy of my very first email to him, stating that there would only be 2 adults there. He asked me to read this email out loud to him, attempting to humiliate me. I pointed out that the email was true, but that that email was written several months earlier--shortly after that first email, there was another email stating that 2 more friends would be joining. Lastly, he said that I was being overbearing by requesting a foam mattress for my friend's child. I had called a week earlier and spoken directly with him--he was the one who suggested he could have the foam mattress put in (when I realized that there was no sofabed)!!
I don't know what is wrong with Ralph or with Rocky, but if you are disposed in such a manner and treat your guests in this way, you should not be in the hospitality business!
If there were an option to rate this place as a -5, I would!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank r7k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 2, 2010

Stay here, period. We stayed at the Otter Cottage for two nights, and it was far too short. It was perfect for a couple, with clean and comfortable amenities. The living room has a great woodburning stove, and our hosts provided kindling and fuel. The kitchen has a great tabletop stove. The bathroom has jacuzzi and excellent water pressure. All the furniture was comfortable and tasteful, with a giant bed with beautiful linens and quilt.

The cabin itself feels secluded since it's down a hill from the main road near the beach, but it's still close enough to be convenient. The Hummingbird Pub and grocery stores are minutes away. The beach is a 90 second walk away, with breathtaking sunsets and stars at night and cool tidepools during the day. The cabin is surrounded by flowers and foliage.

As great as these features are, what really stands out is the hospitality. During the ride Ralph gave us from the ferry to the cabin, I was given the most thorough briefing of my life on the island's attractions and options, along with a map of their own design that was to prove invaluable. His advice was candid and objective. When we were biking and running out of time to do shopping, Ralph found us and tracked down a grocery list. Rocky baked us delicious pie, and offered her phone charger when I mentioned that I had forgotten mine. They couldn't have been more accomodating and gracious, while still minding our privacy.

Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank fellowtraveler516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockynralph, Owner at Sticks and Stones Country Cottage, responded to this review, August 5, 2010
Thank you for your kind words, Scott and Natalie we appreciate reading the reviews of our cottages as we are certain others do, as well.
You were a long way from New York so we hope we were able to provide you with a recipe for relaxation: a splash of West Coast hospitality, mixed in with a large lump of solitude, and a dash of wild life (deer, otter, seal, Orcas and a multitude of migrating birds).....We hope you will come back, and consider us for future trips to Canada's West Coast.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 24, 2010

We were made very welcome and our hosts went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable. The cottage was full of character and we appreciated the woodburning stove in the evenings. The quiet location was just what we were looking forward to and we would definitely stay there again if we were in the area. The moped and boat hire from our hosts was a great bonus.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank JoyMusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockynralph, Owner at Sticks and Stones Country Cottage, responded to this review, July 25, 2010
We were proud to show guests from England the serenity of our Southern Gulf Island. We hope your moped/scooter experience was one of the highlights of your visit to the West Coast. We went through a cool period so were pleased that you made use of the wood burning fireplace to 'hunker down' in the evening with a good book. ......
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sticks and Stones Country Cottage

Property: Sticks and Stones Country Cottage
Address: 300 Sticks Allison Road | BC, British Columbia V0N 1P0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Galiano Island
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Galiano Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 1
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
STICKS and STONES COTTAGE (ARBUTUS GROVE) is a self contained accommodation that is located in a quiet wooded setting that is home to wandering deer and 150+ types of birds. ARBUTUS GROVE is a 500 sq.ft self contained cottage with a master bedroom (Queen bed)+ 4 piece en suite bathroom. It also has a pull out sofa (Queen) in the living room, suitable for another couple or 2 children. Heat is supplied by either baseboard heaters or a wood fireplace (wood supplied). It also has a galley kitchen, with full amenities (coffee grinder + coffee maker). Quality linen and towels are supplied. It is most suitable for 2-4 people. Hiking trails and sandstone shore access points (#53 and #55) are close at hand. FREE Satellite TV and WiFi are included in the rental price. ... more   less 
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