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“Rustic Heaven”

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The Alders Beach Resort
Reviewed July 4, 2013

It isn't the Hilton, but it *is* pure Vancouver Island. The Alders is my long-time getaway place to hide from the world. The massive, near-empty sandy beach in a sheltered bay, is so safe for little children to play in the tidal pools. So much easier to get to than Long Beach, only 90 minutes from the ferry terminal in Nanaimo (ok, I drive pretty fast, heh). I love the campfires at night, and the quiet -- no audible music is allowed outside the cottages. It seems like campsites around southwestern BC have become a haven for noisy late-night partiers, so I love instead to go here, where I can enjoy the stars and nature without the boomboxes.

Room Tip: Stayed in Cedar, which is brand new, and well laid out for my family, kids and grandparents.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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6  Thank zicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (19)
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14 - 19 of 19 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2013

I love the Alders....the beach is amazing, you can go for long walks down it. There is lots of sand but also stones and driftwood for little ones to explore. I feel like I'm at summer camp when I go there but it's great because I get my own cabin :) there is a BBQ to use, a welcome drink event, a sandcastle competition. My son loves playing with new friends there.
There are fires every night. It is a return to the simpler ways of life. Where there is a time for everything... Fun in the sun, and quiet at night.
Doug and Cheryl have been amazing with us and I will always remember how they helped us when we needed a " real cottage" and not a trailer.
Families return every year for good reason.
My only suggestion would be to get the bookings done earlier in the year as many companies set employees vacation schedules by the end of Feb, and I want to get my preference in.
While some may think its expensive, you are paying for the experience. There is nowhere like this .
Enjoy the Alders !!!
Barb

  • Stayed: August 2012
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7  Thank Auto-Boy-Jet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

The Alders Beach Resort is a scenic 2 ½ hour drive from Victoria up the east coast of Vancouver Island. After mandatory stops for fresh corn and homemade blackberry jam, you make a right turn at Merville (population 2000) and follow your nose down to the sea. Against a backdrop of tall evergreens, nineteen cabins gaze out to a sandy beach and the blue Straits of Georgia. The sameness of each cabin, painted brown with green trim and a welcoming red porch, belies the unique and charming differences found behind each door. Some still harbor wood stoves while others have been “upgraded” to electric. One or two have lopsided floors while others have been remodeled and renovated to the latest building codes. There’s a stone fireplace in one much-coveted cottage and several others even have bathtubs! But in spite of all the changes that have taken place over the years, the ambiance and charm of The Alders remains. There are no telephones, no televisions, no tennis courts and no organized activities, other than a wiener roast on Wednesdays and a sandcastle contest on Thursdays. And yet days are jam-packed. Sea lions entertain us as they bob for fish and killer whales thrill us as they head down the Strait for open water. There are sand cliffs to slide down and sand dollars to count. There are tide pools to explore for purple starfish, clams to dig for dinner, and the daily search for moon-snail shells. Children skip with bullwhip kelp on the beach beside teenagers who play an impromptu game of beach volleyball. Skim boards, kayaks and bright yellow inflated boats dot the edge of the water. And when the tide comes in over the warm sand, we hardy West-Coasters dive into the refreshing waters (some would say “freezing!”) while the seals watch from a polite but sociable distance. For thirty-three years we have shared this paradise with many of the same families who, like us, return every summer. We have gone from child-rearing to retirement and our children, once in diapers, are now changing diapers on their own babies. With our three kids now grown and busy with traveling, jobs and their own families, my husband and I briefly considered canceling our week “up-island.” But tradition won out and no sooner had we booked our usual cabin when our oldest called to say that she would be joining us with her husband and two little boys. “I sent Jeremy an e-mail,” she said. “I wonder if he’ll come.” She and Jeremy, now a busy Vancouver filmmaker, have shared burnt marshmallows by the campfire for over thirty years. And he found the time to come again. He made the four-hour journey from Vancouver to The Alders in order to spend a day and a half on the beach with our daughter, where they relived old memories and revived their spirits. Because, with all the wonders of the place, with all the special things to see and do, it’s really all about old friends.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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13  Thank Canadawestwoman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Think they own the beach! They don't. Horrible ways of talking with people. Running schemes and repeatedly expressing how much they are into it for the money. The so called resort, which is really a row of poverty level cabins, are falling apart and dingey. If you want to get married there have fun! The management will eat your food and lerk around your guests and party. Not to mention there rule about dogs and how there isn't any allowed at the resort only applies to you and your paying guests. Now not to worry will be plenty of dogs at the resort, just not with any of your wedding guests. And when questioned about this hypercritical [--] they will freak out and become complete idiots. Enjoy the view

  • Stayed: July 2012
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11  Thank Roxiemomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 27, 2013

I just came home from a months stay at The Alders Beach Resort. I had been looking for a place to "get away from it all", with no phones and no TV, and this place couldn't have been more perfect. The Alders is surrounded by nature, with the ocean out front and a forest behind. When the tide goes out, the beach is great for walking - it is a huge expanse of sand, and, in my estimation, is one of the nicest beaches that I have seen on the east coast of the Island.
The grounds of The Alders is perfect for families, with lots of room for kids to run on the lawns. There are picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, a fire pit and BBQ, plus the added bonus of a stunning view of the Coast Range across The Salish Sea, or, as we knew it in the old days, the Georgia Strait. When the tide goes out there is a huge, shallow tidal pool right out front that would be warm and safe for little ones in the summer time.
The resort itself is like some magical place from a bygone era. My cabin was new and the others are quite a bit older, but well maintained and well appointed - they are quaint and very charming, and all seem to have characters of their own.
The managers, Doug and Cheryl Short made me feel very welcome, and they were always very courteous about answering my many questions about the surrounding area and the history of The Alders. Plus, I don't think there was a day in the whole month that I didn't see them out and about doing regular maintenance on the grounds and cabins, as well as getting ready for a busy upcoming summer season. They are a great team!
So, if you want to take a step back in time, to a quieter, more gentle era, where the view is gorgeous and the air is clean, then I would definitely recommend The Alders.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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8  Thank Shima388
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

Be aware if u r average income people with kids or pets they greet u with a smile but once someone with more money comes along they find any excuse to kick u out. I use to lobe this place beautiful scenery nice cabins but very rude and scandaless people...they quote u one thing charge another and then kick u out cause the people next door r paying more then u and one of our voices carry. No warning just u r out.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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5  Thank tyarashu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Alders Beach Resort

Address: 179 Williams Beach Road | PO Box 478, Merville, British Columbia V0R 2M0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Comox Valley > Merville
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Merville
Price Range: $175 - $300 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Alders Beach Resort is located between Courtenay and Campbell River on the East Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.Come and experience the natural beauty of our spectacular setting. Our beachfront cottages lead to a pristine sandy beach which is set against a spectacular coastal forest. Our resort is ideal for the perfect family vacation, a romantic getaway or as a venue for that special occasion.Enjoy the tidal pools and forest trails. Explore miles of sandy beach. Experience close contact with deer, seals and eagles. Four seasons of recreational activities are available within minutes or a short drive and include skiing, golfing, cycling, hiking, scuba diving, boating, horseback riding and eco-tours. World-class fishing is a short drive north in Campbell River.Our CottagesBrowse our beachfront cottages and enjoy the natural beauty of our spectacular setting. All cottages have full kitchens and sleep between 4-8 guests.Beachfront LocationThe Alders is ideal for family vacations, retreats and romantic getaways. The resort is very quiet and serene, and is located right on the ocean. ... more   less 

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