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“Wonderful Leisure Experience”

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Driftwood Park Retreat
Reviewed October 22, 2009

We arrived at the cottages, during a power outage on Oct. 11--there were candles hanging on the door of the retreat--wow!! The cottage was clean and tidy with all the amenities. A wood stove was a cozy addition--we used it two nights. The beds were comfortable, with thermostats in both bedrooms. The cupboards were stocked with all the dishes and pots/pans we could have needed. The view of the beach was fantastic, especially watching the lobster boats, during the day, as well as, the night. I recommend this cottage for everyone wanting a peaceful, comfortable time,

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank krstahr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 - 87 of 87 reviews

Reviewed August 18, 2009

Serene location and spotless houses. To take advantage of the views over the huge piles of driftwood, the bedrooms of the units are on the first floor and the main kitchen, living room and deck are on the on the 2nd floor. Everything inside the units are spotless and very well stocked with brand new appliances. Our sons loved exploring the beach driftwood and collecting the beautiful rocks. However, the strong tides that bring in the huge trees, also bring in large amounts of garbage! The beach is littered with plastic bottles, buckets, and huge knots of nylon rope! It really showed the kids the need to recycle! Despite that, we had a wonderful bonfire on the beach and watched the sunset. You can't beat the isolation and direct waterfront of these cottages!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank travelmom334
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2009

We went to witness the tides of the bay of fundy but found much much more.
Advocate Harbour is charming town smack in the middle of the Bay Fundy coastline. We stayed at a Driftwood Park Retreat property know by everyone in town as the Bayview Cottage. The view was spectacular, with the surf and beach practically under the deck. The whole place smells like wild roses as does most of Nova Scotia. Our rates were so reasonable we went to Halifax for an overnight to see the tall ships. If you go you must buy some live lobster from Lauren in Spencer's Island ( her son is a lobster firsherman), she has a sign near her driveway. She will even loan you a 'lobster pot" if you need one.
Gloria our host provided a cleaver and a hammer, you difinitely should have both for 3# lobsters. A trip to the cemetery offers spectacular views of the coast and the village, also some interesting tombstones of master mariner, some born in the 1700's. We purchased our souvenirs at a gallery in Diligent River between Parrsboro and Advocate, wonderful quality and great value. The Wild Caraway restaurant was and elegant surprise with while linen, candlelight and great wine. They serve fish caught just hours before.
Advocate is a hard place to get to place well worth the effort.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ladysox
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2009

The cabins are right on the beach, and one can easily see how the retreat got it's name by the big piles of driftwood fronting the beach. The cabins are roomy and comfortable, with two bedrooms and one bath downstairs and the kitchen/living area/fireplace upstairs. Each unit also has a deck overlooking the ocean with a table, chairs, umbrella, and grill. The resort is located between Cape D'Or and Cape Advocate; both can be seen from the upstairs decks of the cabins, providing that there is not fog. The only negative I can list is that the shower in the bathroom is extremely small, one small person can barely turn around in it. There is plenty of hot water, although the water pressure is not what one would like. Still, the location is perfect for hiking and viewing the Cape D'Or lighthouse, and for day or overnight hikes in Cape Advocate Provincial Park. Sea kayaking is also available in the park. A lovely place, and even the fog is beautiful in its own way.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank Carissa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2007

We stayed at the Driftwood Park Retreat for five days in August. The road from Parrsboro is replete with curves and remarkable scenery. It makes for a relaxed, leisurely drive. My reason for picking Driftwood Park was the outstanding rock hounding nearby. In fact, you can find chalcedony of all types along the entire Bay of Fundy. This area also has some of the highest tides in the entire bay. We were there during a new moon so we had an enhanced effect.

We arrived late, but Jacques had left us a note directing us to our chalet and keys. Usually when I book something like this, the pictures are better than reality. In this case, the chalet, driftwood beach and the entire harbor surpassed my expectations on first impressions. The chalets felt new and were nicely stocked with utensils and appliances. The loft has a kitchen and living room (in the one we rented). The two bedrooms and bathroom were downstairs. The sheets, blankets and towels were all in pristine shape. There was a hand soap dispenser in the bathroom.

Since it is an ecological retreat, there is a natural septic system. I walked outside over the drainage field, and didn’t smell or detect anything. Jacques has an herb garden near it.

The beach stretches for miles. In one direction, you’re up in Cape Chignecto Provincial Park (there are trails in there that you could spend three nights or more backpacking.) A line of unwordly red rocks jut out to mark the approximate park boundary. You can follow the trail near the mars rocks up to the HQ. We hiked the easy trail in Chignecto. When you hike it, start along the beach! Otherwise you’re hiking uphill for an hour rather than 15 minutes. Watch the tides. There are some pinch points at high tide along the beach part of the trail. When you get to the obvious waterfall, take the staircase up. There is a fee to pay to use the park (which is run by volunteers). Considering what they are managing and protecting, I would have gladly paid twice as much (both admissions and gift shop). Places like this are rare. In the other direction along the beach is the wharf. You may catch fishermen shucking scallops if you show up in the morning.

We visited Cape d'Or Lighthouse (Dory Rips) and explored part of Horseshoe Cove. You can get to the cove by pulling off to your left on the dirt road while heading towards the lighthouse. There is a part where the road narrows on a sharp downhill. Off to your left you’ll catch a glimpse of a scenic cove (that is Horseshoe Cove). Pull off on your left when the road begins to climb. Park up top (but don’t block the drive into the cabin). The little stretch down to the beach is rough even for 4 wheelers (unless you have an ATV). I got some nice pieces of chalcedony with several agate pieces. You get some nice green shades due to the copper. There are some apparent veins on the road cut/foot path leading down to the lighthouse as well.

The lighthouse has an amazing restaurant. Given its reputation, I was surprised that there was no one else there during our entire lunch. Darcy served and prepared our meal for us. I am hard to impress, having spent many years cooking in restaurants, but it is beyond even my talents to make chowder as good as his. In fact, everyone’s meal (wife and kids) was not only visually appealing, the taste exceeded what most mortals could hope to create. The décor and demeanor were in tune to a wavelength that was beyond our perception. Darcy did say that it he was booked solid with reservations for dinner. I even saw some people look at the menu and walk away. Good thing for us! Darcy doesn’t take credit cards. The prices weren’t more than I’d expect to pay. He serves beer.

We had most of our lunches at the Beach Café on Spencer’s Island (which Darcy recommended). They also had delicious food and ice cream. You can see the memorial to Mary Celeste (and knock a lighthouse off the list if you’re tracking them).

There is a hippy, sun and moon gift shop nearby. It is like the gag gift store Spencer’s, went on a Grateful Dead tour and landed in of all places, Spencer’s Island. I’d rate it PG13 for some of the shirts and tobacco water pipes.

We ate breakfast each morning at the Harborlite. We ate a late, so there was rarely anyone there when we were. Laverne, the cook and server picked up on what we liked by the second day – after that, we never looked at a menu. I over tipped her each meal. Thinking back, I probably should have left more.

We visited Parrsboro (which I’ll save for a different review).

There is a sweet general store/antique shop between Parrsboro and Spencer’s Island. Check it out and buy anything so they can exist. The staff there was engaging and kind hearted. Because of the breakables, it is important small children just stay in the food area. The people who left as we were arriving had three young kids, one of which broke an antique plate. His parents bought the pieces.

The gas station/store in Advocate Harbor has pretty much everything you need for supplies at the chalet. We didn’t stop by the campground store. According to a road sign, they also had an eating facility.

You can have kayak tours which looked like fun, but we didn't take them.

On the beach, we took over a fire someone started and left behind. We built it up and had some fun. Someone else took it over after we left. I don’t know how long it was kept going - I went to bed. Since dirt road that passes Driftwood Park is open to the public, there is infrequent traffic (car/atv).

I would go back to Driftwood Park in a heartbeat. The terrain, bay, history and culture were of a place much closer to the way things should be.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank chesapeakesun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Driftwood Park Retreat

Address: 47 Driftwood Lane, Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia B0M 1A0, Canada
Location: Canada > Nova Scotia > Advocate Harbour
Amenities:
Beach Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Advocate Harbour
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
5 fully equipped waterfront chalets. Two bedrooms one equipped with queen size bed the other two twin beds. Tranquil, relaxing setting walking distance to Cape Chignecto Hiking trails, short drive to beautiful Cape Dor. Close to very nice local restaurants. Zodiac and Kayak Adventure tours also in the area. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Driftwood Park Retreat Advocate Harbour, Nova Scotia

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