Unwind at one of Sechelt's Secrets
By Chris McBeath
When a friend commented, "breakfast is better than mum used to make", I knew we had to check it out. What we discovered was that breakfast at the Four Winds Beach House & Spa was only the beginning to a wonderful getaway experience.
Located five minutes north of Sechelt on BC's Sunshine Coast, Four Winds sits on a rocky promontory surrounded by surf, Arbutus trees and shady Douglas firs. The setting is spectacular and every room has a view.
As soon as we entered, floor to ceiling windows drew us like a magnet towards vistas that stretched across the Georgia Straight. Standing at the glass, the only divide between us and surf below, seagulls flew within an arm's length, eagles swept by casually and sea lions bobbed in and out of the water. All this and we had barely arrived.
Then a wet, cold nose nuzzled at my hand. Pearl, a friendly black Labrador, wanted to join in the welcome .... quickly followed by Sailor, a 'Lassie-look-alike' Collie. Since guest areas are 'off limits' to Pearl, Sailor and the two cats, our hosts Dave Fedor and Brenda Wilkinson quickly ushered them away so we could settle down in front of the fireplace for tea and Dave's homemade scones, the first of several culinary delights he was to create during our stay.
Each of the three, comfortable guest rooms are sanctuaries unto themselves. Cozy window seats take full advantage of the ever-changing panorama, and views are so private, we slept without lowering the blinds while the sound of surf became a romantic lullaby.
The spa, also surrounded by views, is a haven to enjoy therapeutic massage, Craniosacral Therapy and Reflexology, with expansion plans set to add hydrotherapy and body wrap treatments this fall.
Brenda is an experienced and sought after massage therapist whose fingers certainly know how to work a muscular magic. After only one session, I had only the energy to slip into a terry-cloth robe en route to the hot tub. There, as I soaked away the last vestiges of stress, I watched a distant cruise ship sail into the sunset. What a storybook scene!
Exploring the area is almost as fun: touring artisan studios, golfing (ask about Four Winds special discounted golf packages), scuba diving, beach-combing and much more. This is popular hiking country and walks range from strolls along Sechelt's picturesque waterfront to Skookumchuk Narrows, a relatively easy hike any time of the year. And restaurants proliferate. Wakefields pub - a local favourite - claims to be among the oldest log-house watering holes in the province.
The Old Boot is good for Italian pasta and ribs. You may recognize one of its owners, distinguished both by his handlebar moustache and for his 'Best Man' appearance on the show "Who wants to marry a millionaire?". The Blue Heron, perched on the water's edge across from Porpoise Bay, is more upscale (i.e.: slacks and sweater vs. jeans and tank top) although our favourite was The Sun Fish Cafe, a Santa Fe styled bistro complete with open kitchen, varied menu and great background jazz.
But, of course, nothing can compare to Dave's home cooking that really did prove to be 'better than mum's'! But then he has rather an unfair advantage.
Just as we had finished one of his delicious creations a bald eagle swooped down from the sky just outside the dining room window. Within seconds the bird was kicking up spray and flapping his wings wildly as its talons sank into a salmon. For a moment, the effort of flight seemed overwhelming. The eagle wavered, his bounty so heavy that it threatened to pull them both back into the water. But gradually his powerful wings took hold and in seemingly slow motion, the eagle rose, flew across the water and away, triumphant. It was a mesmerizing scene ...... one that helps make the Four Winds an unforgettable experience and one that really is no match for mum!
If You Go:
Four Winds Beach House & Spa
5482 Hill Road
Canada V0N 3A0
From the city of Vancouver BC:
North on Highway # 1 to Upper Levels, to catch the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale. The crossing is approximately 40 minutes.
Follow signs to Gibsons, and then on Hwy. 101 to Sechelt. Hill Road is 5 km west of Sechelt along the Coast Sunshine Hwy. Passing The Wakefields Inn on your left, look for Hill Road on your left shortly thereafter.
Langdale to Hill Road = 36 km.
For our State-side neighbours:
Either through Sumas, taking Highway #1 north to Vancouver, or through Blaine, north on Highway 99. Pass through Vancouver to Upper Levels Highway and follow instructions above.
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