Romance and Kids IS Possible at Tigh-Na-Mara

Romance is alive and well at "The House By The Sea," more familiarly known by Scottish Gaelics and Parksville lovers as Tigh-Na-Mara.

Family getaways are also fabulously featured at this resort, offering a planned children's program including group swimming lessons.

So, how can you have both romance and family time? By being somewhat selective when you reserve. Packages are offered at different times of the year to fit both needs and general managers, Dant Hirsch, highly recommends couples who want a reclusive getaway from kids book when school is in session so they won't be disappointed.

At the time of our visit it was the summer season and we were actually disappointed we hadn't brought our children along. Chances are, we wouldn't have seen them much anyway due to the many activities offered. Sports Mania, Crazy Olympics, and a Wilderness Adventure were just a few of the organized pastimes to keep them entertained. The resort even plans a "parents night out" during the week.

Accommodation is as family-oriented or as intimate as you would like with thirty-six one and two bedroom log homes spread throughout this forested, twenty two acre park-like setting. The self-contained units are immaculately maintained; kitchens are well stocked and furnishings are fresh and contemporary. Many have spectacular ocean vistas of Georgia strait and the mainland mountains in the distance. What a unique setting, having a forest grove on one side of our room, and the contrasting Pacific on the other, and a private beach.

When the tide was in, we could hear the waves lapping up onto the close shoreline below. It's one of the safest swimming areas due to the very gradual drop off, and paddle boats and other floatables are available to enjoy. When the tide was out, miles of tidal pools and hard-packed sand provide a great playground or the space for a lengthy beach walk.

One of the jewels of Tigh-Na-Mara is its Grotto Spa that is the largest in the province, and one of the largest in Canada. Offering 16 private treatment rooms, elegant relaxation lounges, an outdoor balcony complete with Lavender garden and spa delicacies of the Treetop Tapas & Grill, the Grotto Spa is a destination unto itself. And wait until you try its pièce de resistance - a stunning 2,500 sq foot Mineral Bath, fed by a two-storey waterfall! Luxurious Spa Bungalows lie nearby and with all their special spa touches, are the perfect choice for retreating into romance.

The finest in West Coast cuisine is also offered at Tigh-Na-Mara's restaurant, lounge and conference centre. Its warm interior is accented by the natural wood, assorted antiques and a splendid floor to ceiling creek rock fireplace. To wear off those decadent calories after your meal, you may want to try renting a mountain bike, challenging each other to a tennis match, working out in the weight room, or swimming a lap or two in the indoor pool. We recommend finishing your day off with a hot tub soak followed by a moonlight beach walk.

Helpful staff has all the tourist information on events and happenings in the area from hiking, to picnic areas and to community events in Parksville, which is just a two minute drive away.

Whether a getaway with kids or without, Tigh-Na-Mara offers something for everyone. Next time, we'll probably try coming in the late fall, when the cooler nights still permit romantic beach strolls. We won't have the kids along, but who knows, maybe we'll bring our black schnauzer pup. Chloe would love the experience. Oh, that was one pet lover's perk we forgot to add: our canine companions are welcome to stay in the cottages during the quieter times of the year!

If You Go:

Tel: 250-248-2072
Fax: 250-248-4140
Reservations: 1-800-663-7373
Web site:

Hosts: Dant Hirsch

Vancouver and other lower mainland travelers: B.C. Ferries accommodates travelers from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay terminals to Duke Point or Departure Bay. General Information for sailing schedule is 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779)

For our State-side Neighbors: Either the Victoria Clipper, The Princess Marguerite, or the Washington State Ferries will meet your needs Take Island Highway #19- one-half hour north of Nanaimo to Parksville

© Travelink Publishing - All Rights Reserved