From stressed to chillax in one dip of the pool.
If the hustle and bustle of the daily grind is getting to you then my second get a way adventure as part of my 30 Days Of Summer is perfect for you. Located 1.5 hours from downtown Vancouver by car is Harrison Mills and a further 10 KM or so is its big brother Harrison Hot Springs, the perfect places to escape from the craziness that our daily lives become. With lots of choices of where to stay I picked Rowena’s Inn On The River for a couple of nights to fully escape the crazy and then a night in Harrison Hot Springs at the Ramada Harrison Hot Springs. Two very different experiences both perfect for a get a way.
First up is Rowena’s Inn, you may have heard of it by a different name if you are a golfer, Sandpiper Golf Course. Both are on the original Pretty Estate. You can golf, golf and stay or just stay. While I’m a golfer and my special guest on the trip is also a golfer, I brought my Mom, we both decided we wanted to just relax as much as possible. Since I haven’t golfed much this year I am afraid I’d work up too much of a sweat swinging a club to relax.
The Pretty Estate is still in the hands of the original family that it is named after. George and Rowena Pretty purchased the 160 acre estate in 1924 as a summer get a way for their family and the last remaining children opened it up for the public to enjoy in 1992. I’m glad they did because it allows us mere mortals to get a little bit of a glimpse of what it would be like to grow up in a world of privilege. On the estate are four little cottages and one of them will be ours for our stay. Let me show you to Fenn’s Cottage, our home away from home for a few nights.
Do you feel yourself relaxing yet? Well if you are still a little wound up then do what we did, dropped our bags in the cottage and put on our bathing suites, it’s pool time. Installed in the 1950’s it has a view of the Harrison River that just melts away all your stress. The only thing missing was a swim up bar but we didn’t mind as we brought our own. Everywhere you look the view is $1,000,000.00, it’s just amazing.
During our swim we really got to see how the other half live because between the river and the golf course is a private air strip for small planes and helicopters. That is how I want to arrive the next time I visit!
After we cooled off we were invited to meet the last remaining daughter of George and Rowena Pretty and the owner of the estate Betty Anne Faulkner. I’m not sure if a private tour of the Inn is a normal occurrence for every guest but Betty Anne still “summers” at the estate so my mom and I saw her often and she looks fabulous!
Betty Anne gave my Mom and I a tour of the house, sharing personal family stories and memories of all the good times had on the estate. The Inn is filled with antiques and family photos that make you feel like you are in a private home.
Each picture, sculpture, room and table has a story and Betty Anne knows them all.
Up to the second floor we go. This is where you can actually stay and sleep in the bedrooms that the family slept in all those years ago. The views from the rooms towards the Harrison River are breathtaking.
Stunning and very relaxing. Another treat that you will experience at Rowena’s is the wildlife. Swimming in the pool I saw more birds flying over me than I could count. I even saw bald eagles flying over the river in search for a meal. I was never quick enough to grab my camera but not to worry they have a live Eagle Cam installed so you can watch a next on the property from the comfort of your laptop! Watch it live here.
There are other treats to enjoy at Rowena’s Inn but I’ll save that for the where to eat post
If you want to be a bit more in the “action” then you want to stay in Harrison Hot Springs itself. The Ramada is only 100ft from the main “strip” which means that in 15 minutes you can walk from one end to the other.
If you plan on spending your days outside on the beach or cruising Harrison Lake on a jet ski or kayak then the Ramada is a perfect choice. Clean, presentable and very reasonably priced you get all the access to Harrison you could want without breaking the bank.
So there you have it. Two very different options of where to stay in Harrison Mills and Harrison Hot Springs. One you never want to leave while the other one is about getting out and enjoying what the Resort town has to offer.
Over the next few posts I’ll share my suggestions of things to do and where to eat in Harrison. They are all Mom approved and certified!