Over the years my husband and I have stayed at many bed and breakfasts around the world – they are one of our favourite accommodation options when we are on the road. We have experienced many styles of B&Bs, from isolated farmhouses in England’s gorgeous Yorkshire countryside to oceanfront cottages on the California coast. We have been fortunate enough to stay in numerous wonderful facilities here on Vancouver Island, too, all of which have supplied that ‘Aaaahhh’ factor to varying degrees. One of our very favourites, though, has to be the Stone Wood Bed and Breakfast in the Duncan/Maple Bay area.
Although we stayed with hosts Rob and Susie in February – not the most photogenic of months on the Island, with gray skies, the deciduous trees all naked and the weather less than splendid – the warmth of this generous couple’s hospitality and the beauty of their purpose-built lodgings knew no bounds.
No sooner were we through the front door than Rob suggested that we join them downstairs once we got settled in for ‘a cup of tea, or a glass of wine, or a beer – if we wanted to.’ We did join them; for us a good part of the ‘journey’ when it comes to staying at a B&B is getting to know new people and finding out more about the local area. Rob and Susie certainly didn’t disappoint in that regard – they are enthusiastic supporters of everything Cowichan. We only wished we had more time to take in all of their suggestions.
The house itself is a beautiful modern structure, purpose-built with guests in mind. We enjoyed the King Room, a spacious area that had a walk-in closet, large bathroom with separate shower and tub, a comfortable sitting area complete with a small fireplace and a spectacular view of the pond and gardens below. The room and everything in it was sparkling clean, nicely appointed and very comfortable in every respect. On the landing at the top of the stairs there is also a cozy common sitting area for guests.
The pond is a gorgeous azure colour, a natural occurrence as a result of the copper in the rocks that line much of the waterscape. There is a man-made ‘beach’ and the pond, 30 feet deep, serves as a great swimming hole for guests during the summer months.
Breakfast didn’t disappoint either. We arrived downstairs to a crackling fire in the great room, freshly-brewed coffee, fresh orange juice and Susie’s ‘starter’ – a drool-inducing parfait featuring Susie’s most excellent home-made granola and vanilla Greek yogurt. I could have stopped right there, but the first course was followed up with a tantalizing plate featuring bacon-wrapped fresh asparagus, eggs Benedict (with the orange-est yolks I have ever seen – the product of a neighbour’s chickens), grilled cherry tomatoes, tiny potatoes and toasted English muffins. It was enough to keep us going late in to the afternoon and may well have taken us right through to dinner if we hadn’t felt obligated to stop and try another new restaurant for a late lunch on the way back up-Island.
For us, Stone Wood is the epitome of what a bed and breakfast should be – welcoming, comfortable and friendly. We loved Rob and Susie’s warm reception and their respect for the fact that not everyone may be as gregarious as we are – they have hit a happy balance there. Their lovely home and the serene surroundings, combined with that respect, make for the ultimate ‘Aaaahhhh’. You have to love that!
Stone Wood Bed and Breakfast is located at 7338 Walton Mountain Road, Duncan. Finding the place can be a bit of a challenge (especially in the dark) so be sure to print off driving directions before you leave home.
Further information on rates and room availability can be found at the website:
GPS Co-ordinates are:
Lat. 48.836419 Long.-123.64997
N 48 50.185 W 123 38.998