It was like living in a fairytale.
We first spotted A Cottage and A Castle Bed and Breakfast in Chemainus early this past summer during a walking tour, when the voluptuous front garden and captivating 106-year-old house caught my eye. We had no idea that there would be even more splendour behind the main house in the form of a created ‘castle’ designed to transport guests back to the heady days of Camelot (and I’m not talking about the Kennedy era in the United States!)
It took us a few months to get back to Chemainus, but a recent rainy, stormy afternoon found us checking in with hostess Harriet, who led us through the beautiful house (where there are also rooms available), through an appealing back garden and in to the ‘castle’, known as the Camelot Suite. Up the stairs we went – and in to another world of warmth, calm, beauty, elegance and luxury.
Rather than just a single room, the Camelot Suite is a series of adjoining areas, all awash in natural light thanks to the many large windows. The luxurious bed chamber is fitted with the most stunning appointments and linens. It looks across to a beautifully-finished bath area with twin vanities, a double soaker tub and a two-sided fireplace that also enhances the ambiance in the spacious and comfortable sitting area, located around a corner.
There is a simple but lovely dining area abutting the living room, and a small, fully-equipped kitchen complete with dishwasher is located at the far end of the suite. Several sitting areas, including two Juliet balconies and a perfectly-appointed spot adjacent to the bed chamber, invite visitors to relax and recharge. There is a television set hidden behind doors above the fireplace in the living area and a selection of movies is available for those who are really bent on maintaining their link to the modern world. We discovered that the internet connection that is available in the cottage part of the B&B is spotty at best because of the ‘castle’s’ distance from the house, but were quite content, surrounded by the luxury and calm, to check out of the plugged-in world for a couple of days. A note to those who feel that unplugging is out of the question – there are other public spots in town where you can abandon yourselves to the internet if you feel so inclined, or if the weather is nice all you need do is sit on the charming verandah fronting the main house at the B&B.
A breakfast basket discreetly delivered at the bottom of the stairs promptly at the appointed time offered up warm croissants and muffins, soft-boiled eggs, toast, fresh strawberries, yogurt and orange juice.
What made our whole experience at A Cottage and A Castle so extraordinary was the privacy and the great attention to every small detail in the Camelot Suite. Harriet clearly has the eye and heart of an artist – her skilful adornment of every nook and cranny makes a night or two in the Camelot Suite memorable for so many reasons. Anyone looking for a truly romantic get-away (or just a break from the hurly-burly of the modern world) would do well to consider this lovely spot – it is one of the nicest accommodations we have had the pleasure of enjoying, and the rates, considering what is on offer, are extremely reasonable. This place is just one more reason that Chemainus is fast becoming one of our favourite destinations on Vancouver Island.
A Cottage and A Castle Bed and Breakfast is located at 9909 Maple Street in the old town part of Chemainus, just half a block from the waterfront. More information can be found at the website:
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 48.9270323 Long. -123.7178477
N 48 55.622 W 123 43.071