St. Andrews Lodge and Glen Cottages offers a vintage vacation

Large windows in the cottages offer breathtaking views of the pristine beach that fronts St. Andrews

Right off the top, I have to offer a disclaimer: the place about which I am about to tell you has been a family favourite vacation location for forty years and three generations. That’s not an unusual thing for the many loyal regulars who have visited St. Andrews Lodge and Glen Cottages in Qualicum Beach for decades, and there are many good reasons for that.

            Although the lodge building now operates only as operation headquarters and does not offer rooms to travelers, the eight quaint, old-fashioned beach cottages built in the early part of the 1900s are still popular destinations for hundreds of vacationers each year.

            What there isn’t at St. Andrews is almost as important as what there is for those seeking a truly relaxing, laid-back break from the hurly-burly of the modern world. St. Andrews doesn’t have a spa (thus no appointments to keep), it doesn’t offer telephone service in the cottages, it doesn’t have a swimming pool, or a mini-golf course, or any of the many other ‘attractions’ offered at modern resorts. What it offers is cosy, old-fashioned cottages with soothing views of  Georgia Straight and mountains, an outdoor ping-pong table, teeter-totter and tire swing, a great beach for family gatherings and marshmallow roasts, and spectacular sunsets. Other favourite activities of those staying at St. Andrews include swimming, digging for clams and kicking back with a good book.  Dogs are welcomed at no extra cost (almost unheard-of in this day and age), and other than a minimal fee for extra sleeping cots, there are none of the up-charges with which most resorts seem to delight in dinging travelers.  In other words this charming, historic spot offers an old-fashioned vacation and old-fashioned values.

Three memorial benches along the front lawn offer a peaceful respite from today’s busy world

            The cottages continue to house an eclectic mix of furnishings, oil heaters and oil stoves.  The floors are linoleum and the charming small gardens at the cottages are edged with clam and oyster shells from the beach. Each cottage has a picnic table and a couple of weather-proof chairs for lounging outdoors, and the kitchens are equipped with all the basic cooking utensils. There is nothing fancy about this place, but there is so much to love about it.

            Managing to snag a cottage during the summer may prove to be a bit problematic, but travelers would do well to consider staying there at other times of the year. The lodge and cottages are located very close to some of the best fishing opportunities on the east coast of the Island, not to mention the many golf courses that abound in the Oceanside area of Parksville-Qualicum. But for so many visitors over the years, it has been something much more basic that has made them fall in love with St. Andrews.  The simplicity, clean ocean air, sun-splashed lawns and pristine beach offer great opportunities for a guilt-free state of doing absolutely nothing. How rare is that in today’s world?

Meals with a view of beach,water,mountains – what could be lovelier?

Keeping in step with its love affair with the days of yesteryear, St. Andrews does not accept credit cards. Nor does the place have a web site. Further information on rates (which are extremely reasonable, considering the waterfront location) and availability can be obtained by phoning   1-250-752-6652, or e-mailing standrewslodge@shaw.ca

St. Andrews is located at 3319 West Island Highway in Qualicum Beach.

GPS co-ordinates are: Lat. 49.36010796590377 Long. -124.47321474552154

                                        N 49 21.606   W 124 28.393

Shirley

About Shirley

More years ago than I like to remember, I completed the Journalism program at Vancouver Community College and launched straight into a career as a newspaper reporter (thanks to my journalism professor Nick Russell and an opening at the venerable daily Alberni Valley Times.) My work as a news reporter/feature writer/columnist and ultimately, newspaper and magazine editor, took me to many interesting places and introduced me to hundreds of interesting characters over the years. I loved every minute of it, but burnout caught up with me while I was trying to juggle the simultaneous editing of five trade magazines, and for 27 years I abandoned my keyboard (on a professional basis, at least) and followed my heart in a variety of other careers. In 2010 I returned to the journalistic fold, thanks to the encouragement (nay – nagging!) of my husband. I feel no regret – only great joy to be back at the keyboard, and to be spending time interviewing interesting folks and discovering great places.
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One Response to St. Andrews Lodge and Glen Cottages offers a vintage vacation

  1. Catherine Jamieson says:

    I fell in love with St. Andrews Lodge the one and only time I stayed there back in 2009 (I think) but I didn`t know it as St. Andrews at the time. I knew it by another name, Miss Little`s. It has taken me this long to discover the business name “St. Andrew`s Lodge” which it is known as.

    And I met dear Miss Little in that year of 2009, likely close to her last year living on the property. She was frail and lost in another world but had her family members about her who were running the business on her behalf.

    It is a must stay for anyone with any nostalgic desire. It is not for those who have no interest or knowledge of what came before electric heat or microwaves. One of the reasons I love it and hold it dear in my memories of Vancouver Island.

    It is the quintessential experience for all those who care about our past and want a taste of what it was like before … all THIS … came about.

    I intend on going back there as soon as I can.

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