What We Love
- Chef Marcel Kauer’s stellar menu and dedication to local, seasonal ingredients
- Luxury treatments in the spa, or in front of your room’s fireplace
- A Relais & Chateax property
What To Know
- Children 11 and under are not permitted in the dining room for dinner service
- The island is fairly large; if you want the convenience of a car, rent one on the mainland and take a car ferry over (be sure to make car ferry reservations in advance)
- The hotel is popular for weddings
- These are historic buildings, and WiFi service in guestrooms can be sporadic
- Pets are permitted for a fee of $50 to $100 per stay, depending on the room type
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
About two hours by ferry from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Vancouver, Hastings House rests at the end of a leafy, winding drive on British Columbia’s picture-perfect Salt Spring Island. Overlooking the marina from one side, it’s bordered on the other by a long meadow filled with grazing sheep. Hastings House’s sprawling collection includes a Manor House, cottages and other historic buildings turned into luxury accommodations. Seven Deluxe Hillside Suites are housed in a 1997 building that mimics the property’s barn, which has a batten-wood and shake-shingle aesthetic. Each is uniquely furnished and decorated, but each has heated slate floors, a fireplace and a bathroom with a large soaking tub and a separate shower. The focal point of each suite is the view of Ganges Harbor through the expansive picture windows or from the private balcony. Expect fresh muffins delivered to your door each morning, as well as a full English breakfast in the dining room. Dinner is in the rustic dining room in the Manor House; the menu, which changes seasonally, incorporates products from the island’s many farmers and artisanal foodmakers.
In the Area
Salt Spring Island has long been a respected colony for artists, so head out on a self-guided tour to check them out; there are established art routes to help you navigate the many galleries and workshops. If birdwatching is your thing, you’re in luck. Salt Spring Island is home to a multitude of songbirds, birds of prey and waterfowl. Rather do something a bit more romantic? Request a gourmet picnic basket from the inn, add a bottle of wine from one of the island’s vineyards and head for one of the many secluded beaches. For active types, the island offers prime hiking and cycling, or you can sail and paddle the waters; day or moonlight kayaking is available (book in advance).
How to Get There
This is a beautiful converted country estate with cabins, a formal full service dinning room and a less formal bistro (I believe the bistro is not open during the winter). The bistro is your best bet if you are watching the costs.
The grounds are beautifully maintained, there are and art pieces throughout the grounds. Hastings House is pricey but for a special occasion, worth it!
My wife and I stayed here last week during our first-ever trip to British Columbia together. We loved it and especially appreciated the helpfulness of the staff and the beauty of the grounds. Drinking tea on the lawn overlooking the harbor and seaplanes coming in is a peaceful memory that will stick with me.
For those who plan to rent a car while visiting Salt Spring, the convenience to the car rental place (less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel grounds) was also helpful and feels worth noting.
Spectacular property and Manor House, Churchill Cottage appeared to have been forgotten by management and is not close to meeting previously experienced Relais et Chateaux standards. Gardens, linens, bathrooms, staff and meals were stunning. Stayed four nights in Churchill Cottage and had to phone down to get house keeping each night at 5:00 pm. Then we’re treated to laundry/bathroom sweep, a mini clean up and bed making completed around 6:00 pm. No Vacuum or mop ever employed. We’re told the first night that when Housekeeping arrived earlier they were told by a man in a car in the driveway that “he” didn’t require service, we have no idea who this mystery man was?? Definitely not a member of our party. Unit had large brown stains on dining room rug, numerous lights burned out and a very disappointing kitchen. No bowls larger than a medium sized cereal bowl, no oven proof cook ware, no dish cloths, no placemats, no cookie sheets, miss matched wine glasses and a dishwasher that the door only opened partially, making the bottom rack nearly impossible to load. Had to make a salad the first night in a sad Dutch oven. We were advised upon check out that the GM had been talking to her and they would be looking to giving us a credit or gift certificate and it would be in our best interest to write him a note re our experience to him. Book couples wrote reviews and the GM replied apologizing hoping that we would return, no credit offered. In our stays and meals at numerous Relais et Chateaux properties around the world this quality of service was never previously experienced. For what was a tax in, resort fee in, pet fee in etc ~$800+ per night stay for four guests and a dog in a poorly maintained and poorly stocked cottage we expected and deserved a way better experience. We will not be returning to Hastings House and will certainly remember that Relais et Chateaux has slipped a number of notches in our esteem.