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7 BC Retreats That Unite Rural and Refined
By Jane Cassie
(for Travel Writers' Tales)

We both love the great outdoors but when it comes to doing the 'camp thing' my husband and I don't quite jive. Although he'd be content to cuddle in a mummy bag of eiderdown, my spine goes into spasm after sleeping on a mattress of earthy rough stuff. I'm also not crazy about canvas homesteads or baked beans. Thanks to these luxurious rural retreats, we can leave those tent pegs behind. While blending the rustic and refined, these B.C. properties offer a mother lode of outdoor adventures and pampering at the same time.

Photo 1 Albreda Lodge Mountain mania, heli-style

Photo 2 Albreda-lodge-blue-river

Albreda Lodge -Mountain mania, heli-style. It's like a Warren Miller scene when visiting powder hounds are whisked away to this posh lodge in the Monashee Range. The property, created by heli-guru Mike Wiegel, offers everything from steep and deep to après ski seductions. De-stress at the full-fledged spa, re-fuel on chef-prepared cuisine then heli away to snow riddled peaks. You'll surely catch big air and get a good run for your money!

Photo 3 EVR Where East meets the West

Photo 4 EVR Baan Thai Spa

Echo Valley Ranch and Spa - Calling all luxury-loving cowboys (and girls)! If you want a rustic dude ranch, then steer your stallion in a different direction. If you're fancying five star accommodations, cuisine, and spa specialties with a unique east / west blend, then giddy-up to this getaway. After riding the range, hiking to neighboring peaks and reeling in a fresh daily catch, bowlegged city slickers will discover true bliss at the Baan Thai Spa.

Photo 5 Elisi Spa

Elisi Spa and Wilderness Resort - Safari or spa? Try both, and more, at this hedonistic fly-in that's enshrouded by the northern Rockies. Check out moose, elk, and wolverine while on a photo shoot safari; catch an exhilarating wave on riverboat ride; hike, bike or ride horseback to flora-filled meadows. When the day is done, the mountain magic makes its way into eight guest rooms, a high-tech gym, and an ahhh-some spaaa!

Photo 6 King Pacific Lodge One heavenly houseboat!

Photo 7 King Pacific Lodge interior

King Pacific Lodge - One heavenly houseboat! From May to September, this floating wonder comes alive when anchored next to uninhabited Princess Royal Island. Although remotely sandwiched between the Great Bear Rainforest and sapphire Pacific, this retreat boasts all the bells and whistles of a boutique hotel. Seventeen decked-out rooms lure adventuring anglers and romantics. Soaker tubs, steam room and soothing massage are perks at the end of each day -along with a starry sky.

Photo 8 Finding Nimmo is like discovering paradise

Photo 9 Nimmo Bay Resort adventures

Nimmo Bay Resort -Finding Nimmo is like discovering paradise. This secluded fly-in hideaway near Port McNeill BC caters to every breakaway whim. As well as dishing out lots of hospitality the Murray family know how to tailor make any adventure. Whether it's heli-fishing, heli-rafting, heli-trekking, or heli-day trips to check out wildlife, waterfalls or whales, when combined with their cozy abodes and finger-licking cuisine, you'll have one heli of a good time.

Photo 10 Sonora Resort a fisherperson's paradise

Photo 11 Sonora lodge posh interior

Sonora Resort - Hardly roughing it. This fisherperson's paradise reels in wilderness seekers to its isolated locale on the Inside Passage. Guests can cruise the Pacific blue, where arching orcas and trophy-size salmon hang out. Others may take flight to check out grazing grizzlies, virgin ski slopes and heaven-bound hikes. And when these eco hounds return to their luxurious home base, they'll magically transform into culinary experts and spa denizens.

Photo 12 For renewal, head to The Hills

Photo 13 Hills yoga-class

The Hills Health Ranch - For renewal, head to The Hills. This holistic haven provides a kick-start towards achieving a healthier lifestyle. Shed a few pounds, build a little muscle. Amidst their 20,000 acres of Cariboo ranchland there are daily fitness programs, 18 spa treatment rooms, 3 lounges and professional guides for hiking, riding, canoeing and biking. With a team that includes kinesiologists, personal trainers, and body therapists, how can you go wrong?

Ahhh -roughing it with a little luxury. It sure beats waking up in a clammy mummy bag with four stiff limbs. Yes, this is my kind of camping!


Albreda Lodge
Toll free - 1.800.661.9170

Echo Valley Ranch and Spa
Toll free - 1 800.253.8831

Elisi Spa and Wilderness Resort -
Phone: 1.250.789.9494

King Pacific Lodge
Toll free 888.592.5464

Nimmo Bay Resort
Toll free - 1.800.837.HELI (4354)

Sonora Resort
Toll free: 1.888.576.6672

The Hills Health Ranch
Toll free 1.800.668.2233 or 250.791.5225

PHOTO CAPTIONS. All images compliments of the properties

1. Albreda Lodge Mountain mania, heli-style
2. Albreda-lodge-blue-river
3. EVR where east meets the west
4. EVR thai ban spa
5. Elisi Spa aerial
6. King Pacific Lodge One heavenly houseboat!
7. King Pacific Lodge interior
8. Finding Nimmo is like discovering paradise
9. Nimmo Bay Resort adventures
10. Sonora Resort a fisherperson's paradise
11. Sonora lodge posh interior
12. For renewal, head to The Hills
13. Hills yoga-class

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