Houseporn’s Guide to Glamping: Canada’s West Edition

Last month, we introduced readers to the Canadian activity of glamping. Where luxe design meets the outdoors, Canada boasts amazing glamping accommodations from East to West.

In  our previous post, Houseporn's Guide to Glamping, we uncovered the basics of Canadian glamping and a few of the unique accommodations offered in Central Canada.

In this post, we head to the West to explore their take on glamping design!


Free Spirit Spheres

Vancouver Island

'At night it felt as though we were adrift in a sea of trees and stars.' - guest of Free Spirit Spheres (source)

In the handcrafted spherical treehouses, referred to as 'Free Spirit Spheres,' this magical experience comes to life. Located 30 km north of Parksville, near Qualicum Bay, the sphere dwellings hover close to Horne Lake Caves, Georgia Strait, and Mount Washington and are open year round with an adult only clientele (16+).

With several options for accommodations, the perfect gateway can be tailored to guests' specifications.

Here's an example called the 'Eryn sphere'.

The Eryn sphere is the second of the handcrafted spheres and carved from Sitka Spruce. The spheres are suspended by vertical rope tethers allowing the treetops to move with the wind freely while preventing the spheres from vigorous movement and only allowing a gentle motion.

It holds a double bed and a loft bed and includes amenities like electrical heat, purified water for coffee and tea in the mornings, and a built-in speaker system so guests are able to plug-in their own music.

Recent design changes have introdcued the Mushroom washroom facility with compostable toilets. Each sphere is equipped with a private facility, and located only a short walk away are showers, a sauna, and a covered deck with a barbeque- enough to suit anyone's needs in the forest. More growth is happening in the Free Spirit Sphere forest including an 'Office Sphere.' Staying up-to-date on these changes by following their website.

Free Spirit Spheres offers one of the most unique experiences in habitation where dreams are truly able to come to life. Going to sleep in a Free Spirit Sphere is about more than just rest and relaxation - it is about taking flight!

Rates are reasonable and range from $155.00 to $245.00 per night. Visit reservations to book your stay. 

Images Courtesy of Free Spirit Spheres
source: Reader's Digest
Flora Bora Forest Lodging
Flora Bora Forest Lodging sits in the secluded wilderness near Prince Albert. Located near some of the most beautiful lakes, Flora Bora Forest Lodging offers access to the untouched wilderness and wildlife of the area with activities like hiking and canoeing. This lodge is kid friendly and has ongoing events that provide year-round activity for guests. 
With organic gardens on site, guests are invited to nibble on the seasonal treats the lodge nurtures. This is just one aspect to the low ecological impact owners, Justin and Karen Wasykyk strive to maintain and encourage of guests. The yurts are constructed using only sustainably harvested pine and they do not provide television in effort to encourage guests to 'disconnect.'
Yurts can sleep up to 4 persons and are equipped with a full kitchen, linens, cookware, a BBQ, towels, and house robes for a truly comfortable experience in nature.
Reserve your stay here!
Image Courtesy of Flora Bora Forest Lodging
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort
Among the many list of awards attributed to Rockwater is the 'Top 10 Most Romantic Valentine's Destination in Vancouver Province', 'Best BC Wedding Ceremony Venue', and 'Awarded the 2nd best Seaside Hideaway by Sunset Magazine!' There is no doubt that the Rockwater Secret Cove Resort is a romantic hideaway. 
Guests are invited to relax at the Rockwater Spa, or partake in a private Yoga class. The dining experience encompasses breakfast, lunch and dinner with the menu engaging in sustainable west coast cuisine.
Rockwater provides an amazing amount of activities; golfing, swimming, ocean kayaking, and sailing, are just a few of the experiences offered. How much you participate is up to you as there is always a spot on one of the beautiful decks to sit back and enjoy the coastal views.
Accommodations range from the Tenthouse Suites, to cabins, or to a room in the lodge. We suggest you book your stay at the Tenthouse Suites for a unique glamping experience beginning with a 1500 foot forest boardwalk guiding you to your suite. With an expansive view of the Pacific Ocean, each Tenthouse Suite has heated slate floors, a hydro-therapy tub, and a comfortable interior of shoji screens and a fireplace. Your private veranda is the perfect place to watch the stars before resting in the king-sized bed!
Rockwater is open year round with rates varying seasonally. I know I am ready to reserve my suite! Book your stay here.
For a first-hand account of the experience see blogger, Stacy Thomas' review of her experience at Rockwater!
Image Courtesy of Dennis Bartlett
Wild Retreat, Clayoquot Wildnerness Resort
Vancouver Island, BC
We end with the piece de resistance in luxury glamping: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. This Wild Retreat offers the ultimate in glamour with their 20 white canvas prospector tents outfitted 'to the nines' for their guests. 
Bathrooms include in-floor heating and a large indoor/outdoor shower with double shower-heads!
The luxury tents are equipped with thermostat controlled wood stoves, antique dressers, opulent rugs, oil lamps, heirloom china and silver accessories, and an abundance of candles. 
'Lounge tents' are also a part of the guest experience providing a space for reading, games, and a taste of select barrel-aged spirits. In reference to the iconic 'Gentlemen's Club' interior, the games tent is styled in burnished leather, and polished wood while the art tent is filled with striking watercolour paintings that will captivate any guest.
The menu honours it's place in the Cascadian region by sourcing an abundance of locally grown and raised ingredients.
In between the delicious dining experience at Clayoquot, guests may partake in the many activities provided by the resort. Whale watching, bear watching, equestrian, kayaking, hot springs visits, climbing, and zip-lining are just some of the once-in-a-lifetime experiences offered at this luxurious resort.
Before you pack your bags just yet, be sure to check out the months the resort is open. The 2015 season runs from May through to September so start planning your spring adventure! Dreaming of this vacation will be sure to sustain you through the winter.
All Images Courtesy of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Glamping in Canada's west offers a unique experience of Canada's western terrain and wildlife. From mountain hikes, to coastal views, to even whale or bear watching, the experience of glamping provides access to such opportunities with, of course, a touch of comfort and flare.
Keep an eye out for Houseporn's Guide to Glamping in the East!
Researched and Written by Sara Nicole England, undergraduate of OCAD University in the Criticism and Curatorial Practice Program.

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