Off The Beaten Track :: Lodges & Cabins

[trip style = beach + glamping + budget + luxury]

This month we're doing a four-part feature on need-to-know Pacific Northwest destinations, resorts and lodges that sit in the shadow of bigger, fancier or legacy destinations.

Last week the spotlight was on Bellevue, the oft-forgotten and woodsy suburb where Microsofters mingle and shoppers spend, as an alternative to Seattle. This week we're escaping busy streets and crowded highways in search of lodges and cabins where sipping steaming coffee in a lakeside Adirondack chair and evening fireside chats are a detox for the soul.

The Alders Running barefoot along the sun-dried grass from beach to cabin {and back again} for a grape popsicle or nacho-flavored chips was my main commute. Roasting marshmallows for a little too long---to the point of incurring a small campfire on the end of my stick---was my big night out. The daily commute and hot smoky evenings took place at the Alders, a family-friendly summer escape near Campbell River on Vancouver Island. I spent close to every summer at this collection of vintage, wood-framed, beach-side cabins growing up. I remember retro stoves, orange and green geographic print curtains and beds with a slight canoe effect. To me, it was perfect. With no TVs or phones---though these days that doesn't mean much with portable e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g---this place is all about the sandbar, campfire songs and cozy cabins. Cost: From $1,160/week in the summer. Prices drop in shoulder season.

Sakinaw Lake Lodge After a 40-minute ferry ride from Vancouver, plus a 50-minute drive through artsy beach-front towns, you've arrived at the part salt, part fresh water lake. From the outside, Sakinaw Lake Lodge resembles any other other renovated cabin on the lake, but upon closer inspection, it's more more catered to and current than most weekend summer-use cabins. After a glass of wine is handed to you at pick-up, you stay in one of two lakefront suites {or rent the whole lodge} that give secluded relaxation a new meaning. There's even a luxury canvas tent for those of you who like to glamp! Cost: From $229/night during summer.

King Pacific Lodge Anywhere that calls Princess Royal Island and The Great Bear Rainforest home must be a remote eco-feast for the eyes. When you glide into this luxury wilderness resort on British Columbia's North Coast via float plane---the only way to arrive---you realize why it's an all-inclusive fit for royalty, pairing fishing and whale watching with epicurean indulgences and fine wines. Beware, this curated, multi-award winning, once-in-a-lifetime---or yearly, depending on how you roll---experience can only be had between June and September. By now, I'm sure you can guess the price. Cost: From $4,750 per person for a 3-night stay.

Bonus Selection: Skoki Lodge Even though this week's Off the Beaten Path feature is focused on lodges and cabins around the Pacific Northwest, I'd be remiss not to mention Skoki Lodge near Lake Louise, Alberta, where Will and Kate spent a night away from the eyes of the world on their royal tour of Canada. Rather than bring their entourage to a swanky lodge, they opted for a removed and understated retreat with no electricity or running water, originally built in 1930. PS. I hear the pair asked for at least one modern world luxury: running water. {Fair enough.} Cost: Summer rates from $169 - $263 per person.

[photos by Geoff & Ana-Maria, Sakinaw Lake Lodge, King Pacific Lodge, Parks Canada]