Can the Sunshine Coast get even more zen? It can at these wellness retreats. From an eco-resort in the heart of Desolation Sound to an outdoor spa garden in Pender Harbour, these six destinations will have you relaxed in no time.
Chill Out With a Massage By the Sea at This Glamping Sunshine Coast Spot
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort’s glamping tents are perched on a rocky bluff at water’s edge, all connected by a wooden boardwalk. Steps from your tenthouse suite you can gaze out to the open ocean, watch sunrise and sunset, and fall asleep to the gentle lull of the ocean lapping below you. If this wasn’t alluring enough, you can opt for an outdoor massage located on one of the spa’s seaside suites, lounge by the pool in the warmer months, relax with a facial, or book a private yoga class for a restorative afternoon activity.
For food options, the on-site restaurant serves up classic West Coast fare, but for those willing to seek out restaurants farther afield, the Sunshine Coast’s thriving culinary scene won’t disappoint. Secret Cove, where Rockwater is located, is the launching point to get to nearby Thormanby Island, a white sand slice of paradise. Rockwater offers a shuttle service to the island where you can spend the day lounging on the beach (with miles of shoreline, you’re bound to get a spot all to yourself) or splash around in the clear blue shallow water.
Relax by the Ocean at This Desolation Sound Eco-Resort
Cabana Desolation Eco-Resort is located a paddle (or boat ride) away from Lund, smack dab in the heart of BC’s Desolation Sound. In fact, it’s the one of two accommodation (besides camping) you can find in Desolation Sound, making this all-inclusive, off-grid resort that much more exclusive. The resort features a series of cabanas, each one surrounded by lush fir and cedar trees, and strategically placed to maximize privacy and the view. It also helps that the resort only hosts ten to twelve guests at once, ensuring an intimate experience for all. The structures themselves are made using locally milled wood and feature rustic yet cozy touches, like custom-made log beds, and large windows that look out onto the forest and ocean views. A window lounge seat invites you to relax in the simple leisure of your surroundings and a covered deck not only offers a place to hang your wet paddling gear, but also contains a cedar shower with on-demand hot water.
Though you won’t find on-site spa or wellness services here, the blissful meditative state you seek can easily be found while out on a paddle. Head out each day and seamlessly glide through some of Desolation Sound’s most calm and inviting waters, scanning for marine life and watching as the afternoon sun slips towards the horizon. After a day spent on the water, head to the open-air Cabana Cafe, the social heart of the resort, which churns out delicious and nourishing meals, alongside refreshing beverages and afternoon tapas. Cabana is only open seasonally. Make sure to plan and book in advance.
Commune With Other Yogis at a Group Retreat
Mosaic Earth Travel hosts multi-day tours that connect visitors with the lush nature and rich cultures of BC’s West Coast, including the Sunshine Coast. At the helm of their expert guides, you’ll get to experience the Coast’s remote communities and rugged, untouched wilderness, all without having to plan a thing. The connection to nature—and to ourselves—is what guides each and every tour, while their immersive retreats offer an even deeper connection to oneself and the land.
Come October 2022, Mosaic will be hosting a Wild Spirit Wellness & Yoga Retreat at the stunning Klahoose Wilderness Resort, owned and operated by the Klahoose Nation. It’s a place where the ancient and energizing forces of the land can be felt, and where, under Mosaic’s guidance, you can welcome the shifting seasons with intention. On-site expert facilitators will guide you through a holistic approach to personal wellness, connecting the mind, body, and spirit through yoga, nutrition, outdoor adventure, and ceremony. After a day spent learning, relaxing, and connecting with other like-minded individuals, opt for a stargazing session outside on the lodge’s dock and take in the glittering night sky above. Can’t make the October retreat? Make sure to follow along as they announce future Sunshine Coast tours.
Pamper Yourself At a Hotel Spa in Powell River
Powell River sits on the northern tip of the Sunshine Coast and across the Malaspina Strait from Vancouver Island. While accessible by both ferry and boat, the city’s more remote location means it welcomes an unhurried and laid-back pace of life. While any lingering stress tends to melt away the minute you step foot in town, why stop there? Beyond Bliss Spa & Suites is a much-loved spa in Powell River, as evidenced by its multiple awards. Here you can pamper yourself with a comprehensive offering of spa services, from massages and facials to laser and body treatments. The on-site Beyond Bliss Suites means you’re only a short walk from achieving a state of true bliss. Choose from a spacious and well-stocked king suite, or one of the three hotel rooms, each with their own ocean view.
Post-spa treatment, explore one of Powell River’s many activities, from walking the seaside path in Willingdon Park or the trails in Millenium Park to touring art galleries, studios, shops, and cafes along Marine Drive. Want to enrich your experience while in Powell River? Challenge yourself on a hike to Tin Hat Mountain or to Emma Lake—it’s a different type of treatment, one that fuels the soul instead, but the reward is just as sweet.
Unwind At an Outdoor Spa Garden in Pender Harbour
This oceanside spa retreat in Pender Harbour is situated within a secluded bay on one of the more quiet parts of the Sunshine Coast—ideal for kicking back and relaxing. Painted Boat Resort’s oceanside lodge offers a range of accommodations and amenities, including a full-service, on-site spa garden. Choose from traditional treatments, like massage therapy, as well as hot and cold stone, Swedish massage, and aromatherapy treatments. The outdoor hot pools and waterfall are arguably the draw for most spa guests. Here you can cycle through each hot pool, followed by an invigorating cold shower, then a long soak in the hot tub. Repeat this cycle and you’ll soon feel the stress melt and your body relax into bliss. Post-spa garden, head upstairs to the resort’s Lagoon resatuarant where you can sip a glass of wine overlooking the spectacular ocean view.
It can be tough to tear yourself away but an exploratory visit around Pender Harbour is well worth your time. Venture further afield to neighbouring Egmont for happy hour on the spectacular patio at Inlets Restaurant at West Coast Wilderness Lodge or zen out on a leisurely hike through the forest to see the coveted Skookumchuck Narrows.
A Forested Retreat in Roberts Creek For Stressed-Out City Dwellers
Roberts Creek moves to its own rhythm. This quirky and eclectic enclave, located just 20-minutes from the town of Gibsons and the Langdale Ferry Terminal, is home to artists, free thinkers, retirees, young families, and more. It’s the kind of destination that invites introspection through relaxation and connection through community. The first you can find at Shades of Jade, a West Coast-style, cedar-clad, forested inn and spa. The Tall Cedars Suite comes decked out with a king size bed, fireplace and a luxurious private ensuite with a two-person steam shower, massage soaker tub, and heated tile floors. The Tea Garden suite opens onto a private patio and garden where you can sip a hot beverage in the tranquility of the outdoors.
East and South Asian influences flow throughout the property, from the zen garden to the treatments themselves, including a Thai herbal massage, traditional Shiatsu, reflexology, reiki and more. There’s also a jade stone massage, along with a classic massage. The second? Take a stroll into town where you’re bound to experience the warmth and generosity of Roberts Creek locals and fellow like-minded visitors. Dine at the Gumboot Cafe, pick up a book at the library, or head to the popular Roberts Creek Farm Market, open every Wednesday.
Find more ways to rest, relax and recharge on the Sunshine Coast.