Hastings House Country House Hotel (Salt Spring Island)
I was invited to be witness to the 12th Annual Salt Spring Documentary Film Festival this past weekend and I will fully confess I had an amazing time. Not only because Deirdre Rowland was amazing at taking me everywhere and showcasing Salt Spring Island for me, but also because every single element of my stay was phenomenal. The community in Salt Spring Island welcomed me as one of them and I was able to have very in-depth conversations with them.
One of the key one elements that made my stay so pleasurable was the amazing service of the hotel where I stayed, Hastings House Country House Hotel. A wonderful hotel with a variety of suites, that operates much as a bed-and-breakfast, Hastings House provided me with much needed respite from the craziness of urban life in Vancouver.
In 1937, Warren Hastings, an English naval architect with a gift for story-telling, moved to Salt Spring Island from Sussex, England with his new bride Barbara. According to Hastings, he and Barbara “decided to build on Salt Spring Island because we love the sea and we think it is one of the most beautiful places in the world, with a lovely climate.” Hastings built the Manor House in 1940 to resemble his 11th century Sussex-style family home because their “furniture was suitable for a house of this type.”
In 1980, Warren Hastings sold the property to Shan and Donald Cross of Calgary, Alberta, who turned the estate into an elegant hotel with ten guest suites and 30 seats in the dining room. Fifteen years later the current owners Bonny O’Connor and Jerry Parks purchased the property with the goal of maintaining the courtesy and charm of Hastings House. The new owners added seven new Hillside Suites overlooking Ganges Harbour in 1999. In 2000 they built the Verandah over an outdoor patio to increase dining capacity and provide an all-weather spot for weddings and other gatherings. The former manager’s residence has been refurbished as a 3-bedroom guest cottage overlooking the hotel grounds and harbour, bringing the total number of guest accommodations to eighteen.[History of Hastings House]
I stayed in the Manor (the main house), which houses 2 beautiful suites, The Snug (a little alcove underneath the main dining room that allows you to work on a stand-alone computer, watch TV or have afternoon tea and some treats) and the main dining room. My room was pretty huge.
My room had a fireplace, a desk and a fabulous bed and everything I could ask for. On top of that, I had a fantastic experience with the service provided to me, both in regards to food and everything I had there.
At 3:30 Kelly (the general manager) organizes afternoon tea at the Snug so that he can get to know the guests. Overall, an amazing experience, and I will have to try it again next time I am in Salt Spring Island.
Disclosure: I’m in Salt Spring Island to experience the 12th Annual Salt Spring Island Documentary Film Festival March 4th through 6th. My stay at Hastings House and my flight on Salt Spring Air have both been complimentary. Entry to the film festival is by donation and I’ve happily paid for that out of my own pocket. It’s a fantastic film festival and you should experience it next year.