Local Photo Credit: Woods on Pender

Wanderlust: Woods on Pender

The Gulf Islands find their own answer to Ace Hotel.

The whole point of going to B.C.’s Pender Island is to get away from it all. But let’s get real: there’s some elements of “it all” that are actually quite nice. A good pillow. Fresh-ground coffee and a French press. Your Netflix queue.

It’s why we’re crushing on the Woods on Pender. There’s plenty of that tranquility here, but it’s accompanied by those little luxuries. Case in point: book one of the too-hip Airstream trailers and you’ll probably spend the evening hanging on the private deck in a cedar hot tub for two, or kicking back in a set of sunshine-yellow Acapulco chairs overlooking the trees and the ocean; when darkness falls, you’ll head inside to flip on the Apple TV or curl up in a cushy queen-sized bed. It’s just like camping, only way, way, way better.

Each revamped Airstream has a propane-powered campfire to accompany of cabin-cool adirondack chairs, and a few even have hot tubs for two on the patio, too.
Each revamped Airstream has a propane-powered campfire to accompany the cabin-cool Adirondack chairs, and a few even have hot tubs for two on the patio, too.
If you'd prefer your accommodations to not have wheels, there are cabins and rooms in the lodge, too.
If you’d prefer your accommodations to not have wheels, there are cabins and rooms in the lodge, too.

The Ace Hotel-meets-summer-camp resort is the brainchild of owner Curtis Redel, who got out of the real estate business and into hospitality with the intent of making the urban movers-and-shakers a little more comfortable in the heart of the Coastal wilderness. So he bought up the former Inn on Pender Island and seriously rebranded, renovating a selection of cozy cabins with an eye for rustic-modernism and populating the 7.3-acres with a handful of Airstreams.

woods-on-pender-coffee-kitchen-cocktail-01
Proper cocktails in the heart of the wilderness? We’re sold.
woods-on-pender-coffee-kitchen-internal
Coffee Kitchen, the onsite restaurant, is decked out with smart accessories, like a host of Score + Solder terrariums, to accompany a menu of simple, well-prepared fare.
woods-on-pender-coffee-kitchen-external
If you’re not ready to retire for the night, the buzzy patio is the ideal place to mingle with your fellow “campers.”

The on-site restaurant, now called Coffee Kitchen, got a makeover too, shifting focus to a curated menu of thoughtful and simple dishes from locally sourced ingredients (suppliers include Whole Beast Meats, Fernwood Coffee and Ravenrock Farms). It was a smart move. The tenderloin is so good it has a cult following, and we might just come back specifically for the smoked maple bourbon that graces the stellar cocktail selection.

After a hard day of hiking world-class beaches and strolling through sun dappled forests (it’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it) it’s nice to have somewhere civilized to lay our heads—and a well-made cocktail with which to toast good ol’ nature. If this is the simple life, we think we might just be able to get on board.

woods-on-pender-lodge-exterior-02
The old lodge got a coat of black paint and some yellow doors when the Woods took over—dramatic but playful, and a bold contrast against the natural greenery of the island.

woods-on-pender-the-woods

Comments

K

It’s unfortunate that the food is not great in the restaurant. Very disappointed 2 out of the 3 times i have eaten there.

Reply
J

When we were there we heard from the owner they were changing how they approached food service to smaller seatings and fewer menu items. Not sure when you went, but I had the tenderloin with blue cheese sauce and veggies and it was crazy scrumptious! :) A friend of mine had the fish and chips and they weren’t as good as my meal though (IMO).

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram Diary