Calm in the wilderness
New adventures await at this East-meetsWest resort in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, writes Chanel Parratt
plan to live on the ranch and build extra accommodation for visiting family and friends soon changed.
Walking around the ranch one morning, Norm says: ‘‘ We thought perhaps this was a little too indulgent to have all for ourselves.’’
Over the next five years, the Dove lodge and cabins were built and they opened for business. The cedar wood used in the construction of the lodge and cabin buildings was also used on the Thai spa – creating a beautiful continuity across this East-meetsWest ranch.
The 65ha property is surrounded by four unique biomes: the canyon, with its hoodoos and sand spirals; grasslands, where ranches run between 10,000 and 15,000 head of cattle and farm hay; the marble mountain range, which you look out to from the property; and the flatlands, with lakes and marshes.
Guided day trips head in all directions. You can explore by foot, horse, 4x4 and plane – the ranch has a private landing strip.
I stayed in a premium room in the Lookout Lodge, where I could appreciate the view to Mt Bowman. The simplicity of the room, with wooden floors and furniture, plush king bed, feathery pillows and thick white linen, created a sense of luxurious country hospitality.
That same feeling extends to the kitchen, where chef Jason Folk serves meals along the kitchen bench. You can help yourself to as much or as little as you like before settling at one of the long communal tables.
Dinner on the first night was a tender beef osso bucco that I could pull apart with my fork. On the last night, there a barbecue around the campfire – ribs, lamb cutlets, roast duck, salmon, beef rissoles for burgers, salad, roast potatoes, coleslaw and fresh watermelon.
Breakfast each morning was a variation of sausages, crispy bacon, fried eggs, salmon and vegetable omelet, roast tomatoes, mushrooms, french toast with maple syrup, strawberries, fruit salad, yoghurt, cereal and toast.
GOLDEN GLOW: The sun sets on the Dove lodge at Echo Valley; Darrel pans for gold.