I had the pleasure of being hosted by the Harrison Hot Springs Resort a couple of weeks ago as part of a blogging retreat put together by Start Up Moms that was both fun and informative. The retreat included me and five other lifestyle and parenting bloggers from around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. All of us are busy working moms who find it difficult to getaway at the best of times so the retreat was a welcome break and a great opportunity to connect with some other grown-ups to share ideas and learn from one another while experiencing some of the gems that Harrison Hot Springs has to offer.
I visit Harrison Hot Springs Resort 2-4 times per year, it’s been a favorite quick getaway with the boy since he was a baby. Truthfully after his first time in the hot spring pool he slept so well nothing was going to keep me away – sleep deprived mamas I’m sure you can relate.
Given the number of times I have been to Harrison Hot Springs I thought I was pretty well versed on what this quaint village had to offer but I still experienced several firsts this time around.
When we arrived in Harrison Hot Springs we were taken out on a yacht to cruise Harrison Lake with the hosts of Shoreline Tours narrating our adventure the entire way. In all of my visits I’ve never been out in a boat on the lake, unless you count the bumper boats. We boarded the beautiful 62-foot Laroan, fully equipped with sightseeing decks, BBQ, full service bar and kitchen/dining area at 11am and sat back and relaxed as the crew from Shoreline Tours took us on a 2 hour excursion around Harrison Lake. Our hosts pointed out owl and bear shaped rock formations, water falls and told historic tales of the lake and surrounding areas. We cruised past waterfront cabins only accessible by boat, islands with a criminal past and the beautiful rainbow falls.
The 2 hour cruise is a perfect excursion for the family to view wildlife and see parts of the landscape around Harrison Lake that few have the opportunity to explore, tours start at $36 per adult and kids under 5 are free. Get all of the details here.
Shoreline Tours operates year round on Harrison Lake just across the road from the historic Harrison Hot Springs Resort offering public lake cruises daily,river cruises in the Fall and some less frequent full day options and even private charters perfect for family reunions, corporate retreats, wedding parties or birthday parties.
2- HARRISON CORNER CAFE
After our morning on the water we where famished so we headed straight to the Harrison Corner Cafe. It’s an easy walk from the Harrison Hot Springs Resort or the water front conveniently located on the main strip as you head into the village.
The Harrison Corner Cafe has been operating in town for a number of years but was recently acquired by the current management. This local hot spot is a food lovers paradise with loads of foodie options on the menu perfect for Instagram.
The menu features a wide selection of homemade choices. We were treated to the soup of the day which was a delicious creamy corn based soup made from all locally sourced ingredients. It was a great way to warm up after after a morning on the chilly lake. We all ordered the Fish n Chips at the recommendation of our server and we weren’t disappointed. I’m sure this local gem will have something on the menu that appeals to everyone in the family plus they offer a discount to anyone named Harry, Harrison or Leonardo DiCaprio. So Leo if you’re reading this, I’d be happy to show you around Harrison and take you to lunch at the Harrison Corner Cafe the next time you’re in town.
3- THE COTTAGES
After lunch we strolled back to the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and checked in to our cottages. I’ve always stayed in one of the towers adjacent to the main hotel whenever I’ve visited so having the opportunity to stay in the cute little cottages located at the back of the resort property was a truly unique experience.
The cottages sleep 3 people comfortably, with a double bed in the bedroom and a single pull out in the living room. They are complete with a full private bathroom, mini fridge, flat screen TV, gas fireplace and a parking spot right out front, which is a huge bonus for those of us who are incapable of packing light.
The cottages are cozy, nicely kept with a secluded and rustic (but not too rustic) vibe. They would be the perfect place for a romantic weekend away to cuddle up by the fire and sip some wine.
After we settled in we had some time to relax, freshen up and enjoy some of the lovely treats that the hotel surprised us with in our cottage while we talked about all things blogging and social media.
4- VANESSA MARIE STUDIOS
Time flew by as we shared our successes and challenges and learned from each other. Before we knew it it was time to head to the beach for a professional photo shoot with the very talented Vanessa from Vanessa Marie Studios. Vanessa is a local photographer who came out to capture a few moments of this inaugural blogging retreat. It was my first time working with her but she made everyone feel so comfortable in front of the camera that it felt like we had been working together for years.
After the whirlwind photo shoot we were off to dinner at the Hungry Chef Pizzeria. The boy and I have eaten here plenty of times before and you should too, especially if you are a lover of build your own pizzas.
I love the checklist that they use to allow you full creative control over the creation of your pizza. You choose everything and custom build your pie from the sauce up (and they never skimp on the cheese).
In the summer there is a fairly large patio to enjoy the sights while you savor your pizza creation, and if you are in the mood for pasta instead there are some delicious options on the menu for you.
5- THE GROWN UP POOL
After dinner it was time to enjoy the hot springs, and for the very first time ever I enjoyed them in the adult pool. It’s smaller than the main pool and can get crowded during peak times but it was very relaxing to sit in the soothing warmth of the hot springs and stare up at the stars while enjoying some adult conversation.
The Harrison Hot Springs Resort is the only place in town to enjoy the hot springs without having to use the public access pay per use pool down the road so if you truly want to get the full experience of Harrison Hot Springs stay at the resort.
Access to the hot springs isn’t the only reason to stay at the resort though. There is an endless list of amenities to take advantage of as a guest at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. They have 4 onsite restaurants all offering very different styles of fare.
- Miss Margaret’s Cafe has the best lattes and snacks but can also help you out with packing a picnic for a day of on the go exploring.
- The Copper Room is a fine dining experience complete with a live band and a dance floor- one for the grown ups and one for the kids.
- The Island Bar offers casual pub style dining and is a great place to grab a drink and unwind after a long day of adventure.
- The Lakeside Cafe has the best view of the lake to go with your buffet style meal. They offer an amazing breakfast buffet complete with an omelette station where everything is made to order.
There is so much to do and see in Harrison Hot Springs and it’s the perfect little getaway when your tight on time – it only took me about an hour and twenty minutes to get there from Surrey so it truly is just up the road.
Be sure to sign up for their e-mail list to get the scoop on seasonal packages and their 72 hour sales, you can get some pretty great deals if you’re in the market for a quick getaway that’s so close to home but feels like your miles away once you arrive.
I was a hosted guest at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort as part of the #SUMRetreat.
Special thank you to Tourism Harrison.
All opinions are my own.