Poets Cove Resort & Spa
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Historical Traveler Reviews Poets Cove Resort & Spa Pender Island
Worthwhile visit in low season
The design and construction of the Poets Cove Resort is exceptional. The buildings and spaces are well laid out, classy and welcoming. Our lodge room was excellent with a heated tile bathroom floor, fireplace, very comfortable bed and a great balcony with a nice view of the water. The one complaint was that the lighting needed "tuning"... a 100watt lamp bulb is devoid of mood at night. This complaint applies to the entire resort in that the lighting design was good, but either badly bulbed or poorly controlled. The blaringly bright foyer outside of the dimly lit Aurora restaurant was particularly bad.
The facilities at the resort were great. The exercise room was excellent with plenty of new equipment, and the pool area looked very nice although we did not use it specifically.
Dining at the Aurora restaurant was quite good, but had to be considered average for the price. The deck of Syrens lounge is a great place to pass the time on a sunny day, but the service seemed to be slow and clunky. As expected, drink prices are expensive.
My wife's experience at the Susurrus Spa was good, with the exception of an unusually long (and somewhat awkward) wait time before her treatment. Staff were friendly, but lacking attention to detail. The facilities were nice and the therapist was very good.
Our overall experience at Poets Cove was positive, but our visit was at low season at a more reasonable room rate. The problem with Poets Cove Resort is that it probably can not live up to its high season price point. Guests staying in a $700+ cabin expect an exceptional experience and rightly so. I can see how Poets Cove would fail to deliver, as the staff seem to be unpolished and unprofessional, and the resort nice in design but not completely tuned-in. If Poets Cove were half the price, every guest would probably leave satisfied.
Go at low season or get a good rate and Poets Cove is very worthwhile. Pay the rack rate at high season and you are probably going to be disappointed.
Not a vacation
The hotel is quite beautiful and is set in a spectacular location. Each room was beautifully decorated and had an unbelievable view of the ocean. There was nothing better than watching the boats roll in every day and watching the sunset from your own private balcony. Having said that when we first arrived, the front desk staff were in complete chaos, bickering amongst each other and not friendly. This is the first thing you see upon arriving inside the hotel. We checked into our room and then decided to explore the resort. Not one of the hotel staff said hello, you couldn't find anyone to help you find out where things were. We decided to go for lunch at the pub/bistro. The service was slow and the food was disgusting (I'm not joking) for a 5 star hotel, the food didn't even make a star. We decided to order in room service one day, but waited over two hours for them to bring us a menu, we finally gave up as everytime we went to the front desk someone else seemed to be complaining about something. Our buffet breakfast which wasn't cheap and they wouldn't serve any a la cart comprised of some runny scrambled eggs, fruit, toast, cold, hard hashbrowns and sausage. The only meal that wasn't half bad was the dinner meal in the upstairs restaurant, even though my fish was cold when it got to my table, it was still edible. We have a three year old who loves to swim and we were excited to hear that their were two swimming pools. Well, actually the nice pool is an adult one and the kids pool, is a public pool that they charge visitors and locals. There were no seats and the pool was packed. The activities desk is located off the public pool and we decided to take the boat over to the Sidney Night Market. Our boat handler was fighting with the activities desk and was extremely grumpy with all the passengers and telling me my child is going to have to sit on my lap for the journey as the boat was too full. (My fault?) considering I had to pay full price for her. At the end of our visit, we decided to tell the manager about our stay, but that person, clearly didn't want to hear it as there was no aplogies. We have travelled all over the world and have stayed in many third world countries and I have to say that this is by far the worst service we have ever had and would not recommend this hotel to anyone.
Relax at Poets Cove
We stayed as a family of four in August at Poets Cove. Our children loved the experience. We loved the cottage and the outstanding effort of the activities center and the spa. The activities center went out of their way to pack a picnic lunch, provide a taxi shuttle to a fantastic hike and arrange kayaking. The resort has not quite perfected room service or kids in the pub and there were a few mistakes, but they are sure trying. The real key to staying at Poets is to just relax, recognize the laid back beautiful environment and to have a good time in a magnificint part of the world. We got a fantastic package with lots of bells and whistles so we could not complain about the price. Without the package, I would have to agree with some of the other reviews as it relates to being overpriced. We will return to Poets Cove recognizing it's not meant to be the Four Seasons and that's really ok.
Family fun at Poet's Cove
The secret to Poet's Cove is to stay on your boat in the marina (ours cost only $45US for the night). You get to use all the resort amenities, without having to pay the steep room rate. The pool and shower facilites are great: clean, new, plenty of loungers, unbrellas and space. The spa is amazing (check out the steam cave) but VERY popular, so book ahead (via telephone, not email. They responded to my request for a massage appointment the day AFTER I left the spa). Children are not allowed in the pub, but they are very accomodating about preparing take-out. Aurora restaurant is lovely, and the views of the harbour as the sun sets are totally romantic. Service was good, food good(right, NOT exceptional).
Problems in Pender Paradise
Pender Island is a beautiful, minimally inhabited and non-commercialized island. You would think that if you put extremely architecturally stunning resort on a breathtaking cove, the result would be magic, no? No - beauty is only skin deep. First, the "resort" has few amenities, and is VERY child unfriendly. There are two pools - a tiny one with a small exercise room for adults only, and a slightly larger one which is shared with a marina. The only pool you can take kids to is overrun by day sailors and is a messy zoo. Most people would think resort is synonymous with lounge chairs? Here, there are about 3 and they are staked out by the day sailors, so plan to sand or squeeze onto the concrete. There are 2 restaurants at the resort, and kids are only welcome in a small section of one because of liquor laws. This means that if you don't reserve one of the few tables in this area for dinner, your kids can't eat. We asked the staff (those over 18, which are very few, are pretty clueless) about other restaurants on the island. Granted there aren't many, but they had no idea of the hours and that reservations are imperative. The spa is also a joke - 5 stressed out women who are clueless about the services they offer. Their stress rubs off on you, which is not what I want from a spa! Shame on Poet's cove for charging $500 / night for little more than a nice cottage!
Not worth the price
We spent two nights at Poet's Cove on Pender Island and stayed at one of the cottages. The setting is lovely, but the layout of the cottages results in limited views and no privacy. The best views are from the original lodge itself. Nevertheless, the price is considerably more when staying at a cottage due to the extra kitchen facilities.
-lovely, nicely appointed cottages with beautiful kitchenette (granite countertops, full appliances, including W/D) Nice deck with hot tubs in front (but open to view from all the surrounding cottages and pathways).
-nice view of the harbour in the Aurora restaurant
-fun program for children at the pool from 6-8:00 p.m. supervised by an excellent children's program coordinator (extra charge)
-separate adult pool for those without children
-nicely appointed spa
-some kayaks, boston whalers, one sailing dinghy (extra charge) Jonathan, who was in charge of the pool maintenance and watercraft was very helpful and friendly
-indifferent reception staff, especially at check-out where no questions as to how we enjoyed our stay, etc.
-service to the cottage very slow when asked for extra linens (it took 3 calls and 45 minutes)
-cottages had limited views and no privacy
-pools were closed during some or part of the BC long weekend due to chemical imbalances
-golf carts used aggressively by staff for servicing the cottages create dust clouds that cover the vehicles in the parking lot with a layer of dust.
We felt that this resort was not very good value for money and lacking in the service department. We would not consider returning here.
Just returned from a 3 night stay at Poets Cove Resort.
We travel quite a bit and had an expectation with this resort
being 4 stars. We were very dissapointed with our experience.
There wasn't much attention to detail and we found it to be
too overpriced for the lack of service/value received.
Even the hassle of taking a ferry to get to Pender Island should never discourage anyone from trying this remarkable Resort. My husband and I went for 3 nights and being the Fall was pleased that it was so peaceful and quiet. The only disadvantage of going in the off Season is the reduced hours of the Spa and Restraunts. You definitely have to pre-book the Spa if you want any treatments because once you are there you are out of luck. You will want to experience the Spa and all it has to offer - fabulous!! The steam cave is not to miss. Couldn't enjoy the hottub as it was closed. The Restraunts definitely do not disappoint - wonderful food (hats off to the Chef's) and great serving staff.
What can I say about the room but WOW, one of the nicest ever and we do a lot of travelling. Shower for 2 easily and a seperate sunken tub, great furnishings and the biggest balcony ever in a room. We were lucky to have the waterfall outside our room. Still under renovations/add ons and I would think that should make it even more wonderful. The Hotel staff were the greatest/friendliest that we have had in a long time - but then again the Resort was maybe about 1/4 full, so don't know about the busy Season. Free Internet is rare these days and a nice add on. Another thing to consider if going in the off Season is not being able to enjoy the kayaking ect. that the Resort offers.
Would definitely recommend to anyone and hope to one day return.
A highly recommended weekend at Poets!
The islands are incredible in British Columbia and are a must see! Poets Cove Resort and Spa is a lovely place to spend a weekend. It's about a 45 minute drive from the ferry terminal if you chose to drive, however if it's in your budget take the sea plane which will take you right to the docks of the resort.
The rooms at this resort are stunning and remind me a lot of the Fairmont Vancouver Airport rooms. All with soaker tubs, large stand up showers, fireplaces and large patio decks, you will have no problem relaxing here for the weekend.
There is an outdoor pool and hot tub a short walk from the main hotel area (Dont worry, you will have nice house coats to keep you comfortable on your walk over).
There are fantastic modern lodges and villas you can stay at as well, most with individual hot tubs.
The Spa is really quite lovely. Outside is the steam room which is in a cave (man built), and an additional outdoor hot tub next to the running water of a man made waterfall. Prices for treatments are fairly reasonable but it is very important to book ahead of time.
The only concern I had during my stay was the restaurants. There are a few you can eat at all day long, however the food is very rich (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner). It would be wise to bring snacks and fresh fruits for something a little more light. The restaurant will allow you to bring your own wine and didnt charge us a corking fee (but please tip as you would have bought a bottle).
The resort is constructing another pool area above the main lodge inspired by the cave like structures at the spa... It looks like it will be pretty amazing when finished.
If you read up on the area, there are some interesting ghost stories that have some tales that may make your weekend a little more enchanting.
All in all, I highly recommend this resort.
Poets Cove Resort and Spa (world class)
My wife and I live 6 months of the the year in San Diego, Ca. and 6 months in our house on Pender Island. This past May we and two friends of ours were the first persons to stay in the rooms at Poets Cove, resort. Even though the resort was not completed the rooms, the service the food the views were all excellent. We returned for several terrific meals in May and June and watched as the resort grew and improved. In our opinion this is already a 4 star resort and undoubtedly will, in time, become a world class destination. Michal S. Connolly Sr.
TripAdvisor Reviews Poets Cove Resort & Spa Pender Island
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