Tucked into the appropriately-named ‘Secret Cove’ two hours north of Vancouver is one of the Sunshine Coast’s best kept secrets: Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. As luxurious and romantic destinations go, this resort certainly has it figured out, especially with their immaculately-appointed signature “Tenthouses” which take the idea of unique and boutique accommodations to a whole new level. And with a Michelin-experienced chef at the helm of the Resort’s dining room, there’s more to a stay here than just the stunning location. But be warned: once you’ve spent a night in one of Rockwater’s Tenthouses, you’ll want to spend at least one more, and after that, you might never want to leave.
Rockwater Secret Cove Resort Tenthouses: Glamping, Amped.
It’s not often I go on and on about a place where we’ve stayed, but I have no doubt that Henk and I will remember the 2 nights we spent in our Rockwater Secret Cove Resort Tenthouse for years to come. For anyone who likes glamping, you should know that Rockwater definitely puts the GLAM into the word. In fact, it’s not really fair to even call this experience ‘camping’ in any way. These stilted, private Tenthouses-for-two perched along the shoreline offer amenities more typical of a 5-star hotel room than a canvas-sided structure.
Your Private Zen Space
The transition from the outside world to our private little Tenthouse oasis began when Henk and I passed through the Zen Gate just to the left of the main resort building. We could feel the outside world being left behind as we wound our way along the raised boardwalk that follows the forested shoreline.
The quiet, the cool air, and even the twisty trunks of the red-hued Arbutus trees along the walkway lent the place the feel of a Japanese garden. And don’t be surprised (as I was) if a deer leaps up from below the boardwalk, clambering its way to higher ground ? after all, getting closer to nature is what Rockwater Secret Cove is all about.
Once Henk and I arrived at our Tenthouse, it was hard to believe that we were entering a structure made with canvas walls. Even ‘Contractor Henk’ was impressed with its rigid-frame construction that allows for a solid entry door, as well as a pair of french doors that lead out to a generous deck. Comfortable loungers make this the perfect place for enjoying morning coffee or a sundowner while admiring the view. More on that view later…
Our Tenthouse came complete with all the luxuries you would expect to find in a spa, not a tented structure, including a chromatherapy jacuzzi tub surrounded by zippered windows that allow you to enjoy the breeze and the views while soaking.
Fuzzy robes and slippers come standard of course, but even the slate floor around the perimeter of the king-sized bed is heated to keep your toes comfortable, and there’s a gas fireplace to dial up the heat (and the romance) on chillier nights. (No wonder so many of the entries in the guest book are from couples who got married here or eloped.)
Simply put, there are no Tenthouses with bad views, as they are all located high on a beautiful piece of shoreline overlooking the Strait of Georgia and Texada Island. But there are a few units that are located closer to the water with spectacular unobstructed views that you can enjoy even while in bed.
Unplugged and Loving it
The one thing you won’t find in a Tenthouse is a television, the idea behind these luxurious escapes being to get away from the outside world, not bring it with you. To be honest, I didn’t even notice that we didn’t have a TV, nor did I miss it. And even though WiFi is available, Henk and I preferred to spend our time drinking in the beauty around us, (along with our favourite beverages). Even when it rains here, like it did one night during our stay, there’s something so soothing about the sound of rain on a canvas roof that it enhanced the intimacy that much more.
Delicious Dining from Chef Sekihata
Man (or woman) does not live by bed alone, and Rockwater’s dining options are a fitting complement to their luxury accommodations. The resort has recently welcomed Chef Katsuyuki Sekihata to their kitchen, who brings his 3-star Michelin experience to their dining room. Chef Sekihata has worked at some of the finest restaurants in the world in New York, Geneva, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, where he has brought his creativity and passion to the table in every dish he crafts.
Local ingredients figure prominently in all the menu items, as Chef Sekihata likes to take advantage of the seasonal bounty of the coast. Henk and I enjoyed delicious breakfasts here (Eggs Benny is always my go-to item and they do it three ways here), but it was at dinner that we really got to taste Sekihata’s own interpretation of some traditional plates.
Suffice it to say that we left suitably impressed.
Staff That is Always Ready with a Suggestion
Whether it’s the choice of wine with dinner, or where to go for a hike that meets your own timeframe or abilities, the staff at Rockwater are always ready with a helpful suggestion. Henk and I wanted to do some hiking, and they had a printed guide ready for us with directions and descriptions of the nearby trails. They even offer guided hikes for a fee for guests who prefer to have someone accompany them.
There are also other activities which they can arrange, from kayaking and stand up paddle boarding to diving or golfing. They also offer Spa services on site and Yoga classes in their ‘Spa Without Walls’ near the water’s edge.
It may be the Sunshine Coast’s best kept secret when it comes to boutique accommodations, but for anyone who has stayed in one, it’s no secret that Rockwater Secret Cove Resort Tenthouses are synonymous with Romance (with a capital ‘R’). I know that Henk and I fell in love with ours and would recommend in a heartbeat this decadent, very grownup escape. (Just don’t tell too many people about it!)
TIP: Rockwater Secret Cove Resort is about 20 kilometres north of Sechelt on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast (which is only accessible by water or air.) Visit BC Ferries website to help plan your visit, or check out flight options via Pacific Coastal Airlines, or Harbour Air.
Special thanks to Rockwater Secret Cove Resort who offered us a media discount on our Tenthouse and to Yvonne Yick who was truly our hostess with the mostess during our stay.