Some artists work on paper or clay. Glass artist Sal Robinson’s canvas is her Vancouver B&B.
Every room at the Corkscrew Inn, the gracious bed-and-breakfast that Robinson and her husband Wayne Meadows run in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood, features Robinson’s gorgeous stained glass work — ornate Art Deco-inspired pieces that mirror the inn’s wine theme.
The inn takes its name from the antique corkscrews in all shapes and sizes that Meadows collects and displays throughout the inn. Robinson used many of these corkscrews as the models for her glass pieces.
In the restored 1912 Craftsman-style house, which is full of details like gleaming dark woodwork, antiques and period furnishings, and wood floors, you’ll find lots of quirky, artful surprises, too.
Robinson modeled the stained glass in the main floor bathroom on the stonework enclosing Brussels’ famous Manneken Pis statue. Inside the WC, Meadows has displayed his unexpectedly large set of, yes, Manneken Pis corkscrews!
Another distinctive feature is the “corkscrew museum” that Meadows has set up on the inn’s lower level. If you ask, he’ll proudly show off his eclectic collection.
You can also reserve the museum space for a romantic wine-and-cheese interlude or private dinner (several nearby restaurants offer take-out meals).
Of the five guest rooms, three are on the second floor, one is adjacent to the dining room on the main level, and one (with a separate entrance) is on the lower level. All rooms have queen beds, en suite baths, phones, and small flat-screen TVs.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the house, and guests can use a printer on the main level to print boarding passes and other essentials. Meadows and Robinson have also stocked a “guest cupboard” with nice-to-haves like beach towels, backpacks, extra pillows, and even a luggage scale.
My favorite room is the largest — the 2nd floor Art Deco room, with big south-facing windows and private deck. Surrounding the in-room soaker tub, the tilework, which Robinson designed, depicts the Empire State Building.
The two other second floor rooms — the French and the British India — are smaller, but each have a petite balcony overlooking the backyard.
The first-floor Edwardian room, the only one without private outdoor space, has a unique custom-designed bathroom, with dark woodwork enclosing the shower and a burgundy stained-glass window.
On the lower level, the Arizona room is done in a southwest theme, with French doors opening onto a private patio. An antique cabinet hides a microwave and a set of dishes, if you’d like to picnic on the terrace.
The large sunny front porch and back garden are both lovely spots to relax, and even the verandahs feature more of Robinson’s glass art.
A hot breakfast is served family-style around the generous wooden dining table. If you prefer to dine on your own, or if you’re a late riser, you can help yourself to cereal, fruit, yogurt, and coffee or tea at any time.
Located on a quiet residential street, the Corkscrew Inn is within walking distance of Kitsilano Beach and the eclectic shops on West 4th Avenue. You can catch a bus nearby that will take you to Granville Island, downtown, or the University of British Columbia within about 15 minutes.
Off-season double rates range from CAD$120-205. In the summer high season, rates run CAD$180-265.
And don’t worry — if you’d like to enjoy a bottle of wine during your stay at this lovely Vancouver B&B, you’ll never have to hunt for a corkscrew.
Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller, author of the new travel guide, Moon Handbooks: Ontario, which features fun and funky attractions and experiences, lodgings, and places to eat across the province. Photos courtesy of the Corkscrew Inn.