Looking for a place for a secret getaway? If you’re an art lover, and you can get yourself to British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, we’ve got the place for you: a waterfront suite owned by the artist Sabina Hill.
Here’s the scoop:
British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast
BC’s Sunshine Coast is something of a Vancouver-area secret. Its scenic fjords, quiet beaches, and craft breweries and cidermakers draw locals who day-trip or plan weekend getaways to this coastal region, 40-minutes by ferry from metropolitan Vancouver.
It wasn’t the scenery or the drinks, though, that first drew Canadian interior designer, artist, and architect Sabina Hill to the Sunshine Coast. It was the art.
The Sunshine Coast is home to dozens of artists, many of whom open their studios to visitors during the annual Sunshine Coast Art Crawl, which takes place every autumn. Hill and her partner visited the coast for this art event back in 2013 and quickly decided that the life they wanted would involve living in a cabin in the forest by the sea.
The Art-Filled Sea Forest Guest Suite
After they found an undeveloped plot of land in the Pender Harbour area, Hill began designing their home, which includes her art studio and now a stylish guest suite on the lower level, the Sea Forest Guest Suite.
Hill envisioned her Sunshine Coast home and guest suite to be a live-in gallery, featuring tables, glass work, and other pieces that she designed, many of which incorporate design elements from Indigenous peoples of British Columbia.
She has collaborated with a number of First Nations artists and designers, including artist Andy Everson of the K’omoks First Nation, who she worked with to design the suite’s carved wood and glass coffee table.
The living room has a wall of windows, looking out among the evergreens to the harbor dotted with boats and views of the nearby islands. Furnished in neutral whites, greys, and taupes, it includes a comfortable modern grey sofa, two taupe swivel chairs, and a gas fireplace, which also provides welcome heat on chilly evenings.
Open to the living area, the suite includes a full kitchen, stocked with dishes, glassware, and cooking supplies. You can pick up groceries in the nearby community of Madeira Park, a short drive from the property.
The bedroom, which also looks out to the water, features the same neutral palate as well as First Nations-inspired motifs decorating the wall. A flat-screen TV is mounted on the wall opposite the king-size bed, above a dresser where you can unpack your clothes and stay a while. Wi-Fi is available throughout the suite and works well.
The modern bathroom, which you can enter either from the bedroom or from the living area, has a spacious, walk-in shower. Thick terry bathrobes are provided.
The suite can be rented with just this one bedroom, or you can reserve a second bedroom, with a queen bed and its own bath, to create a two-bedroom suite.
A Waterfront Hideaway
Hill’s property drops steeply down to the waterfront, so you do need to be prepared for stairs. But some of those stairs lead to an outdoor hot tub, where you can soak overlooking the sea.
A perfect spot for a secret, art-filled escape on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.
TIP: Hill invites guests to tour her studio, located in her home above the guest suite, and she’s happy to talk with visitors about her work. Just ask her to arrange a time that’s convenient.
Standard double room rates for Sabina Hill’s Sea Forest Guest Suite are CAD$330 per night between October and $390 per night from June through September.
Looking for more accommodations on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast? Check out our review of John Henry’s Resort & Marina.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Sunshine Coast Tourism, in partnership with Sabina Hill, hosted my stay for review purposes.