If you’re looking for a place for a beach holiday with the kids, consider The Beach Club, a family-friendly condo-style hotel in the town of Parksville, on the east coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island.
Here’s the scoop:
The Beach Club opened about a dozen years ago, with 149 units spread across several buildings. The guest rooms that are closest to the beach are located in a four-story low rise, where nearly all the units have terraces with water views.
There are more rooms in a nine-story tower set behind the lower buildings. Tip: If your unit is in the tower, ask for a high-floor room if you want to see the ocean.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The Beach Club’s guest rooms come in two main room types: studios or one-bedroom units. Adjacent rooms can also be combined to create two-bedroom suites.
The furnishings are similar, regardless of unit size, with white linens and wood accents and cabinetry. All units have bedside lamps and outlets, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi.
The studio units are essentially standard hotel rooms with a kitchenette containing a coffeemaker, refrigerator, and basic dishes and glassware.
In the larger one-bedroom suites, there’s a living room with a fireplace and sleep sofa, a full kitchen with everything you’d need to prepare meals for the family, and a dining table or bar counter where you can eat.
The master bedrooms are typically furnished with a king-sized bed and a sliding door that leads directly onto the water-view terrace.
Handy for families, too, are the in-suite washing machine and dryer.
The one-bedroom units have a half-bath near the entry door, as well as a spacious full bath. Some units have both showers and deep soaker tubs.
Facilities and Services
The Beach Club has a small fitness room that feels larger, because of the windows that look directly into the indoor pool.
The pool isn’t long enough for lap swimmers, but there’s enough room for the youngsters to splash and play.
The hotel’s restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily; in the evenings, the menu highlights steak, from beef raised in northern BC. The beachfront patio is a popular spot for cocktails.
The beach in front of the hotel seems to go on for miles, with a boardwalk for strolling and a broad, flat expanse of sand — even wider at low tide — that makes a great spot for kids to explore and play.
In summer, you can rent kayaks and other equipment at the beachfront.
A family-friendly beach holiday needs a family-friendly beach, of course. And the Beach Club in Parksville, British Columbia, certainly has plenty of beach.
Parksville is on the east coast of Vancouver Island, north of the city of Nanaimo. BC Ferries provides regular car and passenger ferry service between Horseshoe Bay, near the city of Vancouver on the mainland and Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal. It’s a good idea to make your ferry reservation in advance if you’re bringing a car, particularly on weekends and throughout the summer season.
From Departure Bay, it’s a 30- to 35-minute drive to Parksville.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. The Beach Club, in partnership with Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism and Tourism Vancouver Island, arranged my stay for review purposes.