For a small mountain town, Fernie, British Columbia, has a surprising number of cool places to stay.
On previous trips to this region — on the BC side of the Canadian Rockies — I stayed in a restored school turned into stylish condominiums and in an upscale, boutique B&B.
And this time, on a road trip from Vancouver through the Kootenay-Rockies region, I stayed in my own tiny house.
Here’s the scoop:
The Tiny Homes at Snow Valley Lodging
Located along Highway 3, where the roadway slows down and runs through the town of Fernie, Snow Valley Lodging started life as a roadside motel. When the owners decided to expand, rather than adding more motel rooms, they constructed six tiny homes.
Each tiny house has a living area, kitchen, and bathroom on the main floor, and a loft bedroom upstairs. It could sleep four, although you might feel a bit cramped, unless at least two of those four were small children.
The living room has a sofa bed and a table that folds into the wall, which serves as a dining area or desk.
The kitchen is compact yet well-stocked for cooking, with a coffee maker, electric kettle, toaster, stove, oven, and fridge, as well as dishes, glassware, and pots and pans. The one thing the kitchen lacks is a microwave, which I found to be a minor inconvenience when I wanted to heat up the leftovers I’d brought home from my dinner.
A stairway leads upstairs to the sleeping loft (much easier to access than via a ladder, as I’ve seen in other tiny homes). The loft is outfitted with a queen mattress, wall-mounted bedside tables, and at least some space to store your belongings. Most adults could sit up in bed but not stand in the loft area.
There are TVs in both the bedroom and living area, as well as Wi-Fi throughout the house. Air-conditioning keeps you comfortable on summer days; in winter, you can warm up with the in-floor heating.
Outdoors, in a courtyard between the six tiny homes, is a lovely sitting area with dining tables and chairs, sofas, and a fire pit — a excellent space for hanging out if your tiny house starts feeling too tiny. There’s an indoor gathering space that guests can reserve as well.
Snow Valley Lodging provides complimentary bikes to guests, and there’s a small hot tub on the property, as well as a guest laundry.
Motel Rooms, Too
Snow Valley Lodging started life as a basic, two-story motel, and they still offer two dozen rooms in their motel building. While they’re not quite as cute as the tiny homes, many of the guest units have been updated with paneled walls, quilted throws, and amenities that include coffee makers, mini-fridges, and microwaves.
Rooms come in a range of sizes and types, from units with a single queen bed, two doubles, or a queen plus a sofa bed, to several larger suites with kitchen facilities. Not all the rooms have been renovated as recently, so ask before booking if you have specific requirements.
From Snow Valley Lodging, it’s a 10- to 15-minute walk to Fernie’s downtown, where you can learn about the region’s history at the Fernie Museum, grab a coffee at Rooftop Coffee Roasters or Mugshots, or dig into a gourmet brunch at the Blue Toque Gastro Diner, a revamped space in the town’s former train station that also houses a local art gallery.
But Fernie is all about the outdoors. Go for a walk along Maiden Lake or follow one of the hiking trails along the Elk River or into the hills. Fernie Alpine Resort is a short drive from town, drawing skiers and snowboarders in winter, and mountain bikers and hikers when the snow melts.
Whatever adventures you find, though, the tiny homes at Snow Valley Lodging are especially cute spots to come home to.
Rates for standard double rooms at Snow Valley Lodging start at about CAD$134/night, while nightly rates for the tiny homes begin at CAD$209. You can also compare rates and make reservations at Booking.com.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Destination British Columbia, Kootenay-Rockies Tourism, and Tourism Fernie, in partnership with Snow Valley Lodging, provided support for my Kootenay-Rockies research trip.