Goodbye Winter Wonderland

We’ve had a beautiful winter winter this year. . .but is it ever good to see that it is finally warming up and spring is here.  Here is a tribute to those gorgeous winter island days.

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Time flies – can’t believe we are prepping for our 4th summer season!

AhoyGuesthouse2013Its been a little under three years since we first opened in May 2013 with excitement and a little apprehension about what was going to happen.  We decided to open on quite short notice and accomplished a ton of work to do so. Our first challenge after opening was the fridge dying within the first few weeks – so much for buying used. We had to quickly replace it with the only other type of full fridge that would fit in the space we had for it.  Challenges like these continued as in any business but we were able to meet them and improve the space along the way. Over the years, guest feedback and our own travel experiences has had us enhance the space for guests. We have added kitchen items such as a crockpot, blender, etc. and other useful items such as spare sheets, hair dryer, more games and DVDs.  We have added a screen on the patio door and created more privacy by adding a blind on the living room window and a privacy screen on the door.

Barnacled ClamshellBut the real learning has been in discovering just how much fun it is to meet people from all over the world and share our beautiful little island community with them.  Each year we have had a variety of guests from solos to couples to families and groups of friends. Some have been here for quiet and reflection, some to visit friends and relatives, and many are here to explore and experience island living.  There have been many highlights including watching our daughter interact with Flemish speaking kids using google translate and mime, witnessing the enthusiasm of guests seeing starfish and other sealife for the first time, listening to kids playing happily in our backyard while their parents relaxed, chatting and sharing stories, and many many more.

The continued positive reviews from all of our guest is incredibly gratifying and definitely keeps us going. Check some of them out on our testimonials page.

We are looking forward to another great year!

 

Airbnb rocks!

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Hanging out at our favourite Airbnb place in Martinique!

During our first summer as hosts, we also got our first experience as guests through Airbnb during a jaunt to Seattle. There were so many choices of places to stay!  We ended up choosing the Coocoo’s Nest, a lovely studio apartment with a nautical theme.  Karen, our host, was wonderful and gave us all kinds of pointers about where to go and what to see.  We were impressed (and we would highly recommend her place).

Then last Fall we had the opportunity to stay at a cute little barn-like cabin on Saltspring Island. Very romantic and funky with a cozy fireplace.  Another hit so when we planned a month-long trip to Martinique, we decided to use Airbnb to find our accommodation.

Booking for a full month with a number of intended destinations gave us the chance to really learn about how the Airbnb booking system works from the guest perspective. It took us a while to get the hang of it, especially sorting out what places were already taken in a given town and time period, but once we got used to it the system worked well. We had a host cancel on us and Airbnb provided fast, friendly, and helpful service and even gave us credit to book a different place for slightly more than we had originally paid. In the end, we were able to book a range of experiences including a studio in a former resort hotel, a 40 foot yacht (the hands-down favourite!), a cute bungalow recently built as a vacation rental, and a ground-floor suite with a very cheery host who helped us discover Martinique’s amazing Carnaval.

While there were things we liked and disliked at each location, overall each place was quite well equipped and communication with the hosts went smoothly.  We had a great time and saved money as well.  And we came home with ideas of little things that we can do to make Ahoy Guesthouse even better for our own guests!

We loved our outdoor dining room with a view

We loved our outdoor dining room with a view in Sainte Anne.

Another Excellent Year

Pride Parade Fun

Pride Parade Fun

We feel blessed to have had another wonderful year with Ahoy Guesthouse.  We have had guests periodically in the off season and we were fully booked all summer.  Guests came from across North America and as far away as Belgium and France.  Chatting with our guests and sharing information about Protection Island and the region has been a lot of fun.  Our 12 year old was able to hang out with kids from all over – even having to communicate via hand signals and apps when she didn’t speak the same language as the guest children.  We particularly enjoyed having some guests stay with us for the second year in a row.

Protection Island Heron Colony

Protection Island Heron Colony

Protection Island had another busy year and guests were able to enjoy musical events at the pub, a pride parade, local musicians playing outdoor concerts, boat races, and much more.  All that on top of swimming in the summer, walking around the island, viewing wild deer and other animals, relaxing in front of the woodstove in winter, visiting Nanaimo and Newcastle Island, and more.

Boaters returning from Newcastle Island

Boaters returning from Newcastle Island

A huge thank you to all of our guests for the opportunity to host you, and to all of our friends and neighbours who have provided us with referrals and lots of other support.

Ahoy Guesthouse planter

Ahoy Guesthouse flowers

The Song of Sea Lions and Other Animals in our Yard

Not too long ago we were inside and heard this curious sound we couldn’t identify. . . we walked out the front door and were greeted by the loud barking of sea lions!  Of course, we rushed down the trail to the beach to see just how close they were.  Turns out there were three groups of sea lions frolicking in the water close by.  We could see them hanging out with  one flipper out of the water, and watch them splashing around.  The sea gulls were out in force to see what the heck all that noise was about. What fun!

deer with border The sea lions didn’t actually make it to our yard, but we have had our share of creatures checking out Ahoy Guesthouse, including an otter that      once turned up on our front doorstep! Too bad we keep missing these photo ops.  The deer and racoons come pretty frequently though so we  have managed to catch them on film a few times: backyardracoon_2013

 

Rates updated & Bookings coming in!

Our 2014 rates are now posted and in effect. We are excited to find that we are already getting calls, inquiries, and bookings for this summer season!  If you had your heart set on visiting Ahoy Guesthouse in the summer, don’t delay if you want a good choice of dates.  This year we have introduced a new shoulder season rate in effect in May, June, and September.  Spring is a lovely time on the island with green and colour blossoming all around. The crocuses are already up and daffodils are very close!

Spring has arrived!

Spring has arrived!

Fall Specials extended into Spring!

Photo of rocky beach with snowy trees on a point and ocean behind.

Walking the beach is good for the soul year-round.

Come and experience island living on always beautiful and friendly Protection Island!  Come with a group of friends for a low-cost Friends Retreat in our large, cozy suite stocked with munchies, dvds, and games.  Or bring someone special to our Couples Getaway and enjoy a 60-minute massage each followed by wine and chocolate in front of the blazing woodstove.  For a quick trip, our low season rate per night rate of $88 (plus $20 cleaning fee per booking) has also been extended.

Ahoy Guesthouse is easily accessible from downtown Nanaimo via a quaint ferry, and is only a 20 minutes flight or 90 minute ferry ride (plus a short cab ride) from downtown Vancouver.

Go to https://ahoyguesthouse.com/reservations-4/specials/ for more details about these specials, and/or give us a call with any questions you may have.