Historic Hospitality at the Hume Hotel

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Historic Hospitality at the Hume Hotel

By John Bowden

The Hume Hotel rightly markets itself as “Antique, Chic, Boutique”. To that I would add it also offers the “Peak” of service and dining.

For over a century the stately hotel has been providing visitors with a refined stay in the heart of Nelson. Constructed in 1898, the hotel celebrates its rich heritage while offering modern conveniences and amenities.

Like many small businesses in Nelson, the Hume Hotel is a family labour of love. General Manager, Ryan Martin has taken over the reigns from his parents and is steering the hotel through its most ambitious renovations in decades.

“The vision was to create a feeling of authentic nostalgia and history while incorporating modern conveniences without looking like a typical hotel renovation you see everywhere you go” said Martin. “It’s a fresh new outlook while paying homage to our storied history. From the customer feedback we have received, I do believe we have pulled off this fine balance beautifully.”

The hard work is evident. You can feel the character and warmth of the hotel the moment you walk in the front door. The reception is genuinely friendly, building on a tradition as old as the charming key box behind the front desk (picture the lobby from the movie Grand Budapest Hotel and you’ll get the idea).

A variety of on-site restaurants offer a distinctive dining experience. “The great thing about this hotel is that you have one incredibly large menu that has something for everyone coupled with three different eating establishments to choose from.  One environment is family friendly, one is more intimate with weekly live jazz and the other is more casual pub style” noted Martin.

Mike’s Place Pub is a local institution. With all sorts of thoughtfully curated memorabilia and design touches, a walk through the pub is a bit like strolling through Nelson’s past. Dishes range from fresh fish tacos to AAA steaks, putting it firmly in gastropub territory. Plus, the close relationship with the beloved Nelson Brewing Company means that it’s almost like a brewpub onsite. A wide range of their beers is on tap, and word is that limited releases from NBC will be available exclusively at Mike’s Place too.

The unique parlour-like atmosphere of the Library Lounge is oozing with character. Brass fixtures and accents, a polished wood bar, and draped ceilings are just some of the historic touches that make this a truly unique experience. It’s also the only venue in town with regular live jazz.

The family-friendly General Store restaurant is a go-to destination for any meal. A full breakfast is served here and included for overnight guests (think Eggs Benny, not pop-tarts). Featuring legendary Oso Negro coffee is just one of the ways that the Hume keeps things local. Weekly specials, Sunday brunch, and Prime Rib dinner are some of the other treats you can expect.

Live music and events are often featured at Spiritbar, Nelson’s premiere entertainment venue. Located in the lower level of the Hume Hotel, it’s a spacious and contemporary spot that has hosted acts you’d expect to find in major urban centres.

And if you want to relax and pamper yourself, the recently opened Aura Spa on the second level is the place to go. Reflecting the boutique charm of the hotel, the stylish spa is eco-friendly and offers expert therapists. Plus, the spa just received a liquor license. “Enjoying a cocktail or two while you receive a treatment will no doubt be one of the distinguishing factors of the spa” said Martin.

Rounding off the full-service hotel is an on-site liquor store. Although it may be small in size, the selection of fine wines, craft beers and premium spirits is carefully stocked.

If hotel fusion exists, this is it. Blending the best of heritage charm with modern comforts, the Hume Hotel is well poised to continue delivering legendary hospitality to guests.

Fitting Inn

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Fitting Inn

By John Bowden | Cover Photo Dancing Bear Inn patio

If you think motels and inns are just overnight rest stops for weary travellers, think again. In the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region there’s a wide range of charming options that will tempt you to extend your stay.

Cooking facilities can be found in many local inns, giving you the freedom to balance home-cooked meals with the delicious fare found in over 75 restaurants in the region. Plus, the affordability of an inn means you’ve got a little more left over for that prized shopping find or outdoor activity you’ve been dreaming about.

The Dancing Bear Inn in Nelson is a comfortable, stylish and social option for backpackers and free spirits. Located at a quiet end of Baker Street, the hostel has a cozy common area and décor that feels an awful lot like an elegant backcountry lodge. Private and shared rooms give you the option of your own space or mingling with fellow travellers.

At the other end of Baker Street is the popular Mountain Hound Inn. Modern, comfortable rooms start at just $84 per night and have all the conveniences you’d expect to find in a larger hotel. With free wifi, A/C, HDTV’s, and private washrooms, it’s a mighty good bang for your buck. Plus, you’re in the heart of downtown Nelson and tons of amazing eateries.

Clean, cozy, and with a charming French country-style flair, the Prestige Inn Nelson is a great choice too. Located on the edge of Lakeside Park, it’s a fantastic location for outdoor enthusiasts. Bonus: you’ll get access to all the amenities at the larger Prestige Lakeside Resort, including indoor pool and hot tub, spa, fitness centre and great restaurants.

Prestige Inn Nelson, BC

Just across the bridge is a pair of quiet inns. With private balconies, the North Shore Inn has some of the best views in town overlooking Kootenay Lake. Spacious suites including fridges, A/C, and free wifi make for a great home base to explore the region.

The vew of Kootenay Lake from the North Shore Inn.

Next-door is the Villa Motel, com plete with an on-site restaurant, indoor salt swimming pool and hot tub, and complimentary continental breakfast. It’s a short scenic walk over the bridge and to the beach at Lakeside Park, or a 3 minute drive to Pulpit Rock, Nelson’s local hiking trail.

Kokanee Glacier Resort is another great option, overlooking Kootenay Lake and a short drive to Nelson. Suites include a full kitchen, living room, and access to the lush landscaped property with wonderful views.

Further east on Kootenay Lake is Cedars Lakeshore Inn & Marina near Balfour. This home away from home features four fully equipped kitchenettes. Open year-round, it’s an ideal spot for water and golfing enthusiasts. Set your clock to “relax” and enjoy the quiet comfort of the area.

If you’re looking for somewhere even quieter, consider a stay at the quaint Ainsworth Motel. Overlooking Kootenay Lake, the affordable inn features kitchen units, front decks, BBQ access and picnic tables for the perfect summer getaway. Plus, it’s only a two-minute walk to the famous natural hot pools.

The charming town of Kaslo offers a variety of lodging options, including the family friendly Kaslo Motel. Located between the historic Main Street and the stunning Kaslo River trail, the motel features a mix of cabins and motel rooms. Most rooms feature A/C and some are also pet friendly.

Whether you’re looking for budget-friendly or just good old-fashioned friendly hospitality, you’ll find the perfect fit in the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region. Our digital map can help you see what's where all along the lake, and our calendar lists all their is to do. So much to discover -  |  #findingawesome

Choose Your Own Adventure

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Choose Your Own Adventure

By John Bowden Cover Photo: Tamarack Media Co.

What do you get when you mix a hip hotel with a trendy coffee shop, classy steakhouse, and a bustling sports bar? A one-stop shop for adventurers, foodies and travellers with style.

Nelson’s iconic Adventure Hotel offers guests all these amenities and more. General Manager, Rob Little said that after previous owner and visionary Danny Rickaby passed away “we did some soul searching about why we do what we do. Ultimately, we care about people, and get a rush on guests having a great time.”

Little noted that simplicity and convenience is a huge part of the guest experience. “We try to create an experience that’s easy for guests. We can take care of bookings for activities like ziplining, skiing, golfing. We’ve added thoughtful touches like USB chargers in every room too.”

Billed as a modern, European-style hotel, it offers a variety of room types for all budgets. Budget rooms are $80/night, Economy rooms go for $114/night, and Deluxe are $144/night. All include access to the communal lounge/kitchen, while the outdoor patio, infrared sauna and gym are available as you go up in room types.

With three dining options on site, fresh food is at the heart of the hotel. “We’re passionate about great food, and take guest satisfaction personally. Our culinary team wants each plate to be a special experience for every guest.”

Empire Coffee adds to Nelson’s reputation as a café mecca. The coffee is superb (they serve Stumptown roasters) but it’s the atmosphere that really makes the place stand out. The glassed-in solarium provides an unbeatable combo of lake views and people watching. And don’t miss the fresh baked goodies – they’re worth every calorie.

Sports fans will feel right at home in the Uptown Tavern. With over 25 HD TVs, 7 draft taps (including a bunch of great Nelson Brewing Company ales and a rotating tap), and a menu that features everything from gourmet pizzas to BBQ back ribs to mussels, this is Nelson’s most popular spot to catch the big game or to plan your own adventure.

Louie’s Steakhouse serves up fine food (including unreal steaks) in a refined atmosphere. Choose from the extensive wine list or enjoy one of their handcrafted cocktails or local beers on tap. If you’d rather dine outside, savour your meal on the new patio and enjoy the stunning lake and mountain views.

With a modern and large private room also available, it’s a great spot to hold a special event or meeting. Take advantage of the selection of mouth-watering options catered by Louie’s, including prime rib, wild BC salmon, and free-range chicken.

And if all of that wasn’t enough, right next door to the hotel is the Grand Liquor Store, with one of the largest selections of beers, ciders, wines and spirits in the region.

Whether you’re staying on site or just looking for a great place to eat, mingle or relax, the Adventure Hotel offers an experience for every taste.

You’ve Found that Prestigious Feeling

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You’ve Found that Prestigious Feeling

By John Bowden

If your idea of summer living involves lots of lake time, look no further than the Prestige Lakeside Resort in Nelson for the ultimate getaway. The only waterfront hotel in town offers unparalleled views and ideal access to recreational and relaxing options, and is just a short walk to Nelson’s thriving downtown.

“We pride ourselves on offering our guests a resort experience with a variety of on-site options for them to experience” said General Manager, John Le Bleu. “From water activities like kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding that are available right out our door, to the fantastic dining options of West Coast Grill and Yesaki’s Wine and Raw Bar, guests really can experience the best of the outdoors – and indoors – without needing to venture far from the resort.”

The recently opened Yesaki’s Raw and Wine Bar sets a new standard for Asian fusion cuisine in the Kootenays. Creative sushi, fine wine, and a polished, minimalist décor make this an elegant dining experience. You might be tempted to admire your surroundings despite the expansive windows looking out to the water.

The West Coast Grill is also on-site, and features the largest and most breathtaking patio in town. Take your pick of what to focus on; the marina, mountains, Kootenay Lake, Nelson’s signature Big Orange Bridge (BOB), and the Trans Canada Trail all compete for your attention. Or maybe you’ll be swayed by the fresh food and drink. Either way, it’s the perfect spot to soak up the sunshine and share summer moments with friends.

If you’d prefer to sit inside, the restaurant tastefully blends a nautical theme with gastropub flair. The menu reflects BC’s coastal bounty, with fresh seafood ranging from Albacore Tuna Tower to Cedar Wrap Salmon. Landlubbers will also find tasty options including Ginger Chili Short Ribs and Braised Lamb Shank. Pair your order with a pint of fresh local beer from NBC and you’ve got a winning combo.

The resort also features Juniper’s Bistro, serving up fair trade organic coffee, smoothies, sandwiches and fresh baked goods. Eat in or take your goodies with you on a walk along the waterfront pedestrian pathway that extends on either side of the hotel.

And if all this food leaves you craving for some outdoor exercise, the resort has guests covered. Le Bleu notes that the hotel is now pleased to offer a great selection of items available for free borrowing by guests.  “We have bikes, beach toys, volleyball and soccer balls, baseball gloves, binoculars, kids toys, and board games – all are available for free to guests who are staying with us.”

The full-service Santosha Spa is also located on-site, and the resort features an indoor pool and hot tub too. A salon, fitness room and convention centre round out the list of amenities, and of course complimentary wifi is included.

Put it all together and you might need to extend your stay to discover the rest of the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region.

Suite Stays in the West Kootenays

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Suite Stays in the West Kootenays

By John Bowden

Nothing quite says Kootenay Time like staying at a bed and breakfast. Picture charming inns, gorgeous views, and mouth watering meals – it’s just the recipe for a peaceful stay on Kootenay Lake. Good news - there’s a B&B for every taste in our region.

Kastlerock Bed and Breakfast is located a few minutes walk from downtown Nelson. The adult oriented inn offers two contemporary styled suites and private bathrooms. Soaring mountain views from the covered deck or from the thoughtfully furnished parlor invite you to linger. Hosts Mike and Janice also provide a gourmet breakfast overlooking Kootenay Lake.

Just outside of Nelson is the spectacular Blaylock Mansion. Nestled amidst three acres of manicured gardens, the charming inn also offers a pool and private tennis court. Eight tastefully decorated rooms invite guests to linger at the heritage property and enjoy the peaceful oasis. Savoury breakfasts provided by hosts Michelle and Mark Giesbrecht add a taste of home to this boutique experience.

If you’re looking for waterfront views, it’s tough to beat the Willow Point Beach House. Larry and Sheila’s cozy B&B is located a short drive east of Nelson on the shores of Kootenay Lake. The two suites have access to the beach and water amenities such as a canoe, kayaks, paddleboat, volleyball and badminton. There’s also a shared BBQ and lush grassy areas for those keen to just relax.

Annie’s Bed and Breakfast is a great choice if you’re in to golfing. Located in Balfour, just minutes from the Osprey Mountain Golf Course, this summery inn offers two bedrooms and a cozy sitting area. To help you get your game on, breakfasts are included at the golf course.

If fishing is more your sport, consider a stay at Kootenay Wild B&B. This stunning mountain residence offers grand views of Kootenay Lake, and provides fishing charters and other outdoor services.

The recently renovated True Blue Lodge in Kaslo is another great accommodation option. Each suite offers full kitchens, comfortable queen beds, and modern amenities. If you’re keen to enjoy some of the comforts of home while on vacation in scenic Kaslo, True Blue Lodge is a stellar choice.

If you’ve been dreaming of a log cabin getaway, Logden Lodge is where it’s at. The rustic yet luxurious cabins blend character with comfort in a secluded forest near Ymir, about 20 minutes from Nelson. Each of the four private cabins offers cooking facilities, fireplace, and BBQ. It’s like having an alpine hut all to yourself. Their environmental efforts have earned them a Gold award from Green Tourism Canada, so you can rest comfortably knowing that you are treading lightly.

And if you’re looking ahead to winter, our region offers a variety of amazing backcountry lodges for you to discover our killer powder. Baldface Lodge, Retallack Lodge, Selkirk Snowcat Skiing, and White Grizzly Cat Skiing are all bucket list destinations.

Whether you’re cooking up your own tasty breakfast or indulging in a home-cooked meal from your hosts, the B&Bs in the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region are sure to hit the spot.

Staying in Style

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Staying in Style

By John Bowden  |  Cover Photo: The Tremont Loft

Want to take your next trip to Kootenay Lake to the next level? Consider one of the region’s boutique accommodation options and you’ll be staying in style.

Discover Nelson’s rich heritage with a stay at the venerable Hume Hotel. Built in 1898, this granddaddy of a property has been recently renovated to provide the latest comforts amidst classic surroundings. Indulge in the refined Aura Salon & Spa or explore the four on-site eateries, including Mike’s Place Pub, the go-to spot for locals and visitors. Don’t miss nipping in for a drink at the Library Lounge too – it oozes history and character.

If you’re looking for something a little cozier, the newly updated Cloudside Hotel offers just eight contemporary designed guest rooms. The former Bed and Breakfast is just a block from historic Baker Street, and is one of the best examples of Nelson’s iconic Victorian architecture. The front terraces are ideal for enjoying the views and exploring the variety of nearby eateries and shops.

Want an even more intimate stay? Look no further than the brand new Tremont Loft on Baker Street. Lovingly restored and designed by the owners of iconic Cartolina on the street front level, the loft is the ideal self-contained stay for discerning travellers. High ceilings, vintage furnishings, and spacious surroundings overlook downtown. Don’t miss staying here if you’re a true heritage buff.

For those seeking a more modern feel, the Prestige Lakeside Resort is the answer. The waterfront inn offers unparalleled views of Kootenay Lake and the local marina. Stay in a lake view room for the best vistas coupled with elegant interior design and comfort. Three restaurants on site tempt the taste buds, led by the sunny patio at the West Coast Grill. Plus, it’s only a short walk up to downtown.

Soaking in the soothing waters of Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort is one thing, but staying on site takes your visit to another level. A comfortable selection of guest rooms at the resort includes complimentary access to the pools. Experience a fuller rejuvenation with a treatment at Spirit Water Spa, and top it off with a gourmet meal at Ktunaxa Grill, both located on site.

Further north along Kootenay Lake is the historic small town of Kaslo, and the luxurious Kaslo Hotel. Built on the same site as the original hotel from 1896, today’s fully modernized version reflects a similar classic look from a century ago. Opened in 2009, the hotel blends an energy efficient design with current conveniences. It makes for the ideal base to explore Kaslo and savour the stunning waterfront views.

If you’re seeking a little more solitude in natural surroundings, Wing Creek Resort is a must visit. Elegant cottages in the woods make for a romantic getaway and the perfect spot to experience a little slice of mountain and lake paradise. Kayaking, whitewater rafting, ziplining, caving, golfing, hiking and fishing are all nearby. The self-contained cottages allow you to make your own delicious meals or it's just a short drive to Kaslo. 

Check out the Nelson and Kootenay Lake Tourism website for further details on these boutique accommodation options and make your next trip one to savour!

Ski, Sleep & Repeat

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Ski, Sleep & Repeat

By John Bowden

It’s going on three months now that Nelson is looking like a snow globe. The forecasts for La Niña were bang on - it’s been dumping consistently since mid-December, with no end in sight.

The skiing has been all kinds of awesome at Whitewater Ski Resort. Stories of unreal powder days can be heard in the bustling pubs and streets of downtown. The energy is wickedly contagious.

With the calendar flipping over to March, and more snow in the forecast, there’s no better time to pack your bags for the Kootenays.

It’s also a great time to spend a few nights at some of Nelson’s most prominent accommodations and enjoy their recent renovations.

The historic Hume Hotel has been hard at work renovating their rooms and adding a boutique spa. The rooms still retain their heritage charm while offering modern amenities and a stylish feel. Plus, the hotel boasts some of the most happening dining options in town.

Situated on one of Nelson’s most prominent locations, the Baker Street Inn completed improvements earlier this winter. Their rooms are tastefully modern and a good bet for those seeking a comfortable stay in the heart of town.

Sitting on the edge of Kootenay Lake, the Prestige Resort is also undergoing upgrades. With over 100 rooms, it’s the largest hotel in town, and offers all the services (including a pool and hot tub) that you could ask for. The view from the lakeside rooms is unbeatable. Ask for a room on the 3rd floor if you'd like an extra level of elegance. And don’t miss dining at Yesaki or the West Coast Grill on site. 

If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, check out the highly rated Cloudside Hotel. Previously operating as a popular bed & breakfast, the local owners have added a couple of additional rooms to this charming property. Although breakfasts are no longer included, it now gives you the chance to sample a variety of local favorites and flavours out the front door.

There are plenty of other great accommodation options in town too, or further up the lake in Kaslo. The Kaslo Motel has recently renovated it's reception area giving customers an even better welcome!  The rooms are clean, quiet and have an authenticy Kootenay feel. 

Nearby Ainsworth Hot Springs, both the Resort and the Motel have taken on some big and small changes enhancing the visitors experience. Both cater to travellers all year round, and with the Hot Springs right there, it's a perfect match after a day of skiing.

Part of the allure in visiting the Nelson and Kootenay Lake area for a ski vacation is the distinctly non-resort feel here. You won’t find a huge base lodge with condos, restaurants and sprawling development up at the hill. Unlike most ski resorts, Whitewater isn’t even open in the summer. The focus is just on providing skiers with unforgettable days on the slopes.

Mother Nature has been particularly generous this season. There’s been more than 900cm of snow as of the end of February. That’s more than twice as much as some of the ski areas in the Rockies. Just saying.

No wonder the stoke level is still high with the anticipation of more snow to come in March. Epic powder days plus cozy lodging in one of North America’s most acclaimed ski towns is tough to beat!

Logden Lodge has perfectly blended luxury and rustic

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Logden Lodge has perfectly blended luxury and rustic

Photos and Story by: Leigh McAdam of

For Rustic Luxury, Nature And Privacy There’s Nothing Else Like Logden Lodge declares Annelies Ellerman. She and her partner Paul Hulshoff have created a retreat in the Kootenay Mountains that is as close to perfection as you’ll find in the boutique lodging category in western Canada.

Sitting on 42 acres of private forest and bordering backcountry wilderness, the lodge is the culmination of a life-long dream. Both Annelies and Paul have worked all over the world – often in “hotspots” like Iran and Sudan, with Annelies working as a diplomat on behalf of the Dutch government and Paul working with the United Nations. Both of them were ready for the “Freedom And Serenity Of The Outdoors.”

Logden Lodge does not offer the full service Four Seasons type of luxury lodging. Instead what you’ll find is a place where you’re surrounded by natural beauty outdoors while indoors you can enjoy all the comforts of home in an aesthetically pleasing environment – one that is loaded with paintings and one-off art pieces collected by Annelies and Paul on their travels. And when they say privacy they mean it here. Each one of the four lodges sits well apart from the others so you have the sense that you’re the only people in the forest. There is WiFi and a phone should you need to call, but you won’t find a television.

Leigh McAdam, creator of has written about her full experience at Logden Lodge. Read more...

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