We love our summers at Shawnigan Lake, where we swim off the dock, tend our garden, cycle the countryside, enjoy a great meal and retire with a glass of wine by the campfire in the evening. We invite you to stay on our 2/3 acre lakefront property in your own self-contained carriage-house suite and enjoy a bit of cottage living on the lake this summer.
This sweet and simple studio suite has a max. occupancy of two people and is suitable for an active couple who love to sip a morning coffee on the dock, swim out to the diving platforms and jump!, laze on a lawn chair with a good book, paddle a tandem kayak around the lake, try some fresh organic veggies from the garden share an evening campfire and stargaze with a glass of wine.
We are on a lake on an island in the ocean so there is lots to explore! For cyclists, we are perfectly located next to the Trans-Canada Trail for an easy ride to the Kinsol Trestle, or take a day trip around Shawnigan Lake or through the pastoral Cowichan Valley with its many nearby wineries and markets.
Our location is an easy 40 minute drive into historic Victoria, and only 20 minutes to funky Cowichan Bay where you can rent kayaks or whale watch, followed by fish & chips and a beer on a seaside patio.
The Cottage Suite is a second story carriage-house style apartment, which means over our storage garage, with access from an exterior stairway. The suite is 500 sq. ft. and includes an open concept living/kitchen/eating area, a queen-sized bed in a screened off area of the apartment, and a bathroom with a shower. There are two small balconies, one with a view to the lake, the other south-facing with a small table and chairs in a sunny spot. The kitchen is fully equipped with most pots, dishes, utensils and the basic spices you will need. We provide all linens, bathroom towels, beach towels, and cozy blankets for sitting outside during our cooler coastal evenings. Wireless internet is available and access to our laundry facilities if needed.
The Property: The 2/3 acre property is flat and mostly grassed with a mix of maple, spruce and several majestic Douglas Fir trees. The property is bisected by a small narrow service road for our cul-de-sac. You have to cross this road from the suite and our main cottage to get to the lake & beach area but it is like crossing your driveway. Our old deaf dog used to meander back and forth all day long – the traffic is minimal and local.
On the lake-side of the road, a grassy lawn leads down to the lake where there is a swing, a large dock with a slide, a lily pond natural area on one side, and a small sandy beach area on the other. Entry into the water from the beach is a very gradual slope with a nice sandy bottom. The lake is great for swimming/kayaking/canoeing, sailing, and fishing. For a little thrill you can swim out to a public-use wooden dock in the middle of our bay, where you can climb a ladder to jump or dive off the high platform. There are plenty of motorboats and water skiing on the lake, but our bay is fairly protected from the high traffic and our neighbours are wonderful.
We have a fenced-in veggie garden at the back of our property, and if you like to garden, we’ll hand you a weeding tool.
As a guest, we would like you to have access to all of our 2/3 acre property, except the private patio/garden directly behind our main cottage where we will be living during your stay. The lawn area at the lakefront and the dock are great places for guests to hang out. We have a tandem sit-on-top kayak which you are welcome to use, and there is space for storage of bikes in our garage if needed. There is a large driveway that can accommodate your vehicle. The laundry machines are in the main cottage, but we can give you access if needed during your stay.
We spend time on the dock, at the campfire and in the garden, so you will be sharing these spaces with us. We might be off on a day-trip, or a few hour bicycle ride, but most of the time will be available for questions, ideas for activities, or if you need some crucial piece of kitchen equipment for cooking a meal.
Shawnigan Lake is a 7 mile long lake, 20 minutes inland from the east coast of Vancouver Island. "A lake on an island in the ocean." The lake is active with water-ski boats, fishing, sailing, paddle boards and kayaks. There are several islands on the lake, one of which is a provincial park with public access. Our bay is fairly protected from some of the busier boating activity. Shawnigan Lake is located in the beautiful pastoral Cowichan Valley filled with many wineries and a cidery where you can spend time in their tasting rooms or enjoying their on-site restaurants. Local food and wine is a serious past-time in the Cowichan and Shawnigan area. For a longer day-trip we are a 40 minute drive to historic Victoria, a beautiful city and harbour with lots of sightseeing opportunities. It's a 20 minute drive to the ocean and the quaint seaside town of Cowichan Bay where there are excellent ocean kayak rentals and a whale watching company. You can also drive 30 minutes to the Salt Spring Island Ferry crossing at Crofton, and have a daytrip to the Salt Spring Saturday Market.
If you are a cyclist, there are many routes we can suggest along the roads in the valley, and we are a block from the Trans-Canada Trail. The Trail is a hard-packed gravel path that runs for miles through the forest and much of it is along a former railway route. The famous Kinsol Trestle, one of the largest wooden trestles in the world, is along the Trail and spans a deep gorge in a forested area only 7 kms from our cottage – it is a stunning location and an engineering feat.
Most guests will need a vehicle to get around because of the rural location. However, it is possible for serious cyclists to travel to our location. There is bus transit from the lake to areas around the Cowichan Valley, the town of Duncan, and into the City of Victoria. The nearest bus stop is 5 kms from our cottage.
Coastal weather is hard to predict, but we have plenty of great weather and sunshine in the summer. The lake is typically like glass in the morning, perfect for kayaking, paddle-boarding or swimming. We usually spend several hours on the dock with our morning coffee, enjoying the beauty of the lake. Sometimes the afternoons can be windier on the lake, and we usually head out on our day-trips then. Surprisingly we rarely get rain in the summer, but the temperatures can be cooler especially in the evenings due to the proximity of the ocean. We usually sit outside in the evenings but with a cozy blanket (which we will provide for you.) We often have a campfire in the evenings on the lake-side, which you are welcome to join, or take one of the chairs onto the dock to star-gaze.
Dinah and Paul were wonderful hosts. Super nice people that were incredibly accommodating. The studio was roomy, especially the kitchen, and it had a very comfortable feel to it. Diving off their dock into Shawnigan Lake 15 minutes after arriving and chilling in the sun was the perfect way to relax into our stay. We followed the swim up with grilling a steak for dinner and enjoying it and a glass of wine on the private deck.
Additionally, Dinah and Paul went above and beyond to make our stay pleasurable. They had starter foods such as eggs, yummy muffins, coffee, butter, and homemade jam in the large kitchen. If you are heading to Shawnigan Lake anytime soon you would be a fool not to stay with these great folks in their comfortable studio. We look forward to staying with them again during our next trip out to the island.
A wonderfull place to spend some very happy days. Our hosts were very kind and we would like to come back one day.
I stayed only one marvelous night in Dinah and Paul’s Shawnigan Lake cottage suite while on a road trip from Portland, OR to Vancouver and the Gulf islands. I arrived late and was immediately invited lakeside to join Dinah and Paul around a blazing campfire – I knew at that moment I would regret having booked only one night.
The suite was exceptionally cozy; comfortable; peaceful, and sparkling clean. There were complimentary light, healthy breakfast fixings and delicious coffee which I enjoyed while sitting on the deck appreciating a view of the lake before heading out for a delightful morning swim. Diving from the deck was fantastic; only to be surpassed by an early morning kayak paddle across the lake.
Before leaving Dinah and Paul lent me a bike and rode with me along the TransCanada trail to the amazing Kinsol Trestle; they truely are lovely, warm hosts.
I was reluctant to leave and made it known I will be back in the coming weeks. After all,it’s not so far from Portland to the Cowichan valley.
Staying with Dinah and Paul was the best thing that my Fiancee and I have done all summer. The detached loft was quiet, and private which was just what we wanted and we had every amenity that we needed to make our stay comfortable. The property is beautiful, and the hosts were top notch. Needless to say, we are coming back next year!
This is the final rate, including any fees from the host and Airbnb.