Sometimes, a lady just needs a holiday. And not just any old holiday, which often involves headaches and penny pinching and a hotel room overlooking a dumpster and crack deal. Sometimes, a lady just needs to vacation like a rich person.
Enter 604pulse.com, and their recent contest to win a free 2-night stay in a villa at the relaxing, beautiful, and oh-so-luxurious Painted Boat Resort on the Sunshine Coast. On a whim, I entered the contest back in February, never expecting to think about it again. Until I won. Wooohooo! Nifty got a rich-person vacation!
On Friday, the TC and I packed our rental car (obtained super-cheap by booking through hotwire.com and by buying our insurance through ICBC instead of through the rental company, FYI) and headed up the Sunshine Coast. With the sun beaming down and a compilation of 90s alternative hits rocking the stereo, we enjoyed a pretty but winding drive to Madeira Park. We accidentally passed our turn twice but in no time at all we were at our destination.
And what a destination it is. Every villa at the Painted Boat resort has a waterfront view. Because it was off-season, the resort was fairly quiet and I suspect this is the reason we were bumped up from the standard two-bedroom villa I had won to a two-bedroom villa that also had a loft (this place was twice the size of our decently spacious apartment). The master bedroom had a king-sized bed and overlooked the bay. Its en suite bathroom had a huge stone-tiled shower and a massive bathtub. There was a fireplace. A large patio with a barbecue. A beautiful kitchen with granite counter tops. There was even a washer and dryer in one of the closets (which came in handy on our first morning when I spilled milk down my sleeve).
Needless to say, I spent my weekend “star-fishing” the massive bed, taking more baths than I needed, and “ballet dancing” all over the beautiful expansive hardwood (which of course becomes “figure skating” when you are wearing socks). Obviously, whenever we were in our villa, TC and I wore the plushy robes provided by the Painted Boat (my assumption is that rich people don’t restrict themselves by wearing actual clothes any more than they have to, I wouldn’t).
Though on Friday night we kept matters frugal by cooking supper ourselves (excellent steaks barbecued on waterfront patio, courtesy of my TC) and relaxing under the stars in the resort’s hot tub, for our second day we decided to live it rich and take advantage of the resort and its activities. Late afternoon massages at the Spa (I had a salt scrub first) put us in a lovely mood for dinner at the Restaurant at the Painted Boat. It was a luxurious, spendy, delicious day.
My favourite activity was actually the cheapest one–before our fancy massages and dinner, TC and I rented a double kayak from the Painted Boat and spent two sunny hours paddling around the bay and various little inlets near Madeira Park. During these two hours, in addition to the regular seagulls, geese, and crows, we saw the following wildlife:
- sea stars (purple, orange, and white)
- a cormorant (we think)
- a loon
- a bald eagle
- a blue heron
- clams and sand dollars beneath the water
- a crab being viciously killed and eaten by a crow
- a SEAL splashing around and having a great old time (he didn’t let us get too close though).
Basically, this place is awesome. I don’t have much more to say, except that my weekend was awesome. Not only is the Painted Boat itself a beautiful and beautifully located resort, its proximity to the rest of the wonders on the Sunshine Coast meant that after checking out on Sunday, TC and I were able to take a very short drive to hike in the Skookumchuck Rapids Provincial Park and make it back to the Langdale ferry before 4:00 pm.
Yeah…my weekend was awesome. Thank you so much to Robyn at 604Pulse and to Jennifer and Lori at the Painted Boat Resort for providing my TC and me with this amazing opportunity to live rich and relaxed for a glorious weekend on the Sunshine Coast. For all its being a 4 1/2 star resort, the Painted Boat retains a relaxed and outdoorsy atmosphere that was not at all stuffy or classist. My heart cries for the beautiful kitchen and the fabulously huge bathtub, but I am fully content and happy with my new memories of the unceasingly beautiful province of BC.
Disclosure: Not much to disclose, actually. Our stay at the Painted Boat was free because I won a random-draw contest held by 604Pulse.com. I do not believe any of the parties involved knew I was a blogger, and I certainly was not asked to blog about my visit.