Posted: Thu Mar 24 00:58:00 UTC 2022

Providing our guests the best experience possible is the goal of Bowen Island Accommodations. As our goals align, we are happy to work with Charles McNeill, the Eastman Waterfront Cottage owner.

Last August 2021, Charles and I sat down and talked about how to make the Eastman Waterfront Cottage even better. Armed with guest feedback, we created an action list, and Charles has been working on that list to make the Cottage the best it can be.   


We believe that our guests will love the new Casper QUEEN mattresses in both bedrooms. They will replace the double bed (only little tiny couples sleep in double beds anymore) and the two twin beds. After studying our groups of guests, we believe this will be more comfortable for all our families and couples. 

The latest feedback from guests is that they agree......THE NEW BEDS ARE EXCEPTIONALLY COMFORTABLE.  

What to do if 3 guests want to sleep in separate beds? We have the sofa bed in the living room that we can provide bedding, and we just need to have advance notice. 


Beautiful and classy stoneware has replaced the Corelle plates. In addition, newly updated jam-jar glasses. A mixture of contemporary style with retro 50s influence.  

Credit to Hyunjoo Lee for the beautiful food displayed on the new stoneware. 

Follow Hyunjoo's  Instagram/Dr. Girinssem to see more of her gorgeous and delicious plant-based food creations. 


We are now providing fresh coffee beans for your first pot of coffee (and a bit more) if you might have forgotten to bring your favorite brew.  

You will find a canister filled with Kirkland House Blend Medium Roast coffee beans. Freshly grind them for your first cup and enjoy. The House Blend is not too strong and not too weak.........but just right. 

Making a good pot of coffee requires good water.....There is no need to bring along bottles of water; the Eastman Cottage has the best Alkaline drinking water on tap. In addition, we provide a generous amount of beans, a coffee grinder, and a drip coffee maker with filters.

Do you wish to have a single cup? We also have a small French Press.  

Of course, we don't claim to satisfy all coffee connoisseurs, but we think we can provide you with a tasty alternative in a pinch. 

One of the areas we are still attempting to problem solve is the teeny-tiny bathroom shower and the curtain surrounding the shower. We value our guest's feedback, and we are hunting for an alternative that will make for a better shower experience. 

Charles has been exploring glass shower walls to replace the curtain. But the shower only measures 24" x 26", which is too small to maneuver inside. Can you imagine trying to bend over to pick up that bar of soap? 

We are still challenging our brains for a creative solution that will improve the space and satisfy most. 

As of Fall 2020, the Bowen Island Municipality passed approval for stand-alone homes to be legally rented as vacation rentals. It is a win-win for the homeowners as well as the neighbours.  

As a traveler, you need to be aware that we are licenced for 4 guests only and limited to 120 nights of rental per year. The limited nights create a considerable demand, so reserve your stay early to get your preferred dates. Don't miss out!!!

Tips on how to build a cozy wood fire this winter.

Posted: Thu Nov 19 01:30:00 UTC 2020

Most of our properties have air-tight, fireplace inserts, or freestanding wood stoves, providing cozy and efficient heat for the properties during our rainy off-season, October through April. The air-tight fireplaces are an alternative way to heat the properties saving on electric usage. Plus, with the right fire, an efficient burn then spews less smoke outside, making for better air quality.

  • Lazy Bowen Hideaway - fireplace insert
  • Eastman Waterfront Cottage - freestanding wood stove
  • Eastman Waterfront Retreat - fireplace insert
  • Weaver Waterfront Cottage - fireplace insert

  • The Lazy B Waterfront Suite currently has an older, less efficient wood stove.  Since the Suite is only 600 square feet, the woodstove does heat the space very quickly. We have a new airtight wood stove in the plans to replace the old stove. 
  • The Evergreen Cottage has an open fireplace, and guests are given a three-hour log to burn for their cozy ambiance for each night's stay.  

Since most of our guests come from the city (me included), most will benefit from the tips below on building an efficient fire. The goal is to have it burn at the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold..... "just right," says Goldilocks. A too-hot fire will send the heat up the flue and burn the firewood too quickly. A fire too cool will smoke, leaving creosote in the chimney and pollute the surrounding air. 

The fireplace inserts are an efficient way to heat the house, supplementing the electric baseboard heaters. In fact, the new Lazy Bowen Hideaway insert reduced electricity usage by 25%. 

STEP 1: Open the damper wide open. The above picture is the Hideaway insert. Other damper controls will vary. 

STEP 2: Starting with the first fire, light the newspaper, and let it flame up. This will warm the flue and help get a good draft for your fire.  Watch for it to start to burn the kindling and then the larger wood below. 

STEP 3: Once you see that the larger pieces of wood have a good burn, start to slide the damper control toward the closed position. You want to restrict the airflow into the insert to create a hot and slow burn.   

STEP 4: When you have a good hot coal base, and your smaller pieces of wood have burned down, add another large piece of wood to the fire. Each log will last about 2-3 hours when burned properly.  

Always secure the door in the closed position.

NOTE: MY EXPERIENCE IS THAT THE DAMPER OPENING IS OPTIMAL WHEN IT IS SLID JUST TO THE RIGHT OF CENTER.   The goal is to have hot red embers with blue flames on the logs, as pictured above.

THE FIRE IS TOO HOT WHEN THERE IS A LOT OF YELLOW FLAMES— You do not want yellow flames. The wood will burn too quickly, which isn't efficient. Slide the damper control toward the closed position to restrict the air flow, and then monitor the fire.  

TOO SMOKIE—this means the damper is too closed, and the fire isn't getting enough air. Inch the damper control back toward the open position in small increments to add more air to the fire.

There is a fine line to balance the efficient burn of your cozy fire.   


The Weaver Waterfront Cottage Is Permanently Closed

Posted: Fri Jun 07 22:06:00 UTC 2019


Vacation Rental Regulations Coming to Bowen Island

Posted: Fri May 31 23:26:00 UTC 2019

Guests, we urgently need your help...
As a frequent Bowen Island visitor, we urgently need your voice to be heard! The Bowen Island Municipality is in the process of regulating Vacation Rentals on Bowen Island... 

Restrictive regulations are being considered which may impact your next stay on Bowen Island.

  • Restricting Whole Houses as Vacation Rentals.  BIA only rents whole houses.  Would you be willing to rent a room in someone's home?  
  • Restricting Vacation Rentals to 120 days per year. BIA currently offers STVRs year-round to support Bowen businesses during the high season and offseason. On average we rent over 260 nights per year allowing you to get away all year long.  
  • Restricting Vacation Rentals to primary residences only. BIA rents ALL and ONLY vacation homes, none are primary residences. This regulation would end our STVR service to you, our guests. 

Please take the STVR survey here

Bowen Island Municipality has launched a Short-Term Rental Policy Project as they consider moving forward with regulations for short-term rentals.

This process involves several steps, including the opportunity for the public to weigh in via online survey and in-person consultations.

It is vitally important the municipality hears from Bowen Visitors such as yourselves.

Have your say!
  • Complete the online survey -- open until June 23 -- here.
  • Participate at the public house on short-term rentals happening June 6 (more details are here).
Again, your participation is crucial to the process of ensuring fair, flexible and easy-to-follow rules for short-term rentals in Bowen Island.

Thank you for your Short Term Rental Support!


Short Term Not Short-Sighted: Vacation Rentals on Bowen Island

Why we believe vacation rentals are important to Bowen. . . 

Restrictions on short-term vacation rentals (STVR) are becoming more common in municipalities across BC. While there are some concerns many of these municipalities have in common, such as housing and regulatory issues, it's important to consider the many factors around this complicated issue before assuming that restricting vacation rentals will have the same effect in all locales, let alone a beneficial effect. Bowen Island is a unique case, and it's likely that restricting short-term rentals here won't solve the housing problem, but certainly will limit tourist dollars and employment opportunities. Read More Here...

Why all the ado about short-term rental regulations?

The municipality has started consultations for long expected short-term rental regulations for Bowen. 

Panoramic ocean views taken by cameras suspended over the island's edge or awnings poking out of overgrown greenery greet potential visitors browsing Bowen's AirBnB listings. One can rent an entire cottage on the sea and escape to the Happy Isle like thousands did during the Union Steamship days. Problem is, many or most of these listings are illegal. Read More Here...

Thank you for supporting Bowen Island Accommodations and Tourism on Bowen Island.  

Ensure your voice is heard! Take the survey before it closes on June 23rd. 

Arrange Your Transportation to Bowen Island Before Landing at YVR

Posted: Sun Feb 17 00:28:00 UTC 2019

Vancouver International Airport to Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island, British Columbia
So, the plane has landed at YVR Airport, and you're excited about arriving at your beautiful Bowen Island vacation rental. Adventure and relaxation await. Now, how to get from Vancouver International Airport to Bowen Island?

If you're planning important travel details on-the-fly, as you leave the plane, you're risking the vacation you have been looking forward to, and that you have invested money on. So much can go wrong, if left up to chance.

Be Prepared – don't leave your travel arrangements up to chance.

The Bowen Island Ferry schedule determines all comings and goings to and from the Mainland. It is important to note that the ferry crosses Georgia Strait approximately once every hour. The first ferry departs Horseshoe Bay (HSB) at 5:50 am and the last at 10 pm. The ferry schedule is seasonal and should be consulted for all sailing times and possible service notices.

Important ferry FAQs:
  • 10 pm is the last ferry crossing for the evening. 
  • First come, first aboard; no reservations necessary.
  • Arrive at least 30 minutes before sailing time. If a commuter crossing, you may want to arrive 45 minutes before sailing.
  • Ticket sale cut-off is 10 minutes before the sailing time and fare includes round trip.
  • Consider purchasing an Experience Card if you will be making more than two round trips from Bowen Island to the Mainland. 
  • The Bowen Island Ferry crossing takes 20 minutes. 
We highly recommend that all of our Bowen Island Accommodation guests rent a vehicle. Renting a vehicle* will simplify transportation from YVR to HSB and traveling around Bowen. Renting a car from Richmond rather than at the airport will save you money. *Ask about AWD vehicle requirements for the Lazy properties. 

Vancouver International Airport to Bowen Island, British Columbia route 
Are you renting a car or catching a cab? Arrive at Vancouver airport no later than 7:30 pm.

Rent a car - It is possible to make the 10 pm ferry with your drive time being approx. 40 – 60 minutes. Renting a car is advantageous especially when driving off the ferry on the Bowen side as you will then have transportation to get you to your accommodation.  Use real-time traffic and mapping from YVR to Snug Cove on Bowen Island.     

Hiring a Vancouver taxi cab at the airport –Your travel time from the Vancouver Airport to Horseshoe Bay is approximately 40 – 60 minutes during non-commuter hours.  Keep in mind there is no Uber or Lyft in Vancouver.

Are you using public transportation? Arrive at Vancouver International Airport no later than 6 pm.

A 6 pm flight arrival or earlier is recommended.  If you are a savvy public transportation traveler with just a carry-on, it is possible to land at 7 pm and make it to the 10 pm ferry.  In all cases, planning ahead of time for your SkyTrain, bus, and ferry connections is essential. 
First, catch the SkyTrain at YVR Airport Station (Domestic Departures Level 3) and ride from YVR to City Centre Station in downtown Vancouver (SkyTrain service from YVR goes to this station en route to Waterfront Station.) The SkyTrain trip to downtown Vancouver takes approx. 25 minutes.

Departure times for the SkyTrain between YVR and downtown Vancouver are approx. every 5 minutes throughout the day (slightly reduced service in late PM hours). The service runs between 5:10 am and 1:05 am.
Get off the SkyTrain at City Centre Station. Once outside the City Centre Station, locate Georgia St and head east toward the Hudson's Bay Company store, cross the street at Georgia and Granville to the north side of Georgia, and board the next #257 Horseshoe Bay Express BusAn additional choice is the 250 Horseshoe Bay bus, which takes about 20 minutes longer than the 257.
Walk east along Georgia, cross to the north side in front of Hudson's Bay for the 257 stop.

Ride the #257 Express bus from West Georgia St. across the Lion's Gate Bridge, to its final stop at Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. The ferry waiting rooms are a 10-minute walk from the bus stop and remember that the ferry ticket sale cut-off is 10 minutes before the sailing time. You should also allow for 10 to 15 minutes to wait in line to purchase your ticket, just to be safe. During the busy season with lots of travel to our fair island, lineups can be long.
Read our past blog post about public transportation, so you are completely informed and organized before stepping off your flight at YVR. 
Arriving on Bowen Island without a car? (Not recommended)
Arriving on Bowen without a vehicle will leave you with transportation challenges. Read all about the Bowen transportation options here in our Bowen Guide.
  • Shuttle Bus travel on Bowen is limited to the Lazy Bowen Hideaway and the Lazy B Waterfront Suite.  The last shuttle bus #281 to the Lazy properties leaves Snug Cove at 8:25 pm.
  • NO car rentals, Ubers, or taxis are available on Bowen. (Note the one "Bowen Island taxi" on Bowen runs on Friday and Saturday nights only and is unpredictable. We no longer include the "BI taxi" as a mode of transportation on Bowen.)
  • Evergreen Cottage and Weaver Waterfront Cottage are a 20-minute walking distance from the ferry. The route is uphill, a lightly traveled country road with no sidewalks or street lights. Consider your fitness level, luggage load, the weather and time of arrival; if hiking to and from your accommodations during your stay, keep a flashlight handy for travel after sunset. All other properties are a 60-minute walk from the Cove.
  • Hitchhiking is legal on Bowen and an accepted mode of transportation. Stick your thumb out and put your smile on to get a ride from a local Bowener. Watch for Bowen LIFT signs. 

    Will you miss the last ferry at 10 pm?

    Recommended:  Book a hotel in Vancouver or Horseshoe Bay   

    Murray Atherton, our neighbor, and past Tourism Bowen Island Chair says: "I'd suggest booking the Accent Inn, Holiday Inn, or the Sandman Hotel (not inn) on St. Edwards Drive. All of them offer free airport shuttles. Guests  then could take a taxi or arrange a pick up at the hotel from a car rental agency in Richmond vs. the Airport (a lot cheaper)."

    6588 Royal Ave, West Vancouver 

    10551 St Edwards Dr, Richmond 

    3233 St Edwards Dr, Richmond 
    1 604-303-8888

    10720 Cambie Rd, Richmond 

    Bowen Island Accommodations hopes this will assist our guests with their travel planning from YVR to Bowen Island. If you have questions about transportation, please ask. We want our guests to have a smooth travel experience.  

    Critters of Bowen Island

    Posted: Fri Oct 19 18:18:00 UTC 2018

    A big draw for visitors and residents of Bowen Island is the abundant nature. Everywhere you look is covered in beautiful greenery. Our guests love to escape the concrete and noise of the city for the tranquility of the forest. But not everyone is prepared for all that the natural environment brings with it, i.e. it's fauna inhabitants.

    Here we introduce you to some of the forest residents, a few of whom you may encounter both outside and inside in different seasons, but most of which are happy to stay out of the way of humans.

    Photo by Greg Schecter

    Big critters

    City dwellers may be familiar with the scent of a skunk in the neighbourhood. They usually move on quickly and don't want to interact with humans. Though many folks dislike the misunderstood skunk, they are great at controlling rodent and some insect populations. They are mainly active in the early morning and evening, though can sometimes be seen during the day as well. Look ahead where you're walking and make noise so they hear you; skunks would rather run away than spray.

    Mice and rats are part of all human settlements. You likely won't see these swift critters, but we encourage guests to put their garbage and compost in the correct bins, tightly locked, so as not to attract them as well as crows and ravens who love to make a mess of an unclosed bin.

    Black bear photo by Alan D. Wilson

    We generally don't have bears and cougars on Bowen Island. Once every five years a bear will be sighted, and a cougar once every ten years or so. They make their way from the surrounding coast for a visit, and usually make their way off again in due time.

    Photo by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

    Deer are everywhere on Bowen, and may startle you if they trigger a motion sensor light. Please drive the speed limit (40km/hr on-island, with slower zones in some areas) at all times, as deer will pop out of forests onto the roads. If you see a deer crossing while driving, slow down and look to where they came from, as there may be more in the group intending to cross. Babies are especially hard to see and are not yet used to cars, and sad stories are often shared of finding them on the side of the road as speeding-car-casualties. Please be careful when driving at all times.

    The other populous big critter, besides humans and deer, are of course dogs. In cities people are very good about leashing their dogs and going to dog parks for a romp. However, you'll find that some folks on Bowen are less likely to leash their dogs, even where required by law.

    Crippen Park and Snug Cove are on-leash areas. Crippen does have a fenced in dog park for off-leash play. On municipal property, e.g. Cape Roger Curtis, dogs must be within 3 meters of adult owners and in their control.

    Please follow all leash laws, and pick up your dog's messes. Dog poop goes in the trash, never in the organics bins. And if you are strolling without a dog, don't hesitate to ask others to leash their dogs if you feel afraid or uncomfortable.

    Little Critters

    The charm of staying in cedar-scented wood homes is not lost on carpenter ants. Ants can appear indoors in the spring but pose no harm to humans. We treat our Bowen Island Accommodations homes for carpenter ants and sugar ants yearly, but you may still see a few here and there; we appreciate your patience with their small presence.

    Spiders are around all year, but seem to ramp up their indoor web production in the fall. We realize not every guest appreciates their valuable service in controlling insect populations, so we do our best to remove them to the outdoors and their webs regularly.

    While locals in some areas on Bowen report encountering ticks, others report never having seen a here. However, incidences of Lyme disease, carried by less than 1% of BC ticks, are very low in BC, so with some preventative steps, there is little need for worry. It never hurts to do a tick-check of your body after being outside and in contact with grasses, bushes, and branches, where tricks could drop onto your clothes. If you're doing some serious bush-whacking, tuck in long pants and wear long sleeves, and tie up long hair.

    Photo by Stuart Meek

    Wasps, or yellow jackets, are mostly a bother to humans trying to enjoy a nice outdoor barbecue in the summer, but they do play a vital role in the environment, such as pollinating and preying on other pest insects. We do our best to discourage wasps in and around our homes. Guests can reduce wasp encounters by not leaving sweets and proteins (meats, fish, etc.) lying exposed, as these will attract hungry wasps.

    Photo by Judy Gallagher

    Mosquitos are less of a problem on the breezy waterfront properties. To ensure none come inside, please use screens, where provided, on open windows and doors.


    Of course, there are many other animal species living on Bowen, including eagles, vultures, songbirds, waterfowl, salmon, tree frogs, salamanders, red and flying squirrels, mink, and beautiful butterflies and other insects. Come with field guides and cameras to spot these and more critters as you make your way around Bowen trails.

    We hope this small list of some of the animals of Bowen Island will make you feel prepared for your trip away from the big city and into big nature. Enjoying the outdoors (and indoors) on an island means tolerating, if not appreciating, everyone else who lives here too.

    Catching Stars is Catching Interest: Bowen Island's Newest Art Gallery

    Posted: Fri Jun 15 17:10:00 UTC 2018

    A new art gallery, Catching Stars, has graced Snug Cove, in a brand new building. Bowen Island Accommodations caught up with Emilie Kaplun, who, along with Marie Neys and Pauulet Hohn, started this business togethera seed of an idea that bloomed into full fruition with a soft opening a few weeks back.


    Emilie Kaplun at her new gallery. Photo by Pauulet Hohn

    BIA: How did you three come together with this idea, and how do your backgrounds make this a successful partnership?

    Emilie: We knew that we worked well together having worked on past projects. All 3 of us have previously owned Galleries and have taught creative courses and had the desire to continue our passions of promoting art on Bowen.

    We felt that we each had something unique to offer to the business. Marie Neys with her background in marketing and running galleries, Pauulet with her amazing skills in graphic design, photography and website design, and myself with a history of running my own retail gift shops in Port Stanley, Ontario and Vancouver, and my education in art history and business.

    Emilie Kaplun, Pauulet Hohn, and Marie Neys. Photo by Marilyn Cote-Dupuis

    BIA: What made it the right time to do this project?

    Emilie: The new pub building was being designed with retail spaces underneath, so we jumped at the idea to have a Gallery in such a fantastic location and a brand new building.

    BIA: What makes Catching Stars a unique opportunity for the local artists you've chosen to represent?

    Emilie: We really wanted to offer a space where local artists could have a permanent installation of their artworks to showcase throughout the year to tourists and locals alike.

    Some artists have the opportunity to work in the Gallery and rent their dedicated space. Because artists are often working solo in their studios, we wanted to give them the option to be client-facing and talk about their work and creative process with the public.

    We also wanted to offer an alternative for those who want to focus their efforts and energies being in their studios or who work off island and have busy lives, to simply have their work in the Gallery and we would do the promoting and selling of the work.

    Our mission is to showcase and market local artists' work and get the word out to locals and tourists alike about the amazing creative talent we have on the island. Between our social media efforts, our website and all of the promotions we are doing throughout the lower mainland, we want to further publicize the fact that Bowen Island is a destination for those seeking unique art and galleries.

    Photo by Pauulet Hohn

    BIA: How would you describe the Bowen Island art scene?

    Emilie: The Bowen Island art scene is really an eclectic mix of all ages, styles and mediums. When we started the planning on Catching Stars Gallery and did our research, we learned about artists from word of mouth who we had never heard of before, because they didn't have representation on Bowen. We are so lucky to have such amazing creative talent on this island, in so many different types of work.

    BIA: Who are the collectors so far for the art that is featured, off-islanders or on-islanders, and why should visitors and locals alike visit Catching Stars?

    Emilie: Visitors to the island benefit from seeing an amazing collection of some of Bowen's fabulous artists and a comprehensive collection of artworks.

    Locals benefit, as we have brought in a mix of some off-island artists, in order to keep an interesting variety of works and introduce new artists to the island with specific mediums of work that we couldn't necessarily find in our local pool of artists. Bringing in some artists from beyond Bowen Island allows us to have a greater outreach in terms of our publicity and marketing.

    Those artists that live and work in Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast and the Sea to Sky corridor are helping to promote Bowen Island by letting their regular customers know about Catching Stars Gallery when they do their shows and promotions. This brings more people to the island and again shows the greater artistic community that Bowen Island is an arts destination.

    A piece by local sculptor, Cathryn Jenkins. Photo by Pauulet Hohn

    BIA: What are visitors' favourite items or artists so far? Are there favourite subjects that people are drawn to at Catching Stars?

    Emilie: So far people have been coming in and telling us who their favourite local artist is, and that they are collectors of their particular work. I have a customer who collects my earrings and hair accessories for herself and as gifts, who has had frequent trips to Catching Stars Gallery since we have been open.

    It's really amazing to see how much locals want to support the Bowen market and help the artists to thrive.  We have gorgeous bronze and stone sculptures by local artist Cathryn Jenkins and her work has been exciting everyone as they walk in the Gallery and are greeted by a baby Sea Lion. Our theme in the Gallery is ocean and beach, and it does seem like people have been really drawn to art with that subject matter.

    Photo by Pauulet Hohn

    Pauulet Hohn's beautiful turquoise mosaics that are ocean-inspired with a collection of seashells have been a favourite, as well as Marie Neys' seascape oil paintings. Both allow customers to bring home a little piece of Bowen. Natural wood artworks have been a hit as well, with much of the wood being found on Bowen Island.

    People have been purchasing the Salt Spring Tea that we offer to customers in our bottomless pot, (try the "Bowen Island Berry" tea!), as well as the Howe Sound Soapworks soaps that have been "Bowenized" with local beaches and destinations on Bowen where each soap features a different artist, including artist Liz Watson's "Snug Cove Synergy" bar, and the "Mount Gardner Grit" soap bar which features label photography by your Jan Stevens, of Bowen Island Accommodations.

    BIA: Any exciting events at Catching Stars coming up we should know about? Anything else you'd like to add?

    Emilie: Yes! Our Grand Opening Party will be held Saturday June 23rd from 3-6 pm at the Gallery. Or if you can't make it to the party, stop in during regular Gallery hours, sip on a cup of tea and "find what inspires you" in our beautiful new Gallery that reflects the amazing creativity and natural beauty of Bowen Island.


    Thank you, Emilie, for sharing what Catching Stars is all about, and we wish you a fabulous Grand Opening! Visitors can find the gallery at 479 Bowen Island Trunk Road, unit 1.

    Catching Stars Gallery is open daily from 11-5 and on Fridays and Saturdays from 11-8 throughout the summer. Find more information at

    *More* Bowen Island Accommodations Property Upgrades To Greet You in 2018

    Posted: Wed Apr 25 19:09:00 UTC 2018

    We reported on round one of property upgrades this winter, and now we're excited to share what round two has added to our vacation rental properties on Bowen Island.

    This past winter we saw new entry stairs, landscaping, rock work, and a wi-fi-connected watering system for the Hideaway, a new dock at the Eastman Waterfront Retreat, and a new wood stove at the Eastman Waterfront Retreat.

    This spring, we've been organizing new amenities and further improvements for you to enjoy, made possible thanks to the great work of local Bowen Island trades people and landscapers.

    Eastman Waterfront Cottage

    The new laundry shed at the Eastman Waterfront Cottage is now up and windows will be added soon, thanks to Norbert Puppe, our go-to local builder. Guests staying for longer periods will have access to this shed, where they can do laundry in our new machines. Our cleaners are grateful to have these nearby as well, meaning quicker turnovers for our next guests checking in.

    New laundry shed at Eastman Waterfront Cottage

    Norbert also added a much-needed roof over the Cottage entry door so guests and cleaners don't get poured on when it's raining.

    New entry roof at the Eastman Waterfront Cottage

    Eastman Waterfront Retreat  

    Island Girls Gardening have been working on the Eastman Waterfront Retreat property, caring for the lawn that edges the creak feature, and maintaining the garden and planters.

    Norbert Puppe has finished the dock with views of Hutt Island and beyond, allowing guests to adventure out onto the water without even leaving their PJs (if they so choose!).

    Lazy Bowen Hideaway

    The new landscaping at the Lazy Bowen Hideaway has been planted by Su Rickett with deer-proof vegetation, so that natural beauty greets our visitors from all sides.


    We hope hope our guests enjoy these improvements in the coming year, and we'll be sure to let you know about further property upgrades!

    The Sweet Stand: Purveyors of Bowen Island Cakes, Treats, and More

    Posted: Fri Apr 20 18:21:00 UTC 2018

    We had a call from a guest recently who was celebrating a birthday while here. They asked us where they could find a Bowen Island birthday cake, and we thought it might be helpful to share our suggestions with the wider Bowen-visitor population. It's common to celebrate a birthday by getting away from it all, and not everyone wants to cart a cake (especially if it's a surprise) from the mainland.

    Sweet Stand unicorn cookies.

    The Ruddy Potato has some small dessert offerings, like mini cakes, as well as pies, and ice cream and other desserts are available there and at the General Store as well. Lime and Moon Pie Shop has some pies so decadent you could pass them off as cakes; however, they are open seasonally.

    Lime and Moon Chocolate Banana Cream Pie
    and Ruddy Potato dessert case.
    (Photos from respective businesses' websites).

    But if a real birthday cake, even a custom cake, is what you have your heart set on, and you have a little time to plan in advance, we recommend being in touch with Burle & Jess at The Sweet Stand, a home-based Bowen Island cake and dessert business whose products are as much eye-candy as mouth-candy.


    BIA: What kinds of cakes and other products does the Sweet Stand make?

    Burle & Jess: The Sweet Stand specializes in cakes and sugar cookies, but we also make a wide range of products, from classics like chocolate cake and apple pie to items for the more adventurous, like key lime tarts and tiramisu. You can find all of our cake and cookie options on our Sweet Stand website or Sweet Stand Facebook page, and if you have a specific request, get in touch and we'd be happy to discuss it.

    BIA: Do you do gluten-free or vegan cakes?

    Burle & Jess: We're pleased to offer many of our items available in gluten free, vegan, dairy free, sugar free, or paleo. We have many taste testers who helped us to perfect various recipes to be able to offer to those with dietary needs without compromising taste or texture.

    BIA: Tell us about the folks behind The Sweet Stand?

    Burle & Jess: Burle Konopa and Jess Skett make up the team behind the goods from The Sweet Stand. Both self taught bakers who come together to create delicious treats, using old family recipes, new recipes, and classic recipes with their own twists to them.

    Jess Skett & Burle Konopa

    BIA: How did The Sweet Stand start?

    Burle & Jess: The Sweet Stand came out of the passion each Burle and Jess has for baking, and the need for delicious baked goods in Bowen Island. It started as something offered to friends and quickly expanded through word of mouth and their attendance at the local farmers markets.

    BIA: How much notice do you need for a cake or other item order?

    Burle & Jess: As we're a 2 person operation with all of our items being made to order, we often need a minimum of 3 days, but do suggest booking sooner if possible, and every now and again we can fit in orders for the next day.

    BIA: Where can people find your cookies and cakes on Bowen Island?

    Burle & Jess: Since our items are all made to order, the best way to pick something up is to send us an email or give us a call. You'll also find us at the farmers markets throughout the summer with an assortment of ready to purchase (and enjoy!) baked goods.


    Thanks, Burle & Jess for taking the time to let our guests know all about your Bowen Island desserts business. The next Bowen Island birthday guest to celebrate with a Sweet Stand cake is in for a real treat.

    Staying Here, Enjoying Vancouver: Making the Most of Vacation Rentals on Bowen Island

    Posted: Wed Apr 18 20:36:00 UTC 2018

    With vacation rentals in Vancouver, BC, becoming increasingly sparse due to new restrictive regulations, travelers are looking further afield for places to stay near Vancouver.

    Photo by Jan Stevens

    Luckily, vacation rentals on Bowen Island are available as a convenient option, with the bonus of being on one of BC's loveliest Gulf Islands, a true paradise. Folks choosing to stay on Bowen Island and travel to Vancouver for their urban fixes can return to serene Bowen Island for a quiet evening and a great sleep.

    Here's how easy traveling from Bowen Island to Vancouver is. We recommend taking transit to maximize travel and parking savings and avoid the stress of city driving.

    To and From Vancouver By Transit

    On Bowen, Getting to the Ferry in Snug Cove

    Make your way to Snug Cove by car, and park in the commuter parking lot on Miller road, next to the RCMP station. Here you can park up to twelve hours, and stroll through the woods along Maple Trail in Crippen Park for five minutes, arriving in lower Snug Cove and the ferry terminal.

    Commuter lot by the RCMP station.
    Photo from

    #2 on map is the commuter lot by the RCMP station.
    Image from

    Alternately, take the Bowen Translink shuttle bus if you're staying at the Eaglecliff properties (Lazy Bowen Hideaway and Lazy B Waterfront Suite), or walk to the ferry if you're at the Evergreen Cottage. (Sorry, bus service does not reach the Eastman properties, but if you're not driving, try hitching a ride, as folks are usually kind enough to pick others up). If you're using cash or credit card, and taking the shuttle bus and planning to take Translink in Horseshoe Bay as well, let the driver know. What they will usually do is tell you not to pay, and just pay on the other side, as they are currently not able to give transfers like regular buses do. More on Translink fares below.

    See our article on getting around Bowen Island for more details on traveling around Bowen Island.

    Always check the ferry schedule when planning your trip. Note the longer break in service in the middle of the day. And no need to worry about your ferry ticket, it's free on the ride from Bowen to Horseshoe Bay.

    Once on the mainland, there are three bus options from Horseshoe Bay to downtown Vancouver:
    1. Translink Bus 250 - approx. 55-minute bus ride  
    2. Translink Bus 257 Express -  approx. 35-minute bus ride
    3. The Bowen Island Express Bus - approx. 30-minute bus ride.

    Translink - Buses 250, 257 (and others), SkyTrain, and SeaBus in Metro Vancouver

    To get downtown from Horseshoe Bay, take Translink buses numbered 250 (about 55 minutes to downtown) or 257 Express (about 35 minutes to downtown). Both run regularly, however, check online, check routes on Google Maps, or call Translink (604-953-3333) if you'll be returning late at night, to be sure you'll make your ferry connection.

    Catch these buses in Horseshoe Bay just outside of the ferry terminal; you won't have to wait long for one to show up. Use the transfer you'll get for 1.5 hours on buses, SkyTrain, and SeaBus (though there is a higher charge if you go across zones on SkyTrain or SeaBus).

    250 Bus returning to Horseshoe Bay.
    Photo by Tawker.

    When returning home from downtown, find stops for these buses along Georgia Street, beginning in the east from the Hudson's Bay Company store at Georgia and Granville (bus stops are on the north side of the street, heading west).

    Keep in mind that the 257 Express has fewer pickup locations along Georgia, and are not always the same locations as the 250. Both, however, pick up from in front of The Hudson's Bay Company on Georgia at Granville, at Georgia at Burrard, and at Georgia at Denman, so these are three good spots to wait if you're not picky about which you get on (see image below). (The 250 is the longer scenic route along West Vancouver's NW Marine Drive).

    Translink 250 and 257 stops where they both occur. Photo images from Google Maps.

    Adult fares are 2.85 for 1.5 hours of use, and there is also a Day Pass option if you'll be using transit all day.

    Note: As mentioned above, if you are catching the Bowen Shuttle bus from Eaglecliff, let your driver know before you pay with cash or credit card that you'll be using Translink on the mainland, and they will usually waive your fee, as they do not give out transfers.

    In spring 2018, Translink is introducing on-bus payment by credit card, so no need to worry about exact change. You can find more information on fares here.

    Bowen Island Express Bus

    "The Bowen Island Express bus" (also known as "Peter's bus") is a special commuter run bus servicing early morning ferries, and for people returning to Horseshoe Bay from downtown in the late afternoon. The cost is 4.00 each way, and the ride is about half an hour.

    This bus picks up passengers from the 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 am ferries (or equivalent summer/holiday ferry schedule times). Catch this bus outside the ferry terminal in Horseshoe Bay, around the corner on Bay Street. On a Monday morning, however, you can get the bus right on the ferry if you take the 6:30am run (the bus spends the weekend on Bowen).

    Click here to read about the three downtown stop locations and times, and check the Facebook page for updates. The bus may return to meet 3 special commuter runs of a water taxi, leaving from the Government Dock in Horseshoe Bay. Please ask Peter, the driver, if this is still happening. Otherwise, you can return on the ferry.

    Express Bus Stops, returning to Horseshoe Bay
    Image from Bowen Island Bus (Express Bus) Facebook Page

    Note, this is not the same as Translink bus or stops, and the fare is not transferable to Translink buses. (However, as of writing there was some discussion around having the Express Bus link into the Translink payment system in the future.)

    BC Ferries

    The ferry fare to Bowen Island is 12.35 for adults. If you already have a BC Ferries Experience Card, it will be 7.50. (To get a card, you must load it up with a minimum 65.00-115.00, so ask about this option when you first use the ferry on your way to Bowen. The Bowen route savings are worth it if you use BC ferries often enough).

    BC Ferries stops selling foot passenger tickets 10 minutes before the sailing time, so plan to be there earlier than that, especially before the final ferry before the midday break and before the last ferry of the dayyou don't want to miss it. But if you do...

    Water Taxi Options

    Did you miss the last ferry? Not a problem. Cormorant Marine runs a water taxi service at 11:30pm Sundays through Thursdays, and at 12:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, at 10.00 per person, from Horseshoe Bay to Bowen Island. 

    They leave from the government dock at the foot of Nelson Avenue. (From the ferry terminal, walk west on Bay Street, and turn right on Nelson towards the water). Get there a little early and wait on the dock; if there is a crowd, the water taxi may make two runs.

    Walking directions from the Translink bus stop at the
    Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal to the Government Dock,
    to catch the water taxi.
    Image from Google Maps.

    If you have time to spare in Horseshoe Bay, enjoy the waterfront park or go have a drink at The Troller Ale House, which is often open late.

    Traveling By Car
    Take the scenic Marine Drive route to Vancouver, or the highway for saving time.
    Do remember to be back at the ferry terminal at least 15 minutes before your sailing, and we recommend more than that for during commuter runs (early morning and later afternoon/evening) and when catching the sailing before the midday break.


    With a myriad of options to choose from to travel between Vancouver and Bowen Island, staying here and enjoying Vancouver and the natural beauty of our island is an easy decision to make. Contact us if you have more questions about travel and visiting Vancouver from Bowen Island, and of course, peruse our stunning propertiesthey will certainly sway you to the Bowen way.