Cabins, trails and golf make Rondalyn Resort the perfect stop for a Vancouver Island journey

A hidden gem near Nanaimo awaits snowbirds and explorers seeking an affordable, natural getaway this fall.

Vancouver Island travellers can book a stay at Parkbridge’s Rondalyn Resort for a secluded, picturesque escape just a quick drive from the Duke Point ferry terminal or a quick drive from the Departure Bay Terminal.

Nestled in the woods between Nanaimo and Ladysmith, Rondalyn offers easy access to outdoor activities but is only a 5-minute drive from city comforts like restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and other attractions.

Resort Manager Linda Lofstrom says autumn is a particularly pleasant time to stay at Rondalyn, which is open year-round and sits on beautiful Haslam Creek banks, where salmon spawn each fall.

“The weather around here is still quite nice in October and November,” she says.

“Of course, there’s the scenery — all of the beautiful trees leaves changing colour, fish starting to run up the creek.”

This fall and winter, Rondalyn is expecting to attract more RV-dwelling sunbirds than usual as British Columbians abandon plans to head south due to pandemic-related travel restrictions and enjoy Vancouver Island’s breathtaking scenery and mild weather instead.

The resort is a perfect addition to anyone taking a scenic road trip from Victoria to the north of the island, particularly up the coast through Coombs, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach and Cumberland.

Those on such a journey might stand in awe beneath the towering Douglas firs of Cathedral Grove, pop into the Fanny Bay seafood market for farm fresh oysters and live crab, take a nature hike through the Morrell Sanctuary and pop into White Sails brewing for its award-winning Snake Island Cascadian Dark Ale.

They will rest easy with Rondalyn’s amenity-rich accommodations, including overnight voyageur camping, rustic tent sites, seasonal RV sites and cabin rentals. All sites feature a fire-pit and picnic table. The friendly staff is on-site to help guests with whatever they need.

Lofstrom says the resort caters to a diverse range of guests, and all can expect peace and quiet after 11 p.m.

 “You get the groups that are well-behaved, they’re having fun and hanging out with family,” she says.

“You’ve got the older couples that you see sitting around fires, reading books and having a glass of wine. Then there are families with kids who are out riding bikes all around the resort while the parents are spending time together. Night rolls around, and they’ve got the fire going, they chit-chat for a while.”

Lofstrom says guests tell her they return to Rondalyn each year because of the gorgeous scenery, the large and clean sites, proximity to hiking and biking trails, as well as Nanaimo.

“The location is just quiet,” she says, “you have the golf course and the tranquility of the creek running behind us.”

Recreation on the resort includes horseshoe pits, road hockey, children’s playground, beach volleyball and basketball courts, a 9-hole golf course and a catch-and-release trout pond.

But there are plenty more attractions nearby, including the Trans Canada Trail, Mindy’s Suspension Bridge, Haslam Creek Swimming Hole and WildPlay Element Park and Bungy Zone.

“Many guests bring motorbikes and quads to access local dirt roads, and some come purely for fishing or golf at four local courses”, Lofstrom adds.

She says business at the resort remained steady through the summer despite the pandemic, with plenty of local and returning customers. But they also booked a lot of new customers who had heard about Rondalyn by word-of-mouth.

“They decided to give us try, and they loved it, and they’ve rebooked already,” Lofstrom says.

“We’ve definitely gained some new customers this year”.

Fall and winter visitors to Vancouver Island will be attracted by Rondalyn’s shoulder-season (Sept. 4 to Oct. 15) and off-season rates (Oct. 25 to Dec. 3).

Pandemic protections are in place, including contactless check-in and measures to allow physical distancing.

Book now at 250-245-3227, Rondalyn@Parkbridge.com or parkbridge.com.

© Copyright Times Colonist

Most Popular