There comes a time in every young woman's life when her idea of a good time shifts from stumbling around downtown hotspots to a quiet evening at home, from free shots lined up at a bar to a glass of wine in an upscale lounge. That shift happened for me right around my 25th birthday, so I knew for my stagette I didn't want to do anything too crazy, just enjoy laid-back and fun quality time with my favourite girls. My maid of honour more than came through by planning a weekend getaway to Bowen Island. Just a 20-odd minute ferry ride from Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, Bowen Island feels a world away from the city. Here's a little look at what we did, in case you also want a decidedly more chill bachelorette party.
Our time on Bowen Island wouldn't have been as magical and enjoyable as it was if it weren't for Nectar Yoga B&B, which my MOH researched and booked online. When we checked in, owner and yoga instructor Andrea gave us tips on the best restaurants and attractions on Bowen Island as well as the quickest route to the beach. Then we explored the amenities of our well-appointed, charming, coastal-inspired Nectar Loft cottage: a sleeping loft upstairs; a pull-out couch downstairs; a fully equipped kitchen; natural toiletries in the bathroom; complimentary beach towels in the hall closet.
The next morning, we had a 1.5 hour meditation and yoga class in the yoga dome. The hatha-inspired practice was so relaxing and I think we all benefited from that class in mind, body, and spirit. We finished class just as the sun was rising and the birds began chirping. Shortly after we returned to the Nectar Loft, Andrea had a gourmet vegetarian breakfast (waffles and ripe peaches, individual French presses full of coffee) waiting for us, which we ate out on the patio while basking in sunshine. The morning we checked out, our breakfast came with green smoothies. I adored our stay at Nectar Yoga B&B and would definitely return for a romantic couples getaway or a weekend girls trip in the future.
Bowen Island Sea Kayaking is one of the highest-rated tourist attractions on Bowen Island, and for good reason. They rent out kayaks and paddleboards, and offer 3-hour guided tours and longer trips in the surrounding areas. It was such a treat to be out on calm waters paddling on a sunny day with a slight breeze off the water (although the last hour of paddling started to feel pretty tiring!).
If you're going to go kayaking, I recommend booking your tour online in advance to avoid disappointment. A baseball cap to keep the sun off your face, SPF, a water bottle, and a Ziploc bag for your phone are musts. And finally, bring some ibuprofen just in case! My forearms were positively burning afterward.
The first night we arrived on Bowen Island, we had reservations at Tuscany, where we dined al fresco on salad and a half vegetarian, half wild smoked salmon pizza. The next day, we explored the funky galleries and shops in Artisan Square and stopped for lunch at Artisan Eats, whose assortment of pastries, sandwiches, salads, and soups came highly recommended to us by Andrea.
The whole reason why my MOH was considering Nectar Yoga B&B in the first place was because of the Nancy Meyers film Something's Gotta Give. It's one of my favourite romantic comedies, and as far as aspirational lifestyle porn goes, it doesn't get any better than Diane Keaton's airy white Hamptons beach house. When I saw that someone had hosted a Something's Gotta Give-themed bachelorette party on Nancy Meyers's Instagram—complete with a white beach house in the Hamptons, fresh flowers on the table, a lavish dinner and white wine, all attendees dressed like Diane Keaton's character in chunky glasses and white turtlenecks—I told my MOH, "I want to do that!" She decided on Nectar Yoga B&B because the Nectar Loft was a charming beach house/cottage-like space at a much more reasonable rate than similar rentals; the yoga/meditation classes were icing on the cake.
On the second night, we wore white tops and cooked pasta with prawns and made a huge salad while jazz played in the background—very Nancy Meyers. My MOH even brought Diane Keaton-esque reading glasses (with the lenses punched out) and a jar of white stones with one black pebble on the top to decorate with (a reference to the movie). We watched another Nancy Meyers flick, The Intern, after dinner with white wine in hand.
Compared to most stagettes, this wasn't exactly the most booze-soaked, raunchy, crazy time. In fact, we had a running joke that with the mostly vegetarian fare, meditation, yoga, kayaking, and relaxed vibe of Bowen Island, we'd probably return from this stagette healthier and more fit and toned than when we came! But you know what? It proved to be exactly what this bride needed to unwind from the mounting pressures of work and wedding planning.