GOLDEN, B.C. – Cozy units in a thick forest of sweet-smelling cedar. Full kitchens and barbeques. A lovely grassy area where kids can play. And an outstanding on-site restaurant.
Cedar House Restaurant and Chalets, located just a couple km’s from central Golden and just a few minutes from Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, is a marvellous spot for families or couples who want a taste of the country that’s generously sprinkled with style.
They have seven units (six chalets and a private suite) in buildings of varying size located partway up a hill that overlooks the broad Columbia Valley, with the mountains near Glacier National Park in the distance. All were built in the last 10 years, so they’re modern and have all the amenities you need.
My unit, the Cedar Chalet, was a one-bedroom unit with a comfortable sofa bed and chair and fireplace in the living room, not to mention a nice TV/entertainment centre and a back patio with a bbq and a large hot tub I didn’t get the chance to try.
The bedroom was large and homey, with a queen-size bed and a decent-sized bathroom with a shower, natural bath products and a pair of thick bathrobes for a chilly mountain night.
The website says they can make the unit wheelchair accessible with two weeks notice.
Other units are larger. You also can rent two chalets that are attached to one another and house up to 14 adults, I was told.
Chalets rent for as little as $190 Cdn. a night.
Weddings are a popular booking at the property, given the view and a nice, grassy spot they’ve carved out of the 10-acre property. The property is LEED certified as eco-friendly, and they put a big emphasis on recycling and reducing waste, which is great to see.
There’s a central grassy area for kids to play, and they have a box filled with soccer balls, Frisbees and the like. You also have access to 25 km’s of single-track biking trails that run through the area. Oh, and free Wi-Fi.
You’re close to town if you want to buy groceries and use the kitchen or bbq. It’s a nice way to save money, but you don’t want to miss at least one dinner at the restaurant, a small, woodsy affair with brightly coloured paintings and partial views of the valley below.
They start you off with homemade molasses bread, butter and jam. I was then given a beautiful and tasty amuse bouche with triple cream Brie, perfect BC strawberries and lovely smoked salmon. I had a pretty salad with apples, berries, boat cheese and local greens that was fresh and good but could’ve use a zippier dressing. The main course more than made up for it; fresh duck from Quebec with apple and cranberry jam, plus fresh roasted bok choy, carrots and small potatoes.
I didn’t go for dessert but offerings include crème brulee, an apple and pear tart and more.
There’s a strong emphasis on B.C. wines and Canadian craft beers, which is great. They also have several Canadian whiskies you can try.
I sat in the main dining room but if you like you can sit at the bar and watch the chefs work at their open kitchen. There’s also a patio deck.
I retire to my chalet after dinner and deliberately leave my curtains open so I can be awakened by the dawn’s light. When I finally stir in the morning I gaze up at towering, dark cedars outlined against a sky of robin’s egg blue, with distant birds quietly greeting the day.
Not bad. Not bad at all.