Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Hillcrest Inn

Have you ever gotten so comfortable, so at ease in a hotel that you really didn't want to leave? Of course you have; most of us have. The last place that had this effect on me was the Villa Campestri, the jewel outside of Florence which Cheryl found for us last year. This time, it's the Hillcrest Inn here in Revelstoke. I like it here; I want to stay.

Yesterday was an exploration up the Columbia valley, or more aptly, the Columbia canyon, the walls of the mountains rising so steeply that it's possible to have two major hydro-electric stations within 100 miles of each other, that whole 100 miles being consumed by Lake Revelstoke, the hold back behind the Revelstoke Dam. I drove the lakeside, all the way to the Mica Dam, checking out the terrain and the wildlife. The terrain, with its sharply rising rock faces and thousand little waterfalls, was enchanting. The wildlife consisted of one moose and one deer.

Today the skies have turned cloudy, the quilt of ready moisture hanging against the mountain peaks, trying to decided if it will be rain or snow. Even with the spring warmth here in the valley, new snow on the upper mountain slopes would not be a surprise. A few flakes might even make it down here, down in the valley. The first of the rain arrived last night in a torrent worthy of Biblical comparison. It passed quickly however, with the mist hanging round for today. All the world is wet.

In spite of my overwhelming desire to sit here, stare at the mountains, drink coffee, or beer, or wine depending on the time of day and the company at hand, I must off to Vancouver go. I have learned a couple of things from this sojourn here, however. First of all, I wish I had come to this hotel so many years ago, and kept coming regardless of cost. This is a treasure for me; I will be back.

The reason it is a treasure is more than location, although that would have been good enough in years gone by to convince me to return. No, it's more than that, more than the incredibly kind and friendly staff and management, more than the ample supply of local beers on tap. This hotel is accessible, almost completely accessible. In only one or perhaps two areas did it not truly meet my needs as a wheelchair traveler. Norm, the GM here, assures me they are working on fixing these minor failings in the next renovations.

There are automatic doors at the front, a low counter for the front desk should I need it, a ramp to the lounge and sitting area, level entries to the bar and restaurant. My room, though on the small side, had a gigantic bathroom, bars for the toilet, a lowered sink and counter, and plenty of towels. The only drawback was the bathtub, a situation Norm assures me will be resolved with the renovations currently underway.

Most of all, it's the setting, the calm beauty of the mountains outside the window where I sit, the smell of the fresh air, the sound of birds and all nature combined, the feeling that time is easy, that there is plenty of space to relax, that I don't have to hurry. That's what I really like here.

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