Since all of my international travel plans have been canceled this year, I’ve been thinking of places to go locally where I could have a little getaway. Having already done a few staycations around British Columbia, I really wanted to visit a place where I haven’t gone before for a short staycation. In November, SLAP Communications got in touch with us and asked if we wanted to experience Harrison Valley and Abbotsford for a little local staycation and we of course could not say no!

Disclaimer: Some accommodations and food and beverage were set up for us free of charge! However, these blog posts are in no way paid and opinions will always be my own! 

Staying at Rowena’s Inn On The River

The first leg of our trip was spent in Harrison Mills, located 20 minutes from Harrison Hot Springs, and is known as the world’s largest winter gathering place for eagles! We were actually quite excited to stay at Rowena’s Inn, partially because of the eagle event but also partially just because the photos looked absolutely beautiful. From Instagram, it seemed like this was quite a popular spot for weddings which to me says “photo spots galore”!

Rowena’s Inn is actually located on a larger property belong to the Sandpiper golf resort. On the property, you can choose to stay in the Colonial Inn itself, or in one of the luxury cabins. We stayed in the Heron Cabin, a one-bedroom cabin with a water view (and an amazing king-sized bed 😍). If you need a larger space they have 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom cabins as well!

Check-in was super easy and each cabin has a door code that gets generated at check-in so you can come and go easily without having to go through any of the main buildings. This was a great experience for us especially during COVID as it meant we were able to keep our interactions at a minimum.

Heron—the one-bedroom cabin

Our one-bedroom cabin was plenty of space for Joel and me to really stretch out and make ourselves at home. When you enter the cabin, you’re greeted with a spacious kitchen and living space, complete with a coffee machine, full-sized fridge, a gas fireplace, and a 50-inch smart TV with streaming services like Netflix and Prime. Past the living space, you had your bedroom and your spacious bathroom which had both a soaker tub as well as a stand-up shower. This space also had extra tall ceilings which made relaxing in the tub on a cold day that much more amazing.

Heron One Bedroom at Rowena's Inn
Heron One Bedroom at Rowena's Inn

Sandpiper Resort Clubhouse Restaurant

We only stayed at Rowena’s for one night and so we opted to enjoy dinner and breakfast the next day at the Sandpiper Resort Clubhouse Restaurant. This was just a 2-minute walk from our cabin and served delicious west coast fare. This restaurant is shared among the Fraser Valley community, the golfers, and those staying on the property so it’s best to make a reservation in case they are having a busier night.

Since it’s the season for salmon, they had a separate feature menu for salmon which had a delicious Chowder, and other specialties like tacos, sesame-crusted salmon, and some seasonal desserts.

I ordered the beef stroganoff with the feature chowder to start and Joel got their ribs and we both really loved our meals!

Bald Eagle Viewing Festival

One of the main attractions during the winter months has got to be the bald eagles gathering. They have guided tours as well but if you follow their trail map to the viewing deck, you’re bound to see tons of eagles when visiting between October – January. We saw probably upwards of 10+ eagles just hanging out in trees along the viewing deck which was insane! It’s definitely the first time I’ve ever seen so many eagles gathered in one place.

Would I visit again?

We thought Rowena’s Inn was amazing and we agreed that we’d love to come back and visit in the warmer months! Our stay was short and caught on a gloomier day so we vowed we’d come back in nicer, warmer weather and do a proper stay! I’d definitely recommend Rowena’s to both families and couples looking for a quiet getaway, I felt super at peace on their beautiful grounds and it was the ideal place to get some R&R that’s away from the city!

If you want to check out Rowena’s Inn On The River, check out their website here or their Instagram page here!

Want to see what we got up to? Check out my Harrison Valley + Abbotsford vlog!

Angel Zheng