Posts tagged with "The Austin Collection"

Travel story illustration by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE

Escape-by-Pod Hottest 2021 Travel Trend

The escape by pod, or traveling with pandemic-vetted friends and family, is one of the hottest trends in vacation travel in this time of Covid. The Chilko Experience Wilderness Resort is poised to accommodate the growing demand for full ranch buyouts on this private family estate in a remote and recreationally rich wilderness region of British Columbia.

The estate announces a 2021 June-October season buy-out invitation at $15,000 USD per night for pods of 12 adults. Multi-generational family groups of up to 20 members can be accommodated. This includes access to luxury Canadian hand-crafted log homes, services of a master chef and private activity guides, plus an open bar and the capability to accommodate and arrange for private aircraft.

To help take any worries or uncertainty out of booking for 2021, the offering comes with a client-friendly purchase policy that asks for a 25 percent deposit with balance due 90 days prior to arrival. However, guests will receive a full refund if the Canadian border is closed at time of travel. Full refunds minus a $500 per person fee will be available for cancellations 61 or more days prior to the arrival date. However, there will be no refunds for cancellations 60 days or less prior to arrival date if it is for any reason other than border closure.

Host Phil Huston, founder and owner, assures that all precautions and protocols that have evolved throughout the pandemic will be practiced here to help secure the well-being of guests and staff alike. They operated successfully and safely in 2020 with the assistance of Iridia Medical who made the necessary adjustments to ensure sanitation and guest safety. With a capacity of just 12 guests and their remote, secluded location, this is expected to be a destination in high demand for 2021 travel.

Phil and his wife, Anne Huston, are extending their take on luxury living in the wilderness for the 14th season this year. For them the luxury of The Chilko Experience is about friendly hospitality, complete privacy and wholesome fun in the wilderness. For 20 years Huston has been in a unique position to observe the benefits to friends and families of bonding with nature and each other. “There is a magic to witness in that process that never gets old,” said Huston.

This is British Columbia’s “last frontier”. Phil Huston came upon it almost by accident while backpacking BC over 40 years ago, and he never forgot it. Only a thousand hearty residents inhabit its 32 Million acres equating to one resident per every 50 square miles. This road less region supports 17 unique ecosystems. Mountains, glaciers, rushing rivers and alpine lakes take center stage. So do nature and its healing powers. Here, brown bears, cougars, wolves, mountain goats, eagles and salmon call the Chilcotin home.

Carved from the wilds, this-off-the-grid estate consists of six custom log and timber frame luxury accommodations which were designed and constructed by HGTV’s Timber Kings. Today these one and two-bedroom, artisan-crafted dwellings continue to delight visitors whom their hosts welcome like family to this exclusive estate. Each unique home shares common features: oversized windows for maximum natural light, stone floors, hand-beveled denim (blue toned pine) ceilings, steel roofs, all tastefully furnished with antiques. Anne Huston, a long-time antique dealer, has adorned these classic homes with many of her own collectibles. See: https://thechilkoexperience.com/log-homes/

Throughout the early June through mid-October season activities include, among others, fly fishing, kayaking, river rafting, horseback riding and four-wheeling in the never-ending forests of pine, splashed by the vivid turquoise and icy blues of the world-famous Chilko Lake.

Staff include expert guides who make sure that on a daily basis each guest fulfills a dream activity. A professional resident chef will delight you daily with their hearty, home-grown fare, and a masseuse and yoga instructor are also in residence for those in search of an invigorating natural wellness experience.

The Chilko Experience serves only British Columbia-sourced wines, many from Okanagan Valley vintners. Taking center stage in the world of wines, Okanagan is the new star to watch.  Many of its over 300 wineries have won international awards.

The geographic features of the wilderness surrounding The Chilko Experience are dominated by Chilko Lake and its out-flowing Chilko River.  The lake is the largest alpine lake in North America and its shores are completely uninhabited, making it one of the most striking and unspoiled landscapes in British Columbia today. As the locals like to ponder: Why go to Lake Louise when you can have Chilko Lake all to yourself?

The lake’s horizon is adorned with the majestic snow-capped Coastal Mountains that stretch north into Yukon territory and southerly, morphing into the Cascade Range from British Columbia into Washington and Oregon. Bears, wolves and bald eagles are abundant here, especially from mid-September through October when runs of up to a million salmon attract one of the highest concentrations of Grizzly bears in North America, not to mention hundreds of eagles that soar overhead, scouring for scraps.

“Perhaps even more impressive than artisan log castles and pristine wilderness is the heart of The Chilko Experience – our world-renowned hospitality,” explains Huston. “Sincere, unpretentious and warm are some of the words we hear. Our guests tell us that we are masters in the art of hosting. Real hands-on, laugh-your-tail-off fun is what we do. Boots on the ground, paddles in the water, fish on the line, sights seen by few – that’s what the Chilko Experience is all about.”

Huston goes on to say, “One could not conceive of a more desirable antidote to our current woes than this intimate, untamed adventure.  When guests ask for the address of the resort, they get an unusual answer.  We are 30 miles off the power grid, 40 miles to the post office and 200 miles to the grocery store but at night you can reach up and touch the stars.”

For additional details please see https://thechilkoexperience.com/. Call toll free 1.888.865.7136 or email phil@chilkoexperience.com.

About The Chilko Experience Wilderness Resort
The estate is a charter member of The Austin Collection and a member of the Mantis Collection, Villas of Distinction and the Chilko Operators Association. It was also included in the 2018 Chad Clark Certified 25™. This is a collection of the most unique, authentic and singular travel experiences to be had throughout the world.

Chilko Lake in BC

The end of summer heralds one of nature’s most enjoyable spectator sports – brown bear watching in British Columbia.

From mid-September and into October, the Chilko River hosts one of the region’s most dramatic salmon runs that in turn attracts furry visitors who wander in to dine on a veritable feast of spawning Sockeye.

Meet the Chilko Lake grizzly bear (Ursus arctos ssp.), a large subspecies of the North American Brown Bear. Adult female grizzlies weigh around 290–400 lbs., and adult males about 400–790 lbs. with an average length of 6.50 ft.

The congregation of hungry bears can number up to 100 or so, providing a visual feast for human visitors to this remote region who are hungry to see one of Nature’s annual spectacles.

Proprietors and owners of The Chilko Experience, Phil and Anne Huston, satisfy guest appetites with friendly hospitality, complete privacy and wholesome fun in the wilderness on their private estate. Plus, they ferry their guests onto the river in boats that are positioned to witness the feeding frenzy — but at a safe distance.

These bears are concentrated on a three-mile river segment beginning at the river’s mouth and extending downstream, an area where in some years the salmon numbers exceed one million. The result is that the Chilko River has some of the finest bear viewing anywhere in North America. The reason for this concentration is that the river is located deep within the BC interior and is the only salmon-feeding option for bears within a 200-mile radius. While there may be more bears located along the coast, with the many feeding options that exist, they are more dispersed and harder to observe.

Phil Huston explains that most viewing is done by low-draft river boats with experienced guides who know to stay at least 50 meters away from the bears in order not to stress them.

“Of particular interest are the mother bears and cubs. Two cubs are common but families of three are seen also. Photographers from around the world come to Chilko to seek the perfect brown bear photo,” he says.

While the bear get to feast, fishing for salmon on the Chilko River is restricted to all but those of First Nations decent. “However, the salmon spawn draws large rainbow trout populations that challenge and reward both the novice and experienced angler,” Huston notes.

Only 12 guests a week (up to 22 if they’re extended friends and family) have the privilege of lodging on the estate in the six custom log and timber frame homes that took center stage on HGTV’s Timber Kings a few years back. Today these one and two-bedroom, artisan-crafted dwellings continue to delight visitors whom their hosts welcome like family to their exclusive estate. Each unique home shares common features: oversized windows for maximum natural light, stone floors, hand-beveled denim (blue toned pine) ceilings, steel roofs, all tastefully furnished with antiques. Anne Huston, a long-time antique dealer, has adorned these classic homes with many of her collectibles. See: http://thechilkoexperience.com/log-homes/

This season (June 1 through Oct. 21), it’s fun as usual fly and spin cast fishing, canoeing, lake cruising, horseback riding and four-wheeling in the never-ending (five million acres) forests of native pine, splashed by the world-famous Chilko River and Chilko Lake. Complimentary guided activities are conducted directly from the estate. Optional river rafting and guided fly-fishing outings come with an extra fee.

Rates per person for this boutique and all-inclusive hospitality are based on the number of nights. Children ages 6 and under lodge free. Ages 7 to12 visit at the half-adult rate. Singles are accommodated in the Main House with no additional single supplement charge. A per person three-night stay is $2,950 and a six-night stay $5,950. See: http://thechilkoexperience.com/rates/

Most guests access the Chilko valley via private charter flights originating in Vancouver, BC. The flight time is one hour. Guests can also fly commercially to Williams Lake and then drive three hours to the estate. From Vancouver it’s a 10-hour drive.

About The Chilko Experience

The estate is a charter member of The Austin Collection and a member of the Mantis Collection, Villas of Distinction and the Chilko Operators Association. The staff practice sustainability, including recycling, at every level. A 48-panel, 12 K solar system generates 98 percent of the estate’s energy needs. On premise are a greenhouse and a 140-foot freshwater well. The abundant water supplies are all based on glacier and snow melt, so pure that residents can drink right from the lakes and streams.