Glamping by the ocean! The most unique of Bonavista accommodations
No two glamping experiences are created equal. Glamping evokes imagery of ostentatious bathtubs overlooking the Serengeti or giant yurts on the English countryside but the term is subjective. Some have king-size beds, while the inclusion of a cot in a four-man tent could be labelled as a glamping experience on Airbnb. The basic concept is that glamping accommodations have amenities more luxurious than those typically associated with camping. And I’m here for it — there are nice fluffy towels, comfy beds, and more often than not a ridiculously picturesque landscape viewable from the said comfy bed. Just take a look at the Ome glamping accommodations we experienced for our first wedding anniversary. So when it came to choosing Bonavista accommodations, Bonavista Living‘s Eco Glamping Pod was top of the list.
Myriad Bonavista accommodations
Bonavista has always been a tourist destination. A three-hour drive from St. John’s, the town boasts the alleged landing site of John Cabot and there are whale-watching and hiking trails galore. Charming B&Bs and vacation homes abound when it comes to Bonavista accommodations, but there is nothing like Bonavista Living’s eco glamping pods. You can book these glamping pods through Russelltown Inn who also have a variety of Bonavista accommodations if you’re not feeling the more rustic offerings of a glamping pod.
Glamping with a capital G
The portmanteau glamping (a.k.a. glamourous camping) is filled with juxtapositions. No electricity but handmade linens on the beds, amazing views but no bathroom etc. The Bonavista glamping pods are no exception to the rule. The three pods are located right in the town, but overlook the ocean so it feels like no one else is around.
Check-in was as breezy as the Atlantic winds whipping Bonavista’s coastline. A day before check-in, guests receive a code for the pod so there’s no muss or fuss and you can arrive whenever you want (after 3 p.m.). Adam and I stayed in Pod 3, which is the closest to the ocean and has an unobstructed view. I lied on the bed the minute we got there and immediately began soaking in the amazing blue skyline. Relaxing is an understatement: there’s nothing between you and the ocean, so at night, the waves crashed against the rocks and soothed us both to sleep.
True to the name of the “eco” glamping pods, there is no electricity or running water in the pods — they are basically one big room. For nighttime, there are three solar-powered lanterns that give off a surprising amount of light. The queen-size hotel-quality bed is high and comfy with clean white linens that showcase the pillows and throw woven by Morgaine Parnham of the local Tree Line Fine Art and Craft.
The Big House
Just beyond the three pods is the main house. All of the pods have their own bathroom in the big house, well “big” is a relative term — it’s actually a historic house renovated by Bonavista Living. This settler’s house which the company has dated to 1835 has a kitchen and three bathrooms with pared-back minimalist decor. Fluffy towels and products made by East Coast Glow adorn the crisp white bathrooms — ours had a huge glass-encased shower, lots of windows and a chandelier hanging from the exposed beams.
The small kitchen is shared by all the pods and has all the essential kitchen tools and accessories to cook up a meal. The only drawback to this was there are only two-small stools to sit and enjoy your meal so if more than one pod is cooking then you can’t sit down together. A communal dining room or table would go a long way here, especially considering Newfoundlands — ahem — not always so nice weather. Each of the pods is assigned a cubby in the main house which can be locked and has a plug inside so you can lock up your laptop while it charges when you’re out adventuring.
Outside the pods, there are three fire pits and some benches which are amazing for soaking in the views, but some more comfortable seating like Muskoka chairs would be nice to enjoy the fire by the ocean in the evenings. The natural views from these Bonavista accommodations might be some of the best out there, but the glamping pods are located on Rolling Cove Road, just a five-minute walk from the main street of the town, Church Street.
All the cafe, shops and restaurants are inside historic homes along this main drag, from The Quintal Cafe’s coffee (most of the time accompanied by some form of live music) to Ragged Rock Gastropub beer and fish and chips. We got coffee and pastries from The Quintal Cafe each morning and walked back to our pod to enjoy the ocean views.
On our last night in Bonavista, we ate dinner The Boreal Diner a ten-minute stroll from the pods. This gorgeous restaurant is also housed in a Bonavista Living-restored heritage home where we devoured fresh bread with molasses butter, fresh scallops with poached rhubarb and pasta tossed with arctic char and local greens.
Bonavista living it up
We loved our experience in the pods. They were clean and comfortable and their location in Bonavista was ideal for us — their proximity to restaurants but also to calming ocean views was key! So, who should stay here? Couples or solo travellers looking for who want views of the ocean when they wake up and who want to disconnect a little from Instagram but who also like to be in the middle of the small-town action and want a cappuccino in the morning. The pods are not suitable for those who need constant electricity, don’t want a long walk to the bathroom at night (I wasn’t a fan of this either) or for people with accessibility need. Families should look into booking all three pods for a fun weekend, but the pods aren’t really geared for kids!
These glamping pods are a great option for Bonavista accommodations and if you’re looking for a unique experience when visiting Newfoundland, this is it! Glamp on my friends!
Disclosure: Thank you to Bonavista Living and The Russelltown Inn for the complimentary stay at the eco glamping pods. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are my own.