Chill and Immerse at Desolation’s Island Cabana Experience!
A comfortably designed, exclusive eco resort located on an uninhabited island in the heart of Desolation Sound, British Columbia, Canada. Where warm Pacific waters, lively marine wildlife and towering Coast Mountains provide an awesome setting for a truly unique, west coast British Columbia, eco resort experience.
“My best vacation ever, so unique I am still under its spell!”
- Remote Access
- Inspiring Eco-Design
- Warmly Tranquil and Wonderfully Wild
- Discover, Explore, Unwind
- Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
- Chill & Immerse
- Local, Creative Cuisine
- Thoughtful Details
- Is Cabana Desolation For You?
- Two Packages Available
- Rates and Policies
- Availability and Reservations
- Photo Gallery
- From the Guestbook
- Where in the World Are We?
- Trip Itinerary and Detailed Planning
- Contact Us
The journey is part of the experience – and expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the train to mecca. – Anthony Bourdain
Cabana Desolation is located on a remote island in the middle of Desolation Sound – and reaching this wonderful location is part of the experience! From our launch site and base in Okeover Inlet it is 8 nautical miles to Cabana Desolation in the heart of Desolation Sound, and guests have two options for accessing this unique and exclusive eco resort: kayaking or motor vessel transport.
Guided and self-guided kayaking packages allow this beautiful area to be explored at a slower and more immersive pace. Starting in the sheltered waters of our private waterfront location, guests paddle along varied shorelines and amongst idyllic islands and islets as they make their way to the entrance of Desolation Sound. From here, the view opens up entirely: to the west the imposing Coast Mountains rise 7000 feet straight out of the ocean, while to the north and east numerous passages and waterways wind their way between rugged islands and offer an enticing glimpse of the days to come. A thirty minute open water crossing from here to Kinghorn Island is all that stands between you and your first evening of relaxation and exploration of Cabana Desolation Eco Resort.
Alternatively, guests can choose to be transported to and from Kinghorn Island via the company motor vessel. This trip is a relatively short 20 minute ride through these same stunning waters. Motor vessel transport is possible for both our guided and non-guided trips, and a surcharge does apply to our regular prices.
Please note that the remote nature of Cabana Desolation, while making the resort a truly unique guest experience, also introduces some particular logistical challenges for staff access and resort maintenance. If you are planning to kayak out, please click here to read about starting times and itineraries on the first morning, and if you are choosing the motor vessel transport option, please click here to do the same.
Inspired from the eco-lodgings of Costa Rica, where handcrafted buildings utilize local materials to provide a simple, rich ambiance for immersing comfortably in the lush rainforest. Cabana Desolation captures this feeling, with cozy cabins handcrafted from locally milled Western Red cedar and Douglas fir. Large screened openings provide a connection with the sites and sounds of Desolation as sunlight warms the rich interior woods. Breezy curtains add to the ambiance along with the custom-made log beds and a comfy window corner lounge. Cozy throws, soft pillows and the earthy textures of warm, Canadian wool blankets enhance the comfortable feeling. Covered entrance decks provide a place to kick-off your beach shoes and to hop into the cedar-enclosed shower. This spa-like experience provides skylight ceilings for a relaxing view of the sweeping conifers as the on-demand hot water, pressured by gravity, warms, cleanses & relaxes the body after a wonderful day of recreation.
Meandering cedar boardwalks wind their way through the forest, providing easy movement amongst cabanas and the other structures of Cabana Desolation, such as the cedar-built low-flush toilet structures. In addition to providing easy movement and a flowing appeal, the boardwalks help protect the natural integrity of this mossy, rain-forested location.
For dining, the open-air Cabana Café uses the same materials and design principles as the Cabanas. The handcrafted post and beam building provides not only a place to enjoy wonderful foods but also a place to hang-out and read a book or converse over a glass of wine. The wooden bar connects to the enclosed kitchen and is perfect for enjoying a refreshing beverage or afternoon tapas. With plank tables and a comfortable lounging area, the Cabana Cafe is an enjoyable part of Desolation's Island Cabana Experience.
60s Video: Sunrise & Fresh Breeze at the Cabana Cafe
Warmly Tranquil & Wonderfully Wild
Much has been said of Desolation Sound and its majestic scenery, warm Pacific waters, prolific marine wildlife, accessible freshwater lakes and its interesting and varied waterways and vast shorelines. In addition to these alluring features, the Desolation area has a very pleasant climate, where warm summer temperatures along with the swimmable ocean waters provide for an experience more often associated with tropical destinations.
Located on an uninhabited, 240-acre island in the heart of Desolation Sound, Cabana Desolation intends to provide an ambiance that enhances Desolation’s warm and wonderful features.
Check out Cabana Desolation Eco-Resort on Google Maps
With our roots as a sea kayaking company, we welcome guests seeking active adventure, whether it is sea kayaking the varied shorelines, exploring the flora & fauna of this rain-forested island, Snorkelling with the Stars! or stand-up paddle boarding. However, Cabana Desolation also welcomes those seeking to simply chill and immerse in Desolation; to enjoy good food, beautiful scenery and thoughtful service along with the comforts of a cozy bed and perhaps a well-positioned hammock or beach chair. Of course, you can always do both.
Whether you choose the guided, self-guided, or motor vessel transport package, there is no better way to fully explore Desolation Sound than by kayak. You may be floating noiselessly between rocky islets viewing the intertidal marine life, or rocking with the waves as you make a crossing from one headland to the next, a kayak can bring you closer and give you a greater understanding of your environment than any other activity.
Popular day paddles include the Curme Islands, Cortes Island, and the funky boardwalk community of Refuge Cove. Just an hour away by kayak, Refuge Cove is the perfect place to catch a glimpse of coastal British Columbia's unique island culture - from perusing local art to people watching as the tourists and the 'locals' intermingle on the picturesque boardwalk and in the characteristic general store.
Guided and self-guided guests paddle to and from our island resort on the first and last day of their stay, while guests that choose to take the motor vessel transport option will have kayaks and safety equipment available for use for day trips during their stay.
Please note: for guests paddling without a guide, prior kayaking experience is essential for using kayaks at Desolation Cabana.
Opportunities for hiking abound around Desolation Cabana, both on trail and off, and are a great way to explore the many diverse environments of Desolation Sound. Hop in your kayak and within anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours or so you can be at a trailhead that takes you to a scenic viewpoint for lunch, amongst towering ancient forests, or to the shore of a warm freshwater lake for a refreshing swim in the summer sun. One of the more accessible trails from Cabana Desolation starts at Feather Cove - a small portion of the 180km long Sunshine Coast Trail - and forks in two directions: one way to Sarah Point and fantastic views towards Cortes Island, and the other inland to a series of lakes, depending on your ambition, nestled into the forest far away from civilization.
Kinghorn Island itself offers fantastic opportunities for exploration on foot. Although few developed trails exist on the island, the natural landscape and varied topography make it perfect for hiking. Steep granite cliffs on the south western shore give incredible views over the northern Strait of Georgia, easily accessible by following old logging skids that give evidence of this area's pioneering history. Even older, however, are strands of towering old-growth firs and cedars that were left behind and remain to this day in the heart of the island, waiting for your discovery.
Mention snorkeling, and many might immediately think of southern climes, with warm waters and prolific sea life waiting to be discovered just beneath the surface of the waves... Well, that's exactly what we have here!
Jacques Costeau, famous diver and explorer, considered the diving in these parts to be second in the world only to the Red Sea. Warm water temperatures reaching up to 25 degrees celsius (75 degrees farenheit) and prolific intertidal marine life make snorkelling in Desolation Sound a highlight of many guests' trips with us at Cabana Desolation. We provide shorty wetsuits, flippers, and masks and snorkels for all our Cabana guests to enjoy during their stay.
A gradual yet consistent current flows past the rocky points of Kinghorn Island and around the smaller islands just offshore, providing nutrients to a wide variety of marine wildlife, from sea stars and sea cucumbers to urchins and anemones, right on our doorstep.
Take a kayak or stand-up paddle board over to Station Island just off the point of Cabana Desolation at low tide to access a great area of intertidal life, or slightly further afield, the south western shore line of Kinghorn Island is a veritable aquarium of sea stars, cucumbers, and giant plumose anemones clinging to the rocky coast. For an overall understanding of the snorkelling in this region, accessed easily from Cabana Desolation, check out our page about snorkeling with the stars!
'Snorkeling with the Stars!' with Powell River Sea Kayak has been chosen by the Canadian Tourism Commission as a Canadian Signature Experience, and wherever you go in Desolation Sound, the snorkeling combined with the warmest water temperatures on the BC coast is sure to be memorable!
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Picture yourself dipping your paddle into the perfectly calm water, gliding effortlessly over colourful sea life, the sun setting over Cortes Island to the west, not another sound to be heard or body to be seen. Long, hot, calm summer days bring perfect paddling conditions not just for kayaks, but stand-uppaddle boards as well!
Combine paddle boarding with snorkeling to access especially vibrant marine life, or simply use one as an excuse to tumble into the refreshing ocean after a long day of paddling! Whether you're a natural or a complete beginner, paddle boarding is accessible to all.
Chill & Immerse
Sometimes, especially when on vacation in a beautiful part of the world, away from the stresses of everyday life, the most enticing activity is simply to relax and do … absolutely nothing.
We completely understand! As a result, Cabana Desolation has been designed to ensure that you are able to fully immerse yourself in this unique west coast environment, with no obligations no anybody but your own desires.
Take a book (or a glass of wine) out to the point and relax in the afternoon sun. Hammocks are strategically located in shaded, private locations to swing you gently in the breeze. Trails meander through the forest and take you to deserted bluffs overlooking seals sunbathing on rocks below, or to exposed tidal pools on secluded beaches that contain a previously unseen underwater world.
Moonless nights in Desolation Sound are the perfect opportunity to experience a surreal phenomenon that most people have heard about but have never experienced for themselves - the magical glow of phosphorescent plankton dancing beneath the waves. This natural wonder is prevalent throughout Desolation Sound in the warm summer months, and people often describe swimming amongst the illuminated water as a once in a lifetime experience akin to the Northern Lights!
At Cabana Desolation, we understand that half the experience is complete immersion in your natural surroundings, and we go out of the way to allow you to go with the flow and see where the day takes you.
Local, Creative Cuisine
At Cabana Desolation, all meals are included in your package. We follow a set menu focusing on local, creative, healthy and tasteful cuisine, and our passionate on-site cooks create mouthwatering delicacies from scratch every day in this remote environment. We believe a great over-all experience is directly related to wonderful foods - and we aim to provide a great experience! In addition to wonderful food, a selection of non-alcoholic beverages will be available as well as a complimentary daily “happy hour” glass of wine or a beer.
We are able to cater for most dietary requirements, please follow this link for further information.
From Adam Vallance – owner Powell River Sea Kayak & Cabana Desolation:
Upon completion of the first 3 cabanas in the summer of 2012, we staged one of the cabanas for a photo shoot and christened Cabana Desolation with an overnight trip. After a restful sleep we woke the next morning to the sounds of birds and to the slapping and snorting of a nearby harbor seal. As one who is thoroughly addicted to good coffee in the morning, I hopped out of the log bed and quickly fired-up my single burner stove (the Cabana Café was yet to be completed…). Soon, my wife and I were propped up in bed with our mugs of coffee as we quietly contemplated how simply awesome this was. We both agreed that guests should have that kind of experience – that kind of feeling.
Morning Coffee Cabana service is just one example of the kind of details that will enhance your stay at Desolation’s Island Cabana Experience.
Is Cabana Desolation for you?
Cabana Desolation is a true "eco" resort. But what does this really mean? Although many resorts loosely use the "eco" prefix in name or marketing - their practices, designs or materials may not truly reflect this. We believe a true eco-resort should provide the following:
- comfortable rooms and intriguing common areas that reflect local designs and heritage
- a natural setting that has been carefully preserved to retain the indigenous landscape
- use of sustainably harvested and/or recycled building materials
- locally grown and harvested foods
- use of renewable energy and creative means to reduce consumption
- use of environmentally sensitive systems for water and disposal of waste water
- employing local staff and guides as well as local ownership and their interaction with guests
- natural and cultural experiences
- a local business that enhances the local community
At Cabana Desolation we have worked very hard in researching, designing and gently developing an eco-resort that both reflects these principles and provides guests with a desirable level of comfort and amenities. In fact, we strongly believe the intriguing and a-typical features at Cabana Desolation will far outweigh and exceed the mundane and typical designs of the more "modern" resort facilities in the world today (although there are some extraordinary eco-resorts out there!). In addition, and as an intangible bonus, is the good feeling we receive knowing we are making good choices in life.
So, is Cabana Desolation for you? Please continue reading here...
A note to our prospective guests: Cabana Desolation Eco-Resort has been approved by Tourism British Columbia's "Quality Assurance Program." This designation is only given out to accommodation properties that have met the program's stringent list of requirements and have passed an inspection.
Two Packages Available
Cabana Desolation’s Guided Kayaking Package
Take a fully guided multi-day tour through the Pacific waters of Desolation Sound Marine Park and stay in the comfort & character of Cabana Desolation. Launching from our historic waterfront site on Okeover Inlet, groups will spend the first day paddling over colourful marine gardens and along the diverse shores of the marine park before crossing the sound to Kinghorn Island and the site of Cabana Desolation. Afternoon arrival will be just in time for a welcome tour & happy hour. Each day’s kayak adventure will radiate in a different direction, with options throughout Desolation Sound, including islands, lakes, trails, sandy beaches and the historic location of Refuge Cove and its funky art, old boardwalks, used books & general store.
Cabana Desolation’s Chill & Immerse Package (self-guided or non-kayaking)
Experience Desolation Sound from the comfort and tranquility of Cabana Desolation. Enjoy wonderful foods, the idyllic atmosphere and thoughtful hospitality in the peaceful heart of Desolation Sound. A package for those looking to kayak self-guided, to try some paddle boarding, explore the island's rainforest or to simply chill & immerse in Desolation. This package includes kayak rentals for accessing Cabana Desolation from either our Lund or Okeover locations.
Our Motor Vessel Transport option is a great way to experience the comforts and atmosphere of Cabana Desolation Eco Resort, without the requirement of kayaking in and out. Kayaks will be available for those that wish to make use of them while immersing themselves in this unique corner of coastal British Columbia, but many of our guests simply enjoy the experience of relaxing without any further obligations! See rates for our motor vessel transport package below.
Note: For self-guided guests on our Chill and Immerse package, experience is necessary. Please click to view our 'Are You Experienced' guidelines on our rental page to learn about the considerations required when kayaking unguided on the BC coast. If you wish to book a cabana kayak package and you do not feel comfortable after reading this section, we recommend booking a lesson with us before you go, or consider our Guided Cabana Package.
Rates and Policies
Availability and Reservations
Prices in Canadian dollars. Click here for currency converter.
Guided Kayak Tour Package
|4 day (3 night)
|5 day (4 night)
| 8 day (7 night)
Chill & Immerse Package
| Peak Adult
| Off-Peak Adult
|| Off-Peak Group
|3 day (2 night)*
|4 day (3 night)
|5 day (4 night)
|8 day (7 night)
- Peak dates: June 25 - Sept 10.
- We operate from the third week of May to the third week of September each year.
- Rates are all inclusive, per person, based on double occupancy. Click here for a detailed list of what is included.
- Limited single occupancy cabanas are available at the same per person rate. Additional charges apply for single travellers in double occupancy cabanas.
- Motor vessel transport is $50 per person, each way. Please click here for additional details.
- Taxes (5% GST, 1.2% hotel tax & 0.3% MRDT). Gratuities additional.
Arrival and Departure Days
- 8 day packages run Thursday-Thursday or Sunday-Sunday.
- 5 day packages run Sunday-Thursday.
- 4 day packages run Thursday-Sunday.
- 3 day packages must start on either a Thursday or Friday.
Click here for our complete prices, discounts and policies page.
At Powell River Sea Kayak we understand that cancelling a trip is the last thing one thinks about when planning a vacation, and the circumstances that result in unplanned cancellations are seldom trivial. However, being a small, exclusive resort with a maximum of 10 guests at a time, we do need to enforce a firm cancellation policy under all circumstances.
Please click here to read and understand our cancellation policy before choosing to book your vacation.
- Families of more than 2 people cannot occupy the same cabana (max 2 persons per cabana).
- For this reason, children younger than 12 are generally not suitable for this experience.
- Exceptions may be made to the above if you book the whole resort (i.e. as a group), please contact us for further information.
Please contact us for reservations or for more information.
Toll free in North America: 1-866-617-4444
Outside of North America: 604-483-2160
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