Looking for Gulf Islands accommodation? In this guide we pick our favourite places to stay on BC’s beautiful islands for every budget and travel style. From rugged campgrounds to luxurious resorts, you’ll find your ideal place to stay in the Gulf Islands here.
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With relatively few traditional hotels, the Gulf Islands are a rare opportunity to enjoy a variety of unique, privately run accommodations.
There are plenty of charming B&Bs where you’ll get a warm family welcome and a beautiful breakfast made of fresh, local ingredients.
Several exceptionally beautiful campgrounds are available if you want to sleep outside and be at one with nature. To truly treat yourself, choose one of a handful of extraordinary resorts and spas.
BC Ferries provides easy connections between the islands, so ideally, you’ll make time to stay on more than one. This way, you get the chance to explore the unique features and flavours each one has to offer.
Our guide to things to do on the Gulf Islands will help you decide which islands you need to visit.
For help deciding where to stay, read on for our guide to…
Gulf Islands Accommodation
All ratings are taken from Booking.com, rates are in USD, approximate and subject to change.
Salt Spring Island Accommodation
A relatively large island, Salt Spring offers the most diversity in accommodation choices, from picture-perfect campgrounds, to rustic rental cottages, homey B&Bs, and luxurious resorts.
If you want to be near the low-key action, choose a place around Ganges, where most of Salt Spring’s shops and restaurants are clustered. You’ll also find great options on freshwater lakes, along dramatic ocean shorelines, or in the pastoral countryside.
Ruckle Point Provincial Park
This is our favourite place to camp in the entire world!
Stephen and I camped at Ruckle Point on our very first trip together which kicked off a lifelong love of camping and outdoor experiences.
Ruckle Point overlooks Active Pass, which is always busy with sailboats, pleasure cruisers, and BC Ferries sailing by. Plus, the rocky shore is home to plenty of tidal pools teeming with life – watching the tiny sea life in these pools is pure joy.
Ruckle Point is an extremely popular campground, so book ahead if you’re going in high season or on a holiday weekend.
Between the Covers B&B
We stayed here and really liked it. If you love nothing more than to curl up and get lost in a novel, then Between the Covers is the perfect accommodation. On my most recent trip to Salt Spring Island, I was given a wonderful welcome by owner Margriet Ruurs, who is also a children’s author and true book-lover.
The two literary-themed rooms are cozy and clean, with shelves and shelves of books to keep you engrossed for your entire stay.
Breakfast was a feast for the eyes as well as my tummy, with grapes picked freshly from vines on the property and baked goods sourced that morning from one of Salt Spring’s exceptional bakeries.
Hedgerow House B&B
Hidden in a peaceful corner of Ganges, the elegant Hedgerow House is within walking distance of the town centre, where many of Salt Spring’s best restaurants and attractions can be found.
There is also a yoga studio on the property, where I attended an excellent class taught by Jayne, an Iyengar-trained teacher. With a spa, hot tub, and infrared sauna on the property, there’s no excuse to have anything less than the ultimate relaxing stay.
Ideal for a special occasion or just some seriously spoiled luxuriating, Stonehouse B&B offers complete tranquility on 4 acres of rolling hillside.
The breakfast is gourmet and locally sourced, and there is a hot tub, steam room, and several comfy living areas to make you feel right at home.
If you’re looking for a place for a family getaway or just want a little extra space on your trip to Salt Spring, try The Cottages.
These well-appointed wooden cottages all have southwest exposure and a view of small but picturesque Bullock Lake. Different sizes and styles are available, so you can come on your own or bring the entire family.
Hastings House Resort
A country house resort and spa that overlooks Ganges Harbour, luxury Hastings House Resort offers old-world style in its 22 cottages and suites. There is fine dining at the onsite restaurant and a variety of relaxing treatments available at Wellspring Spa.
Galiano Island Accommodation
A long, narrow stretch of land, Galiano Island offers many styles of accommodations, including camping, B&Bs, resorts, and rental cottages.
Most of the restaurants, shops and other attractions are on the southeast end of the island, between Montague Harbour and Sturdies Bay. Accommodations further northwest offer the ultimate in seclusion. Be aware that driving can be challenging and slow, as the roads are narrow, winding, and often foggy.
Montague Provincial Campground
Camp among towering trees only steps from Montague Harbour’s spectacular white shell beach. This campground has both walk-in and vehicle-accessible camping spots and lots of opportunities for bird-watching, seal-spotting, and exploring.
Just watch out for the raccoons: all food and toiletries must be stored inside a vehicle or in the food containers provided or you’ll have a raccoon party at your campsite. This happened to our neighbours one year when we camped here, and it is much less fun than it sounds!
Serenity by the Sea
We stayed here and really liked it. If you’re a fan of fables and myths, a stay at Serenity by the Sea will ignite your imagination.
Tucked away at the end of a remote road half-way up Galiano’s length, this B&B is all romance. There are towering trees overhead, waves crashing just metres from the front deck, and eagles and ravens soaring overhead.
Two of the rooms are small cabins nestled amid towering trees – you’ll feel like you’re sleeping embraced by their branches. The third is in the main house, where friendly hosts Luannah and Juan also live.
If you stay, plan to treat yourself to an onsite massage or a complete healing package.
Oceanfront rooms and suites in a boutique inn, just minutes from the ferry dock. Treat yourself to a Signature Experience at the onsite Madrona del Mar Spa and stay within walking distance of Sturdies Bay, Galiano’s main town centre.
A 12-bedroom manor house in a private forest, Woodstone Manor is the place to go on Galiano if you’re looking for an elegant or romantic retreat. The dining room and patio looks out over a pastoral scene, while the 3-Michelin star chef will ensure you get the very best to eat.
Pender Island Accommodation
There are actually two Pender Islands, north Pender and south Pender, which are connected by a small bridge. Most of the services, accommodations, and attractions are clustered around Otter Bay and Mouat Point on north Pender, but you can find more secluded places to stay on other parts of the island.
Shingle Bay Campground
About a 10-minute drive from the ferry terminal, Shingle Bay campground is on a gravel beach overlooking the water. There are 10 walk-in or boat-in campsites with pit toilets. You’ll need to bring drinking water as there is no potable water onsite.
Woods on Pender
Woods on Pender is designed for city slickers who want a taste of nature without having to set up a tent. Stay in a hip Airstream trailer, a rustic cabin, or their trendy motel.
There is also an onsite restaurant serving farm-to-table food, a gourmet food truck, and a massage trailer with two full-time therapists.
Shangrila Waterfront Vacation Home
A welcoming home with a harbour view, Shangrila has two suites equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay, including a mini kitchen with microwave and an outdoor barbecue area. The king suite has a separate living and bedroom area for privacy and comfort.
Poets Cove Resort & Spa
Poet’s Cove Resort is a luxury boutique retreat with great sunset views from lodge rooms, villas, and cottages overlooking the water. Also has an onsite spa, marina, and fine dining.
Mayne Island Accommodation
A compact size, nothing is too far away on Mayne Island. Even accommodations in Bennett Bay, on the opposite end of the island from Village Bay, where the ferry docks, are easily reachable by car.
Most roads are narrow and twisting, and life is lived at island pace, so be sure to drive slowly and carefully.
Seal Beach Cottage
The cute homey cottages at Seal Beach are set on one of Mayne Island’s most beautiful bays. The cottages are accessed along a winding road through old growth forest which makes them feel a million miles from anywhere.
There is boat and swimming access on the property, so you can effortlessly stay and play in the water.
Mayne Island Resort
Homey cottages and villas along the water’s edge in Bennett Bay. Mayne Island Resort also offers inn rooms, an onsite restaurant, a pool, and spa.
Saturna Island Accommodation
The most remote of the southern Gulf Islands, it’s hard to believe that Saturna is only a couple of quick ferry rides from booming Vancouver.
There is relatively little in the way of accommodation, restaurants, and other services on Saturna, so it’s perfect if you really need a break from the hectic pace of life.
Narvaez Bay Campground
For a remote camping experience, visit Narvaez Bay on the east side of Pender Island. Popular with boaters, this campground is most easily accessed by water or by bicycle. The sites are all walk-in sites, 1.7km from parking, so you’re almost guaranteed a quiet and secluded stay.
Rustic Cottage Escape
If you’re looking for a true nature retreat (the perfect place to write that novel!), this cottage on Saturna Island is the real deal. It’s a rustic but well designed home with 3 bedrooms, wood-burning stove, and a wraparound deck looking out into the forest.
There’s no WiFi here either, so get ready for a digital detox!
The proceeds from the cottage rental go to supporting a social enterprise business, Clean Start.
A Final Note About Where to Stay in the Gulf Islands
Though accommodation in the Gulf Islands tends to be on the pricey side, it’s also consistently high quality. No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll find a warm Canadian island welcome waiting for you.
Perfect for nature lovers, the camping on the Gulf Islands is some of the best in the world. If you like homey accommodations, you’ll have more than enough B&Bs to choose from, and if you’re up for a luxury getaway, the many Gulf Islands resorts will deliver.
Remember, if you’re planning on heading to the Gulf Islands in high season or on a holiday weekend, the best time to book your accommodation is now. Things fill up quickly and sleeping in your car by the side of the road could end up being your only option!
The southern Gulf Islands make an extraordinary getaway destination. Each has its own personality, but all are welcoming, friendly, and slow-paced — just like islands should be.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend away from your responsibilities, a few weeks of peace and quiet, or an adventurous escape to nature, you’ll find it in the Gulf Islands.
We hope this guide to Gulf Islands accommodation is helpful. Our goal is to help you make every trip transformational — and a great place to stay can help! If you have any questions about the Gulf Islands, give us a shout on email or Instagram.
♥ Happy transformational travels, Jane & Stephen