We arrived at the resort on a Tuesday afternoon, and found a staff member to check us in. She let us know we were the only guests on site until Friday, and that there would be no staff on site the first night. She showed us to the main staff accommodation building, which housed the only phone, and the list of emergency phone numbers. After that we were on our own. As darkness fell, we realized several of the other cabins had lights left on, so we went to turn those, and the heaters, off, as the resort advertises itself as "off the grid".
The second day, after a night picturing all that could go wrong and pondering our responsibility for the property in absence of a caretaker, staff returned, silently, along with some horses and some dogs. We spent a gorgeous day exploring the trails. Around 6pm, we noticed the horses, the dogs and the staff were gone again. Staying there alone, unexpectedly, for a second night was even more unnerving than the first, as we definitely did not expect to be the only ones there.
The third morning, after another sleepless night, staff, the horses and the dogs returned. We spent some more time on the trails, and enjoyed the cabin. As before, staff and animals cleared out, leaving us completely alone. By then, after two sleepless nights, my nerves were shot, and I was not impressed.
Finally, morning arrived, and with it, staff, dogs and horses. My husband spoke to someone on site, who advised that it was normal not to have staff around. He also mentioned our quiet would be interrupted, as the cabins were all booked, and that he was also staying on site. We were a bit relieved that there would be others there, and we hoped they would not be too loud.
Guests started to arrive at 4:00, and they appeared to be friends of a staff member on site. A picnic table was delivered to the front of our cabin, which would have been useful earlier in our stay. The final group of guests arrived, loudly, at 9:30pm. We were glad it would be our last night.
All in all, the cabins are nice, the staff is unobtrusive when there, and the trails system is beautiful. We played disc golf, and landed the discs in horse manure more than once, as the horses roaming the meadow defecate freely, and nobody seemed to do anything to clean up after them during our four night stay. The lack of a night caretaker was incredibly stressful and felt irresponsible on the part of the owners, especially considering there are no phones in the cabins and no cell service should something happen. The cabins should also each be equipped with a first aid kit if guests are being left to their own devices.
My rating is based on the fact that days were lovely, nights were awful, and we had no warning going in that we would be all alone, off the grid, for the majority of our stay. Staff did not check in with us, aside from when we sought them out. For the price, I am not likely to return, and would not recommend.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nipika Mountain Resort is an Eco-Resort that borders the Kootenay National Park. Our mission is to live in harmony with nature that surrounds us. The cabins you rent are totally self-contained with everything you need. Full kitchens, bathroom, luxurious linens on the beds, and Rocky Mountain Soap to clean your self up after a day of play on the trails. Nipika is the gate way to the Cross River Recreation site. We manage and build the trail system that starts at your door step! Biking, hiking, canoeing, running, swimming or just relaxing, we have something for everyone! The recreation site is a non-motorized trail system, legs and lungs is all you need! Get back in touch with mother nature and book your cabin! ... more less
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