I always get asked the same thing at the end of every trip: What was your favourite part?
Well.. if I had to choose only one favourite part of the Kootenay region of British Columbia, it would be Emerald Lake Lodge.
I mean, come on:
My mouth was gaping open pretty much from the time we drove across the entrance bridge, checked in, dropped my bags in my room, and still when I started waking around the property–but it was when I stood at the end of the bridge, facing the lodge, staring at the surrounding pine trees reaching up into the sky, meeting a glowing rainbow that perfectly framed the Island itself, creating a perfect circle as the entire scene reflected off the impossibly blue milky waters below that truly fell in love with Emerald Lake Lodge.
It was the perfect moment.
After staring in disbelief for some time, I finally pulled myself away to explore around the edge of the Lake. First, I wandered down some narrow dirt paths, and made my way to a fallen tree that stretched out into the water.
It was here that I ended up spending the most time, and simply sitting in silence soaking up the beautiful atmosphere.
Set on a 13-acre peninsula on Yoho National Park’s Emerald Lake, Emerald Lake Lodge is built from hand cut timber and features massive stone fireplaces
The lodge includes an elegant dining room, quiet reading and sitting rooms, conference facilities and a games room.
The dining room, lounge and bar offer you a choice of various famed Rocky Mountain Cuisine.
Mount Burgess Dining Room
After cocktails in the Kicking Horse Lodge, we headed over to the Mount Burgess Dining Room for a sit down meal in the front room.
The meal started with an air dried Buffalo, Prosciutto Platter, including smoked duck breast, game Pate Elk Salami, Sylvan Star Gouda, and mustard, melon & cranberry relish.
Next came a plate of Artisan greens with red onion vinaigrette, orchard fruit and goat cheese.
For the main course I had BC Halibut, herb couscous, soy chili Beurre Blanc and Arugala apple salad. The Halibut was light and tasty, and the couscous was probably the best I’ve ever had. I ate the entire plate.
There was also Grilled Buffalo Striploin (which I was super jealous that I didn’t order) with Duck Dat Confit baby potatoes, Thyme Game glaze and sautéed forest mushrooms.
There was also a vegan choice of twice baked goat cheese soufflé with sautéed summer vegetables and apple celery salad.
Desert was a lemon pistachio tower with lemon confit and blueberry compote.
Or—like my choice—the white chocolate cheesecake with toasted pecans, caramel and chocolate mousse.
It was the best meal of my Kootenay trip.
Lake View Room
A nod to the past characterizes accommodations at Emerald Lake Lodge.
Dotting the property’s 13-acre peninsula are 24 cabin-style buildings (accommodating up to 200 guests); each is designed to reflect the traditional architecture of the lodge.
My Cabin room was at the far end of the property, so it involved a short scenic walk each time I travelled to the main Lodge.
The room itself was a large space with high ceilings, a Queen size bed with a feather duvet, chairs, wood burning fieldstone fireplace (stocked daily with complimentary firewood), tables, and wide set of French doors that opened up to a balcony with a view of the Lake between the trees.
It was warm, cozy, and I had one of the best night’s sleep in a long time.
There was no way I was going to leave the Lodge without going for a paddle around the Lake.
From there, we paddled out into the miky waters, where the turquoise expanse opened up and appeared even more brilliantly blue than they did from the shore.
I dipped my paddle in, reaching down toward the bottom, only to see it fade away in the opaque water.
We paddled around in a circle, made our way out to the edge of the cabins, and around the outer Bay.
It was almost silent, and it felt like any noise was swallowed up by the thick fog that hugged the mountains above.
It’s no secret: I’m obsessed with hammocks and I bring them everywhere.
And, I have to admit; Emerald Lake Lodge is one of the best places I have ever hung up my hammock.
I found a quiet spot beside the main dock, under the canoe storage system. I wrapped my straps around the wooden beams, and hooked the hammock between them, where I swung away the morning before we had to leave.
More Photos Around the Property: