Alexander Graham Bell was right when he said that after seeing what the world has to offer, nothing beats the Cape Breton Highlands, and the Sunset Oasis overlooking Bay St. Lawrence is precisely what the great inventor was talking about. Add a layer of pure Cape Breton hospitality from owners Mel and Debbie Burton, and it's no wonder our fellow guests wrote WOW with three exclamation marks.
Our room was a clean, comfortable, basic housekeeping unit with a combination fridge, stove, sink that was perfect for us since the main focus was outside. There are some pretty nice photos of the location but they just don't do justice to the views.
Mel hooked us up with a whale watching tour that included an impromptu fishing expedition, a chance to see local crab fishermen in action on the open sea, minke and pilot whales, and bag of fresh mackerel filets as we stepped ashore.
He arranged a purchase of fresh crab - killed and cleaned before our eyes on the local wharf - and even boiled them up in what turned into a short but torrential downpour. The crab feast was shared with seven other guests. That's another Mel and Debbie trick: coffee in the office from 7:30 to 9:00 so we could all meet and chat about our holiday adventures.
We met Debbie at the nearby farmer's market (another Mel suggestion) and sampled her homemade strawberry shortcake, bought some herbs and veggies, and met a bunch of friendly locals, including a laughing pair who fed us homemade chilli.
Mel pointed us to one of the nicest beaches on the island about 15 minutes away (although I've logged at least 100,000 kms on Cape Breton and love finding beaches large and small, well-known and hidden, this was a new one on me).
And he set up a kayaking excursion that took us into Aspy Bay, another beautiful piece of the island.
As we were reluctantly leaving, Mel turned to Debbie and said "They liked it so much, they're coming back next year for a month."
Trust me. I'm working on it.
PS - Speaking of working, I did have some writing to do. Sitting outside the room with my laptop on a bench overlooking the bay surrounded by the hills is probably the nicest office I've ever been in. And connected over wifi. Seriously cool.
PPS - Susanne (sp?) - thanks so much for the blueberry jam. Awesome. Hope you liked the crab.
PPPS - Yes, I rate the swimming pool as excellent. And yes, it's the ocean. Best pool on the planet.
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- Also Known As:
- Burtons Sunset Oasis Hotel