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“Exceptional Wedding Venue”

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Rowena's Inn on the River
Certificate of Excellence
Port Coquitlam, Canada
Level Contributor
246 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 137 helpful votes
“Exceptional Wedding Venue”
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We were at a wedding at Rowena's this weekend. The venue was stunningly beautiful. Everything went well with the wedding from the set up to the decorations in a large tent. The food was good too but not exceptional. The restaurant service is extremely slow and the food is average but reasonably priced with a pretty view onto the water and golf course. All the people who stayed in the quaint cottages were extremely pleased. The rooms in the Inn were beautifully decorated too. They were charming but the Gatehouse was very unmemorable as was the breakfast. Not what we had hoped for nor expected as we had heard so much about the place and the nightly rate was very high.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 2morrows
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summer D, Public Relations Manager at Rowena's Inn on the River, responded to this review, 20 August 2013
What an amazing response. Thank you for taking the time to provide so much detail! With the housekeeping issue, we are improving the quality assurance process to provide our guests with the most relaxing and pampered stay possible. Once again, comments are very appreciated. :)
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164 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Level Contributor
135 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 July 2013

We attended a wedding at Rowena’s Inn On the River recently and were amazed at the natural beauty of its surrounding nestled among huge evergreens and scenic views of the Harrison River with a backdrop of mountains. The property is unique as a BnB in several ways. First, it has a historical heritage dating back to the turn of the century as the home of the Pretty family who pioneered the area harvesting local timbers. The property is still owned by a descendent of the Pretty family; Betty Anne who lives there and frequently interacts with guests staying there. Second, the Sandpiper golf course looks lovely and while we did not golf while there the grounds add a magnificent venue for golf lovers. Third, Rowena’s Edge Restaurant provides great food for both guests and golfers visiting there.

The wedding ceremony took place on the lawn just outside the Inn facing the Harrison River on what turned out to be a gorgeous but very hot summer day. Prior to the ceremony guests were invited to partake of refreshments and snacks in the two large great rooms adorned with antiques and original furniture belonging to the Pretty family. In the largest great room were a fireplace and a baby grand piano amidst several interesting knick-knacks. The large multi-paned or divided light windows facing the Harrison River gave both rooms an old world elegance as did the tasteful oil paintings hung on the walls. The dining table for the reception dinner was set with fine china, silver candelabras, linens and silverware cutlery.

After the wedding ceremony the wedding party took full advantage of the scenic setting of the property for photos. The reception dinner was superb and complemented with local wines. The starters and appetizers were so tasty and the desserts were equally enjoyed. The courteous, polite staff serving dinner was service-oriented and while it did take a long time for the food to be served each dish when served was hot for each guest. One of the servers named Hannah was especially kind, gracious and patient with three older senior citizens in our group.
Almost all the guests stayed overnight at Rowena’s and were able to take advantage of the swimming pool between the Inn and the river for a quick dip to cool off from the heat of the day. There was also a hot tub nearby but because the day had been so hot it lost its appeal. Some guests were surprised that the pool contained debris and in some spots the pool looked like it could have had more rigorous cleaning. It did make us wonder how often it was checked for maintenance.

Overnight guests were accommodated in the upstairs rooms of the main house or Inn, the Gatehouse (house near main entry to the property) and three of the four cottages. The Gatehouse has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, one room with an ensuite shower and the other with a stand-alone porcelain tub. The rooms in the main house match the description on the website and are truly unique.

We stayed in one of the four cottages located a short distance away from the Inn. The cottage was deluxe with pine wood interior finishing throughout, king sized bed, heated slate floor in the bathroom, Jacuzzi jetted soaker tub and separate shower, small sink near back entry with a small coffee maker and small bar fridge. Two terry-towel robes are provided for guests. There is one ceiling fan with variable speeds, a circulating space heater if needed and a real wood-burning fireplace faced with river rock. There is an Ipod docking stereo and radio combo for use. An old classic trunk at the foot of the bed houses extra comforters for cold nights. Upon arrival we noticed that the floors had not been vacuumed but when we expressed concern about this staff looked after this straight away in a timely manner. When the evening celebrations ended and we retired to our cottage but the room stayed warm and stuffy from the hot weather of the day and did not cool off even with the overhead fan on full and the screened windows opened. Sleeping was not comfortable. We did appreciate the ½ bottle of white wine and fruit/cheese plate placed by Rowena staff in the small fridge. Nice touch.

The next morning a breakfast for our group was supposed to take place in the River’s Edge restaurant but for some reason the cooking staff had not been informed about this prior arrangement and so the communal breakfast did not occur as planned. Instead the group ordered from the restaurant menu individually. Our meal voucher for breakfast did not get delivered to our cottage but we were still able to order breakfast without it.

I would suggest management review restaurant operations for improved service. The Rivers Edge restaurant serves great food but the food and service is painfully slow. We waited 35 minutes for our order to be taken and another group near us who arrived before us waited over an hour, yet we were served before them. One of the menu items we ordered for lunch had an upgrade charge attached for a salad but the server forgot to mention this when taking our order. When the server was asked later about this she became flustered and uncertain about how to correct this after the bill had been paid.

In summary, this property is magnificent and an excellent venue for weddings. It rates higher than a four star property and just short of a five star rating. With attention to better communication between line staff managers and a focus on housekeeping routines and cleaning this property could easily be a five star rating in my opinion.

Room Tip: The Gatehouse with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms would be ideal for two couples wanting to share accomm...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank yenally
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summer D, Public Relations Manager at Rowena's Inn on the River, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Experiencing everything from a wedding, overnight stay and our food really provides a complete rating. Your concerns regarding the restaurant will definitely be shared with the staff. Improving operations is very important to us. Thank you for the wonderful rating. Very appreciative!
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Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2013

on Saturday 22nd june 2013 myself and Katie spent 2 hours on a trail ride with storm and summer. it was a lovely ride and the lady spent time taking us around the various trails and ending up with a beautiful view of the valley below. We felt at ease and not rushed with other rides and even trotted and had a canter a few times ! We have experience a similar small ranch in South Africa and would highly recommend this place to any one ! we both love horses and have one of our own and this place needs more riders to experience the lovely time we had. The horses are well looked after and cared for ! We will be stopping by on our next trip to Canada !

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank arclark2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summer D, Public Relations Manager at Rowena's Inn on the River, responded to this review, 4 July 2013
We love hearing reviews like yours! Thank you for sharing!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
107 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 June 2013

This is a lovely B&B connected to a destination golf course and an excellent restaurant. There is very little else around the area; you come here to relax and/or play golf. The B&B has 5 rooms in the Inn and 4 cottages.

First, a description of the Inn rooms in order of their size; I wish this information was available on the B&B website. Charlie's Room is tiny with just a double bed, though it has a private bathroom. In my opinion, this room would be suitable for one person, but not for two. Rowena's Room is still quite small, and does not have a private bathroom. Ivan's Room is a good size, but also does not have a private bathroom. (Rowena's and Ivan's Rooms share a bathroom down the hall, though both rooms do have sinks). Pete's Room is quite big and has a private bathroom, as well as access to a large shared deck overlooking the pool, golf course, and river. Betty-Ann's Room is the largest, has a private bath, and the same deck access and view as Pete's Room. Unfortunately the two biggest and nicest rooms do not have air conditioning; as all the rooms are on the top floor of an old house, it can get quite warm in the summer and uncomfortable for sleeping.

We stayed in Pete's room. It is nicely appointed, very clean and the bedding was comfortable. It was lovely to sit on the deck in the sun and watch the bald eagles fly over the river. We did have some issues, though. The shower head emitted a sound not dissimilar to an air raid siren, and the tub did not drain. Standing in ankle deep water with the sound of a siren near one's head led to very short showers. Also the ceiling fan was quite noisy; between it and the grandfather clock down the hall that chimed every 15 minutes, we didn't sleep well.

The service at the Inn was unique. Everyone was very friendly and helpful when asked, but not much information was offered, and there was a tendency towards forgetfulness. As examples, we had to ask what time breakfast was served, were given the key for a room other than our own, had to ask for our fruit and cheese platter as they'd forgotten to bring it up, and had to ask for toiletries as housekeeping had neglected to put soap and shampoo in the room. We had a "stay and play" package, and there was some confusion about the golf booking and time, though we did get that sorted out. Small things, but enough to make it less than a five star experience.

The Inn has two small sitting rooms upstairs, and coffee/tea is served in one at 8 a.m. each day. The other sitting room has a computer for guest use, as well as a telescope for looking at the activity on the river. Note this is an older house, and you will hear noise from the hallway in your room.

Breakfast is at 9:30 a.m. and is served at one large table in the solarium. The solarium is adjacent to the kitchen, and you will see/hear staff bustling in and out of the industrial kitchen as they prepare meals for the restaurant next door as well. Unusual for a B&B, you don't all have the same breakfast, but order off the restaurant menu and each breakfast is individually prepared. We were served fruit cups and muffins, as well as the omelets we ordered, which were very good.

The River's Edge restaurant on the property is excellent. There is casual fare (burgers and sandwiches) for a quick bite after a round of golf, but also a higher end dinner menu with steaks, duck, lamb, seafood etc. and a small but decent wine list. We had salmon and prime rib one night, both of which were excellent. Service is friendly and attentive in the restaurant.

Betty-Ann Pretty, the owner of the property, lives on site, and you will often see her in the restaurant or kitchen, chatting with guests. The property has been in her family for almost 100 years, and if you are a history buff you will be fascinated by the stories she can tell about her parents and how they came to the area and raised their four children in the home that has now been converted to the Inn.

In summary, the property is beautiful, the golf and restaurant and first class, and the Inn is lovely, though with a few small glitches. If I stayed again, I would likely opt for one of the cabins for a more better sleep and perhaps more modern plumbing.

Room Tip: In the Inn, stay in Betty Ann's Room or Pete's Room. The others are too small and/or don'...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank BC-Westcoaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summer D, Public Relations Manager at Rowena's Inn on the River, responded to this review, 18 July 2013
Thank you for such a detailed response. Love your honesty and look forward to seeing you return!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
White Rock, B.C.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2013

We live in White Rock, part of Metro Vancouver, and a leisurely two hours from Rowena's Inn. Take Hwy. 7 from Mission to wind down, stop for lunch at a local pub, to de-pressurize for arrival at Pretty Estates, Rowena's Inn and Sandpiper Golf Course.

The golf course is a walk in a park of 180 ft. Douglas firs, river and mountain views and a video feed of an eagle nest. Check out Hancock Wildlife Foundation, Harrison Mills Nest. The course is good couples or family golf and challenging enough for the low handicapper, very walkable.

The inn is the original Pretty family home, that has been renovated and contains all the original furniture and decorations. There is a lot of history here and the delightful Betty-Anne, still a resident and original family member will gladly share it. Antique furnishings mean not modern therefore if you must have the latest accoutrements, book a big resort. On the other hand, my wife was touching, sitting and mesmerized by every piece. To sleep in Betty-Anne's room with a big antique bed designed for a late British opera singer surrounded by real closet, sitting area and make up table plus a very modern and functional bathroom is an alternate universe to today's hyperactive pace.

The restaurant, Rowena's Edge Restaurant, is small, well appointed with a lovely heated deck overlooking the river. The food is better than country inn fare. In fact, we grazed through the sinfully addictive baked local brie, a house made tomato bisque to bring tears, wild salmon cakes and butter chicken. We are not big entree eaters, but there are tremendous local options from lamb to pork to duck available. Deserts are large portions and just plain bad ... for your waistline, diet discipline and resolution to never overindulge. The house made cinnamon fried chips dusted with sugar, drizzled with house made caramel and a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream is adult food designed by ten year olds. Great fun. Besides the view, the large HD TV constant stream of the eagle nest on the 10th hole keeps diners mesmerized.

Breakfast for inn guests is served at a communal round table in Betty-Anne's spacious kitchen, complete with marble prep. surfaces, and is solid, beautifully presented country start to the day. My hot cakes were light, the sausages meaty with a bit of spice, and eggs perfectly done sunny side up. Coffee, muffins, all the condiments and juice are part of this substantial inn complimentary breakfast.

Cost for golf, dinner, room at the inn was less than my previous week's stay at a large resort up the road. But, Rowena's requires that to truly enjoy this oasis by the river ... you must exhale.

Room Tip: Inn rooms are upstairs and therefore can be hot in summer weather. Ask for a fan.
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AgentandArtist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summer D, Public Relations Manager at Rowena's Inn on the River, responded to this review, 4 July 2013
Thank you for paying such attention to detail. We think it's quite magical as well. Your review means so much to us!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2013

Great rooms, location/views, service, front office but a tired mattress, burnt out light bulbs and uninspired breakfast presentation lowered our rating of this B&B. Winter pricing made it a good value but after March 31st it will be overpriced.

Room Tip: Avoid Charlie's Room as it is VERY small.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank grumpa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summer D, Public Relations Manager at Rowena's Inn on the River, responded to this review, 9 April 2013
Thank you for the feedback! We really appreciate your review and are always aiming to improve the guest experience. Would love to have you return and will be posting new offers on Trip Advisors!
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1 review
Reviewed 3 March 2013 via mobile

A short drive from home in Port Moody and we felt like we had gone back in time. Tranquil and quiet, charming and full of history it was wonderful to experience a place that has meant so much to many generations of the Pretty family. The original buildings are beautiful and well kept. The 4 log cabins are rustic and comfortable but equipped to a high standard. Loved the breakfast delivered in a picnic basket to our cabin door!
It was lovely to meet Betty Anne (one of the remaining children of the original family) in the restaurant during dinner, her and her husband live in the manor that offers elegant rooms B&B style.
The service and food at the Rivers Edge restaurant was wonderful!
We can't wait to return in warmer weather!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TaniaS1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Summer D, Public Relations Manager at Rowena's Inn on the River, responded to this review, 6 March 2013
Thank you TaniaS1!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rowena's Inn on the River

Property: Rowena's Inn on the River
Address: 14282 Morris Valley Rd., Harrison Mills, British Columbia V0M 1L0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Harrison Mills
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Harrison Mills
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Rowena's Inn on the River 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Old world opulence blends with new world convenience. Secluded on a 160-acre estate Rowena’s Inn on the River is a grand, English-style manor that was converted into a boutique resort. The rooms offer waterfront or garden views, and sumptuous king-size beds, dressed in deluxe duvets, feather pillows and crisp linens. Large windows bathe the European-infused elegance in natural light, and the furniture exemplifies a timeless stylishness. The cottages have heated-slated floors, deep-soaker jacuzzi tubs for two, glassed-in showers and handcrafted, river rock wood-burning fireplaces.Rowena’s outstanding personalized service and attention to detail is guaranteed with only five rooms in the Inn, a two-bedroom gatehouse and four luxurious cabins. Professional, courteous staff has become an unquestioned hallmark of Rowena’s Inn through a commitment to responsive and attentive service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rowena`s Hotel Harrison Mills

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