Travel4couples Barefoot Beach Review
Written by: Evan & Tracy @travels4couples (twitter handle)
Last year, we were fortunate to try “Glamping” at Safari West in Northern California. So, when we had the opportunity to visit Barefoot Beach Resort in Penticton, BC and stay in one of their yurts, we jumped at the chance! As mostly a tent camping resort, Barefoot Beach Resort has created a separate yurt village that contains 11 yurts of varying sizes.
For those of you unfamiliar with this traditional accommodation, a yurt can be defined as:
“a circular tent of felt or skins on a collapsible framework, used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey.”
Now, this makes our accommodation sound quite primitive, however, the yurts at Barefoot Beach Resort have been designed in the true “glamping” style. But, before, we get into all the details on the yurts, let’s start with a review of the resort and grounds.
Barefoot Beach Resort is located on the shores of Skaha Lake in Penticton, however the tent and yurt sites are not right on the water. The main highway runs between the campsite and the private beach, however, they have built a pedestrian underpass to connect the campsite with the beach so that you do not have to try and cross the busy highway.
The main campsite consists of 130 tent campsites and the yurt village. The yurt village is on the side that is closest to the highway and so there is considerable amount of vehicle noise, particularly during the day when the road is busy. The 11 yurts have been nicely spaced out with gravel pathways leading up to each patio that has been built in front of the yurts. Barefoot Beach Resort has also done a very nice job in landscaping the area surrounding the yurts and maintaining many large trees in and around the yurts to help shade them from the warm Okanagan sun.
It is a very short walk to the beach and we were staying in yurt #9, which is one of the furthest away. Once you pass through the pedestrian underpass, you are greeted with a beautiful sandy beach and the warm waters of Skaha Lake. We never felt like the beach was busy and were always able to get a spot of the small grassy areas without feeling like we were fighting for space with others. There is also the Sandy Feet Café right on the beach if you are looking for food or beverages with a great view! You can also rent various water toys such as paddleboards, kayaks, and IT bikes at Big Dakez Rental Hut & Beachwear. To quench your thirst, you can visit the Banana Cabana located right next to Big Dakez for some fruit smoothies and protein shakes.
Since Barefoot Beach Resort has just recently opened, the yurts are in great condition. Everything inside is still in new condition and it really is “glamorous camping”. We stayed in a 20-foot kitchenette yurt that had a king size bed right in the middle beneath the skylight, a separate 3-piece bathroom and a small kitchenette. Even though this is the smallest of the yurts at the resort, we found it very spacious. We loved sitting out on the patio in the evenings and it had a BBQ on the patio that was an added bonus for some great summer cooking.
One thing that we did find in the yurt was that due to the camping location, it was quite dusty. If you walked around the yurt in your bare feet, they did become quite dirty. However, this is to be expected as you are still camping and the yurt has several screened windows and so dust from the road can easily get in. We did not find this put a damper on our stay at all.
They also have 24 foot 1 bedroom kitchenette yurt, a 24-foot fantasy suite and a 30 foot 2 bedroom kitchenette yurt if you need more space.
We ate diner at the Barefoot Restaurant and Beverage House one night and enjoyed the food. Unfortunately, they had a limited menu, as they had not switched back to their regular menu yet after a busy long weekend. However, the burger and pulled-pork sandwich that we had were very good. We would recommend sitting on the rooftop patio if possible as this way you get a beautiful view over the highway to Skaha Lake.
As we have always said, there is always a downside to any resort. Often, as is the case with Barefoot Beach Resort, we really enjoyed the majority of the aspects of the resort, but there were some small things that did not suit us well. There were two main aspects we found unfortunate about the resort. First, as mentioned above, was the noise level. There was a main highway running right behind the yurts and the Resort is right next to the Penticton airport. Now, this was not a significant problem, as it meant having to talk a little louder and things quieted down significantly at night, so it did not disturb our sleep. Second, the beach area has been treated too much like a garbage can. It seems like many people believe they can throw their small garbage wherever, particularly cigarette butts. Hopefully, as the resort gets more established, they will be able to find ways to improve how their beach is treated.
Overall, we had a great stay at Barefoot Beach Resort and look forward to the opportunity to return. If you are looking for accommodation in the Penticton area and would like the experience of camping, with the room amenities of a hotel room, we would definitely recommend these yurts.
Have you stayed in a yurt before? What is the most unique accommodation you have experienced?