This was the third Airbnb we visited and to this day the Fawn Road Carriage House serves as the benchmark against which all other Airbnbs are compared. Hospitality, value, charm: this is the quintessential Airbnb experience. Situated in the tiny community of Halfmoon Bay just ten minutes outside of Sechelt, the Carriage House is the perfect springboard into the full Sunshine Coast experience. From the stunning pebble beaches to the unbeatable collection of restaurants, everything about this secluded beach community validated the region’s license plate claim: British Columbia is indeed beautiful.
Travel-loving parents of two, Chantal and Alex impressed us from the first message they sent. This web designer + graffiti artist power couple are hosting pros. They have this uncanny ability to be warm, approachable hosts while simultaneously giving guests all the privacy they might want. When we flipped through their homemade house manual and local guidebook, we found out where they had cultivated their hosting intuition: three decades of combined experience in the ski resort/hotel industry. Chantal and Alex have created the ultimate travel experience by blending the best of resorts with the best of Airbnb. Spotless accommodations, fluffy white bedding, independent self check-in combined with personalized greetings, locally brewed beer, and Alex’s very own graffiti art.
Modern Carriage House
Lofted above a stand-alone garage, this one-bedroom suite anticipated our every need. A clean modern feel with playful decorations, we’ve yet to find another place that won our hearts so quickly. The small bedroom is separated from the rest of the open floor plan, and windows let natural light in from all four directions. Chantal and Alex kept flexibility in mind as they designed their space. The couch can transform into a comfortable bed. The table has wings that can extend for more workspace. And the kitchen is out of the way for guests who don’t need to cook and expertly stocked for guests that do.
Resort Amenities + Unparalleled Personalization
Chantal and Alex’s resort experience really shines when it comes to the amenities they provide their guests. Wish you had some fuzzy slippers to toss on? Got it. How about those toiletries you forgot? No problem. Looking for some fresh cream for your coffee? It’s already in the fridge in the cutest mini cow pitcher ever. Some of the amenities had been set out specifically for us. We had a week’s supply of anything we could need: toilet paper, paper towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner. And they had even set out amenities for our dog Odin: treats, bags, and a mat with a bowl for his food and another already filled with water for when he arrived. This unparalleled attention to detail made our stay.
Our Own Backyard
Another hidden gem of the Carriage House was the secluded backyard space reserved specifically for Airbnb guests. Tucked behind the garage, we discovered lawn chairs, horseshoes, a grill, and a fabulous hammock just for us. Adorned with loosely strung lights and Alex’s incredible art, we’d spend the late afternoons relaxing in the sunshine while Odin sprawled out in the grass.
Personal Touches We Loved
We could write an entire post about the personal touches we discovered throughout our week long stay, but we’ll whittle it down to our absolute favorite finds. As always, if anything catches your eye, we’d so appreciate your bnbNomad support by using the pink affiliate links below!
Jay’s personal favorite item during our stay: the hammock. There’s something undeniably relaxing about kicking back with a gentle sway, and a bit of daily time in the hammock became the immediate routine. Nothing wraps up a day of work life this.
The Dog Bottles
On the counter we found two small bottles that had been set out specifically for Odin. One was filled with small milk bones and the other one had a roll of doggie poop bags inside. This little gesture made our day, and the treats made Odin’s whole week.
Nested Coffee Tables
The nesting coffee tables added another element of flexibility to their space. When we weren’t using them, we’d slide one under the other, but during late afternoon coffee or a movie night dinner, we could separate them and immediately double our surface area.
Coffee Table Books
We spent time each evening looking through the incredible collection of coffee table books Chantal and Alex have cultivated: a book on Alex’s home country of Australia, a book all about the world of graffiti, even a book just about chairs. Beautiful, stimulating, and a wonderful way to learn a bit about our hosts.
Alex’s graffiti made every space at the Carriage House feel so unique. Any time we’d look up from our work or out our windows, we were delighted by his talent. His work is the aesthetic tie that brings the indoor and outdoor spaces so cohesively together. Check out his website here!
Clever Tricks for Airbnb Hosts
If you’re an Airbnb host, grab these tricks from the hospitality industry pros! Check out these six strategies that made our stay feel so special.
1) Add Personalized Touches
The very first thing we noticed when we arrived was our names on a small chalkboard sign hung on the Airbnb’s door. Whether you provide a personalized greeting or guest-specific amenities, tailor pieces of the space to the folks who are about to walk through your door. It’s a surefire way to make your Airbnb stand out!
2) Welcome the Dog
Put your guests at ease and let them know that you are truly a pet-friendly spot! The bowls, the treats, the bags, even the little chalk paw print: each of these small gestures let us know that our dog was wholeheartedly welcome in Chantal and Alex’s home.
3) Guide Your Guests in Real Time
One of the most creative hosting tactics we noticed were their collection of funny, light hearted signs sprinkled throughout their space. Each sign has a small bit of information that guided us in realtime. We knew to remove our shoes downstairs, that the towel by the door was for Odin’s paws if it rained, that the property was on a septic system, even how to use the grill or play horseshoes. These little signs provided the right information at the just right time, and were much more effective than a litany of quickly forgotten instructions during check-in.
4) Provide Forgotten Toiletries
Consider leaving a little box of common toiletries in the bathroom: travel-sized toothpaste, deodorant, a razor, etc. In their box, Chantal and Alex left a little change jar to help fund the extra amenities.
5) Rock the Local Guide Book
The time it takes to create a homemade and detailed guide book is absolutely worth the effort. It generates business for your favorite local stops and sets your guests up for immediate success navigating your neighborhood. Anytime we prepared to leave the suite, we’d sit for a moment and look at Chantal and Alex’s guidebook. Their suggestions guided us to the best tapas restaurant we’ve tried in North America and the dog-friendly beach where our midwestern pup played in the ocean for the first time.
6) Share Your Story
Share your own story with your guests. Chantal and Alex not only infused the space with their personalities, but they shared their own experiences in their Airbnb profile and homemade guides. Learning about them made us appreciate their Airbnb that much more.
Book Your Stay
This is the Airbnb we have talked about returning to more than any other place we’ve yet to stay. Almost any guest would be blown away by this space, but we’d especially recommend the Carriage House for guests interested in these qualities.
Central and yet secluded, this is an incredible spot from which to explore the Sunshine Coast. The beach is in spitting distance and Sechelt is just 10 minutes down the road.
If you’re exploring British Columbia on a budget, this place can’t be beat! Their weekly discount makes this spot even more affordable. Truly a five star experience that won’t break the bank.
Hospitality and Privacy
The Carriage House is perfectly positioned to provide maximum privacy during your stay while still being right next door to some of the most hospitable Airbnb hosts.