Here’s how to embrace the Sunshine Coast’s restorative beauty—safely

It’s time to start listening to your heart again.

In British Columbia, nature has always provided people with a source of inspiration and rejuvenation. And now, after spending so much time in our homes, the province’s coastline, forests and mountains beckon us even more.

Thanks to everyone doing their part to ‘flatten the curve’, and the province’s successful measures to keep everyone safe, it is now possible to venture out again. It’s understandable that people still feel cautious about travelling. But the past few months have also been an opportunity to reflect on what’s really important to us.

“We’ve had time to think about what else we’d do rather than just concentrate on our careers,” says Walter Kohli, whose experience managing a world heritage site in Borneo has led him to the quiet shores of the Sunshine Coast. “Maybe we’d like to spend more time with our friends, our partner, our family. Maybe we’d like to spend more time in nature and get in better shape. The pandemic has given us a chance to reassess our life, to slow down and switch off our autopilot.

“Here, on the Sunshine Coast, you can re-evaluate what you’re doing and make some healthy adjustments.”

Kohli owns SOFIEN Management, which manages Painted Boat Resort Spa and Marina at Madeira Park. The team at Painted Boat is thankful to all the work done by local residents and businesses in the Sunshine Coast to limit the spread of the virus. Their incredible efforts have made it possible for businesses to re-open their doors—after implementing new approaches to ensure continued safety.

For the past month, the Painted Boat team has been busy with provisions to support guests and the resort staff’s health and well-being. Each of the strata resort’s 31 villas has its own private entrance—no hotel elevators, no communal spaces.

The villas are also fully self-contained with a full kitchen, fireplaces, ocean-facing deck and barbecue. As the resort gradually re-opens its amenities—including a dock-and-dine restaurant, spa, serenity garden and moorage—guests don’t even have to leave the property to enjoy the full experience of a get-away so close to home.

Kohli and team implemented all the province’s guidelines to create a safe environment and are grateful that the resort’s layout is so conducive to physical distancing. However, Kohli is very aware that people also crave human connection. He is also making sure that while keeping the resort itself sanitized, guests can be assured that a visit to Painted Boat Resort is a holiday experience.

“Let us greet our renewed freedom to travel with caution, gratitude, and love,” he says. “The virus has us wearing masks, so let us compensate by smiling with our eyes and show our beautiful laugh-wrinkles. We might have to say hello a bit louder through our masks, but this also gives us an opportunity to say ‘Thank you, I appreciate you, I love you’ two or three times more than before.”

He welcomes guests to revel in being in nature and fresh air. There is the ocean right outside each villa’s deck, guests can wander secluded beaches or explore nearby coastal rain forests, Francis Peninsula Provincial Park and the unleashed power of Skookumchuck Narrows.

“When you are out in nature, you are dropping the artificial guards you need to protect yourself in a city environment, here take the nature in,” says Kohli, who grew up in Switzerland and brings to Painted Boat his appreciation for preserving his surroundings’ natural beauty. “In the city, we have to operate under a fairly intense pressure, and time on the Sunshine Coast can bring the pressure down.  Here we have an opportunity to heal from our anxieties and return to the city, revitalized and rested.”

© North Shore News

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