Two Day Getaway at Villa Eyrie Resort
Recently I had the pleasure of staying at one of Vancouver Islands finest hotels, Villa Eyrie Resort. The resort offers a wide arrange of activities to do in the area while staying in luxury accommodation and enjoying world-class dining. The whole resort over looks the Saanich Inlet with the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Their adventure excursion packages showcase the best of what the island has to offer. The two excursions we took on our stay were to the Vancouver Island Motor Circuit(VIMC) and the Cowichan River Lodge. Villa Eyrie Resort’s partnership with the VIMC provides a unique opportunity to drive on a professional circuit and receive one-on-one instruction in a sport normally limited to members only and the Cowichan River Lodge is a beautiful place to stay while doing some fishing on the island. Located below are the views that I had from my room and the soaker tub had the same view as well. Below is a rough timeline of what we did on our first day.
DAY 1 OVERVIEW
8:00am Meet your fellow drivers and hosts over breakfast at Villa Eyrie Resort
9:00am Pick up your iconic German or Italian vehicle for a scenic morning drive (includes pit stops for snacks and photo opportunities)
11:00am Arrive at the world-class Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit Full facility tour (Clubhouse, Paddock Lounge, observation deck, pit lane and pit garages) Driver briefing: tradition of German automobiles and driving dynamics
11:45am Dynamic Driving Program
12:30pm Lunch in the Paddock Lounge
1:30pm Circuit program facilitated by our trained driving instructors
3:00pm Circuit wrap up
3:30pm Scenic drive back to Villa Eyrie Resort
4:30pm Arrival back at Villa Eyrie Resort for celebratory German inspired cocktails & dinner along with gift presentation.
My Driving Experience
After a short information session we were taken outside where there were 4 luxury European sports-cars waiting for us. The Alfa Quadrifoglio, Porsche 911, Maserati Ghibli and the Mercedes-Benz AMG C63s. After picking our vehicles I started the adventure with the Porsche 911. As we made our way to the motor circuit we took the long scenic route to get a feel for the cars on the road and some of their performance capabilities aka giving it a bit of gas. The backroads between Villa Eyrie and the VIMC are a beautiful way to get there, letting you see more of the island while enjoying the vehicles. About half way there we stopped for some light snacks and refreshments before making our way to the VIMC. Along the way we made a couple of stops and traded cars allowing everyone to experience each vehicle. Once at the track they had a delicious gourmet lunch waiting for us. After lunch we went out to our cars and went through the Dynamic Driving Course allowing us to work on our vehicle handling skills in a pylon course, pushing our cars to learn their limits. After the Dynamic course we got suited up to go out on the circuit. We had a few scouting laps to get a feel for the circuit before they got into teaching us how to drive the circuit properly, learning where to accelerate and brake finding the best lines through the circuit. We also went for a few hot laps in the race car they had on site with their professional racing driver. To save some time on the way back we took the cars back down the highway to the Eyrie to wrap up our Grand Tour driving experience. At the resort we had some time before dinner to relax before enjoying a beautiful meal at Alpina.
If you would like more information on the Driving Experiences it will be located below as well as on Villa Eyries website and if you are a woman interested in a Ladies only driving program there is more information on that below as well.*
Day 2 - Cowichan River Lodge
After waking up to a beautiful view I headed down for a beautiful breakfast before our day out on the water fly fishing. For fly fishing we headed out to the Cowichan River Lodge. At the lodge we were greeted by our guides, given waiters and boots to wear and a packed lunch. A short ride later and we were at the river ready to put the boats in the water and do some fishing. A few minutes down the river we were already catching fish. The guides taught us proper technique and terminology leaving us with fishing knowledge we could use in the future. About half way through we stopped for lunch on the side of the river watching the fish jump as we talked and ate our warm chilli lunch. With full bellies we continued on down the river on our way back to the lodge enjoying the scenery as we floated by. Once back at the lodge we warmed up with some hot chocolate by the fireplace as we talked about our experience fishing. The lodge was recently re-done and has beautiful wood work throughout. A perfect place to relax after a day out on the river catching fish. More information about the Cowichan River Lodge below.*
*More Information about Driving Packages and Cowichan River Lodge
Villa Eyrie offers an array of automotive experiences for experienced and inexperienced drivers alike. These packages are designed to exhilarate and provide a unique experience that can be found no where else. Villa Eyrie currently has three driving packages: Tour d’Italia, Taste of Germany and Ladies Driving Series. All three packages include two nights accommodation at the resort, dining at Alpina Restaurant and a day at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit.
ABOUT Tour d’Italia
Cruise through Vancouver Island’s stunning scenery in one of our soul-satisfying Italian vehicles with a magnificent circuit program that showcases the nation’s inimitable heritage of automotive speed and artful design. Along with two nights accommodations at the Resort, gourmet dinners at Alpina Restaurant and delicious breakfasts is a full-day driving experience with exclusive instruction at Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. Be sure to book your spot quickly as this package is only offered twice per month and is capped at six vehicles per tour. Rates starting from $695* per night (Two night minimum). Available dates: May 3, May 21, June 3, June 14, July 3
ABOUT Taste of Germany
Germans are renowned for producing truly legendary vehicles, and this electrified driving program combines the nation’s grand automotive heritage with the natural beauty of Vancouver Island. Fleet brands include: Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW Along with two nights accommodations at the Resort, gourmet dinners at Alpina Restaurant and delicious breakfasts is a full-day driving experience with exclusive instruction at Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit. Be sure to book your spot quickly as this package is only offered twice per month and is capped at six vehicles per tour. Rates starting from $695* per night (Two night minimum) Dates available: May 22, June 4, June 15, July 4
ABOUT Lindsay Rice driving series - a driving program for ladies only!
VIMC now offers a women’s only driving program! This will be lead by Canadian driver Lindsay Rice, she is a three-time GT Racing Circuit winner who has collected 13 podium finishes in her career. As a woman who has achieved this level of success, she is in the perfect position to provide expert, hands-on training at VIMC. The Ladies Driving series inclusive package includes two nights accommodations at the Villa Eyrie Resort, vehicle rental, all meals at the Villa Eyrie Resort and Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, helmet rental, one on one coaching with Lindsay Rice, all track activities and fuel for $2,995 plus taxes.
ABOUT Cowichan River Lodge
Villa Eyrie Resort offers an incredible two-night package to experience the best of Cowichan by providing a River Fishing Package. This package allows guests to escape to six acres of unspoiled wilderness on the banks of the Cowichan River and fish for steelhead and rainbow trout with the help of an expert fishing guide. The package includes luxurious accommodations at Villa Eyrie Resort, gourmet dining and a complete day out on the water with an expert fishing guide, starting from $745 per night until May. The package will be available again in September when the fishing season is at its prime. Guests can also use this as a cabin getaway or a beautiful venue for a special occasion. The lodge has 4 beautiful guest suites, which all have ensuite bathrooms and the amenities you'd want from a hotel.