Like most Canadians, I spent the winter dreaming of long sunny days at the beach, evenings on patios sipping cocktails, the smell of food grilling on barbecues and summer activities with friends. It seemed as if summer would never come and now that it has, I felt like I had blinked and it was half over and I hadn’t done any of those things.
A summer getaway was clearly in order, and I knew it was the perfect excuse to indulge in a stay at Rodd Crowbush. I’ve been hearing rave reviews about the five-star golf and beach resort from locals and tourists alike for years, and after convincing my husband and roping in another couple to join us, I excitedly booked a cottage for a Saturday night in July.
The much-anticipated day arrived and the weather was on our side. The hot July sun was out in full force as I packed an overnight bag with bathing suits, golf shorts, polo shirts and outfits for dinner. Finally, my winter daydreams were about to become reality.
The resort is located in Lakeside, a quick 25-minute drive from Charlottetown on PEI’s scenic north shore, near the community of Morell. The entrance to the resort is tucked in the trees along a forested country road, with a long winding driveway leading toward the shore.
As we drove around the last bend and the resort lay before us, I felt as though I had stumbled into the pages of a Nicholas Sparks novel set right here in PEI. Townhouse-style cottages painted an array of bright, historic colours are perched along winding laneways dotted with perennial gardens. The occasional golf cart scooted along a path and we caught a snippet of a conversation between the driver and the cart’s passengers detailing the property’s history followed by exclamations of its beauty.
The cottage itself feels lived in, warm, homey – the kind of place that has accumulated its contents over time, each with careful consideration. But that was all but forgotten when we walked through the screened back porch and our eyes drank in the view before us: our large sloping lawn sank into a small pond backed by the undulating greens and bunkers of the golf course, beyond which we could just make out the expanse of white sands and deep blue ocean that epitomize PEI’s north shore.
If camping is considered getting away from it all, then a stay at Rodd Crowbush Beach and Golf Resort could only be considered getting away ‘to’ it all. The beach is the same caliber as those located within the PEI National Park, but with far less people and equipped with sun loungers for guest use. The golf course is arguably the best on the Island, and that says a lot considering there are more than 25. Then there are the tennis courts, (rackets and balls are available free of charge at the front desk), the fine dining restaurant, the spa, the gym and the pool. My only regret is not arriving earlier in the day.
After settling into the cottage, we grabbed some cold drinks and headed to the beach – just a five-minute walk along paths and boardwalks. We had Rodd’s private section of beach practically to ourselves as we waded into ocean the temperature of bath water and skipped rocks as the sun started to descend into the horizon. The fading light was like nature’s dinner bell urging us to get to David’s, the fine dining restaurant located adjacent to the front desk, before the sun went down.
Twenty minutes later, after a stop at the cottage for a quick wardrobe change, we were seated on the patio at David’s sipping chilled white wine as we watched the sky turn shades orange, pink and finally inky blue over the fifth fairway of the Links at Crowbush Cove.
We moved inside to the dining room in time for our appetizers. My husband, Regan, and I ordered the panko-crusted oysters while our friends opted for fresh oysters on the half shell. I have never considered myself to be a “seafood person,” but those oysters may have made me a convert!
For an entrée, I chose the Springwater Farm lamb shank on potato puree. I try to never order something from a restaurant I could make myself at home, and this certainly met that requirement. The presentation alone was above my skill set in the kitchen, and the rustic flavours, perfectly-cooked lamb and hearty broth could only be executed by a well-trained chef such as those employed at David’s.
We returned to our cottage for an evening nightcap before bed, and awoke early the next morning for a round at the Links. We had enough time before our tee off to have breakfast at the Clubhouse, which gave me a little time to learn some golf lingo I’d need later on. You see, it was to be my first time golfing and I was going to need all the help I could get! I’m not exactly athletically inclined, but the smart-looking golfers expertly teeing off from the 15h fairway near the Clubhouse patio made it look easy enough. Though I was clearly out of my league at renowned Crowbush, it’s safe to say I will not be giving Lorie Kane a run for her money anytime soon.
The grounds at Crowbush are beautiful, the golf carts are outfitted with some pretty neat technology, and the beer cart girls are very attentive. Golf has a lot more going for it than meets the eye!
We packed up our clubs, hugged our friends goodbye, and drove back down that winding driveway 24 hours after checking in. I marveled at how I had just checked off everything on the summer wish list I had spent an entire winter crafting in just one day – the perfect summer getaway that could only have happened at Rodd Crowbush Beach and Golf Resort.
Insider’s Tip: The back 9 are the standout holes at the Links at Crowbush Cove, especially holes 9, 11, 15 and 16. Between the beach vistas on 15 and 16, the bald eagle sightings on 11 and the baby foxes that can spotted all over the course, your camera will get as much action as your driver.