wellness retreat in bc

How This Wellness Retreat In B.C. Is Keeping Guests Safe (COVID-19)

Our wellness retreat in B.C. is limited to a maximum of 4 guests per month, from travelers from within Canada, arriving by vehicle.

“We’ve all got to do our part for safe and responsible travel”

West Coast Fitness Vacations is a wellness retreat in B.C. where women come to IMPROVE their health – not get sick. So as a health retreat, we’re taking extra caution to minimize risk. The province is still listed as being in a ‘state of emergency’ by the government authorities. For this reason, we’re taking a conservative approach in reopening.

For 19 years, West Coast Fitness Vacations (formerly known as Whistler Fitness Vacations) has put the health of our guests and colleagues first. We’re watching closely the WHO guidelines and local government authorities as they update daily.

Wellness retreat staff and guests must wear cloth masks at all times during scheduled activity, except while outdoors with 6-foot safe distancing. Although all of our fitness activities are outside, for hands-on correction with weight training and other exercise, mask is required. This is due to distancing not being possible. We’ll have additional masks if you need one.

For lodging protections and COVID-19 protocols, please visit the hotel website here.  

benefits of a wellness retreat

Until further notice, below 6 points are our key policies

  1. Max 4 guests per month (selective registration by phone, to ensure that you’re placed in a compatible group.)
  2. Exclusively open to travellers from Canada who are arriving by vehicle.
  3. Agree to distancing, PPE and minimal contact with public while at the wellness retreat.
  4. If traveling with a non-participating guest, the guest needs to be on board with #3 also.
  5. 1 retreat leader for the duration of your wellness retreat only (previously you’d have multiple coaches/leaders).
  6. All wellness retreat workouts and weight loss camp activity is 100% outdoors – no gym, at all. 

In this article I’ll share a little more about the thought process behind the safety measures listed.


Max 4 guests per wellness retreat host

Other big things are that we’ll be operating each wellness retreat with a maximum of four guests per retreat host. Previously we had a maximum of 16 guests! But with 16 guests at the weight loss camp there needs to be at least 6 staff. Too many people for these days.

How quickly British Columbia advances through the Four Phases will be entirely based on the public health situation at that moment in time. The top priority throughout the process will be to ensure cases of COVID-19 do not spike, ensuring all our combined efforts and sacrifices are not squandered.

All weight loss camp guests are carefully placed into the most compatible session available. With everyone traveling locally, from within the province it’s a win-win for everyone to feel comfortable and safe.

weight loss boot camp

Guests at Whistler Fitness Vacations, before the pandemic!

Athletes have coaches. Why not everyone else?

All weight loss camp guests participate in conditioning activities and fitness related workshops for 5 hours per day. This is modified to the clients level of ability – designed for what is safest and best for them. We’re a unique weight loss boot camp program that’s like having a live-in personal trainer with you, five days a week! I’m with you every day from 9am to 2pm, Monday to Friday. You’ll experience customized workouts to replace old habits and develop new ones. We’ll get you to your weight loss goal!

West Coast Fitness Vacations is my (Cat Smiley) solely independent program. We’re not going to outsource your training sessions to the local gym to work with trainers. Similar to being an elite athlete, you’ll have one dedicated personal coach and ‘athlete manager’ to take care of every part of your shape up process. This is what all the top athletes in the world have to achieve the pinnacle of their success – and you can too!

Your coach should be your teacher, mentor, counsellor and protector of your health and integrity. The quality of the relationship between a coach and the athlete has a crucial effect on the athlete’s satisfaction, motivation and performance. The best coach is someone who can help you be the best you can be. – Olympic.org


wellness retreat in bc stairsWho needs an indoor treadmill?

British Columbia needs us to make smart choices

Where to begin? My goodness, what a ride this year has been so far. From forced closure of our wellness retreat in B.C. for the entire 2020 season, now to a second wave on the horizon for fall… it’s a big year.

I think a lot about our customers. The whole process, in every aspect of their researching through to traveling to Parksville. Then driving around in a 7-seater van with the other guests each day, to get to the trails where we’ll workout. I think about winter months coming in, sneezes and coughs that we’ve never really thought much of before, now seem somewhat terrifying. Especially in an enclosed space.

There are non-believers still ‘out there’

For example, the lady at the counter of a public transport booth that I visited. The conversation started when I said “Hey, I love that nail polish! I’m not ready to go to the salon yet. What was it like?” I only asked because they were obviously salon nails. And I genuinely have been anxious about going back to my beauty routines. She replied “meh, that whole COVID thing is nothing but a flu…” and the rest I barely heard (as I made the politest getaway possible).

I was pretty taken back because that particular transport company has strict policies. It got me thinking about how torn we now are as a community with believers and non-believers. And when it comes to public transport, we absolutely need to be on the same page – or in this case, the same boat. I was on a boat with these folks for a couple of hours. I suddenly felt unsafe and anxious, from this one staff member who happened to ‘not believe.’


trail runningWorking together (with guidelines and health authorities)

As the owner of this company, I’m in control of a lot more than I used to think. Setting my own hours, being my own boss, calling the final shots about what risks I’m willing to take in my workplace. And while these 3 perks I just listed sound glamorous, it takes confidence to find the balance of heart versus head when it comes to decisions. COVID restrictions, changes, rules and requirements ….

I’ve been in contact several times with Tourism B.C., Small Business Bureau and most recently, the COVID reopening hotline. I watch the numbers out East anxiously. Then I get phone calls from lovely people in Eastern provinces who want to travel to WFV wellness retreat in B.C.

Yet is it safe to take multiple public transport systems to our wellness retreat in B.C.? What risk is our weight loss camp putting on their health, if they have to travel to it? And how much of that risk is shared in the daily interaction with the other guests?


weight loss boot camp

We’ve had a huge makeover!

West Coast Fitness Vacations is proud to operate some of the best wellness retreats in B.C. and like the rest of the travel industry, forced closure has been tough! Fast forward almost 6 months since the pandemic hit, we’re now ready for reopening.

But not just any reopening! With a new website, programs, partners and location. With repeat customers every year to our wellness retreat in B.C. from around the world, we lost these bookings when the borders closed. In light of this, we swiftly moved into becoming more of a local based company. This included a changed business name (W Fit Vacations) and extended, year round operations.

For the remainder of the 2020 season and until 2021, wellness retreats will be exclusively hosted by me, Cat Smiley. As a result, a maximum of 4 guests of similar ability and starting point per session will be in attendance.


cat smiley with her dogsCat Smiley – owner of West Coast Fitness Vacations wellness retreat in B.C.

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