There are certain comforts that you naturally forgo when camping. It’s just a given. If you’re not prepared for that, then you’re better off staying in a hotel somewhere. I was well aware of that. The plan was to spend the first 2 nights at the Bras D’or Lakes Campground, using it as a base camp of sorts. We could stay there at night, then head out to discover Cape Breton during the day, and return after supper. On the third day we would pack up and go for an extended drive, finding a campground along the way to pitch the tent. Sounded reasonable enough to me.
Because our initial travel day was less than spectacular weather-wise, we had decided to go with one of the 3 available Basic cabins. I had been warned that these were rather light on amenities. That’s ok. A cabin is a cabin. How bad can it be?
As we registered in the office, we casually asked the question “What comes with the basic cabin?”
The woman didn’t even hesitate… “Nothing!”
There was no sugar-coating… no attempt to make it sound even remotely pleasant… just a very blunt “Nothing!” She didn’t say it in a nasty way… she was just being brutally honest. These cabins had nothing in them! I’m sure that the look on my face betrayed what I was thinking…
“We do have 1 Luxury cabin available”, she said.
Umm… ok.. what comes with the luxury cabin?
“You get your own bathroom and shower…”
We’ll take it!
There were a few other things on the list, but like Jerry Maguire said… “You had me at ‘own bathroom’…”
So we booked the Luxury cabin for 2 nights, which.. all things considered… was incredibly lucky. There are only 6 cabins in total (3 Basic, 3 Luxury), and the weather was not great. To be able to drive in and be able to get the last cabin without having reserved it? Well.. that was simply a sign from above. Who could turn a blind eye to that? Certainly not me! And besides, I work hard. I think that I deserve a little luxury in my life.
Apparently my definition of “luxury” is a wee bit different than their definition. There was no mint on the pillow. Hell, there was no pillow! There was no maid. No room service. No large screen TV. No small screen TV. No honour bar. No ice machine. No towels. No little soaps or shampoos to take home. (I did take the roll of toilet paper with me! I was bound and determined to get something from my stay in luxury!!) If this was the Luxury cabin, then what was in the Basic one? Oh that’s right… nothing!
In fairness, we did have our own BBQ, a screened-in porch, microwave, mini-fridge, and picnic table. We were also closer to the water than anyone else, which unfortunately meant that we were not within coverage of the free wi-fi. I had my iPhone, so I was ok… but that’s not the point.
So the running joke for the next few days (and really, it hasn’t quite stopped being funny… even now) was about how we had stepped into the lap of luxury, how we escaped looking like common rift raft like the poor bastards in the Basic cabins, and how the woman just blurted out “Nothing!” when asked… I applaud her honesty and wish that she worked in a marketing firm somewhere. I’d love to see some more of her work!
As a side note, I take a little exception to their promotional material “Baddeck’s only lakefront campground!” While technically this is true, we took a walk down to said lakefront, and well… It’s probably 20-30 feet maximum, and rock-filled. I honestly do not think that there’s enough bare sand there for a single person to lay out. But the view is very nice. I’ll give them that. I chuckled as I watched a family of 4 walk down the path toward the water, each of them holding blankets. Sure enough, in a few minutes I watched each of them return up the path. Thankfully there’s a pool onsite.
And as much as I joke about the Luxury cabin, really… for $89/night, I can’t complain. I just find the term “luxury” to be slightly misleading when it comes to a cabin, but hey… considering that the Basic cabin has “nothing!” in it, having my own toilet to sit on probably does qualify as luxury in my books!
I’d stay there again.