There are places that let you know that the third world isn’t just two countries over. It is alive and well here in Canada. The Lakeland Hotel in Burns Lake, BC is one of those places. Should you have the choice between sleeping in your car and the Lakeland, say in dire circumstances of accommodation, I suggest reclining seats.
I’m in the area to develop media around the Wet’suwet’en First Nation’s informational picket of Huckleberry Mine. Not my standard beat of wining, dining and driving, but I’d just finished a biography of Tim Hetherington and my writing came down with a bad case of social consciousness. Admittedly, his descriptions of war-zone accommodations are an aspiration for the Lakeland.
Suffering from its placement in a road construction zone, the Lakeland offered no quiet, only the last rooms in town. The owner suggested mildly that the crews would call it quits around 10PM. I concluded at 3:30AM that sleep deprivation has been noted to affect one’s sense of time. Really though, some noise is the least of this hotel’s worries, and unlike so many other factors of the stay, the owners could not control the roadwork.
Upgraded from a basic room at the front of the building overlooking the scenic construction zone, to the “Honeymoon Suite” to move me away from the noise and the improvement was marked. The suite featured at least 50% less dead hooker juices soaked into the carpeting and on the bedstead’s headboard. I highly recommend making this request, or potentially, the car camping option – lord knows the Ford F-150 XTR I rented had the space.
There are other signs that the Lakeland, should potentially be… Well, a road construction accident could happen, and it could involve explosives and leveled buildings. Trudge up the stairwell with the unmistakable odor of decades old filth with a light undertone of piss, and most primary and emergency electrical fixtures are featuring building inspector’s tags like, “Failed”, “Not Working” and “Broken”. In the lobby a mold and filth caked mop squeezer lays without the camouflage of its bucket. If this is what the floors are cleaned with, then your immune system should be a strong thing here.
Perhaps, if you are forced to stay here, then you may want to head down to the pub. I know I did. Surveying the deep, ground in, grime worked into the thread bar carpets, I opted for the lower risk option of bottled beer. Avoiding the glasses seems a sensible thing to do. That the Lakeland is a popular breakfast spot in Burns Lake, indicates that the locals have not stayed here, or inspected the kitchen.
Contemplating a stay in Burns Lake, BC? There are a scant few other hotel options, or one could simply driving onwards… Vanderhoof or Houston, to the west and east respectively, have accommodations. Also there are many nice ditches in Northern BC… They do not charge $59.00 a night.