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Our Story

Your hosts, Australian/Canadians Bruce & Angie Barnard have stayed in grass huts in Papua New Guinea, swags in the outback of Australia, five-star hotels in Hong Kong, teahouses in Nepal, bed and breakfasts in England and hostels in the United States. Our favourite places to stray were always the accommodation that offered the most genuine hospitality and made us feel at home.

In 2003, we were on a round-the-world travel adventure from our home in Perth, Western Australia, when we discovered Nanaimo on British Columbia, Canada’s Vancouver Island. We were immediately inspired by the fabulous ocean views and breathtaking mountain vistas. The city of Nanaimo, with its walkable downtown hub, West Coast lifestyle and friendly people made us fall in love with this great community. After a brief two-hour visit, and three subsequent chance encounters with Nanaimo admirers, we returned to Nanaimo to explore our vision of renovating a heritage property, and creating a fresh, affordable, lifestyle oriented accommodation for like-minded travelers.

We postponed our flight to South America, and after just 11 weeks, we transformed the 1875 heritage Commercial Hotel into the ‘Painted Turtle Guesthouse’ - a 20-room character accommodation that now welcomes regional groups, visiting friends and family, backpackers and travelers from around the world. Along with a guesthouse filled with caring, competent staff, we are proud to offer you – our guests - quality accommodation with communal state of mind and a true desire to make your travel experience in Nanaimo, BC a memorable one.

Book a stay with us today… we look forward to meeting you.

Come as a guest & leave as a friend!