About The Owners
We never set out to run a hotel. Both of us, Sally and Chris, had sensible careers in London with the lifestyles to match. But I – Chris – bolted first, finally realising that there was more fun to be had than working for somebody else for twelve hours a day. I left a decent job in marketing (with Jamie Oliver), and set off up the Amazon.
The jungle was quite hard: three months living in a leaky thatched hut, tracking wild cats, and trapping (and releasing, of course) bats and birds in humane nets, two hundred miles from the nearest town, without running water (except…the bronzy Amazon), with candles for lights, and, on one occasion, only sugar, onions and milk powder for dinner. You don’t eat the wildlife when you are there to conserve it, although the Crimson-crested Woodpeckers were starting to look tasty. Sally, who had continued with her job in London, finally came out to track me down when there were no letters. Not my fault, I promise, the boat driver got drunk and lost the mail sack. She then had a choice: carry on working for a German investment bank, or do a spot of backpacking through Paraguay. Well, she made the right choice.
We never looked back, and carried on, with much support from Lonely Planet, rough traveling through South, Central and North America, Australia, New Zealand, south-east Asia, India, and southern and western Africa for a couple of years before feeling completely secure that we could return to the UK and never ever be considered good bets for work in a bank or an office again. We never tried, although I am confident that we were quite unsuitable.
Moving to Canada and Cloudside Inn…then Hotel
De-mobbing to the UK, it was soon apparent that we were not quite rid of the traveling bug. So we got married in Italy, and soon-after decided to emigrate to British Columbia to see what new roads this would open up for us. We had seen this property on the Internet, and bought it over the phone. The birth of our son, Albie, delayed our exit from London for a while, and we finally arrived in Nelson in July, 2006, and took over the business three days after entering Canada. Albie has subsequently been joined by a sister, Hannah, who ruined his only-child status forever in February 2009.
Between July 2006 and October 2016 we developed and ran one of British Columbia’s largest bed and breakfasts, which we named the Cloudside Inn (after the metereological, cloud-forming phenomenon that occurs from time to time just above Kootenay Lake directly in front of the property). It had always been part of our scheme to move on from that after ten years, but we got rather attached to funky Nelson and decided that we wouldn’t leave, but adapt instead. So that’s how the Cloudside Hotel came about: we realised that this town really deserves its own rather unique and small independent hotel. If you are reading this, then we are still here and it wasn’t all a terrible mistake. We now live off-premises, but are at the hotel virtually every day, so we hope that we might bump into you and perhaps share your travel stories. Thanks for reading.
Chris and Sally