What do you see looking at this photo of Dan Sawatzky (back) and his son-in-law Peter (foreground)? Visual tricks will be hidden everywhere at the Hazelnut Inn, including the stone elephant’s head to the right that you may not have noticed at first glance. (Eric J. Welsh/ Chilliwack Progress)

Hazelnut Inn bringing themed hotel magic to Yarrow

A unique project by ImaginationCorporation.com will include three immersive story-themed suites

Something magical is being built in Yarrow.

Dan Sawatzky and the team at ImaginationCorporation.com are constructing a one-of-a-kind themed boutique hotel that will let guests sleep in the Copper Crown’s majestic castle tower, explore the wonders found in the home of explorer Temperance Longbottom or relax in Under Hill, a cozy Hobbit-like abode.

The seed for this project was planted when Dan’s daughter Hailey and son-in-law Peter traveled to Europe for their honeymoon.

“They wanted to stay in a castle and had to go to Europe to do it,” Dan said. “They came back and said, ‘Why not here?’”

If you could hand-pick anyone to take this project on, it’d be these people.

The small family-owned company has worked on theme parks in places like Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Trinidad and Tobago. Much closer to home, they designed and built Giggle Ridge Adventure Golf and the Cultus Lake Adventure Park.

At the Hazelnut Inn, each of the three 600 square foot suites will have distinctive looks, private gardens and their own ‘stories.’

The North Star tells the tale (visually) of an explorer/treasure hunter/gatherer of antiquities named Temperance Longbottom.

“She traveled all over the world, including mythical places, in her ship,” Dan explains, walking through a heavy metal door into the suite. “Imagine this (room) full of antiques and treasures from around the world, and it’ll be plug full.”

Guests will sleep the ‘Captain’s quarters,’ which so far is the one interior section that is complete.

“It’s all hand-sculpted and hand-painted concrete,” Dan said.

Attention to detail matters, and he says nothing has been overlooked.

The North Star suite faces Yarrow Central Road, which can get noisy with vehicles.

“So we created a waterfall to cancel that out,” Dan says with a smile.

Under Hill immediately gives a Lord of the Ringsy vibe as you walk through a rounded doorway, of the sort you might see visiting Frodo in the Shire.

Pete and Hailey have been to visit the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand.

“Everyone claims to have a themed hotel, which usually means matching the curtains with the bed-spread and having a few knick-knacks around the room,” Dan said. “But I’ve never actually seen a themed hotel, and I’ve been all over the world.

“Under Hill is certainly influenced by Hobbiton and that story, but we’ve got our own story that you can read on our website. It’s familiar, but different, and this is going to be immersive story-telling theming.”

The Copper Crown is the third suite, fulfilling Peter and Hailey’s dream of staying in a castle, complete with a drawbridge and a moat.

“You have to imagine all the castle stuff — big stone arches and a fireplace going all the way up, suits of armor, tapestries, leaded-glass windows and an incredibly large chandelier,” Dan says. “This is the one that started it all. Once it’s done it’ll appear to be a castle in every way except size.”

According to the Hazelnut Inn mythology the Copper Crown was home to an “ancient line of aristocrats who, in addition to being peers of the realm, were renowned orchardists, librarians, and even (according to one telling) dragon riders.”

Work has taken three years to date (one year planning, two years construction), and Dan hopes the first of the three suites, the North Star, can open sometime next year.

“The end of next summer, maybe, or might be the following spring,” Dan suggested. “It’s a function of how ambitious we are working on it, and how busy we are in the shop (with Imagination Corporation projects). But we are having a lot of fun doing this.”

Get more info online at hazelnuttin.com and imaginationcorporation.com

READ MORE: New theme park opening soon at Cultus Lake

READ MORE: Workers praise Disney virus safety, but will visitors return?


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

HotelsTourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The rounded doorframe of the Under Hill suite is visible to the left in this photo. (Imagination Corporation)

A look at the unfinished exterior facade of the Copper Crown, one of three themed suites being constructed at the Hazelnut Inn. (Imagination Corporation photo)

Just Posted

Record-low returns of salmon have been recorded on the Fraser River in recent years. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
Time for Indigenous-led salmon strategy on the Lower Fraser, says Alliance

‘Closures of First Nations, commercial and recreational salmon fishing’ have huge impact: LFFA

The City of Chilliwack says there’s too much spitting going on at the Sardis Sports Complex. (City of Chilliwack photo)
Too much spitting a problem at Chilliwack’s Sardis Sports Complex

The City of Chilliwack is asking the minor hockey community to ease up on expectorating

The number of newly detected COVID-19 cases has continued to rise in the Fraser Valley.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
CHARTS: Weekly COVID-19 case counts continue to rise in Fraser Valley

The number of new COVID-19 cases has risen sharply in Vancouver and the Fraser North region.

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

The Excelsior 4 are set to make their second court appearance in Abbotsford on Monday (Nov. 2). (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
‘Excelsior 4’ making second Abbotsford court appearance on Monday

Animal rights activists expected to plead not guilty to charges, protest for Vancouver scheduled

Sooke’s Paul Larouche enjoys gold panning along the Sooke River, looking for small treasures. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
VIDEO: Island man finds niche audience by gold-panning on YouTube

Paul Larouche, 29, with over 215,000 subscribers, opens up about his journey

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Maestro Otto Tausk. (Photo: vancouversymphony.ca)
50/50 lotto players buck up for Metro Vancouver musicians hit hard by COVID

‘Rapidly growing jackpot’ for VSO’s 50/50 draw as they go online with TheConcertHall.ca

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

CBSA. (Black Press Media File)
4 sentenced in B.C. steroid smuggling, distribution ring that spilled into U.S.

Canadian Border Services Agency announced the results of a lengthy investigation it called ‘Project Trajectory’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Search and Rescue Technicians carry a stretcher to the CH149 Cormorant during a 442 Squadron Search and Rescue Exercise in Tofino on February 28. (Photo by: Cpl Joey Beaudin, 19 Wing Imaging, Comox)
Father and son found dead after weeklong search near Pemberton

The father and son had set out for a day of mushroom picking last Thursday

Most Read