In the wilderness of Eastern Ontario, Anupaya Cabin Co. is a veritable getaway. Set upon 12 acres of field, forest and shoreline, owners Shan and Pete designed Anupaya with the intention of helping people slow down and connect more deeply with themselves and the wild spaces around them.
In the midst of the forest and on the sandy shores of the Ottawa River, each cabin has been thoughtfully designed with just what you need for a getaway to nature. A deck allows for less separation with the outdoors, a fire pit provides a place for warmth and gathering together, and access to canoes and kayaks creates greater opportunities to connect with the surrounding landscape. Currently, the Three Bedroom Cabin at Anupaya features a GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub for restorative soaks within the beautiful landscape.
We spoke with Shan to learn a bit more about Anupaya Cabin Co and how they’re helping people slow down and settle into nature’s pace.
Photo Courtesy of Anupaya
Where does the name Anupaya come from?
I remember Pete telling me about this Buddhist concept that he found during his yogic studies—it’s a Sanskrit term called Anupaya. Loosely translated, it means “the pathless path,” and it's this beautiful concept that the journey has to be the destination. That our path might not look clear or straight or smooth, that you might get hurt, but that’s the whole point. It means that you aren’t trying to get from here to there, you’re trying to get from here to here.
It hit me so strongly because I felt like that was our path—so winding, so unconventional, so tumultuous and chaotic at times. Hearing Pete explain the meaning just felt like this big resounding “YES” in my body. So, we had that word in our mind for a long time, and when we decided to switch directions and start another business, we knew that we had to name it Anupaya.
How did Anupaya start?
Well, Pete and I have been in business together for over 15 years. We used to be urban farmers in Saskatchewan, we owned a beautiful yoga studio for almost 10 years, we’ve led international retreats, we hosted treks and cleanups in Nepal and Hawaii. But, Pete always wanted what we have now: a wilderness retreat in the woods and on the water. He had a vision to create a space for folks to come and unwind in nature. It took me about a decade to come around to it (hello, imposter syndrome) but we’re finally here.
So, in June 2021, we bought an old hunting and fishing resort on the most beautiful stretch of river in Deep River, Ontario. There was so much work to do and it was quite overwhelming, but the potential was truly mind boggling. We both cried the day it became ours. A mixture of gratitude, terror and excitement. But mostly just ready—another leg in the journey and another wild adventure.
Photo Credit: Janalla Photography
Describe a moment of pause at Anupaya. What does it feel like?
We’ve been told by many of our guests that the slowing down starts the moment they drive through our gates. We’re somewhat off the beaten path, so it’s already an adventure for folks to simply get here. And when they arrive, they’re greeted with the beach, views, big organic gardens, and the quiet and stillness of this place. We can actually see the softening. Their shoulders relax, their breath gets bigger, the edges of their mouths curve up. It's really, really special to see.
Another moment of pause here is sunrise. Mornings are particularly special with the sun rising directly in front of us on the river. And nothing makes us happier than seeing people taking it in—rising with the sun after falling asleep to the sound of the waves, wrapped in blankets and drinking coffee on their decks, starting the day by taking in such a special, everyday miracle. It’s pretty magical.
Photo Courtesy of Anupaya
How do you want your guests at Anupaya to feel?
At every touch point with our guests, we try to convey a sense of restfulness and ease, and ultimately, of settling into nature’s pace. From every interaction with our guests to the bedding we chose to the candles and teas we provide, we’re always, always asking: Does this promote rest? Does this help our guests relax and soften?
When we were dreaming up this place, we really wanted to create a place of rest and replenishment. There aren’t very many places in the world that promote rest. Especially in the travel and tourism space, so much of it is centred around drinking and that loud external experience. And while we fully understand how fun that glorious debauchery can be, Anupaya is just not the place for it. The world is already so fast paced and chaotic, we just want to foster a space that encourages quiet and stillness and deep, needed rest.
Photo Credit: Janalla Photography
What’s a ritual that you practice to help you slow down?
I’ve recently started implementing a daily bucket list. Big goals are great, but its the everyday ones that truly impact our lives for the better. So every day my goal is to love, to nourish, to move, to grow. I want to show my husband and children how much I love them, whether its through a homemade meal, a back rub, an evening walk, a listening ear. I want to nourish myself well, every day. I want to move my body in some way everyday. And I want to grow and to learn.
This has become a beautiful ritual. I set the intention every morning and I journal about it every evening. It seems so simple but this list, this every day rhythm, anchors me into my life. When you are truly, fully in the moment, there’s nothing more beautiful.
What does the GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub add to Anupaya?
Honestly, it’s a match made in heaven. When I found GOODLAND, I immediately loved it—the whole company ethos worked so beautifully with our own companies' values. It’s exactly the same messaging that we’re trying to convey and trying to have guests experience. It’s not about doing things fast, it’s about doing them with intention. The tub has been such a wonderful addition to our experience here at Anupaya and our guests absolutely love it.