Fast food items such as fish and chips, chicken burgers and clubhouse sandwiches are available in the 19th Hole Lounge on the main floor, as well as the Viking Dining Room, Osman Rundle says.

"Amenities include an indoor pool, wading pool, hot tub and a newly renovated sauna. There is an indoor gymnasium, a miniature golf course, tennis courts, rental bikes, groomed nature/hiking trails and a magnificent beach where campfires burn into the night.

HECLA ISLAND Every spring, a gander and his mate build a nest on an island in the pond in front of the Gull Harbour Resort and Conference Centre.

Tamara Osman Rundle, conference director and administrative assistant, says the resort recently hired a new chef for the Viking Dining Room.

Lanthier says the hotel's guest rooms (including 10 major suites and three junior), as well as conference and banquet rooms, are designed to accommodate everything from a small meeting to a large conference or a big wedding.

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"Once the nest is empty, we can set up the bridges that connect the island to the shore of the pond," says Jordon Lanthier, Sales and Marketing Manager for the Gull Harbour Resort, 177 kilometres north of Winnipeg on Hwy. 8.

Lange was a member of the 1992 Canadian National Culinary Student Team, and has won many gold and silver medals in hors d'oeuvres and restaurant platter categories, she adds. salmon, shrimp and bison. Nightly specials may include Thai chicken and Thai pork tenderloin.

A resort for nature lovers

Monir Nasif, the resort's CEO and General Manager, says Icelandic architecture inspired the design of the building.

"It's based on the northern Icelandic farmhouse style in which each room has its own peaked roof. The individual rooms which overlook the farmyard are joined together by passageways," Nasif says.

Moose, deer, mink, coyotes, wolves, raccoons, beaver, geese, ducks and foxes are just a few of the species that are regularly sighted.

He says employees at Gull Harbour have a great deal of respect for the wildlife that live in the 38,900 acre Hecla Provincial Park.

Lanthier says the resort has many amenities, most included in the cost of a room, from $99 to $119 double occupancy, plus taxes, with kids under 18 free if they stay in the same room.

Nasif says in co operation with the provincial Parks Department, the resort arranges daily activities for kids and adults alike.

He says the Gull Harbour Resort is comprised of a series of two storey gable roofed buildings, connected by a hallway that runs from one end of the semi circular resort to the other.

Main floor rooms have sliding glass Cheap Women Canada Goose Camp Down Hoody Brown Australia doors leading to outdoor patios, while second floor rooms have balconies from which the lake and acres of rolling property are visible.

"The foxes are always trying to steal eggs from the geese," Lanthier says. "It's fun to watch them sneak up on a nest only to be rebuffed by big ganders, hissing and flapping their wings."

"Harold Lange was trained at Red River College. He has worked in Jamaica, was an apprentice to Chef Czayka at the Carleton Club in Winnipeg, and recently returned to Manitoba from Banff where he cooked for a large hotel," Osman Rundle says.

"The marina rents kayaks and small motor boats; lake tours can be arranged by contacting the marina owner who has boats to accommodate 15 or 20 people at a time," Lanthier says.

In keeping with the resort's Icelandic theme, the rooms have names such as Sunnuhvolt (sunny knoll), Bakki (land on the lakeshore), Lindur (grove) and Thingbellir (assembly field).

In winter, he says the hiking trails are groomed for cross country skiing and snowmobiling; skis can be rented from the resort for a small fee. A toboggan hill with a 200 metre run is a short walk from the hotel and, during Christmas and New Year's, a local farmer provides hay rides on a sled pulled by two powerful percherons.

The resort is built in a crescent shape with the main dining room and many of the 93 guest rooms overlooking Lake Winnipeg. Just offshore is Black Island, a source of pure white silica sand used on beaches in Hawaii and in sand traps on many PGA golf courses.

After several days of collecting grass and cattail stems, the completed nest is lined with down by the female. She then lays four to seven eggs, which take about a month to hatch.

The east facing wall of the main dining room on the second floor is mostly plate glass, giving diners a panoramic view of the lake, grounds and antics of wild animals on occasion a moose will stride majestically across the manicured lawns.

"The audience cracked up," Lanthier says.

On another occasion, he says a giant Canada Goose walked into a conference room in the middle of a speech by the CEO of a large Canadian financial institution.

The entire island is a birders' paradise and boasts 91 species, including the American bald eagle, white pelican, sandhill crane, great blue heron, yellow warbler and eastern kingbird.

The goslings are taken for their first swim a day after they are born. In a few weeks, the nest is abandoned and the new family joins the other geese that roam the resort's lush grounds until the fall migration.