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Wickaninnish Inn

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Wickaninnish Inn

A loft suite with a view.

© Christopher Pouget & Duncan Booth.

Wickaninnish Inn in a Nutshell:

The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino lies on a peninsula surrounded by the calm Clayoquot Sound, roaring Pacific Ocean, and Pacific Rim National Park. This Vancouver Island hideaway is surrounded by vast landscapes and tree-lined mountains where eagles glide overhead. Located on driftwood-lined Chesterman Beach, one of Tofino’s best stretches of sand, the Relais & Châteaux hotel meshes within the bucolic landscape. With plush duvets, a state-of-the-art spa, and ample restaurant wine list, there’s no sacrificing on creature comforts.

Guest Rooms at Wickaninnish:

Guest rooms were designed to blur the inside and outside, providing the most natural setting possible. It’s no accident that the berber carpet’s color and texture resembles the look of sandy beach after a wave has swept by. Even the desk and chairs were made from local driftwood. So guests are never far from nature, all 75 suites have ocean views, balconies, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Visitors can even admire the water outside from inside their extra long double soaking bathtub. During frosty nights, curl up by a gas fireplace and snuggle under a Hudson Bay Blanket.

Dining at Wickaninnish:

Dining at The Pointe at the Wickaninnish Inn is a theatrical affair. Built over the ocean, the circular restaurant offers a 20-foot ceilings, a 240-degree water view and massive floor-to-ceiling windows, so nothing but glass separates the sea. Watch the waves crash upon the rocks while sipping Scotch, champagne, or wine (there’s an excellent selection of French, Californian and BC vino). A microphone from outside is piped into the dining room to convey the soundtrack of the sea outside. The seasonal menu offers the region’s freshest oysters, salmon, and a bouillabaisse seafood stew.

Destination Weddings at Wickaninnish:

Many couples opt to marry on the dramatic 1.5 mile Chesterman Beach just outside the hotel. Exchange vows in the beauty of nature amid starfish, sand dollars, osprey, whales, and eagles as the waves lap the shore. At night, see the majestic glow of the light from the Pointe restaurant shimmering in the sea and the backdrop of the lush old growth rainforest. Another option is to exchange vows on Shell Beach, an isolated beach on the owner’s personal property next door that is tucked into a private cove. At night, a roaring bonfire can be lit.

Honeymoons at the Wickaninnish:

Bliss is a side-by-side hot stone massage in the cedar sanctuary, a free-standing cabana lying before the sea on the water’s edge at the Ancient Cedars Spa. Built for couples, the doors open to the ocean. If the waves are high enough, feel the gentle sea spray as the scent of lavender wafts though the air. Afterwards, linger on Adirondack chairs outside the sanctuary under a fleece blanket (the resort even provides sunglasses to combat the glare). There are also packages featuring a gourmet six-course tasting menu for two or picnics on the beach.

Nearby Wickaninnish:

This remote village with rugged pristine beaches, peaceful inlets, and drop-dead gorgeous scenery is paradise for nature lovers. The resort offers bikes for cycling into town, three miles away. Meander along a paved path while passing stunning Clayoquot Sound. A haven for artists, the town features many galleries including Cedar Corner Gallery, Tofino Art Glass, Reflecting Spirit Gallery, and Coastline Art. Kayak amid seals with Remote Passages. Don’t miss Oysters at SOBO, a local treasure. Sweet potato fries at beloved Shelter restaurant are superb.

What Could Be Better at Wickaninnish?:

Guests without a car are isolated, especially at night. For dinner, the only dining option is the Pointe Restaurant. A taxi into town can be pricey. While the food at the Pointe is very fresh and the décor is excellent, it’s expensive. Appetizers and main dishes can break the bank. The hotel’s Driftwood Lounge has more casual cuisine for breakfast, lunch, or afternoon snacks, but it's hardly an economical option. Rooms have nice amenities like balconies, sea-view bathrooms and gas fireplaces, but there’s something sterile about the décor and they don’t reflect the personalized service.

Is the Wickaninnish Inn Right for You?:

For visitors seeking low-key but luxurious accommodations on a gorgeous long beach with the drama of crashing waves and the adjacent forest, the Wickaninnish delivers. And the Ancient Cedars Spa with eucalyptus co-ed steam room and outdoor relaxation area where each treatment begins with a foot soak is extraordinary. Couples who prefer a town-and-country getaway can opt for a package that also includes a stay in Vancouver's romantic Wedgewood Hotel.

Wickaninnish Inn Info and Reservations:

Wickaninnish Inn
500 Osprey Lane Chesterman Beach
Tofino, BC, Canada
800-333-4604
Hotel Web Site

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As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation and meals for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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