A Natural Wonder


The Wickaninnish Inn Tofino, British Columbia

Rustic elegance on nature’s edge”—that’s the phrase Managing Director Charles McDiarmid uses to describe his family’s sublime creation, known locally and lovingly as The Wick. This Relais & Chateaux property regularly wins awards as Canada’s premier resort, and it doesn’t take long to understand why.

Set dramatically between rugged seas and a towering rainforest, the hotel is built of local fir and cedar (with felled pieces only to preserve the area’s treasured trees). Guest rooms bring the outdoors in, and every room comes with a panoramic ocean view. Big picture windows frame it; a balcony beckons you outside (with warm blankets provided for chilly mornings); a fireplace calls you back in (Tofino’s summer temperatures average just 60 degrees). Even the soaking tub in the spacious bath, where local Sea Wench products smell of saltwater and cedar, has a water view. Want privacy? Just activate the retractable screen.

You’ll find a different driftwood chair in each room, and commissioned pieces from area artists abound—from the pottery in the baths to the paintings of Tofino’s most unique buildings and the sculptures throughout the property. Wide and wild, Chesterman Beach is steps from your room. Walk past silvery driftwood logs as the light continually changes. 

A love of surfing prevails here, and The Wick can connect you with an instructor—among the most skilled in Canada live in Tofino. While there’s summer sun, there’s also some clouds and light rain. But whatever the weather, everyone’s outside—surfing, biking, jogging, hiking, or hanging out at the beach. And by rights, this remote little outpost on the western shore of Vancouver Island should not have so many amazing restaurants, like Wolf in the Fog, a definite don’t-miss.

Back at The Wick, a Beach Ready Bliss treatment at the Ancient Cedars Spa begins with an organic sea-salt body polish followed by a masterful massage in a serenely beautiful setting. The hotel’s charming Driftwood Cafe leads to the beach, and The Pointe welcomes guests for fine dining under a soaring wood ceiling. Reserve your table for sunset, and it’s hard to know what’s better: the local catch and fine British Columbia wine, the engaging and knowledgeable staff, or the impressive colors over the Pacific Ocean. But then again, there’s the perfection of The Wickaninnish Inn itself. 

Rates start at $520 per night
from late June to August 31.

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