Named the Best Resort/Hotel on Vancouver Island in the Georgia Straight’s Best of Vancouver 2010, The Wickaninnish Inn has been winning awards for years from prestigious travel publications and was named the “Most Excellent Romantic Hideaway of 2010” by CondÃ© Nast. Aside from the accolades and almost everyone I know wanting to visit, I sensed well before we set foot in the lobby that this place was special.
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With the Inn at the Pointe and The Pointe restaurant opening in 1996, the Wick’s is still pretty young but the area in which it sits is full of history. You can read up on Tofino history in the library of the On the Beach building (completed in 2003) and even get a glimpse at some of Captain George Vancouver’s log books and navigational equipment used when he charted the Island.
The common areas (and many of the 75 guest rooms) are filled with driftwood furniture, wood or marble sculptures, paintings, carvings, large comfortable chairs, and floor-to-ceiling windows so that the amazing view is always visible. Claire MacDonald, Marketing Planner for the inn, said that the idea was to make the decor and amenities so unique that if you were to take one look around, you would know that you are at The Wick, and no where else in the world.
Our room faced North-West over a rocky channel as waves provided the soundtrack to our stay. We didn’t turn on the television for entertainment nor did we make use of the inn’s DVD library. We opened the sliding door, turned off our lights, and sat together in silence as the rain fell and thunderous waves crashed on the sharp shore below.
I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in two Relais-Chateaux properties before (Aerie, Sonora) and they all have exceptional services and amenities.
In our room we also had lavender on our nightstand, Senseo coffee, a journal above the fireplace to jot down notes (and see the musings of previous guests), and a media player (with iPod/iPhone dock) that somehow always ended up spinning the Michael Buble CD after turndown.
Now there are generally two types of people: Those who get out in the rain to splash around and explore in their wellies, and those who snuggle up indoors as storms pass overhead. The perfect place for both is Tofino, BC and more specifically, The Wickaninnish Inn.
In the rain, the region seems even more active than when the fog rolls in under clear skies. Children ride bikes on the sand, adults jog alongside their dogs on the multi-use path, surf boards are replaced with body boards in a storm, and hotel guests in their distinctive yellow coats get out to stretch their legs as sea foam rolls across sandy bays.
From the beach, the hotel hardly sticks out among the trees, which was the point when both buildings were constructed. Even the paint colour is supposed to replicate the shade of a faded and weathered Cedar.
As if our experience wasn’t romantic enough, on Friday afternoon we were led into a small one-room cabin placed on the rocks just ahead of the Inn for a side-by-side massage at the Ancient Cedars Spa. Happy Birthday, John
When it came time to leave The Wick, our hair was wind-blown and sprayed with salty sea air from walks around the property. If we had more time we would have dinned once more at The Pointe, inspected the Captain Vancouver records in the library, and done a lot more of nothing while we watched the waves from either our balcony or a horizontal piece of driftwood on the shore.
Heading South toward Cox Bay, we would spend our last night on what some locals call the real West Coast. We were warned that we “might just relax” while in Tofino and that’s exactly what happened.
All photos are by Rebecca or John Bollwitt for Miss604.com