My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Luxury in a natural setting at The Wickaninnish Inn

2013/06/28by Donna Hull

Updated: 10.01.2013

Entry at The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino

Entry to On-the-Beach building at The Wickaninnish Inn

Have you ever stayed in accommodations so perfectly attuned to the surroundings that you didn’t know if you were inside or outside? That’s how Alan and I felt when we stayed at The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino on a May road trip to Vancouver Island. The view from our Beach Deluxe Room in the On-the-Beach building overlooking Chesterman Beach and the Pacific Ocean made us feel as if we were staying in a treetop perch with a ringside seat of surf and sand.

Wood and stone architectural elements at The Wickaninnish Inn

Natural elements set the tone in the lobby at On-the-Beach building

The Wickaninnish Inn is comprised of two buildings—On the Beach and At the Pointe. Both offer just the type of accommodations that we appreciate—luxurious but understated, environmentally aware, filled with unique art and offering quiet attention to a guest’s likes and dislikes that is the hallmark of excellent customer service. And did I mention the inn is the perfect setting for a romantic getaway?

Window view at The Wickaninnish Inn

Window view in the Beach Deluxe room

The staff at this Relais & Chateaux property has thought of everything to make the stay comfortable. Binoculars rested on the fireplace mantel near the large window in our room waiting for us to check out the action on the beach or the rumbling surf during a storm. In the closet, gumboots, raincoats and umbrellas gave us no excuse to stay inside during rainy weather. And it rains a lot here—remember this is a temperate rainforest.

Bath view at The Wickaninnish Inn

Even the bathroom has a view at The Wickaninnish Inn

In the bathroom, the Brita filter water pitcher was a nice touch along with the plush bath robes and luxury spa bath products. And who doesn’t enjoy a double soaking tub with a view of the ocean?

Action on Chesterman Beach at The Wickaninnish Inn

Looking out the window at Chesterman Beach

It was tempting to spend all of our time chilling out in front of the fireplace or in the adirondack chairs on the covered deck with a hot cup of coffe from the selection of teas, coffees and hot chocolate of the in-room coffee service. But there was a beautiful natural setting to explore, so we took advantage of the first day of our stay for a sunny power walk on Chesterman Beach. We should have brought our cameras as our next (and final) day at The Wick, as it’s affectionately called by staff and returning guests, was a misty one.

Pacific Ocean view at The Pointe Restaurant

The Pacific Ocean view at The Pointe Restaurant

Dining options at The Wickaninnish Inn include fine dining at The Pointe Restaurant, which has the best ocean view of any restaurant that we’ve experienced. We’ll be telling you more about our dining experience in a separate article—yes, it deserves that much attention. Driftwood Lounge is the choice for quick meals, specialty coffee drinks and easy access to Chesterman Beach.

Alan and I were at The Wick to recover from an ambitious road trip before heading back to Montana, so most of our time was spent relaxing in the inn’s restful ambiance. Besides, we think it’s important to really get the feel of a place before telling you about it. On our next visit, active adventures like the whale watching and bear watching excursions offered out of Tofino will be on the agenda. And we’ll definitely save time for exploring Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Tranquil Chesterman Beach in Tofino, B.C.

On our next visit, will we see storms raging on Chesterman Beach?

Accommodations at The Wickaninnish Inn include several Chesterman Loft Suites that offer a professionally designed kitchen. Alan and I are already talking about renting one of the loft suites for some winter storm watching (for him) and a much needed writing retreat (for me). With 48-hour notice, the folks at The Wick will even stock the kitchen for us. After all, our waistlines can’t afford for us to eat every meal at The Pointe Restaurant and stormy weather might discourage us from driving into Tofino.

With a well-equipped fitness center, the rainy weather won’t be a detriment to our fitness programs. And I’ll make sure to break away from writing long enough for spa time at The Ancient Cedars Spa while Alan checks out the library or browses on the guest computer. Yes, there’s complimentary wi-fi as well.

Tucked into the woods, The Wickaninnish Inn

The Wickaninnish Inn is tucked into a temperate rainforest

Before our reluctant departure from romantic relaxation at The Wickaninnish Inn, Claire McDonald, Marketing Manager, gave us a tour of the property. As she described the construction of the buildings, we learned it was not by accident that we felt so close to nature. When constructing both buildings at the inn, the landscape was left as untouched as possible staying true to founder, Dr. Howard McDiarmid’s, philosophy for preserving the rainforest of old growth trees located on this wild corner of Vancouver Island. We’re glad he did.

Read the rest of our Road Trip to Vancouver Island articles to create your own itinerary to this lovely part of the world.

Have you visited The Wickaninnish Inn? Post a comment to share your experience. Alan and I are serious about returning for a winter storm watching trip.

Disclosure: The Wickaninnish Inn provided our travel experience but the opinions are our own.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of New Mexico Backroads Weekend Adventure.

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