I love hotels! I’ve flown to far distant countries just on the promise of staying in a beautiful bedroom. One recent voyage was to Vancouver, and in particular, Vancouver Island and the Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino.
My adventure started on a local flight over from Vancouver. Expecting to see a modern jet my stomach lurched at the sight of a small prop plane which seated 7 of us, the baggage loaded into the wings and when the ’12 year old’ co-pilot got out the sat nav I was ready to get off and walk! We sat on the runway for some time while a coyote was rounded up and moved out of our flight path – welcome to Canada!
Safe and sound we arrived at Tofino airport where I jumped on to the hotel bus and headed for the Wick Inn.
It’s location is ruggedly beautiful surrounded by ancient forest, a long sandy beach and perched on a rocky outcrop jutting in to the ocean. It’s hard to pay attention to anything other than the stunning views presented from every part of the hotel you wander through. The soundtrack to this holiday was courtesy of Diana Krall and Michael Buble whose gentle tones played from most public areas.
Bedrooms are extremely comfortable with sea views and fireplaces to keep you cosy when the weather gets stormy. They have thought of everything – you will find wet weather gear and wellies in your room – the saying is ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothing’.
At some stage the need for food drives you from your room or the beach and you have a choice of venues. There is the stunningly positioned Pointe Restaurant which is more formal, however my favourite place to eat was the hotel’s Driftwood Cafe. Sheltered by cedars and overlooking the beach, it provided sustenance in various forms including smoked salmon bagels and home baked pastries – much needed after a walk on the beach! I spent evenings there sat on one of the sofas around the open fire with a glass of wine and a plate of the most wonderful seafood. Other guests would also gravitate here and we would chat about where we had visited that day.
Morning yoga classes are very popular at the hotel. The yoga room has an open fire place for cooler days and doors that open to let the sound of the ocean in. I can’t recommend enough a visit to the Ancient Cedars Spa. I experienced the Sacred Sea Treatment administered by the lovely Angel – the rest of the day went by in a calm, fragrant haze. A treatment room for two looks out to sea and is not to be missed so book early!
The area attracts many artists, one such inspiration is ‘Feather’ George who I spent time with one sunny afternoon on the beach watching him carve. The smell reminded me of my Dad’s woodwork shed and brought tears to my eyes, George handed me the cedar shavings and they came home with me in a small bag.
I’d been told by a local that a stay here could be life-changing, it was certainly life-enhancing. It’s difficult to capture it’s essence in words or even photographs because the things that will stay with you are the sounds of the ocean, the warmth of the people and the smell of cedar. In times of stress I can open the small fragrant bag of wood chips ‘Feather’ George gave me and sit quietly with eyes closed remembering that sunny afternoon in this magical place.
To prolong the adventure I came back to the mainland by coach and ferry. It was a 5 hour journey through forests and mountains, and then across the Strait of Georgia to Horseshoe Bay, it was everything I’d hoped it would be .. and more.
Travel arrangements were by the lovely people at Carrier. I can’t praise them enough for the care they took on each step of my journey. Thank you.