Located a ferry ride from mainland BC and the city after which it is named, Vancouver Island is something of a microcosm of everything great about Canada. Not only is it large – its landmass is just shy of Ireland’s – but it also contains some of the most stunning scenery in the country. And it’s a beauty that’s easy to explore, thanks to wilderness lodges like The Wickaninnish Inn and Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, both located near the spectacular Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve on the northern tip of the island.
Those who prefer cultural activities, attractions and the many fun things to see and do in an urban landscape will not be disappointed either. Victoria, the island’s largest city (and BC’s capital), offers luxury accommodations at places like Pacific Sands Beach Resort and Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, each just a short distance from the city’s downtown, yet far enough away to offer the peace and tranquility one would want from an ocean view vacation spot.
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1 The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
Since opening in 1955, The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino has been at the forefront of providing guests with unforgettable Canadian wilderness experiences. This historic inn consists of 75 luxury lodge-style accommodations with views of the Pacific Ocean. It offers a mix of standard rooms, with spacious bathrooms with walk-in showers and large soaking tubs, and larger family suites that give guests plenty of extra room to spread out. All rooms feature fireplaces and balconies with great ocean views. Pet-friendly units of all types are available and come with bedding and treats (pet-sitting services are also available for a fee).
There’s plenty to do on-site, including gourmet dining and spa services, plus sunbathing, swimming, and water sports at adjacent Chesterman Beach. Those a little further afield can explore the nearby Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Stormwatching is another popular activity during the winter months, and The Wickaninnish Inn provides rain gear to keep you dry. Kayaks and canoes are also available to explore the beautiful coastline, with guided tours available as a fun option.
Adres: 500 Osprey Lane, Tofino, British Columbia
Accommodation: The Wickaninnish Inn
2 Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Tofino
When it comes to wilderness stays, few can match the unique accommodations offered at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort. Located just minutes from the village of Tofino and boasting stunning views of Clayoquot Sound, this unique safari-style experience offers guests the chance to spend their vacation in luxurious tent-style guestrooms. Each of the 25 canvas-clad suites is elegantly decorated and furnished and features all the comforts needed for a memorable stay, including spacious living areas; king size beds; and bathrooms with heated floors, walk-in showers and bathtubs. For those who really want to indulge in wild luxury, select suites offer a separate lounge area and fully equipped kitchen.
On-site amenities include a delicious array of freshly prepared meals in the log Cookhouse (there is also a dining tent), while those seeking something different are spoiled for choice with food in Tofino. Available outdoor adventures include guided rainforest excursions, hiking the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, kayaking, whale watching, mountain biking, and fly fishing.
Adres: 1 Clayoquot, Tofino, British Columbia
Accommodation: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
3 Long Beach Lodge Resort, Tofino
Tofino’s Long Beach Lodge Resort offers a number of first-class lodging options for those seeking a base from which to explore the northern island of Vancouver. In addition to the 41 elegantly decorated and furnished rooms in the main house, Long Beach has 20 lovely cottages that sit adjacent to its beautiful shoreline. These spacious Rainforest Cottages offer all the amenities needed for larger groups and families and are equipped with modern kitchens, dining and living rooms, fireplaces and two bathrooms. The oversized decks are another great feature, especially since they come with a private hot tub.
On-site amenities include the comfortable social areas in the main lodge with its grand central stone fireplace. You’ll also enjoy the same great views in the resort’s dining room. Outdoor fun includes exploring the resort’s eight acres of land, as well as having guest-only access to a private beach and surf rentals.
Adres: 1441 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino, British Columbia
Accommodation: Long Beach Lodge Resort
4 Prestige Oceanfront Resort, Sooke
The Prestige Oceanfront Resort overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is just a short drive from Victoria. It is ideal for those looking for a truly luxurious experience. Despite its proximity to BC’s capital city and the quaint coastal community of Sooke, the resort offers many great reasons for guests to stay on site: elegant accommodations, delicious dining options, a full-service spa, and plenty of space to find a quiet spot and relax. Numerous activities and amenities are also available, including a pool and hot tub, sports club, marina, and spa. Popular outdoor activities include scuba diving, hiking and biking (a hiking trail is nearby and the resort’s bicycles are free for guest use), ocean fishing, ziplining,
Room options range from spacious queen-sized rooms to larger king-sized units with a kitchen. Water or mountain views are available, as well as family suites, pet-friendly units, and wheelchair accessible suites (please request at time of booking). For those with the means, why not splurge on the beautiful Pacific Penthouse? This spacious unit has two large bedrooms, a large kitchen and not one but five private terraces for you to enjoy. Decadence indeed!
Adres: 1441 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino, British Columbia
Accommodation: Prestige Oceanfront Resort
5 The Francis Boutique Inn, Ucluelet
The cozy Francis Boutique Inn is located in Ucluelet, amidst the beautiful scenery of Vancouver Island’s west coast. It is perfect for couples looking for an intimate holiday experience. Consisting of just four spacious suites, this boutique-style inn offers elegant, comfortable accommodations with kitchenettes, king-size beds, stunning harbor views, and plenty of peace and quiet.
A wide variety of outdoor activities are available in this pristine area, including kayaking, whale watching, cycling, bird watching and surfing. Other activities bookable through local providers include archipelago wildlife cruises along Barkley Sound aboard the Raincoast Maiden ; guided hikes along the six-mile Wild Pacific Trail; fishing expeditions; nearby visit Ucluelet Aquarium ; or, come winter and partake in stormy weather.
Adres: 536 Peninsula Road, Ucluelet, British Columbia
Accommodation: The Francis Boutique Inn
6 Pacific Sands Beach Resort, Tofino
Pacific Sands Beach Resort is the perfect getaway destination for those looking to explore the many natural wonders of northern Vancouver Island, including Cox Bay and Paci fi c Rim National Park, each just minutes away. Accommodation includes standard hotel rooms, spacious suites, and beautiful beachfront cottages that are suitable for families or groups and feature full kitchens, living rooms, fireplaces, and jetted tubs.
The resort offers plenty of fun activities for kids and adults, including fire pits for marshmallow breads and sing-alongs, and surfing and swimming at beaches just a short walk away. Other nearby activities include easy access to great hiking and biking trails, yoga classes, whale watching, fishing, golf, beachcombing, storm watching and yoga classes. The resort’s proximity to Tofino, where guests can enjoy fine dining and shopping, is also a plus.
Adres: 1421 Pacific Rim Highway, Tofino, British Columbia
Accommodation: Pacific Sands Beach Resort
7 Sooke Harbour House Resort Hotel, Sooke
Sooke Harbor House consists of only 28 luxurious rooms and offers an intimate guest experience on Vancouver Island. Each elegant room features local artwork and handcrafted furnishings and fine antiques, so no two rooms are the same. Other standard features include real fireplaces, jetted tubs and spacious independent steam showers in the bathrooms, and balconies with fantastic views over the Strait of Juan de Fuca (don’t be surprised if you see seals, otters or even whales while you relax). A number of larger loft suites are also available for those needing a little extra space, along with units with private outdoor hot tubs.
The resort itself has received the same high attention to detail and comfort and features on-site amenities such as infrared saunas and a restaurant serving local and homegrown produce. The resort staff can also arrange a variety of excursions from fun fishing trips (the area is famous for salmon), guided nature walks, kayaking, horseback riding, whale watching and ziplining. A number of great beaches are also easily accessible.
Adres: 1528 Whiffen Spit Road, Sooke, British Columbia
Accommodation: Sooke Harbor House Resort Hotel
8 Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, Victoria
Fotobron: Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa
Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa is the best of both worlds: guests will have an unparalleled opportunity to experience some of the best natural and man-made attractions on southern Vancouver Island. Located overlooking Saanich Inlet on the edge of Victoria (the view over the water is amazing), this luxury resort offers a choice of attractive accommodations. The best brands go to the stylish ocean view suites, which add a high level of comfort with the addition of a fireplace and, a particularly nice touch, matching bathrobes and slippers. If you can swing it, opt for the slightly larger one-bedroom variety, complete with a private hot tub.
Outdoor amenities include a private marina, where guests can rent a motorboat, kayak or paddleboard – the perfect way to explore the coastal region and its wildlife. Guests regularly report seeing rare eagles along with marine life such as seals and whales. Time permitting, be sure to explore nearby Butchart Gardens and of course downtown Victoria, one of Canada’s most beautiful cities.
Address: 849 Verdier Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia
Accommodation: Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa
9 Qualicum Beach Inn, Qualicum Beach
Cosy, intimate, romantic… these are all words that perfectly sum up the guest experience at Qualicum Beach Inn. Consisting of only 32 spacious ocean view suites, each with a king or double bed, large screen HD TV, phone chargers and bathrobes . This historic inn has been extensively renovated yet retains its former charm. On-site amenities include a restaurant, large heated pool with deck, hot tub, and a fitness center complete with weights and treadmills.
In addition to being close to the beach and named after the town, the inn is just a short walk from the center of town and offers an array of fun things to see and do, from shopping to a great selection of fine and casual dining. A number of pet-friendly units are available for those who wish to bring their four-legged friends; request one when making your reservation.
Adres: 2690 Island Hwy W, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Accommodation: Qualicum Beach Inn
10 April Point Resort and Spa, Quadra Island
Fotobron: April Point Resort and Spa
Just a short distance off the east coast of Vancouver Island is the smaller Quadra Island, part of a chain known as the Discovery Islands. Just a 10-minute boat ride from Campbell River, this pristine island paradise is home to April Point Resort and Spa, a family-friendly destination consisting of spacious rooms with king and queen beds, plus options like pull-out chairs and a separate sitting area. The resort also offers a number of private stand-alone cabins and cottages with full kitchens, private decks and hot tubs.
Whatever your choice of accommodation, one thing won’t change: the spectacular scenery. Whether relaxing in your room or lounging by the pool, you will enjoy fantastic views over Gowlland Harbour, the Discovery Passage and the endless mountainous backdrop. Amenities include a full-service spa in a quaint Japanese-style building just off the coast; kayak and boat rentals (the resort has its own full-service marina); electric bike rental; dining on site; a fitness center; gift shop; and a variety of great tour packages, including salmon fishing, whale watching, ocean speed rides, and the extremely thrilling (and safe) grizzly bear tour.
Adres: 900 April Point Road, Quathiaski Cove, British Columbia
Accommodation: April Point Resort and Spa
11 Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Victoria
Oak Bay Beach Hotel, one of Victoria’s top-rated luxury hotels, offers guests a variety of first-class facilities and world-class services, including chauffeured pick-ups and drop-offs throughout the city (leave your car in the complimentary underground parking), concierge services and in-room dining (be sure to try the unforgettable in-room chef). Also worth mentioning are the on-site spa, eucalyptus steam sauna, fitness center with optional fitness classes, swimming pool and restaurants.
The hotel’s elegantly appointed accommodations consist of a mix of rooms, boutique suites, and one-bedroom suites, as well as the super-luxurious and spacious penthouse apartments. In-room highlights include large bathtubs (plus robes), fireplaces, kitchens or kitchenettes, balconies or terraces for the strike, plus a turndown service.
Adres: 175 Beach Drive, Victoria, British Columbia
Accommodation: Oak Bay Beach Hotel
12 Painter’s Lodge, Campbell River
Are you looking for a great Canadian summer vacation that is close enough to nature yet comes with all the conveniences of an urban getaway (great shopping, dining and entertainment)? Then look no further than Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River. The Painter’s Lodge, one of BC’s leading fishing lodges – the area is known for its fantastic sea fishing, especially for salmon – continues to offer guests great outdoor adventures, along with a comfortable place to lay their heads after all the fun.
Accommodation options include oversized loft suites for up to four adults; couple-friendly queen rooms in the main building; and the tastefully decorated Hospitality Suite, featuring a large patio, loft, three pull-out beds, and a shower big enough for two. A number of secluded cabins are also available for larger groups. Outdoor adventures are offered such as guided fishing trips and wildlife tours, whale watching, fast ocean experiences, helicopter rides and golf (there are some great golf courses nearby). In-room and in-room dining is also available.
Adres: 1625 McDonald Road, Campbell River, British Columbia
Accommodation: Painter’s Lodge