WJ Tested: Wowed by Waves and Wind at The Wickaninnish Inn!

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WJ Tested: Wowed by Waves and Wind at The Wickaninnish Inn!

WJ Tested: Wowed by Waves and Wind at The Wickaninnish Inn!

WJ Tested: Wowed by Waves and Wind at The Wickaninnish Inn!

The Wickaninnish Inn is a Relais and Chateaux Member

Grab your gumboots and go west my friend!  Go west to Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast and the crashing waves at Chesterman Beach. There, near Tofino, British Columbia, you will discover the acclaimed eco-resort ~ The Wickaninnish Inn.

WAVE Journey did just that some months back and we were wowed by the waves, wind, and wonderous scenery at this Relais & Chateaux member lodge set on a craggy point directly facing the all-mighty Pacific Ocean.

Wickaninnish Inn Reception

Wickaninnish Inn Reception

Arriving at The Wickaninnish Inn on a foggy, late September afternoon, we were quickly reminded that we had stepped into a rainforest. A heavy mist hung in the air while huge rain drops fell, but the prospect of a storm brewing was thrilling. After all, stormy weather is one of the many reasons people travel here from near and far.

As soon as we were settled in our guest room, we threw on gumboots, adorned bright yellow rain gear and ventured out into the great outdoors, where we spent hours beachcombing and watching surfers frolic in the rolling waves.

Surfing on Chesterman Beach

Surfing on Chesterman Beach

Accommodations
The Wickaninnish Inn features two buildings, At-the-Pointe and On-the-Beach, where guest rooms, public areas, dining facilities and the spa are located. WJ stayed in the Beach Building which we loved for the breathtaking ocean views (every room has an ocean view of some sort).

Wickaninnish Inn

Wickaninnish Inn

We also enjoyed the Beach Building’s guest library with computer, lobby area with fireplace and comfy seating, Driftwood Lounge for grabbing that morning cappuccino and pastry, and quick access to Chesterman Beach.

Wickaninnish Inn Beach Building Deluxe Guestroom

Wickaninnish Inn Beach Building Deluxe Guestroom

Our 2nd floor deluxe room was extremely spacious, comfortable, furnished in natural soothing tones and featured spectacular beach views.

Wickaninnish Inn Beach Building Deluxe Guestroom

Wickaninnish Inn Beach Building Deluxe Guestroom

The huge bathroom with double vanity, rain shower and double-soaker tub also looked out at the crashing surf and sandy beach.

Wickaninnish Inn Beach Building- Guestroom Bathroom with a View

Wickaninnish Inn Beach Building- Guestroom Bathroom with a View

Our room was so comfortable and relaxing that we spent hours at a time just sitting in front of the gas fireplace with a glass of wine while we watched the changing tide patterns.

Wrapped in blankets we lazed in the Adirondack chairs on the balcony while surveying the beach goings on. The only sounds were those created by Mother Nature – birds and surf.

Storm Watching at Wickaninnish Inn

Storm Watching at Wickaninnish Inn

As we explored each building we were impressed by the amazing artwork found throughout the resort. From reading plaques and speaking with staff, we learned how various pieces came to be – each piece had an interesting and unique story and was worthy of being in an art gallery.

Dining
Evening dining in The Pointe Restaurant was every foodies culinary delight. Views of the Pacific Ocean from the restaurant were as awe-inspiring as the menus, and we were greatly impressed both by the creativity and presentation that Chef Nicholas Nutting and his team wowed us with.

Wickaninnish Inn - The Pointe Restaurant

Wickaninnish Inn – The Pointe Restaurant

From conception to actualization, it was evident that each menu item had been laboriously created and was an esculent work of art. The freshest organic produce, free-range meats and coastal seafood ingredients were combined to elicit complex layers of flavors and textures, resulting in epicurean delicacies.

Each evening, dinner was a relaxed affair with nothing hurried and everything perfectly timed, as we watched the sun set over the horizon.

Rare Albacore Tuna

Rare Albacore Tuna

Our first evening we dined from the 4-course Early Fall Indulgence menu, featuring rare Albacore tuna, seared Qualicum scallop with butternut squash ravioli, pepper crusted beef striploin with porcini mushrooms, and a dessert of Coronation grapes with milk chocolate and dark rye bread. Each mouthful was absolutely heavenly.

Qualicum Scallop

Qualicum Scallop

Beef Striploin

Beef Striploin

Dessert - Coronation Grapes and Milk Chocolate

Dessert – Coronation Grapes and Milk Chocolate

On our second evening we dined from the main menu and were equally gratified with our choices.

Quebec Foie Gras

Quebec Foie Gras

To start, we shared the seared Quebec foie gras with Okanagan cherries, lemon pistachio and a citrus crepe. Then for entrees we chose the seared wild Tofino salmon and butter baked Tofino halibut. The foie gras melted in our mouths and the seafood was discernibly the freshest we have tasted.

Wild Tofino Salmon

Wild Tofino Salmon

Tofino Halibut

Tofino Halibut

Amenities
Complimentary in-room amenities included: internet; Bose Wave clock radios; TV; DVD player; CDs; binoculars; rain gear; bath robes; spa bath products; coffee, tea & hot chocolate; Brita filter water pitcher; microwave; mini-refrigerator.

Rain Gear

Rain Gear

Other complimentary amenities included: outdoor valet parking; DVD selection; guest computer; library; telescope; fitness room; dog towels (Fido friendly); gumboots.

Dog House Towels

Dog House Towels

Service
At every turn, service was prompt, professional and courteous. The front desk clerks were particularly helpful giving us advice on area excursions and making restaurant recommendations for Tofino. Restaurant staff were very well-versed in their menu and wine knowledge.

Spa
A treatment at the Ancient Cedars Spa is an absolute must for avid spa-goers. We chose the 60-minute side-by-side aromatic massage in the Cedar Sanctuary – which should not be missed if travelling as a twosome. French doors opened to the ocean, we felt one with Mother Nature as the massage induced complete relaxation.

Ancient Cedars Spa

Ancient Cedars Spa

During our treatment we were within feet of the waves lapping against the rocks. We started off soaking our tootsies in a copper tub filled with glass marbles, which we rolled between our toes. Our massage therapists offered us tea as they assisted us with our selection of essential oils, finding the ideal aroma for our massage.

Activities
The unique location of The Wickaninnish Inn provides guests with endless opportunities for outdoor activities.

Beachcombing at Wickaninnish Inn

Beachcombing at Wickaninnish Inn

Unfortunately for us, we only had one full day in which to pack in as much as possible. Our first afternoon we spent beachcombing and watch a few surfers brave the waves.

The next morning we started off with a two-hour bear watching tour with Jamie’s Whale Watching out of Tofino.

Jamie's Whale Watching Tours in Tofino

Jamie’s Whale Watching Tours in Tofino

Jamie's Whale Watching

Jamie’s Whale Watching

Our afternoon then busied us with a short hike through the old-growth rainforest and more beachcombing.  We were also able to fit in a visit to Henry Nolla’s Carving Shed where we watched Tofino based wood carver, Lyne Des Rosiers work on a totem pole.

Lyne Des Rosiers

Lyne Des Rosiers

Bottom Line
The Wickaninnish Inn is ideally suited for beachcombing, storm watching, relaxing amidst an abundance of natural beauty and exploring Tofino.

The Wickaninnish Inn fits the bill for seekers of a romantic weekend, girls-getaway, family reunion, spa indulgence, or for those simply wanting to indulge in culinary delights.

Jill in Tofino

Jill in Tofino

Getting There
After travelling by BC Ferries to Nanaimo, The Wickaninnish Inn is a pleasant three-hour drive due west of Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island.

If You Go:

Want to View More Relais & Chateaux Lodges in British Columbia?

 

Note: Viv & Jill stayed at Wickaninnish Inn during a 2010 visit to British Columbia, Canada.

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One Response to WJ Tested: Wowed by Waves and Wind at The Wickaninnish Inn!

  1. All those food photos are making me drool! Coronation Grapes and Milk Chocolate – YES PLEASE!

    Dani Blanchette 03/21/2013 at 1:31 pm

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