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A Wicked Weekend at the Wickaninnish Inn

A Wicked Weekend at the Wickaninnish Inn

Wickaninnish Hotel

For more photos of our trip to the Wickaninnish Inn, visit’s Facebook page.

A month ago, my husband and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary, which also happens to coincide with 20 years of being together. We wanted to do something special and an overnight trip without the kids seemed to be in order. But where to go? We decided to go to a place we hadn’t visited since we were 20 years old: Tofino. And since it was a very special occasion, we decide to splurge for the best: the Wickaninnish Inn – and we were not disappointed.

Just five minutes outside of Tofino, the Wickaninnish Inn is perfectly situated among craggy rocks and a long stretch of beach perfect for exploring in sunny or blustery rain weather. The inn faces the enormous expanse of the Pacific, at times calm and meditative, and at others angry and forceful. I never tired of watching the water crashing over the rocks and remembered that I was a BC girl at heart and was thankful that I moved back.

Before You Go

Be sure to call ahead and make reservations at the Pointe Restaurant. Being parents of young kids, we couldn’t seem to break our habit of early dining, so we didn’t have any difficulties getting in. However, it seemed like the later times were a bit more busy.

Also, take advantage of the Ancient Cedars Spa while you’re there but it’s important that you book your treatment ahead of time as they do fill up quickly. Yoga is also very popular with limited spaces.

I also recommend calling the concierge ahead of time so they can prepare for your arrival – whether it be for a romantic occasion or even a family retreat.

It’s Not Really That Far

If Tofino seems like quite a distance for you, don’t let Google Maps fool you: From our place in East Vancouver, we arrived at the ferry terminal in about 30 minutes. The wait to board followed by a typical sausage and egg breakfast on the ferry was a nice break before the two and a half hours of driving to the Wick – terrific bonding time that allowed us to acclimatize to not having kids in the car seats. We were slowed down by some late winter snow on the road and were glad that we had our snow tires on our car.

A Foodie’s Paradise

We ate every meal, except one, either in our room or at the Pointe Restaurant. Whenever we sat down to eat, I couldn’t help but think about Top Chef Masters – the food was perfect in every single way – whether it was the masterfully done sablefish, accompanied with sunchokes that my husband deemed to be the best he’d ever had. Or if it was the wonton soup arranged prettily in my bowl before being drenched with broth immediately before eating. Or the eggs benny plated so beautifully for room service. Each restaurant meal was started with an amuse-bouche, and ended with tiny sweet treat.

I admit, the food was so over-the-top beautiful that at the end I was starting to crave a basic burger – I suppose a great problem to have!

How Suite It Is

We had a lower-priced room on the first floor of the newer building. We had a tour of other rooms, and I was pleased that while we might have lacked some amenities, the overall quality and fixturing was just as good – and our view of the ocean was equally as stunning.

Our room had a huge bathroom, equipped with a double soaker tub, two sinks and a spacious rainshower. We also had a gas fireplace, which we used regularly to ward off the chill of the wet March. There were issues with wireless (we brought a laptop to research the area while we were there), a burned-out light bulb, as well as draining our tub, but maintenance staff addressed each issue immediately.

There aren’t any in-suite movies and, well, we weren’t watching television to know how the channels were, but there is a decent selection of movies in the library on the second floor – complimentary to Wickaninnish guests.

By the way, if you’re planning a romantic getaway, be sure to book a romantic turndown. You’ll arrive back from dinner to a room with lights turned low, the fireplace on, a bath drawn and gazillions of tea lights – perfect for setting the mood.


The Wickaninnish’s Ancient Cedars Spa rivals any of the best spas I’ve been to. The space is wonderfully serene, clean and well decorated. The staff was prepared for my arrival and had a locker reserved with my name clearly marked on it. (Incidentally, another locker was labeled with the name of one of my husband’s high school girlfriends, but we never ran into her to know if it was one and the same.)

Arrive early for your treatment and take advantage of the steam room. It’s co-ed, but thankfully it was unoccupied when we used it since I’m not one to steam with strange men in the same room.

Our therapists ushered us out for a foot soak while offering up a selection of different essential oils for our massage, as well as to tell us what to expect from our couples lomi lomi massage, a 90-minute experience based upon ancient Hawaiian shamen rituals and includes long stretching massage movements and affirmations in Hawaiian. I was just over four months pregnant at the time and my therapist easily adjusted the treatment to accommodate, including offering oils that might be more appropriate for pregnancy.

The spa also coordinates a daily 90-minute yoga session of no more than a handful of people. Our class seemed to be filled with mostly beginners and intermediate participants. What I loved most about this class was they had all the equipment, including straps, blocks and bolsters. Our instructor finished up our class by covering each of us with freshly warmed blankets, making for a cozy and relaxing finish. Forgot to pack your yoga wear? No problem. My husband didn’t bring anything appropriate and they managed to find a pair of pants for him to wear.

Exploring the Area

We didn’t have a lot of time, but we managed to squeeze in a morning walk along the beach, exploring the rocks and checking out the surfers. If you’ve forgotten your rain gear, the Wickaninnish has jackets in each of the rooms, as well as boots available in every size.

The Wickaninnish Inn also has two 2010 Lexus RX450 hybrid SUVs, free for guests to take out for two hours. We drove one into Tofino, where we had lunch at the charming Breakers café, before going for a quick nature walk along one of the nearby trails.

Family Options

If you want to treat yourself but don’t have someone to watch your kids, the Wickaninnish is a luxurious option for those who can afford it. Reserve the loft room, which comes equipped with a gourmet kitchen appointed with Miele appliances. Your children will also be welcomed with an activity basket, which comes with books, a shovel and pail for the beach, a few toys and a cookie. Cribs are available for little ones, and if you’re looking to go out for dinner at the restaurant, the Wickaninnish Inn offers complimentary babysitting. The DVD library features a good selection of kids movies, and the room service menu has a Kids Night “Inn” option – a pizza paninni, home made cookie, beverage, popcorn and movie. The Inn also has some resident carvers, who periodically open their doors so guests can see them at work. Older kids will enjoy hearing about the craft that goes into creating all the totem poles, canoes and various other pieces around the Inn.

Final Thoughts

Going to the Wickaninnish Inn is definitely up there in special things to do – and it doesn’t come light on the wallet. A couple of nights during Whale Season will cost around $1,000 – more if you add in a few extra visits to the restaurant and spa or opting for a higher room. But if you’re planning a once-in-a-lifetime event like a special anniversary, then the Wickaninnish will not only deliver – it will delight.

More photos available on our Facebook page.

The Wickaninnish Inn

500 Osprey Lane, Tofino, BC | Twitter: @wickinnbc

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