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“Unique and welcoming”
Review of Spirit Bear Lodge

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Spirit Bear Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Unique and welcoming”
Reviewed 26 September 2012

My husband and I recently did a 5 day package at the Lodge. Tim and his staff do an excellent job of welcoming their guests and making everyone feel at home in this clean and comfortable lodge. The guides and boat captains are fantastic, and are knowledgeable and willing to provide a lot of information. We were fortunate to spend time with Phil, who is doing a PhD, and he was very helpful in schooling us on bear behaviour and the research that is being done. We saw black and grizzly bears, as well as whales, porpoises and seals. It is wonderful that the Lodge supports research and conservation efforts, and this was key in our selection of the Lodge. Vern took us on tours to cultural sites and on a lengthy hike, and it was nice that you can have a range of experiences at the Lodge, customized by Tim according to what you are interested in seeing and doing. The one suggestion I would have for improving the experience would be direct transport to the Lodge instead of stopping in Shearwater. The lodging in Shearwater, although clean, was below what I was expecting, and it really seemed like a wasted overnight stopover when the option exists to fly directly to Klemtu. I would also say that if you are vegetarian, grab one of the wrapped items for your pack off of the breakfast buffet as on two of the days, the lunch cooler had no vegetarian option. The rest of the time, for breakfast, evening and other lunches, they ensured that vegetarian options were available so Im sure that it was just a mix-up of coolers, but it isn't great to be out for a full day without a veg option. Overall, we had a terrific trip and would like to thank Tim and his staff, as well as the very friendly Klemtu residents, for a wonderful experience.

Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank CathyCayman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
spiritbearlodge, Manager at Spirit Bear Lodge, responded to this review, 28 September 2012
Thanks for your feedback. We really appreciate knowing what we do well and what we can improve upon. We will be implementing a system to help our kitchen staff and lunch prep staff track guests who require special meals to ensure they get what they need in this regard.

In regards to the Shearwater stay, that night is built into our program to ensure smooth logistics to Klemtu. We know that guests are anxious to join us in Klemtu and by having a pre-night in Shearwater we can ensure that any weather delays are minimized. In the 3 years of operating with these logistics we are proud of not having missed a departure despite fog and weather delays that have affected others. But we will continue to look for ways to add value to this pre-night so that it seems less a wasted day and more part of our program. Thanks again for the great feedback.
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96 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 September 2012

I was in Klemtu for work so did not have the same type of experiences as most of the other travellers who went on tours through the rainforest and had guides. My experience is based solely on my stay at the lodge.

My room was well appointed with a mini fridge, couch, table, two beds, and a great view of the water. The room was clean and relatively new feeling. The staff were friendly and most of the time I would see them around they would be vacuuming, changing linens etc. The only thing is, if you had questions for the staff, they were not as readily available/accessible as they were usually busy doing other work.

In the common area, there were comfortable couches to relax on and a big long tables for meals/working on. There was also a large kitchen in the common area and I had access to it to cook my own meals (as mentioned, I wasn't there as part of a tour so made my own food). If you are one of the few travellers there for business, I would recommend bringing your own food in as there is only one very small corner store type place to buy food.

Overall, I very much enjoyed my stay.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled on business
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Helpful?
6 Thank cdnsilk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
spiritbearlodge, Manager at Spirit Bear Lodge, responded to this review, 26 September 2012
Thank you for the review. As noted in the review, your stay was during our 'off-season' when we offer 'accommodation-only' services to guests who are doing business in Klemtu. During our tour season we offer all-inclusive packages from Vancouver which include round trip air, meals, accommodation and guiding to see grizzly bears and spirit bears. In addition, during tour season our tour guests have exclusive access to the lodge as the facility is not open to non-tour guests.
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Bath, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2012

How wonderful to be welcomed by the small and friendly community of Klemtu. This must be one of the best ways to visit a remote and beautiful part of the coast in BC, take in the scenery, see some wildlife and meet the local people. The Lodge was very comfortable, we were well looked throughout our stay. The guides and boat skippers tried their hardest to get us in the best places to see wildlife, amongst other sightings we were very fortunate to see the rare and beautiful Spirit Bear - amazing!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank AnnofBath
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
spiritbearlodge, General Manager at Spirit Bear Lodge, responded to this review, 19 September 2012
Thanks for the review. The community of Klemtu is very proud of their community-owned business Spirit Bear Lodge. The staff, from guides to skippers to housekeepers and chefs, are all invested in doing their best to make sure guests have a positive experience. Thanks for contributing to the conservation economy of the Great Bear Rainforest. The bears thank you too!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 September 2012

My wife and I had a wonderful experience here. We are avid wildlife photographers and adventure travelers. This was a great experience. Our guides Doug, Vern and Chantelle were fantastic; often getting us in perfect position to view the bears and take wonderful shots. We got great photos of black bears and grizzlies, as well as the coveted Spirit Bear herself!!! The staff at the lodge took great care of us with great food and clean rooms. They even took the time to take special requests for vegetarians. Our host, Tim, also did a great job customizing our schedule based upon what we wanted to see and what degree of difficulty of hike we wanted to do. The people of Klemtu were very warm and welcoming. We often went for strolls at night, and were welcome everywhere we went. Fantastic Trip! I would go back in a heart beat!!!!!

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank DouglasChilds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
spiritbearlodge, Manager at Spirit Bear Lodge, responded to this review, 16 September 2012
Thanks very much for the review. It is very special for the small community of Klemtu to receive guests from all over the world. So we are thrilled that you enjoyed your stay so much. We hope to see you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TravelinKitty73
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2012

The Spirit Bear Lodge was one of the best trips of our live. We wanted to go to a place where we can be renewed and reminded of the fragility of the circle of life. We definitely got that at the Lodge. The Great Bear Rainforest felt like the Lothlorien to us. It's just as fragile, beautiful and mystical. The spirit bears are really magical creatures. The other bears were just magnificent.

The staff there were really WONDERFUL!!! Other than having to put on our rain gears and hike, we didn't have to lift a finger when we got there. The guides, because they are natives to the are, are very knowledgeable of the bears and their habitats. We felt we were in really good hands even though we came really close to the bears. We love the educational programing after dinner when we can chat with the locals from the village or learned about the research being done to save the spirit bears.

Room Tip: There is no bad room location. Every room faces the water.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank TravelinKitty73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pincher Creek, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2012

The Spirit Bear Lodge is in Beautiful Location, right on the water at Klemtu, on the south-eastern side of Swindle Island in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest. The lodge is roomy and very comfortable, with a very nice, central great room where all the guest gather, eat and listen to the evening programmes. Tim McGrady and his staff have done an excellent job integrating many aspects of the Kitasoo XaisXais culture into the modern lodge, through a tasteful combining of colour, art and tradition. The food, which is served at massive tables, hewn from single cedar logs, is very good, and a lot of effort goes into both its preparation and presentation. Wine is also always included with dinner, which is a very nice touch. The Spirit Bear Lodge is a wonderful base from which to explore the Great Bear Rainforest and to spend days out in one of the most beautiful places in the world, looking for whales, bears, eagles, sea-lions and the myriad other things the region has to offer. The guides make every effort to bring the place to life for visitors, interpreting the natural history, selecting the best places for wildlife viewing, and sharing their experiences and traditional stories. Like all the staff, they seem to make a particular effort to be welcoming and accommodating in a very genuine way, and, despite the incredible natural beauty of the surroundings, and the effect of the wildlife on visitors, the friendliness of the people running the Spirit Bear Lodge really stands out. From when you first arrive, and are greeted by Tim at the boat dock, to mealtimes, the daily excursions and the relaxing evenings in the great room, you will feel very welcome and quite at home. The guides eat with the guests, stay for the evening programmes and seem to want to stay and mingle as long as possible, and during my visit last year, I never saw any of them leave for the night without first saying goodbye. I had an excellent stay at the Spirit Bear Lodge, and I hope to return many times in the coming years.

Room Tip: They are all good, and all have the same excellent view.
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Rupert P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2012

Four nights at the Spirit Bear Logde, and I returned home feeling like I had been away for a month. Cultural, physical, spiritual, educational - this was a trip of a lifetime for my daughter and for myself. While I wasn't sure how a teenager would enjoy this kind of an experience, my concerns evaporated in the first hour as we chatted with Tim McGrady, the General Manager, settled into our beautiful room, and then were whisked off in the boat with two student guides, and our Bear Guide, Vern. I wish I had seen the look on my own face when Vern's wolf howl set off a five minute chorus of howling wolves, somewhere deep in the rainforest. However I did see my daughter's jaw drop and an incredible look of wonderment and suprise. Yes, this was going to be an unforgettable four days.

The facility is beautiful, clean and welcoming and our group dinners fabulous and fun. The atmosphere is relaxed. The staff, students and guides made us feel a part of something so very special. The pride of the Kitasoo/Xai'xais nation is evident - our visit to the Big House in Klemtu was another highlight.

Each day was a different adventure. This is a journay for all of your senses - sights (bears, whales, eagles, waterfalls, craziest moss I have ever seen), smells (rotting salmon and bear dung), sounds (howling wolves, the "gluck" of a rubber boot stuck in the mud), taste (Kendra's cooking), and touch (grabbing either our guide's hand or the rail of the boat - while clambering on and off of rocky shores).

Each evening I felt peaceful and refreshed. At the time, we were the only Canadians at the lodge, and I felt so lucky to be visiting this most special place in my own country. While we didn't see a Spirit Bear, it didn't matter. We were spirtually recharged, had shared an adventure together and created a memory that will last forever.

Room Tip: All the rooms have beautiful views to the ocean.
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  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Catherine1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Spirit Bear Lodge

Property: Spirit Bear Lodge
Address: 540 Kitasoo Road | General Delivery, Klemtu, Kitimat-Stikine District, British Columbia V0T 1L0, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Kitimat-Stikine District > Klemtu
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Klemtu
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spirit Bear Lodge Wildlife, Bear Watching Tours and Native Culture in BC's Great Bear Rainforest Visit the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. Explore the natural habitat of the Spirit Bear and home of the world’s only Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy. Unique tours in the ancestral lands and traditional territory of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. ... more   less 

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