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“Where Mother Earth Breathes Deeply”
Review of Spirit Bear Lodge

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Spirit Bear Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Where Mother Earth Breathes Deeply”
Reviewed 19 September 2013

Spirit Bear Lodge and The Great Bear Rainforest are all of what has been shared in the reviews. An addition, the totality of my experience was transformation. Being outside on the boat for big chunks of time each day and being with the silence, stillness and explosive action was a feeling of joy, contentment, centredness and appreciation for this precious part of our Earth and the First Peoples whose hearts still beat to the Earth's drum. And to tramp the sacred grounds where the Nature Spirits are still lovingly present brought those feelings even deeper. The guides, assistant guides, skippers, food and housekeeping gods and goddesses were all on the same level as Nature. To be in Klemtu with people who are generous, warmhearted, humorous, serious, skilled and fun was the topping of the trip. And Tim, the G.M., is so perfectly the right person in the right place at the right time; such a blessing he is. Interacting with Tim was so comforting when lots of questions arose prior to making a decision about the trip as Tim is a top-notch personable professional. May Spirit Bear Lodge continue to be transformation and may many many of the Earth's peoples share in her beauty and come to understand the importance of allowing Mother Earth this pristine Rainforest so she can continue to breathe deeply.

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lindacooney
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, 21 September 2013
Wow Lindacooney thank you. We are so very honoured by your feedback. We care deeply about what we do and our role in helping people explore the amazing web of life that surrounds us here in Klemtu - a web which connects the Kitasoo/Xaixais people so strongly to the land and sea.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Seattle
1 review
Reviewed 13 September 2013

We did a 6 day stay with Spirit Bear Lodge, starting 8/31/2013. The manager and staff were great, to the person, the setting is spectacular and the lodge, absolutely lovely. The chef, Nolan, was enormously attentive to each of our quirks (I am gluten free!) We loved our exposure to the First Nations people both on staff and in the town. The general manager and the guides were smart, kind and great fun as were the boat captains. Special kudos to Chris, Cael, Vern, Brandon,Tony and Rob. Examples: early in the trip we had a lovely day out on the water and tramping the trails and saw nothing but salmon...BUT, on the way back, we ran into humpbacks who were 'bubble netting"...something none of us had ever seen...we were enthralled with the activity and stayed out more than an hour extra just to watch what looked to us like a choreographed show of how they were eating...as they surfaced and dove in unison. Fabulous. The guide 'sand captain's initiative and the ability to be flexible (we came in much later than planned) made our day...and then some. These are the joys of staying at a small lodge! Then, on the last day, my 72 year old husband took a tumble on some slippery sedge (one of his walking sticks broke!)...really banged himself up....and Chris got a lovely branch and whittled quite a walking stick for him, way more attractive and useful than the one that broke....Chris prides himself on survival skills for good reasons!!! So go forth and indulge at this destination and don't be frustrated if you don't see spirit bears...there is so much more about the place that will fill your soul with pleasure.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank dtompkins
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, 14 September 2013
Thank you dtompkins for your review. We appreciate your feedback. We're pleased to hear that our chef was able to accommodate your dietary requirements. We're also glad you got some good Humpback viewing. The Humpbacks have been putting a great show for us this year!
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Mondsee
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 September 2013

Our 5 days trip into the Great Bear Rainforest was certainly one of our best trips ever. Great location within the rainforest and most friendly staff and guides. During our trip we have learned a lot about bears and finally we also could watch very close Grizzlies in the field. The guides are very passionate about the bears and felt almost like family. At the time we went there we did not have too much luck with the bears, but it is part of the experience to search them and enjoy the scenery. Maybe there is a little bit of potential to optimize the agenda with the first and last days but other than that a perfect trip and we need to come back once in a while for more bears!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Wolfgang S
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, 12 September 2013
Thank you for your review WolfgangS. We're happy you experienced the warmth and passion of our guides. We're also pleased you got to spend some quality up-close time with our grizzlies. As you note, the abundance of bears in estuaries on the central coast in early September is somewhat lower than expected in 2013. We attribute this to the unusually rich berry crop which persisted into mid-September. This has distracted the bears from their usual salmon feeding frenzy. We are seeing higher than normal concentration of bear scat containing berry seeds for this time of year. The bears will soon be moving into the rivers in higher numbers as their need for high fat food (salmon) gets greater as we move into late September. The cycles of life here in the Great Bear Rainforest take different rhythms from year to year.

In terms of optimizing our first and last day of our packages, we aim to get our guests up to the lodge from Shearwater with plenty of time for an afternoon of bear viewing on the first day and a morning of bearviewing on the last day of the package before the flight back to YVR. Weather and bearviewing location can play a part in determining just how much time we get with the animals on the first and last day. As always we strive to give our guests the maximum amount of time with the amazing wildlife we have here in Kitasoo/Xaixais territory. Again, thanks for your review.
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Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2013

What a wonderful experience my husband and I had visiting the Great Bear Rainforest and staying at the Spirit Bear Lodge. Tim (the manager) and all the staff were outstanding, and all worked together to make the trip a memorable and special one. The rooms were spacious, clean and comfortable, the food was delicious and plentiful, and the coffee was superb!! The guides were amazing - they took such good care of us. It was a privilege to be in this amazing natural environment surrounded by trees hundreds, possibly thousands, of years old. Our time was short - we were able to stay two nights at the Lodge - but in the two full-day expeditions deep into the rainforest we saw what looked like thousands of large pink salmon swimming, leaping, struggling upstream to spawn, a humpback whale, a seal floating serenely on a cedar log, many magnificent bald eagles, two bears (but not the Spirit Bear, unfortunately) and even a glance at a wolverine! We learned about the rainforest environment and its wildlife, and the culture of the First Nations people who - thankfully - are the regions caretakers. This is not an inexpensive trip - but it is a priceless one. Thank you, Spirit Bear Lodge. HappyPair627

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank HappyPair627
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, 8 September 2013
Thank you HappyPair627 for your review. We would love for everyone to leave Spirit Bear Lodge having seen a Spirit Bear. These animals are amongst the rarest on the planet. We have over 30 cameras monitoring our territory providing data on location and frequency for these animals. Even with all this data, sightings are rare and precious. Our Grizzly Bear and Black Bear viewing does tend to be more frequent with a success rate of close to 100% over the average package length. Spirit Bear sighting success varies varies from year to year and season to season but can be anywhere from 20% to 60%. The vast majority of our guests realize just how precious these sightings are. It is our hope that those who don't see them can still appreciate, just as you did, the other wildlife, scenic and cultural wonders that we offer in our traditional territory.

We actively sponsor high level, academic research which is providing us with very valuable data on frequency and abundance of our Spirit Bears. We believe this will ultimately aid us in giving more people a higher chance of seeing these very special creatures.

Thanks again for your feedback. It is highly valuable in our evolution.
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 20 August 2013

Our room at Spirit Bear Lodge was spacious, clean, with a beautiful view, a giant bed and we slept like logs. The service was beyond excellent and staff always welcoming. We were pampered at every turn.
The lodge is full of light with comfortable reading areas conducive to quiet and reflection.
The food was excellent, copious, and the table always elegant and inviting.
The excursions to the estuaries were exceptional, each day holding new surprises. The guides and skippers impressed us with their expertise and understanding of the rainforest dynamics.
It was wonderful to meet local First Nation staff and visit the Big House at Klemtu.
We also met people from around the globe, and scientific researchers. Everything at Spirit Bear Lodge expresses deep and serious concern for the protection of this precious wilderness.
An exceptional experience!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank rhodo4
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, 23 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your experience with us at Spirit Bear Lodge!
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Bullsbrook
Level 6 Contributor
107 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 August 2013

We recently stayed for 7 nights at this lovely remote lodge. Tim and his staff make you feel welcome right from the start.
Our room was very comfortable and the food was plentiful and delicious.
Each day you take a cut lunch with you and as many snacks as you want to keep the hunger at bay while out bear viewing. You go out on a 90 minute boat ride to the different viewing areas, which are accessed either by stepping off the boat onto rocks or via a zodiac. Some areas had easy access, including a lovely boardwalk, others were a little more rugged trails through the rain forest.
We were very privileged to see the beautiful spirit bear on 2 occasions, as well as the Grizzly and black bear. It was recommended that if you want to see spirit bear you should stay at least a week which we did, and glad of it. We were at the start of the season, early August.
The guides were knowledgeable and eager to please.
It's fabulous to see such a well organised venture run by the local First Nation people, the Kitasoo and XaiXais.

Room Tip: All rooms had beautiful views.
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LaaLaa2705
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, 18 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review your experience with us. We are very proud of our local community who support our operation in so many ways. Although not all of our guests get to see the Spirit Bear, you are right that longer stays do increase your chances of seeing this special animal.
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Brighton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2013

I stayed at Spirit Bear Lodge for 5 nights in September 2012. It has taken me some time to process the experience. My friends were amused I would step so far out of my comfort zone, being a not-much-travelled townie more likely to visit a European capital city than a rainforest. It was, and still is, a tremendous privilege to have seen black bears, grizzlies and the lovely spirit bear in their own habitat. The tours were well planned, and I also enjoyed a day seeing cultural artefacts within range of Klemtu, a day in which only one bear revealed itself somewhat distantly. But in those few days I had learned to have patience and enormous pleasure in the moment; the landscape and whole atmosphere of the place is extremely rewarding.
Spirit Bear Lodge is very comfortable, my room was spacious and well furnished and the food was great, all very welcome after a long day outdoors. The lodge staff, guides, boat captains and people of Klemtu were friendly and welcoming.
Initial outlay for the package is high, but it is good value: once you arrive at the lodge, everything is laid on. For me, a real once in a lifetime experience and a store of happy memories. The magic moment sighting of the spirit bear still makes me smile, as does the chance encounter with a grizzly cub learning to swim while its mother had a good wash in the river.

Stayed September 2012, travelled solo
Helpful?
9 Thank Judy M
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, 8 February 2013
Thanks for your review Judy. We are so pleased you were able to spend time with a Spirit Bear. We are investing heavily in more research on this special animal. We have recently partnered with two universities and have over 40 remote wildlife cameras set up throughout our region to provide more data on the Spirit Bear. This will enable us to increase the chances for our guests to get a glimpse of this rare and unique bear.
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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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