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“A life enhancing experience like no other”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Spirit Bear Lodge

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Spirit Bear Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Hendersonville, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A life enhancing experience like no other”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2013

Our Spirit Bear Lodge adventure was truly a life-enhancing experience. We are older and were willing to go beyond our "comfort zone" and anticipated a special time but we were not prepared to be transported into such magnificent and pristine beauty... to glide along waterways and estuaries, to witness bears reveling in thier bearhood, to meet the beautiful and lovable Kitasoo/Xai'xais First Nations People of Klemtu and to meet the tall oak we all leaned on Tim McGrady. Our guides, boat skippers, the food, our room were all perfection. We woke up every morning genuinely excited to begin the day. We thank the First Nations Chiefs and People for providing a nature experience like no other. Long may the Spirit Bear dream in her mossy Day Bed.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Anna A
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, 9 October 2013
Thank you for your feedback Anna A!
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91 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sherman Oaks, California, United States
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 September 2013

We came to the Spirit Bear Lodge in search of the Spirit Bear. What we left with was not only fantastice photos of a close encounter with the elusive white bear, but also of grizzlies and black bears and humpback whales breaching...and more so...we left with the people of Klemtu and the staff of the Spirit Bear Lodge indelably etched into our hearts and souls. There is no other place on earth like the Great Bear Rainforest. There is no better way to become a part of it and it a part of you. The love and guidance and experience offered by the people at both the Lodge and in Klemtu is unequaled. We are very seasoned travelers, yet have NEVER been so well cared for. The Lodge is immaculate, the food superb, the staff immediately become family, and every detail...every want, need, desire...is all taken care of. You are treated as someone very important and respected and you are an individual here. The guides are fantastic. They helped us face challenges and supported our overcoming fears and could not have been more helpful or knowledgable. And Tim McGrady!!! No one works so hard to make certain everything is done so perfectly! We will not hesitate to return to Klemtu in the near future. If you are planning on going anyplace in your life....THIS IS IT!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Lisa L
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, 2 October 2013
Thank you Lisa L for your feedback. Our lodge is fuelled by the heart and passion of our staff and we are so pleased that you experienced that during your stay.
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Wolcott, New York
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 September 2013

We knew that our four-day stay at Spirit Bear Lodge in early August 2013 would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience the day we booked it. What we didn’t know until we stayed there for four days was just how special this place is.

Even though we made arrangements for this trip less than a week before our departure, the entire itinerary was executed so well that we felt as though the vacation had been planned for months. Tim, the manger, tailored an excursion package that fit within our “tight window” of travel times. The hospitality extended to us by all of the Spirit Bear staff made us feel welcome and comfortable throughout our stay.

Owned by the First Nations people, the Spirit Bear experience gives the visitor the opportunity to interact with the environment from an insider’s perspective. Led by highly knowledgeable guides and scouts on each excursion, we saw wildlife up close and personal always feeling secure because of the guides’ experience and attention to safety measures. The lodge personnel plan itineraries for each day for small groups, but those plans are adjusted based on participants’ interests and reports of the wildlife which have been spotted by scouts in the field. As a result we saw and heard a humpback whale bubble-hunting, scooping up the swirling herring. We observed a grizzly in its failed attempts to catch salmon in contrast to the seasoned adult black bear that “cherry-picked” the parts of the 8+ salmon it snatched. Bear viewing takes patience, but our “waits” were rewarded each time including the minutes we spent watching the elusive spirit bear hunt for salmon, the highlight of the trip.

Each night we joined with fellow travelers and the guides at the dinner table for family style meals and relived our day’s adventures. We especially appreciated the sense of community that this fostered. After dinner we learned more about First Nations culture through a visit to the Big House and videos.

We researched a variety of lodges that offer bear viewing packages, but we selected Spirit Bear because it is owned and operated by First Nations people who are proud to share it. We wanted a special place to celebrate a wedding anniversary, and we found that place during our adventure at Spirit Bear.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank ChesterWhite
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, 2 October 2013
Thank you ChesterWhite for your feedback. It is most appreciated.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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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Seattle
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles 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 Contributor
34 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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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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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