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“Actually better than I expected”

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Pacific Sands Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 16 Hotels in Tofino
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 8 February 2008

Our family (2 adults, 2 teenagers) booked Villa 25 for 4 nights to watch storms in February. We researched the options for storm watching and decided that Pacific Sands with their full kitchen Villas would work best for our family, but I have to admit, I didn’t really believe the Villa would be close enough to the beach to really appreciate the waves without going outside. I was wrong. While we did spend a good deal of time on the beach and surrounding promontories, we spent literally hours sitting quietly at our windows watching the storm and listening to the wind and thundering surf with a cup of tea and the gas fireplaces bathing us in heat. The upstairs master bedroom was particularly good for viewing the beach and the large soaker tub in the room provides an exceptional view as well.

The kitchen was well stocked with pots, pans, cutlery, a kettle, mixer, etc. and provided most of what I wanted in cooking utensils but if you plan to cook with garlic, bring your own press (we were warned ahead of time about this!). Also there was coffee, tea, and sugar, and salt and pepper. One reviewer complained about the lack of housekeeping in the Villas. This was one of the drawing features for us. If we required anything, we just put a note in the bin provided and put in on the porch and the next time we looked what we needed was there. This preserved our privacy and was still very convenient. The staff we did interact with were friendly and helpful. One employee rushed out to wipe the luggage carrier dry when she saw me emptying it of the night’s accumulation of rainwater.

The quality of the Villas also exceeded my expectations. We liked the heated tile floors. The high ceilings, natural wood, and color schemes were all pleasing to the eye. It was also spotless when we arrived. I gained appreciate for this after several nights. The deck and upstairs patio were covered in debris from the trees, and the windows were covered in salt spray from the ocean and I watched a worker meticulously sweep the deck, wipe down chairs and railings, and wash the windows of the Villa next door. She must have spent a ½ an hour on it and after she was done you would never know it was the same deck. Unlike some other reviewers, we found the beds to be comfortable and appreciated the proliferance of pillows. The Villas are not refined and elegant, nor posh and luxurious, but they are certainly comfortable, clean, and attractive. Their west coast styling and good integration with the forest insure that they do not detract from the aesthetics of the location. There is lots of construction going on at the resort, constant upgrading, and repairs, but we were not bothered at all by this. Once inside our villa, or on the beach, what was happening in the rest of the complex had little impact on our experience.

The beach is of course spectacular and I particularly liked the Villa we had because we were able to see the end of the little peninsula of land that sticks out from the north end of the beach, watch the waves crash over it, and also watch the waves swirl in around this point, up through a boulder field and create multiple wave intersections with the out rush colliding sideways with the new incoming waves. Sunset Point during a storm is also jaw dropping. At one point large dollops of sea foam were flying over the point. I thought they were birds at first, but then when I realized what they were I was amazed. It is a very large point. Speaking of birds, there were oyster catchers and several varieties of gulls as well as about 4 different kinds of shore birds. These are wonderful to watch in the early morning as they move in wave-like patterns at the edge of the incoming water darting with amazing speed on their little legs. I also enjoyed the company of some lovely little brown birds, quite tame, in the bushes on the way to the point.

Areas for improvement:

1. A DVD player in the master bedroom.

2. Squeegees for the windows – especially during storms.

3. The gift store clothing was rather picked over – only small and extra large sizes.

4. Throw blankets – the large comforters on the beds are not good for cozying up on a chair in front of the window.

5. I agree with an earlier reviewer who complained of a lack of chair in the upstairs master bedroom. We carried up a dining room chair, but not the most comfortable.

6. There was no heater register in the second bedroom, so by morning it was pretty cool if the kids wanted their door closed.

7. Our sons brought their X-box which was easy enough for them to plug into the TV, but the general quality of both TVs was below average. Also, the height of the TVs was a little hard on the neck, but there is not much that can be done about this given the layout of the rooms.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank Richard P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,844 - 1,850 of 1,943 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2008

Right at the sea (Pacific Ocean) but the sea was freezing. It was great for kids with activities going on morning, noon and night. At night the kids could buy a hot dog and a drink for around $2. After that they could roast marsh mallows on an open fire. After a day of fishing you could go to the gazebo where all the children events where going on and barbecue your fish. The person in charge of the children games was extremely nice.
It's no surprise this is No.1 in Tofino.
100% sure would come back.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with family
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2  Thank globetrotter086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 December 2007

As a guest/reviewer who gave this property five stars in every category in 2004, and one who returned for at least a week every year since, my most recent Pacific Sands stay resulted in us deciding to move to the Middle Beach Lodge for the last three days. We'll be booking the latter to stormwatch this winter.

In the intervening years, there has been continuing construction on or around Pacific Sands non-stop. First for the condos on the property, then for the competing lodge two properties down, and this year, renovation of the oldest motel-style part of the Sands property. Worse yet, yet another lodge is being slammed into the vacant lot next to the Lighthouse suites. Lots of noise.
While the Sands once had the beach to itself, Cox Bay is now verging on being overbuilt. Traffic along the beach has grown fourfold and the "remote" quality that was so attractive to photographers, nature lovers, surfers, writers, loners is in definite peril.
The beds in the Lighthouse suites are achey.
The property has seen better days.
I write this with real sadness.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank pagesix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2007

We recently spent one night at the Pacific Sands. We stayed in Villa 35 and loved it. I had originally wanted to stay at the Wickininish Inn but they did not have the room type I wanted available. So I chose to stay at the Pacific Sands at half the price. The two story Villas are quite new and very roomy. The master bedroom looked over the beach and we could watch the waves crashing in from our bed. There are two fireplaces, one in the living room downstairs and one in the master bedroom. The large soaker tub in the master bedroom is set high up at the back of the room so you can sip champagne and enjoy the view. The only minor downside is that there are people walking the beach in front of your room so you have to be discrete if you have your blinds open. Otherwise you feel like you are in West Coast getaway. Spectacular. The only interaction with staff was the check-in and check-out and this went fast and flawlessly. I am not always so easy to please but this hotel was perfect. Construction on buildings further down the beach was not an issue.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Rob&Shelley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2007

My husband and I spend time at the PS once a year and, this time, shared a villa with my daughter and her boyfriend. We were put in the villa next to the construction. I was extremely upset as we had cancelled two days at the Long Beach Lodge next door (we usually spend three or four days at PS and two days next door) due to the racket on the condo project adjacent to the lodge. We were not notified of contruction either. I asked to be moved and we were. The villa next to the construction had ugly views of pipes and nonsense all over the grass. We didn't hear a thing. So, if you are booked in at the PS, and you don't like noise, I'd suggest a call ahead might put things right.

For anyone expecting a "luxury" villa, you may be disappointed. These villas are pretty basic. The main bedroom has a bed, a large tub and no other furniture, so that you cannot sit on a chair and look out at the view. Also, (another change) there is NO HOUSEKEEPING IN THE VILLAS. This apparently is due to residents finding it "disruptive." This means you have to call for coffee, garbage bags, fresh towels, etc. (visitors are encouraged to use the washer and dryer in the villa). You are provided with just one coffee for four people and so getting on the phone for this, SOS pads, garbage bags, Tide, etc. can be a real pain. The suites all have housekeeping. My husband referred to the trip as "well equipped camping."

This said, we will most defintely return next year. Cox Bay is a little piece of paradise, the staff at Pacific Sands are friendly and we really feel this place is embedded in our hearts.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with family
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3  Thank Wuzzo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 October 2007

We were in Tofino last week and stopped by Pacific Sands where we recently booked to stay during the Christmas holidays. To our surprise, one of the lodges was in the process of being surrounded by scaffolding. We asked the construction workers how long the project was to last and were told "at least until March". The lodge is not directly on the doorstep of the other buildings on the property, although it is quite close to some of the villas. Construction noise through the day throughout the resort, at least on weekdays, will be inevitable. The property didn't advise of this when we booked and doesn't have any info on this project on its website - if you look hard enough you can find a little commentary on a 2006 project.

Stayed: October 2007
1  Thank tirnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2007

We were thrilled by Pacific Sands - the architecture, design, furnishings, and amazing views from our 2 bedroom villa were perfect. The villas sit just at the edge of the sand at the sheltered northern end of Cox Bay. The villas are very private (we hardly saw our neighbors) and are nestled among the trees, creating a very peaceful, nature-oriented environment (unlike the stuffy, pricey Long Beach Lodge Resort just a few minutes down the beach which seemed full of old, rich people). The master bedroom and great room in our villa had huge windows to allow full enjoyment of the views of the beach and the nearby surf. There is a boardwalk through the trees to Sunset Point, which is a thin strip of land jutting out between Cox Bay and Chesterman Beach to the north. Pacific Sands does not have a restaurant but the kitchen in our villa was well-stocked with cooking supplies and it was less than a 10 minute drive into the town of Tofino for groceries or restaurants. There is no daily cleaning service, but they do provide clean towels and other supplies daily, upon request. There is free internet access in the lobby and also in the villas. They even stocked our villa with bright yellow rubber rain jackets in case we wanted to stroll on the beach in inclement weather. The atmosphere at Pacific Sands is very laid back, the staff are extremely friendly, and the place seems to encourage one to enjoy the beauty of this stretch of coast - whether you're sitting inside at the fire and gazing out through huge windows or strolling along the beach or the boardwalk. I think we might live in one of the villas permanently, if we could.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled with family
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5  Thank ORTraveler77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Pacific Sands Beach Resort

Address: 1421 Pacific Rim Hwy. | Box 237, Tofino, British Columbia V0R 2Z0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District > Clayoquot Sound > Tofino
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Tofino
#3 Green Hotel in Tofino
#4 Family Hotel in Tofino
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Tofino
Price Range: £152 - £376 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Pacific Sands Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pacific Sands Beach Resort is located on 41 pristine acres of property and 2500 feet of ocean front on Cox Bay. Adjacent to the Pacific Rim National Park all suites and Luxury Beach Houses offer spectacular ocean or beach front views, mesmerizing sunsets and breathtaking storm watching. A walk to Pettinger Point is a must. Enjoy unrivaled culinary splendors at one of Tofino's many restaurants. Adventure tours of the Clayoquot Sound, beach combing and surfing are the most popular activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pacific Sands Beach Hotel Tofino
Pacific Sands Beach Tofino
Pacific Sands Beach Resort Tofino, Canada - Vancouver Island

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