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“Rustic but Friendly”

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Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 July 2013

The lodge is located just outside Strathcona Provincial Park.

We reserved a "hotel" room in the Haig Brown building. The room itself was very basic (really one step up from camping), but it did have a deck (shared - not private) with nice view of the camp, lake and mountains.

The surroundings are beautiful and the meals at the main restaurant were buffet with family style seating but with a focus on healthy (lots of vegan, gluten free options) and a lot of local grown food.

All the staff were very friendly and helpful.

I cannot comment on any of the activities that the lodge offers as we really just used the lodge for meals and sleeping.

There is no WiFi in the hotel rooms, but it was available in the main lounge.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Susan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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81 - 87 of 115 reviews

Reviewed 22 July 2013

We just returned from a three night stay at Strathcona Park Lodge. After opting to spring for the extra money for a "Lake View" the first room we were given in Haig Brown had a peekaboo view (At best!). We went back and asked to be changed, which was done but when we saw the second room, we were again disappointed. The room was really tired, and had dust bunnies on the beams, and on the floor around the baseboards in the bathroom. We fortunately had inquired beforehand, and knew that there were no coffee makers or fridges in the rooms, so we had made our own arrangements. The plug in the bathroom did not work, and anything that was plugged into the plug in the living room kept falling out of the socket. There was a wedding booked in on the Saturday, and we were not told that this would affect the meal service for us (My question is "why??? were we not paying $ 160 a night like the wedding guests??) When we complained, we were told we could only order off the light menu, and when we continued to try to get the food we really wanted they comped us the salmon appetizer that we finally ended up ordering The Haig Brown building is tired, and past its best before date. There's rustic, and then there's just plain dirty. Other than the beautiful surroundings, I can't say that I would recommend this lodge. I will say they do have polite staff working there but I think they fact that they have a captive audience has let standards decline.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank islandgirl0609
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2013

We (family of 4-2 teenage girls) opted for the four day "Adventure Unlimited" package. We stayed in a lakeside cabin. The cabin was old and rustic but had electric, running water and a wood burning stove. There was one bedroom with a queen bed and a loft with two single beds. (I did not see lodge rooms.) The cabin did not have a television, telephone or WiFi. Nor was there a cell signal. So...we built a campfire by the lake every night. We were provided a guide who put together a program of outdoor activites-kayaking, ziplining, rock climbing and rapelling. The guide was excellent! He was with us everyday as long as we wanted him around. The activities more than met our expectations without pushing limits. All meals were provided. The evening meals were from a menu and served in a separate dining room. We did have choice of meat, fish and veggies. Breakfast and lunch we chose to eat the buffet in the large dining room. Two mornings the staff recognized us and cooked special meals-eggs to order and French toast. The sencery around the lodge is breathtaking. There are lots of trails. From the lodge you can also take day trips-King's Peak for example or drive to Gold River. Overall the cabin accommodations are above luxury camping but certainly not a luxury hotel. We thought the staff was great and very accomodating. We loved our stay at Strathcona Park Lodge and we hope go back.

Room Tip: I would go for a lakeside cabin. #5 was great!
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank TODADDIO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 May 2013

If you take a room in the main lodge be prepared for large parties of teenagers here to learn to kayak or rock climb. A quieter option is to rent one of the chalets located by the lakeside. Meals out of high season are self-service with very limited choice and vegetarian. As a carnivore I did not enjoy an evening meal of limp green salad, followed by tofu curry, and carrot cake slice for desert. Not good value for Can$20

Room Tip: Choose a chalet, not a room in the main building
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank myke369
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 December 2012

We booked this spot to celebrate our anniversary. We were very disappointed when we saw the rooms and realized we were paying over 300 dollars for a tiny bedroom with old carpet, a dingy bathroom and no privacy. We had seen the pictures of the cabins on their website under accomodation and assumed the rooms were modern with similar finishing. Very misleading and not worth the money. Our children were sleeping at the foot of our bed in two cots and there was only a loveseat and bench for a coffee table. Not to mention, our deck was 3 x5 with two plastic chairs. When we expressed our concern, they offered us a similar room. We had to insist on our money back and in the end we lost an 80 deposit and had no place to stay.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lisa P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
acclarke, General Manager at Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 19 February 2013

Dear Lisa:
How wonderful that you met your husband at Strathcona Park Lodge on a band trip several years ago. I was sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your accommodation. The Haig Brown penthouse room booked for two nights for your anniversary is approximately 525 square feet. While it doesn't offer the privacy that a waterfront cottage would, it is laid out in an 'L' shape, with the queen bed area separated by a sitting area with love seat and two soft chairs from the two twin beds at the other end of the L. The bench coffee table was custom made by Sam's Country Benches of Salt Spring Island. We use local artisans for furnishings wherever possible. The private deck is rather small, tucked under the eaves of the top of the chalet.

Our Interior Designer put us in touch with a flooring company with a wonderful eco record - Interface Flor. The carpet tile was replaced in 2011 and is from Interface Flor's Biodiversity collection.

Kind Regards,
Christine Clarke
Executive Director

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2012

This was our first visit to Canada and after spending 4 days in busy Vancouver, we were delighted to find this piece of unspoilt paradise!
Even though not inexpensive, we thought it justified considering the distance that supplies need to 'travel' to the lodge which always affects the cost... So no complaints there!
We had some transport challenges on the way and called ahead to advise that we may arrive late - we were met with friendly service & advice as to how resolve our mini dilemma.
Upon arrival, we were met by friendly staff and check-in was painless.
The cottage was rustic but clean and we started unwinding immediately, absorbing as much of the beauty, peace and quiet as possible...we just made it to witnessing a beautiful sunset. The lodge operates off the grid and a lot of the fresh supplies seem to come straight from the garden - bliss...
Dinner on our first night was good and so was the local wine and beer. We had a good rest (having had back surgery, good beds/mattresses are often a challenge when travelling) and we woke up refreshed to the most beautiful views.
There were around 70 students attending an outdoor education program and despite these numbers our stay was not affected in any way. Breakfast was busy but we enjoyed the buzz, had plenty to eat and on request we purchased some fresh supplies from the lodge for the rest of our stay as we had a kitchen facility in our cabin.
Everything in our cabin was clean and working. The only suggestions would be to to sharpen the knives as they are not great when it comes to chopping one's fruit and veg and to place some tea / coffee in the cabins as this is included in the rate and it is quite nice to just chill on the cabin deck with a good cuppa first thing in the morning.
We received 15% discount on goods bought in the small shop just for filling in a feedback form which we thought was a nice touch and it encourages feedback there and then.
We had a wonderful stay and we hope to visit again one day!

Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
Thank Andrea v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2012

went there for a wedding. the views were spectacular but the room was not clean. Cobwebs on the windows,dog feces on the deck and the fan in the bathroom couldn't be shut off. Hard to sit on the deck and listen to the wind in the trees and couldn't even hear the birds while the noisy fan droned on. Just got up, packed up our bags and left. Very dissapointing.

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Kathy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 26 June 2012

Our Events Manager appreciatied speaking with you yesterday regarding your valid concerns. We will look forward to hosting you soon for your return stay. Maintenance staff have been by the room to repair the bathroom fan and sweep the high wood beams.

We do have a few cottages that we allow dogs, but we do not allow them in our chalet rooms so as not to disturb fellow guests. Unfortunately one of the wedding guests snuck their dog into their chalet room for the weekend and it left a 'deposit' outside your room. Decks are routinely swept on guests' departure so the 'damage' wasn't found until after you left. We do hope that you will review your next stay with us on Trip Advisor and that we will more than exceed your expectations.

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Additional Information about Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre

Address: 41040 Gold River Highway, Campbell River, British Columbia V9W 5C5, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Campbell River
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Campbell River
Price Range: £47 - £114 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre 3*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Living on the edge since 1959, Strathcona Park Lodge pioneered self propelled and off the grid wilderness experiences on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. From the lake side cabins, chalets and rooms experience wilderness inspired summer holidays, guided trips and group gatherings. Home base for WYLD youth summer camps, the COLT leadership training program and outdoor education programming, SPL is a leader in experiential education and wilderness vacations. The setting The Boulding family chose well when they picked the site for Strathcona Park Lodge. From almost every room on the property you can get an amazing view of glacier carved valleys, big pristine lakes and rocky/snowcapped peaks. There are several hikes, viewpoints, protected bays and beaches, climbing bluffs, old growth trees, high ropes courses and zip lines -- and that's just on the property. Strathcona Provincial Park, B.C.'s oldest protected area, is just down the road. Within 30 minutes go whitewater paddling, mountain biking, more rock climbing, or lace up for interpretive walks, hikes and mountaineering routes. A little further is world class sea kayaking and whale watching on both sides of Vancouver Island. Summer vacations Perfectly poised between the mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park and a sprawling lake chain the Lodge is an ideal base for exploring the heart of Vancouver Island. Hike, paddle, climb or just sit back and relax on the beach. Stay in lake-side cabins, mountain view chalets or hotel style rooms overlooking it all. Refuel on delicious and healthy food. Disconnect from the wired world and return recharged. Group Gatherings The Lodge loves groups. Big or small, 200 to 10, we have the capacity, facilities and experience to make any gathering unforgettable. Every year we host multiple weddings, family reunions and other large groups on our picturesque and family friendly setting. With a dedicated staff we take care of every detail. Outdoor education/school programs In the spring and fall schools visit Strathcona to learn outside of the classroom. Removed from their everyday, challenged mentally and physically and exposed to new experiences, our specially trained leaders help students gain confidence, leadership, teamwork and camaraderie - skills that can't be learnt from a desk. These are experiences students remember forever. WYLD summer camps A summer camp like no other, Wilderness Youth Leadership Development (WYLD) Expeditions are 8 to 12 day expeditions for adventurous teens, 12 to 17 years old. Based out of the Lodge's lakeside location, the camps explore the hiking trails, lakes, inlets, beaches, islands and mountains of Vancouver Island by foot, sea kayak and canoe. COLT Leadership Semester We believe COLT is the best outdoor leadership program in Canada. Founded in 1977 by Canada's oldest outdoor education centre, COLT is a learn-by-doing program with the best job opportunities, instructors and learning environment. And for the price no other program comes close to offering as much. Participants graduate with hard skills, like sea kayaking, rock climbing, mountaineering, whitewater paddling, but even more soft skills, like leadership, group dynamics, teamwork, confidence and determination. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Strathcona Park Lodge And Outdoor Education Centre
Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre Hotel Campbell River
Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre Campbell River, Vancouver Island

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