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“Views from our cabin were great, the septic smell was not great”

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Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 11 April 2014

We rearranged our entire schedule last August(2013) so we could stay for three days. We had stayed for a memorable week 13 years ago. Back then our cabin on the water was rustic but
clean and comfortable. Our young kids had a ball even though it rained. This time our waterfront cottage was clean but ramshackle. The screens were torn, there were hardly any cooking pots, two windows refused to open, the deck was covered in torn chicken wire and the smell of garbage/septic was staggering. Unfortunately the place was mobbed so we couldn't move. At night it was hot in the cabin because we kept the back windows closed. Uphill was the kitchen and the septic/digester. Even our rugged outdoorsey teenage sons complained.

On the plus side we rented kyaks with a guide, went for a sail and tried paddle boarding. Lunch
was fun at the main lodge served family style. The waterfront staff was friendly and helpful.
Other guests in the lunchroom gave us good tips on short hikes.

However it was the most expensive stay per night of our vacation. It's price even beat a beautiful
condo in waterfront Victoria! We knew to bring food and other supplies which was useful because the onsite "store" had hardly anything except cold drinks and chocolate.

Room Tip: Cabins near the waterfront are away from the main lodge ie: smell in summer and noise
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank SeriousBaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 - 82 of 115 reviews

Reviewed 18 August 2013

We stayed for 4 nights and had booked with cottage #5 most likely the best location on the lodge grounds. The location was great and the views out to the lake and over to Gold River are stunning. However, the place is lacking maintenance and attention everywhere, be it the cottages outside or inside, everything is very seasoned and a leaking roof seems to be just just normal. The lodge grounds have as well not seen much maintenance and landscaping. The water sports is renting out a lot of seasoned equipment and the young receptionist - upon inquiring on hiking options - was not at all helpful and referred to a very generic hiking map which is not at all useful as it lacks distances and times. Overall, I have the impression that the owners of the place have no more interest in the upkeep of a once fantastic place. Sad to see ....

Room Tip: We had cottage #5 and just looking at our neighbouring options from the outside, I would assume they...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Christian G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2013

The views from our cabin I can't say enough (nature at its best). We had little to say about our cabins interior. We had carpenter ants crawling on us at night. Mouse trap left with its catch in it still many weeks old. Lack of any Teflon on fry pan. 1 toilet for a cabin that sleeps 12. Although the do have Great hiking trails and the lake is cool and clear. The beaches and game areas are very clean. Lots of activities to do.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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1  Thank paul t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2013

I stayed at Strathcona Park Lodge in early May, and I had one of the best experiences of my life. My cottage was down by the water and the views were incredible. The cottage was rustic and quaint, and definitely had the "outdoor" feel (in a good way!). The bed was incredibly comfortable and I slept better than I have in a long time. Although the prices are a little higher than one might think as appropriate for the age of the buildings, it is all off-the-grid, so I felt ok about paying a little more for such good environmental ethics.

The food in the Whale Room was really delicious. It's a very similar food-style to what I generally eat (health-conscious, a lot of vegetarian options, etc) and I noticed that some of the dishes from lunch are transformed into another delicious dish for dinner. It's great to see a restaurant use creativity to minimize waste.

The property itself is breath-taking. It's situated right on Upper Campbell Lake, which is a truly beautiful sight to behold. On upper property there's quite a few trails that range from easy to difficult. There's lots of fruit trees, flower plants and gardens in canoes everywhere as well. It's all very sweet.

Last but certainly not least, the staff were brilliant. Everyone was incredibly friendly and personable. If someone didn't know the answer to a question, they found someone who did.

Thanks, Strathcona Park Lodge!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank Catheryn C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 August 2013

We stayed in cabin 15 overlooking the lake. We found the resort to be outstanding. Staff were very friendly and helpful, the views are spectacular and the cabin was one of the best we have stayed in. This was a true highlight of our stay. The food was good and provincial park itself was wonderful. We really recommend this lodge.

Room Tip: Choose cabin 15 overlooking the lake. Fantastic cabin.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jonathan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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
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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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