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“A comfortable stay in the woods” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre

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Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A comfortable stay in the woods”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2007

We stayed in the lodge in one of the rooms on the top floor. There was a lovely view of Upper Campbell Lake with a small balcony out front.

There was a comfortable sofa and sitting chairs in a living area. It was all very comfortable (especially the beds after a week camping)

Food is available in a dining room with a self serve buffet.

We also rented a motor boat for 2 hours to go around the lake.

The lodge offers various day events (particularly for kids) - learning ropes, climbing techniques, kayaking etc. We didn't try those activities this time but did one of their adventure trips.

Enjoyed it immensely

One caution - the lodge is out of cell phone range and there is no regular telephone service. The lodge has a satellite phone but it is expensive to use. Make any phone calls before you get to the valley or go into Gold River to make any phone calls

  • Stayed August 2007, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank VagabondVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
British Columbia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2007

i dont know why some people say that this place sucked. it rocked! the food was great, the cabins were good, overall everything rocked!

  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank God-NOT!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2007

I just got back from SPL and was dissappointed. I heard good things from people who went years ago. The food was terrible and the room service was non-existent.

For $21, you get a buffet dinner. The word "BUFFET" has a different meaning here. They limit you on certain items. The pita NAZI would only let you take one. They consider a pile of lettuce "salad" and they confuse mutten for lamb. It is the worst food I have had since my travelles in 3rd world countries (but they cost $2). They also expect you to clean off your plate, put away your dishes and then tip! BRING YOUR OWN FOOD IF YOU MUST GO!!!!!!!

The cabin cost $169/night and was a dump. There was rat poison out and also a trap set. The place had not been renovated in the last 25 years. We stayed for 3 days and the room service never showed up! The garbage became smelly, sheets and towels were never changed. THe mattress was absolute junk. If I am paying $80/night I expect very little. AT $169 it is a rip off.

We thought maybe we were just having bad luck at SPL, but we met people who were also from Vancouver Island. They were just as upset with the food and lodging. The only thing I will give credit to is the very nice staff (They seem to agree with our issues but keep it quiet).

Their advertising is slick and very professional but don't be fooled. They will take your money and provide very little in return.

Vancouver Island is a beautiful place to go. Don't waste your experience at SPL. Go to Tofino or Victoria.

  • Liked — Beer STore
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank victoriasurfer
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 review, 7 July 2010
Let me tell you a little about our food. We no longer use the term 'buffet' for our meals - discontinued a few years ago as it tends to conjure the idea of eating to excess and waste, which is not consistent with our philosophy. The food served at our 'Chef's Table' varies by what is available week to week from our local farms. However some things haven't changed here in our 50 history - all of our ingredients are natural and preservative free and prepared fresh on site. Our typical dinner includes several salads, house made bread, meat or fish entree with appropriate starch and hot vegetables, house made dessert, organic coffee and teas. Plenty of healthful and delicious food choices. Inclusive price for adults is $25.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
La Jolla, CA
Level Contributor
46 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2007

With a 5 day program, 3 activities a day, and a marvelous instructor,
we picked a winner when we booked this grandparent-grandchild vacation through elderhostel intergenerational programs. Our two grandsons, age 11, and 12, rappelled, high roped, zip lined, kayaked, canoed, and learned wilderness skills at this lodge.
Our instructor encouraged us to do many of the things which the children did, so we took part in activities which we have never done before. The food was delicious, healthy, and well prepared. The positive attitude of the staff was helpful. The owner, who originally started these educational programs, and built the lodge on beautiful Upper Campbell lake on Vancouver Island was present and oversees the lodge, so there is a definite pride of ownership. There are many programs to choose from, including camping and marine programs off site. I would highly recommend active families, or like us, active grandparents, to check into this resort. What a treat it was to bond on a one to one basis with our grandchildren.
The apartments and rooms are rustic, clean and very varied in their space. We had a 3 bedroom apartment.
Have to add that even without kids, this is a peaceful resort on 160 acres of wooded land.

  • Liked — Spaciousness
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank lizzydoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guatemala
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 August 2006

Multiple reviews from people with different tastes and interests, left me with more reservations than questions answered, before going to the lodge for their "Family Adventure Week" in July 2006. Happily, our experience was outstanding, and we were pleasantly suprised on many accounts.

Facilities: Simple but very comfortable, and they meet all basic needs (ample hot water, good beds, clean). Think of a well-equipped summer cabin you might have stayed at as a kid. Note that there are several complexes that have multiple rooms in them (oriented towards groups). These tend to be somewhat noisier (as expected), but since there are no TVs, and most people are exhausted by sundown, sleeping was easy. There is the option of large, individual cabins close to the water that looked spectacular from the outside. If I were to go again, I would definitely pay more for one of these individual units, which came in multiple configurations. They are also quieter (more removed from the main road which has light traffic, but big logging-mining trucks).

Food: We were very happy, after reading accounts from "meat & potato" types who missed their regular diet. Don't, however, expect hamburgers and fries! The buffet plan was simply outstanding. There were different selections every day, being constantly replenished by the kitchen. All options were exquisitely prepared with the touch of an expert chef. Normally, there was a meat or chicken option, apart from great vegetarian choices, if you are so inclined (I am more of a meat eater). Very wholesome and we tried lots of new things you normally don't encounter. The a-la-carte dining room was first class. We had several entrees one evening that were of the highest order. The quality, innovation and presentation of the plates was that of a 4 or 5 star restaurant, in a rustic setting!

Instruction/Facilities: Great zip lines, tree climbing, high ropes, and the rock climbing on a real cliff was spectacular. The instructors were young, energetic and well-prepared. In our "Family Adventure Week" there was the perfect mix of gentle pushing and guidance; our young kids came away much more confident in themselves, after pushing their own limits.

  • Liked — Outdoor setting
  • Disliked — Slight street noise at night
  • Tips/Secrets — Choose a waterfront cabin if you can afford to upgrade
  • Stayed July 2006, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mafalda5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 January 2006

I went to Strathcona for an elderhostle which means Kids go with their grandparents for 1 week. I went with my cousin, grandmother, and great aunt. It was awesome, we rock climbed, went on ziplines, we also went on high ropes which were hung from trees, lastly we interacted with our grandparents, and other kids. Our instructer Dale was great, and loved to give us wet willies be aware! The food was okay breakfast was the best. If you go on the campout I highly suggest smuggling your own food in. I say that because the food our group had was vegtible soup, and you had to eat it to get smores. I ate it and i would have rather ate a live goat! IF you plan to swim it feels like swimming in the artic, but they do have a sanua THANK GOD!!!!! I would recomend this lodge to anybody.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2005

Just got back from SPL in the center of Vancouver Island in BC. With a family that included girls 13 and 10, had a great time - full of true adventures that we never would have pursued elsewhere (rock-climbing on real rock bluffs, kayaking in ocean kayaks and white-water kayaks, high ropes courses, overnight canoe trip, zip lines over canyons, etc.) with suburb supervison and educational support. The guides for the "Family Adventure Week" (2 for the 3 familes paired together, 14 of us in all) were knowledgable, patient, and handled the different issues of the multitude of kids with grace and humor - a huge thank you to Andrea and Felix. Basically, this is summer camp, with three activites a day and counselors responsible for your having fun, and while your good time and safety are dependent upon the skill of your assigned counselor, most of the 20-something year old guides seem about the same - all really REALLY into what they are doing, and taking it seriously.

Problems are, not surprisingly, because of the same "summer camp" feel to the place. On a gorgeous setting against a mountain lake, the facilities are rustic at best, kind of "camp-like" and run down in places. Rooms are plenty large, but spartan. Most mattresses were great, but the queen mattress in the "master" bedroom was mush. The latch on our sliding (front) door only worked sporadically, the water was hot in the shower once we mastered some plumbing quirks while the sink water remained cold, and the soup-nazi-like devotion to health foods led our kids to wander the buffet choices in search of something that resembled kid-friendly foods, rather than tofu-hash, etc. There were plenty of choices, though, some of them quite tasty, not always just "health-food" and plenty of willing staff to meet alternative needs if you asked (washing the orange sauce off the chicken for the kid wanting JUST chicken, or fetching some plain pasta when the pasta tossed with veggies and beans didn't fly with my 10 year old). This was a consistent theme - that if something wasn't right, staff were overwhelmingly eager to try to make it right, although some issues were obvious and shouldn't need to be pointed out. I should note that there is a "gourmet resturant" next to the "base package" cafeteria that on our one occasion, was competent if not great.

All in all, the splendor of the surroundings, the eager and thoughtful "counsellors" and the constant flow of challlenging and fun activities allowed/caused us to have a great time, and we would highly recommend it to familes with kids. We've been to much more luxurious resorts, with Frette sheets on the state-of-the-art mattresses, 5 gourmet restaurants, and all the "5 star" trappings, but not had nearly as much fun as we did here. The opportunity to have close contact over a week with interesting and enjoyable families from other parts of US and Canada was an added bonus for us. Each night we put the kids to bed, pulled out the beer and wine, made a fire in front of our cabins, and shot the breeze until midnight or beyond, watching shooting stars, and more constellations/planets/satellites than I'll see in a lifetime looking up in my native Philadelphia.

Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

Property: Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre
Address: 41040 Gold River Highway | P.O. Box 2160, 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 #4 of 14 Speciality Lodging in Campbell River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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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