Our three day stay at Great Bear Lodge in May, as part of a holiday organised by Naturetrek, was a wonderful experience.
The flight to the lodge by seaplane created a sense of adventure from the start. On arrival we received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the Great Bear Lodge staff, and this warmth and enthusiasm persisted throughout our stay.
The schedule at the lodge is well designed to maximise the opportunities to see black and grizzly bears, but you are of course free to opt out of any boat trip or forest walk if you wish.
The guides during our stay (Blakeley, Meghan and Tom from Great Bear Lodge and Lee from Naturetrek) were superb and their enthusiasm for the wildlife in the Great Bear Rainforest, including the bears, was very infectious. During a forest walk Meghan’s demonstration of a male grizzly bear stomp was very entertaining.
For the boat trips guests have the option of wearing very warm, padded bodysuits and wet weather gear provided by the lodge. These ensured that we were very comfortable during the extended boat trips, in fact so comfortable that we occasionally found ourselves nodding off momentarily after the guide had stopped the motor and was just using the oars! Fortunately we very rarely needed the wet weather gear.
The views we had of black and grizzly bears were a thrill, especially the occasion when Roxanne (a grizzly with something of a reputation) walked along the edge of a bank and shot us a look from a few yards away that prompted a stern and loud warning from Blakeley !
Apart from the bears there were many different types of bird and wildfowl to be seen in and aound the inlet. We also had sightings of mink, river otters and seals close to the lodge.
The lodge was very comfortable and having to share two showers between nine guests proved no problem at all. We never had to queue for a shower and enjoyed the use of the complimentary fleece dressing gowns and the scent-free shower toiletries (the latter designed not to offend the bears’ very acute sense of smell). The bedrooms are compact but comfortable with ensuite washrooms (toilet and sink). We spent very little waking time in our bedroom at the lodge.
The meals provided by Glen, the main chef during our stay, were excellently presented and totally delicious, and he catered well for 2 guests who didn’t eat meat. He even managed to make tofu delicious, a rare occurrence in our experience ! The meals were so good that the fact that there was not a choice for each course was not a problem. As with the other lodge staff, Glen’s enthusiasm was contagious.
Cindy's breakfasts were a great start to the day.
After the comments above it will come as no surprise that we were sad to leave and want to return to Great Bear Lodge for a longer stay, SOON.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Great Bear Lodge is located 50 air miles from Port Hardy, British Columbia. The fully self-contained floating lodge is situated at an outstanding wildlife viewing location. This is a place of spectacular beauty where one can still find the silence and solitude of another era. From this location we operate our Grizzly Bear viewing program.The charming floating lodge has eight bedrooms. The common area is a comfortable place for relaxing and listening to natural history presentations from our willdife biologists. Each bedroom has an ensuite shower. The wind and solar powered lodge is in keeping with our commitment to low-impact ecotourism. Natural wood decks surround the lodge, a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while enjoying the beauty of the scenery. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Great Bear Hotel Port Hardy
- Great Bear Lodge Port Hardy, Canada - Vancouver Island