We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A magical experience”
Review of Great Bear Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Port Hardy
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Great Bear Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 July 2014

We ended our Canada/ Alaska trip with a three day stay at the Great Bear Lodge and we could not have picked a better finish to our holiday. All the staff were there to greet us from the float plane and within minutes we felt right at home, were eating delicious freshly baked cookies and getting ready for our first outing.The lodge is beautiful, warm and inviting and is in the most picturesque setting, everywhere you look are the most beautiful reflections and the most amazing scenery. Everyday we had morning, afternoon and evening boat or walking, bear and nature excursions. Everything is provided, from wet weather gear ( including boots and sou'westers) to onesies for warmth. Our guides Blakeley and Lee were a font of knowledge and very dedicated and passionate about everything they do. Thanks guys for all that you taught us. We were lucky enough to follow a mother grizzly and her two cubs each day, even have them swim past our boat, plus the excitement of seeing a male grizzly on one of our walks! We were also lucky enough to see a mother seal and her very new baby.
The two Cindys did a wonderful job feeding us with the most delicious and healthy food. Thanks girls and thanks for the recipes! Thanks to Hazel for her welcoming art work! Thanks to LJ for keeping our backs on the nature walk and for all the wonderful information. Last, but by no means least, a huge thank you to Tom and Marg for making the Great Bear Lodge such a warm and inviting place to visit, we would have loved to have stayed a lot longer. Hopefully we will get back there one day to see the salmon run. This is one place you have to put on your bucket list!

Room Tip: All rooms were excellent.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Aileen G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (115)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language

81 - 87 of 115 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2014

We recently stayed at Great Bear Lodge and it far outdid our expectations. The Lodge is warm, super comfortable, great atmosphere, delicious food. Tom and Marg are wonderful hosts. The boat excursions were all productive as far as viewing bears was concerned and the location and scenery was some of the best in the world. Could not have been happier with our stay. Saw heaps of other wildlife too, otters, minks, hummingbirds. Very memorable holiday.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ruth C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2014

From start to finish this was an amazing experience. We spent four weeks in Canada but our three nights and days at The Great Bear Lodge were outstanding and was the highlight of our trip. We flew in by sea plane which was an adventure in itself. Despite being early in the season (May 2014) we still saw plenty of bears and other wildlife. Such a beautiful, unspoilt place. What's not to love.....great lodge, fantastic food, outstanding staff and spectacular scenery.

We arrived about 11am and with no time to waste, we had a safety briefing followed by a light lunch and by 1pm they had us in our padded ‘onesie’ (an all in one suit) and life jackets and we went on our first trip on the river. In no time we saw a black bear.

The organisation was first class from beginning to end, led by owners Tom and Marg. You couldn’t ask for more from the staff. They all worked as a team, were hugely dedicated, knowledgeable and informative. They were always cheerful and seemed to love their work. They went the extra mile to get us to the wildlife and best scenery. Special mention goes to Blakeney, one of the best guides we have ever had. She was a revelation and you felt privileged to be in this scenery with someone as sensitive to nature as she is.

The equipment was excellent, they provided all manner of raingear, protective clothing, shoes, hats, gloves and good quality binoculars. The boats and platforms all well maintained to a high standard.

The accommodation was excellent especially as when we booked the trip a year earlier we were expecting to be in the original 5 room lodge. We were surprised and delighted to be the first guests in a new lodge (9 bedrooms), that had been towed out this year. Our room was comfortable and spacious, with spectacular views and a large, comfortable bed. The shower room was also large.

The food is outstanding. You won't leave lighter than you arrived! Glen, the chef and his assistants prepared meals that were visually appetising, healthy and very tasty and were very enthusiastic. Bread was homemade and there was always a supply of freshly baked cookies, when we returned from our outings.

We cannot finish this review without a special mention of how the company went beyond the call of duty by helping us retrieve our lost camera. It had fallen out of our bag in the float plane and we didn’t notice it was missing until at about 7.45pm Sunday evening, when we were in our hotel on the mainland. The Great Bear Lodge staff and others all pulled together and luckily, the camera was found and returned to us by 11am the next day - a remarkable achievement.

We would love to visit the Great Bear lodge again and have many wonderful photographs and memories – we were lucky to see a mother bear with her cubs, playing and feeding and we learnt so much about the habitat and the lives of the bears.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Alan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

I would thoroughly recommend the Great Bear Lodge to anyone, it was probably the best trip I’ve ever been on and I feel very fortunate to have experienced it. We went at the beginning of October and saw loads of bears!

On arrival we were greeted by a friendly bunch of staff and treated to a lovely pizza and cookies!! The food here was amazing, I’ve never eaten so well on a holiday. Over the three days we had salmon on a cedar plank, lamb shanks in a port & red wine sauce and paella with crab caught locally! Also some incredible deserts, the lava cake was one of my favourites. We were given some of the recipes to take home and I’ve cooked some of these since which is a lovely reminder of the trip.

So now to the wildlife!! Over the course of our time here we saw grizzly and black bears, bald eagles, mink, salmon, kingfisher, seals, swans and Douglas squirrels. I wasn’t sure how close we would get to the bears so I was amazed when one came right past us in the water. It must have only been about 5/6 metres away; it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I didn’t know how I would react being that close to a bear but it’s actually a very calming experience and so exciting when you do see them so close by. The staff are very good and make you feel perfectly safe with their knowledge and expertise. Another great aspect to the lodge is that they literally have everything you need. The binoculars are fantastic, we were given jump suits so we were always warm and there was loads of high quality wet weather gear. The boat trips were one of my favourite parts, the scenery is breath taking and by boat you really see this area at its best. I was very content spending time on the boat taking in the lovely views!

The main issue I can see with this place is the time of year you go, make sure it's when there are likely to be a lot of bear viewings. Seems like Spring and Autumn are the best times.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 November 2013

Being a woman I was very apprehensive about going to look for bears in the wild, but my husband was so excited to have this adventure I had to go along with him. However what a wonderful experience I had, I never thought I could sit calmly as a bear was only meters away. We were taken out by the guides 3 times a day and saw bears every time, it was so thrilling. We were in aluminum boats most of the time, but that allowed us to get close to bears and also to see so much more of the wild life in the area. Other times we were up the river on a wooden bench just watching the bears and cubs fishing for salmon. The lodge supplied all the warm and wet weather gear so no worry about being cold, as we were there in October. We were over feed by an exuberant young chef we were lucky to walk after his lunch. All the staff were so friendly and cared for all our needs. It was interesting to note the guides were girls, so that gave me added confidence, if they can do it so can I. On the last day we were packed and ready to fly out in the afternoon, and I thought we may just sit around waiting for the next guests to arrive, but all credit to the staff who took us out again for one last look at the bears, so every moment of the days were filled. If you are nervous about taking this adventure just do it, you won't be disappointed.

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Kathryn G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 November 2013

The trip to Great Bear Lodge is now one of the best trips I have taken. If you are a nature lover this is the ideal setting for you. The friendly staff were exceptional to make us feel comfortable, and took care of every need. They provided extra gear to ensure that we are comfortable when out in the elements - went in October and despite a couple rainy days, were never cold. Hot showers, and fabulous food added to the experience! The lodge was very comforable, and I was happy to know that it was green - all power was generated from a nearby waterfall, wind and solar panels. Since there was a small group of us staying there (6) at the time, only enhanced the experience. The guides went above and beyond to help me get great pictures of the bears, otters, seals, eagles and a variety of other birds, and even the rare sighting of a marmot. We saw bears every time we went out 3 times a day everyday which surpassed my expectations, afterall they are wild animals within a huge rainforest, not a zoo. I can't thank those at the Great Bear Lodge enought for such an wonderful experience! Since there are so many places in the world to visit it is rare that I would return, but I do plan to visit this lodge again soon! Save the bears!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Barb M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2013

As we arrived by floatplane from Port Hardy, we were greeted with breathtaking scenery and a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the Great Bear Lodge team.
We came to see bears and there were plenty of them. It was amazing to watch Grizzly Bears fishing for salmon in their natural environment.
It was quite clear to us from the web site and email correspondence that we should not expect a 5 star resort in the middle of a temperate forest and old logging campsite. Having said that, the Eco-Lodge was compact but comfortable and met all our needs. The food was plentiful and delicious; allergies and preferences were catered for even though there was no choice. Thank you Cindy and Kaya for a job well done.
One evening, we even had the privilege of watching Grizzlies on Tom’s recently completed open viewing platform.
The tour included a walk along the bear trails and exploration of the Estuary and Smith Inlet by boat. There were harbour seals, geese, swans, and bald eagles in abundance.
Many thanks to our excellent guides – Emma, Blakeley and Meghan. They were knowledgeable and passionate about the forest and wildlife (especially the bears). Nothing was too much trouble including the numerous ‘breaks in nature’.
We are grateful that there are people like Tom Rivest, who’s passion for Grizzlies and their environment, make it possible for us to experience the wonder and beauty of the Great Bear Forest and BC.
We will always remember the bumpy old school bus rides and the words “Hey Bear”.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Adnilias F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Port Hardy
0.9 mi away
Kwa'lilas Hotel
Kwa'lilas Hotel
#1 of 6 in Port Hardy
88 reviews
0.2 mi away
Quarterdeck Inn & Marina Resort
0 mi away
Glen Lyon Inn
Glen Lyon Inn
#3 of 6 in Port Hardy
178 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
21.4 mi away
The Oceanfront Hotel
The Oceanfront Hotel
#1 of 1 in Sointula
47 reviews
202.9 mi away
Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages
Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages
#1 of 8 in Port Renfrew
101 reviews
0.8 mi away
Ecoscape Cabins
Ecoscape Cabins
#2 of 15 in Port Hardy
154 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Great Bear Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Great Bear Lodge

Address: 6420 Hardy Bay Road | PO Box 1168, Port Hardy, British Columbia V0N 2P0, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Port Hardy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Port Hardy
Hotel Class:3 star — Great Bear Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing