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Hornby Island Diving Lodge
Reviewed 8 October 2013

Hornby Island is a beautiful place. It is quiet, remote, easy paced and Hornby Diving has built a beautiful, functional dive boat. The food is plentiful and good although certainly not four- five star. The accomdations are clean, but very basic/small dorm-like. I am sure this revue will be seen as an outlyer but we are not warm and fuzzy about this one.
My wife and I and another couple stayed for four nights and three days of diving. We meet this other couple yearly to dive and play and had not been together for a year. The owners and their three year- old child joined us for dinner the first evening and it was lovely. However, the owners/child continued to join us for every single meal from then on. Now these folks are very nice people but we had not planned on spending our time with total strangers who seemed to somewhat dominate the conversations. The result was we started to feel greatly inhibited and I began to notice that I was not really relaxing at all. I have raised my own children and did not plan on spending my vacation time with a three- year old regardless of how cute this baby was. In short, I felt like I was dining in somebody's home and had to carefuly mind my manners. Our own dive stories were always one upped by the owner and I felt like I was eating with my mother. We came to play hard and dive hard. This is not a place to let your hair down.
Diving was Ok. Not much life except for the Sea Lions on one dive which was pretty cool. We were told the life was there but we lacked the experience to pick it out. I dive 2-3 days per week. We did dive a couple of deep shear walls that fit the bill nicely. However, although we had informed the owners well in advance, that we were coming with doubles, tri-mix, stage bottles, scooter and technical diving in mind we found that they had called off their deck hand because there were only four of us. The distance from boat to fill station and rinse facilities is not convenient for repeated technical operations. We broke our butts humping gear in and out of the boat and pushing cart- fulls of double steel tanks up to the house and back down a road to the pier ramp, etc. Even after offering repeatedly to pay generously to have a gear handler relieve us of the load no help was forthcoming. The help offered by the owner was spoartic and certainly not adequate. We felt that we were being unfavorably judged for not wishing to hump our own gear. This was our vacation and our gear is extremely heavy and we were more than willing to pay handsomely to avoid the exertion post deep dives. Self- reliance has its place but we can be plenty self- reliant on our dives at home, on a one- dive per day basis.
A fill station in closer proximity to the boat, as well as rinse facilities at the boat, would have made our vacation more of a vacation. Considering the unemployment situation on this tiny island it seems that one or two of the young men standing around the dock would have jumped at the chance to earn a couple of hundred bucks. We had not planned on spending every meal and evening with the "family". Perhpas this was just Canadian "friendliness and self-reliance" but it was too much "family", too much work, and not enough "our time".
In general we we greatly dissapointed by and frustrated with Hornby Diving. Perhaps this would work better for shop groups and recreational clubs but for our purposes it just did not work.
One more warning: with just four of us we felt pretty cozy. I would not want to be there with many more people, considering the shared bathroom facilites, tiny rooms, constantly stressed water shortage, small gear storage area/ rinse facilites and limited tank carts. Also, I did not enjoy the swarms of friut flies in the kitchen area. Ruined a bottle of great wine. There are many other truly great diving experiences out there for the money.

Room Tip: The rooms are small dorm-like with two twins. There is one "couples" room on each floor. U...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Larry M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda Z, Owner at Hornby Island Diving Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2013

We are very sorry that your visit to Hornby Island Diving was disappointing. It sounds like it was not satisfactory to you on many levels.

While many of our guests enjoy sharing meals with us, it is completely understandable that some may want more privacy. We will review our policy of eating with our guests.

We are sorry that the diving did not meet your expectations. Based on discussion with yourselves and your friends before the trip, we thought that you would really enjoy the diving around Hornby. If we were in any way misleading about what you should expect, we apologize.

As for help with equipment, at first we provided the same assistance that we would extend to any of our guests. We carefully considered your request of hiring an additional helper, but there are a number of problems with this scenario, one of which is having someone unfamiliar with dive gear handling your valuable equipment. Instead, Rob provided extra help, which he was happy to do. We are sorry that this additional help was not enough.

Our guest accommodation is indeed modest, it is there to serve our diving activities. It would compare favourably with any other operation in BC. Again, if we misrepresented it in any way, we apologize.

We always try to under-promise and over-deliver and despite our best efforts it sounds like that did not happen for you.

We appreciate the time you took in making your review.

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36 - 42 of 43 reviews

Reviewed 21 September 2013

I loved my stay at the Hornby Island Diving Lodge. I was there for 4 days as part of a Photography Course. The scenery is incredible and life is a slower pace. It is peaceful and you can take time to reflect and breathe. The lodge itself is so cozy and comfy and felt like a home. It was very clean and bright with a wonderful view of the harbour. It is just a few steps down to the wharf, and the waters edge. Rob and Amanda are so welcoming and friendly and make you feel like part of the family. The food was simply delicious and they were very accommodating for people with sensitivities or alergies. All in all the experience I had there with the group I did the photography course with, was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I would love to return again.

Room Tip: They have rooms for singles which are quite sufficient or you can request a room with a queen size b...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank onmyjourney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda Z, Owner at Hornby Island Diving Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2013

Thank you for your review. We are glad you enjoyed the lodge and its location. We take pride in accommodating many different food requests (we have some food sensitivities ourselves so we are aware of the challenges of traveling when you have a special diet).

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Reviewed 20 September 2013

I recently stayed at the Honby Island Diving Lodge while on a photography course on the island. There were 15 of us and Amanda and Rob made us feel so welcome. A beautiful lodge with a nautical feel. A number of bedrooms upstairs and down were very comfortable. I love the cozy duvet! A large common area upstairs along with a washroom and access to a large deck leading to a beautiful back garden. Downstairs has a wonderful dining area with large picture windows with a view of the marina... gorgeous. The meals were absolutely amazing and there were always scrumptious leftovers in the fridge for us to snack on anytime we got a little hungry. Rob took us out on the dive boat to chrome island to do some more photography work and he gave us a bit of a site seeing tour on the way back to Hornby where we saw cormorants, gulls, sea lions and seal. This was truly a home away from home, so relaxing, peaceful and zen like. Thank you Amanda, Rob, little Ava and to all your staff for making us feel so welcome. I highly recommend this lodge for anyone who wants that down to earth Hornby feel! (It's not just for diving!)

Room Tip: Rooms have either a queen bed or two single beds in them. Rooms away from the washrooms would be qui...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank jrmurday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda Z, Owner at Hornby Island Diving Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 23 October 2013

We are glad you enjoyed your stay with us. You are right, the lodge is not just for divers. We enjoy hosting groups of all sorts and sharing 'our back yard'.

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Reviewed 11 September 2013

Wow. A hidden jewel. Good hospitality, good food, good accomodations and of course Hornby Island and all its splendour allowed our photography group to spend four wonderful days. A little rain at times but hey, this is the "wet coast". :) Thank you to Amanda and Rob.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank Ian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda Z, Owner at Hornby Island Diving Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2013

Thank you for visiting us and for taking time to write a review. It was a pleasure to host a group with such enthusiasm and desire to improve their photography. We look forward to hosting our next photo workshop with the same instructors next week.

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Reviewed 5 September 2013

We recently hosted an education photo workshop here and were wowed! The facility was perfect for our group lessons/meetings, with both spaces outside and upstairs that worked well. Our participants found the rooms comfortable and the eating area was perfect for socializing, relaxing and of course, eating the great food. Rob, Amanda and their staff accommodate numerous dietary requirements while supplied yummy, healthy options. Everyone was impressed with the options and the quality. The locations is ideal, close to hikes, the water and the little store. The best part though is the staffs warmth, helpfulness and willingness to go over and above. I wish there were more spots like this!

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled on business
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1  Thank Karen M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amanda Z, Owner at Hornby Island Diving Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 11 September 2013

We always enjoy hosting retreat workshops. It is our pleasure when we can make it easy for the group to work, explore and grow together. Such a lot of learning takes place in such a short time. We look forward to the next one.

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Reviewed 15 July 2013

I recently made my third trip to Hornby Island, all were to dive with Amanda & Rob at Hornby Island Diving. This is truly a magical place with a calming, soul soothing vibe that runs like a peaceful current from land to sea. In my opinion the diving is technical, this is big water, cold, deep and occasionally dark. The wildlife can be spectacular, we saw at least five GPO's (Giant Pacific Octopus), Wolf Eel's, Pouget Sound King Crab and lot's of other cool stuff. Once you being to begin absorb the Zen like atmosphere and start to connect with the truly unique surroundings of Hornby, all the stress's you arrived with just seam to melt away.

The lodge works on every level, comfy accommodations, healthy wholesome meals and warm smiles from all who support the operation. Rob's dive boat is very comfortable with easy access in and out of the water, he will ensure that your diving experience is safe and rewarding.

For those who wish to experience a connection with a West Coast spirit of nature, both above and below the waves, you must try Hornby Island Diving. You will arrive back home aglow with many warm memories, amazing pictures and a few extra pounds from Sam's cocoanut cream pie!

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled solo
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Thank Merlin39Calgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2013

Hornby Island Diving is in my opinion the best scuba dive lodge in Canada BC. The dive is big and spacious. There are many different places to hang and talk with your fellow divers, so even with big groups you have enough room even if the weather is bad. The bedrooms are nice and clean. The food is excellent. The diving is really great, all dive sites are less than 15 min by boat.

Room Tip: During the summer the rooms at the bottom floor are cooler, but you have less privacy as the dive ge...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank Ab K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Hornby Island Diving Lodge

Address: 10795 Central Rd, British Columbia V0R 1Z0, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Comox Valley > Hornby Island
Amenities:
Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Speciality Lodging in Hornby Island
Price Range: £58 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hornby Island Diving is a family business that has been owner operated for over 30 years. Our knowledge and experience means you get safe, fun dives at the best sites. Our guest lodge, dive boat and tank fill station are among the best in BC, so you can enjoy our wonderful diving in comfort. Non-divers and families love Hornby Island and they are always welcome to join us. ... more   less 

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