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“Strenuous relaxation”

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Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Ranked #11 of 17 Hotels in Clayoquot Sound
Certificate of Excellence
Vancouver
Level Contributor
488 reviews
91 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 378 helpful votes
“Strenuous relaxation”
Reviewed 30 January 2009

We didn't know what to expect and thought that the hotel would be full of faded hedge fund managers. I mentioned this to one lady and she said that her husband was a hedge fund manager, but he was not yet faded!

Still, the resort is pleasantly underplayed. The emphasis is on personal choice and individual guiding. If you wish to fish on your own or with another, that is fine. I had my own horse for the week and graduated from debutant to gallop in about 10 hours of riding. I also shot the rapids in a kayak, fished for one full day and 3 half days and had numerous massages. It was great.

The restaurant is good, bur not 5 star. That is actually just right, as 5 star would not fit with wilderness. The menu each night was very nice. They had chosen the best BC wines, but at the cost of the resort, which with tip is around CDN$3,000 per day, they could have had a few others. We could have whatever we fancied really, but you only realised that after a couple of days. We had a full week there and that would be what we suggest. In and out in 3 days is bit quick and it may mean that you don't get good enough weather to fish for salmon offshore from Tofino. We ended up with about 120 lbs of salmon, which was prepared and delivered to our home. It lasts a long time, but is wonderful!

  • Liked — The feeling of being special and treated as a valued guest.
  • Disliked — In July/August it is very busy with lots of children. I would find that would detract a lot from the experience.
  • Stayed September 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Coylum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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138 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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English first
Cincinnati OH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2008

Wow. I have traveled the world and stayed in some of the most magnificent resorts on 4 continents. This is one of the very best and, due to its distinctive nature, the best of its genre.

I searched for a year for the perfect spot for my 25th wedding anniversary and found it. I would add that September is the best time to go (in my opinion) as the summer "rush" has faded. We shared the camp with 8 other guests, all adults, and 50 staff. All you had to do was mention an activity (fishing, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, cooking lessons were some we did) and two or three expert guides appeared to take you alone or anyone else whenever you wanted. Yet there was never any pressure to do anything. The hosts, Jon and Adele, are amazing and fascinating people which adds to the overall ambience.

The resort combines simplicity with sumptious elegance. The accommodations and buildings are pristine but simple and rugged, the ideal integration into the wilderness location. You sleep in tents, but large, magnificent white tents on wooden platforms with oriental carpets, a queen bed, an in-room heater that looks like a fireplace, chairs and writing table and dressers and coffee/tea brought daily at your chosen wakeup time if you so desire. Each tent is semi-isolated, so you feel very private.

While we were there we rode horses for 8 hours into old growth forest (with little prior experience). We took "Horse 101" and spent an afternoon getting to know horses, brushing them, saddling them and then simple riding, just my wife and I with an expert horsewoman. Sounds corny but made me comfortable for the first time on horses. Loved it.

The food is everything they say. Except, while there is a daily menu you can ask for anything at any time and they will make it. Dinners can be personal and romantic, incredible setting, but you can share with others and we met some great fun people and had some witty and laughter-filled dinners with them. Local BC wines, very good, are offered paired with dinner courses, or you could choose your own selections. Breakfast and lunch tends to be more wander in and out.

The pictures on the website may have been posed, but we have pics just as beautiful taken at random. The setting is magnificent.

My wife is more powerful and beautiful than the day I married her and I could not imagine a more perfect way to celebrate a quarter century together.

  • Liked — Read my review
  • Disliked — absolutely nothing
  • Stayed September 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank ajkogl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2007

We just returned from 5 days at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort/Bedwell River in B.C. and can't stop talking about our wonderful experience. We are city dwellers (NYC and Fla) for whom this was a truly amazing experience.

What a treat! John and Adele couldn't be more welcoming and authentic. From the seaplane ride from Vancouver to the brief horse drawn carriage ride to lunch at the warm central "dining" lodge while our bags were delivered to our tent.

And what a tent. This is like camping a la Rockefellers. Ours was more like a treehouse...Adirondack furniture, rugs, electricity, top-quality bedding, plants, candles that are lit while you are at dinner, and more.

We are foodies and so were a number of other guests (about 50 guests at capacity with an equal number of staff who live at the campsite).
Chef Tim May and his delightful, talented team have developed a terrific and varied set of menus,but are most accomodating about preparing just about anything you can think of-- including the chanterelles our guide Josh harvested on our "wild side" hike, whale watch and bear watching day and the coho salmon we caught on another day which we consumed for dinner. Tereza knows just about every wine from B.C. and more and made fabulous selections for us for every course.

The well-scrubbed and affable young guides and wranglers, mostly local, are amazingly knowledgeable and able to gauge their audience--novice or adventurer. And, just about every activity; riding, kayaking, fishing, whale watching, shooting, you name it; can be tailored so you may join a group or not, as your mood strikes. The resort provides cowboy boots flotation suits, rain suits, backpacks and gear appropriate to every activity. They make it easy to participate in anything and everything.

The only unhappy surprise for us was the number of families with young children who happened to be there the week we were there. The pricing and facilities put this place squarely in the "luxury" category. This was an issue mainly at the "zen" spa tent, where in the midst of a facial or massage, we were treated to the squeals of unsupervised kids splashing about in the nearby hot tub.

The composting outhouse took some adjustment, mostly because leaving the warmth of your zipped-in, cozy tent in the middle of the night is a challenge. But, each tent has a private outhouse and shower, though the latter is in a shared shower center--beautifully appointed with flowers and cedar stalls, but you will run into fellow guests as you blow dry your hair or brush your teeth at the sinks in the out of doors.

This is a magnificent part of the world and a Clayoquot Resort is a magnificent way to explore it.

  • Liked — Tents were beautifully appointed and maintained.
  • Disliked — Composting toilet and shared shower center.
  • Stayed August 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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Helpful?
6 Thank vivgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathy M, Social Media and Marketing at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, responded to this review, 8 September 2012
Well hello there after all these years! I was just reading over some of our wonderful reviews that thought that we would stop and update you, if you haven't already heard, about our beautiful upgrades that we made in 2011. After reading your description, I thought it would nice to let you know that in 2011 we upgraded 12 of our tents to luxury en suite - no more running out of your tent in the middle of the night for the outhouse! Of course, we have kept some of our original style for those that like to 'rough it' outpost style.
Take a look at some of the photos on TripAdvisor as well as our website. We would be more than thrilled to see you back here in the wilderness for an all knew 'camping' experience.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nassau, New Providence Island
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 September 2007

Our family of 12 had the absolute BEST time at Clayoquot. The service and food are impeccable, the surroundings breathtaking, the adventures will stay with you for a very long time. We didn't want to leave. Go and enjoy some of Canada's finest.

  • Liked — Everything was outstanding
  • Disliked — nothing - everything was outstanding
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SugarMakerQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level Contributor
17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2006

My family has just returned from the most wonderful few days in Clayoquot. As we landed at the dock in the 9 seater seaplane the beauty of the location was breathtaking. Mountains, forests, blue skies and not much else. A horse-drawn wagon took us to "camp" and we were immediately made to feel very much at home. The accomodation was under canvas but it was the most luxurious camping one could imagine. The tents were beautifully furnished with antiques and were extremely comfortable. The compost toilet was the only thing that was basic but we got used to that extremely quickly. Days were spent whale watching, hiking, horse riding, kayaking and fishing and for every activity we were accompanied by an extremely knowledgeable guide who was passionate about the rainforest habitat in which they were living and working. Back at camp the food was absolutely delicious and couldn't be faulted. We had the most fantastic holiday and it has left me wanted to come back as soon as we can to experience the peace and luxury and adventure that is Clayoquot.

  • Liked — The luxurious tents in perfect surroundings
  • Disliked — The compost toilet!
  • Stayed August 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank dblacksam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Florida, U.S.A.
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 March 2006

If you are looking for a very unique, upscale vacation experience, this is it!

Helpful?
7 Thank LegalScholar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Davidson, North Carolina
Level Contributor
119 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 October 2004

Lucky and Grateful - the two words that describe our end of September 4 night visit to Clayoquot Wilderness Resort - CWR.
Lucky, because for all 10 days of our stay in Vancouver and CWR, we had nothing but SUNSHINE. What a difference that makes.
Grateful, because our visit now ranks as one of the top 5 my wife and i have enjoyed in our 20+ years of traveling, always with first class facilities.
We stayed in the floating lodge, but visited the camp. "Luxury roughing it" is the right phrase, very nice, very scenic. If we could "do over", we'd try to split our time and spend a couple nights in each facility.
Our stay on the lodge was enhanced by the fact that it was late in the season, and occupancy was only 30% or so. That meant more space and more time to get to know and interact with the staff. And what a great bunch of young people the staff are. Mitch and his kitchen crew served up outstanding 4 course meals (choice of 3 entres) every night. Really elegant food built around impecably fresh local ingredients. Paul and Ron matched the food perfectly with great pairings of BC wines and specially designed cocktails. Late harvest wines to end the day. Dixon and his crew saw to our every need each day in planning and guiding our choice of excursions (we had a great horse ride one day and a great kayak paddle to watch the bears meet the salmon on another). And Susan in the spa giving what my wife describes as one of the best 1 hour massages she's ever had (and she's more than a few in her day!).
All those glowing things done and said, but be warned. The lodge is a small place. Had we had a full house, or "bad guests", or really bad weather, the common areas would have become very small and the bedrooms even smaller than they are!
But this is a place that appeals to those who love the great outdoors (this area has extraordinary beauty and is very "quiet") and want to be out in the weather, rain or shine, so maybe its not a problem.
We won't know, we were lucky! And very grateful for a truly wonderful time.

  • Stayed October 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
37 Thank reeagle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathy M, Social Media and Marketing at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, responded to this review, 8 September 2012
I almost want to say that we could top your last experience but I think there is something to be said about seeing Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in it's infancy. 8 years later, we have come a long way!
Your review of your time here brings memories back for a lot of our staff that are still here. Dickson is still riding horses and John and Adele remain your hosts! There have been a lot of changes since your time but I think you might find that the resort still holds an intimate atmosphere with all the activities you can ask for. Of course we have added a few over the years ~ zip-lining, river rafting and river kayaking to name a few. The sun still shines in September and we are still a quaint little lodge in the wilderness.
If you have not looked at our website in a while, go ahead and check it out. Maybe it will spur you to come visit us again. Would be absolutely wonderful to welcome you back to the wilderness!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Property: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Address: PO Box 130, British Columbia V0R 2Z0, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Clayoquot Sound
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Clayoquot Sound
#4 Romantic Hotel in Clayoquot Sound
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Clayoquot Sound
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Clayoquot Wilderness Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury Safari Style Tent Camp and adventure Resort located in the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere. Rates are all inclusive including seaplane transfers to/from the Resort and Vancouver BC, accommodations in luxury tents, gourmet meals, all beverages including bar, and all personally guided adventure activities including Bear and Whale Watching, deep sea fishing, horseback riding, kayaking and much more. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Clayoquot Wilderness Hotel Tofino

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