Wickaninnish Inn: Bucket-List Relais & Chateaux Luxury on Wild Vancouver Island

Wickaninnish Inn

Montecristo Magazine 

Wickaninnish Inn is a celebrated luxury hotel in a pristine natural setting in British Columbia. It sits at the end of the road on the scenic coast of Vancouver Island. The island's famously dramatic weather draws winter storm-watchers from all over.

Wickaninnish Inn is It is a member of the ultra-prestigious Relais & Châteaux association. It was voted by Travel + Leisure readers as their #1 Canadian resort in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015.

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What to Expect at Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Vancouver Island, Canada

Wickaninnish Inn, a luxury resort and storm-watching destination
© Wickaninnish Inn

The inn is owned by the visionary hotelier Charles McDiarmid, who built his hotel himself with help from local artisans and his father, a country doctor.

Wickaninnish Inn opened in 1996. The original building, The Pointe, houses a restaurant which affords spectacular views of Clayoquot Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The hotel's ultra-modern Beach Annex was added in 2003.

What You Can Expect at Wickaninnish Inn

The resort offers luxury travelers:

  • A variety of packages and promotions
  • 75 stunning rooms and suites in sync with Vancouver Island's natural setting
  • Creative and delicious food arising from local ingredients and traditions
  • Excellent service, from check-in to checkout, from a young, multilingual, international staff
  • The lovely Ancient Cedars Spa
  • A fitness center with views and state-of-the-art equipment
  • Lookout Library, a cozy guest lounge and a front-row seat for the story that roll by
  • Driftwood Café, a local favorite, with a menu designed for sharing
  • model pet-friendly policy and "Ruffing It" program

Spectacular Setting of Wickaninnish Inn

Wickaninnish Inn is located in Tofino, Canada, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. which Travel + Leisure readers voted as North America's Top Island. Tofino's setting, where woods meet roiling surf, is mesmerizingly beautiful. The inn is a picturesque five-hour drive from Victoria, or a short, equally scenic flight from the City of Vancouver.

Guests can walk to:

  • The town of Tofino, which has many good restaurants and boutiques, a brisk-20 minute walk from the property.
  • Chesterman Beach, adjacent to the hotel.
  • Several hiking trails that meander around the coast.
  • The Carving Shed, where much of the hotel's unique wooden furniture and decorative pieces were created by celebrated wood carver Henry Nolla and his team.
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Will Wickaninnish Inn Be the Right Vancouver Island Hotel for You?

The Pointe Bar at Wickannish, a great place for Vancouver Island storm-watching
© Chris Pouget

Wickaninnish Inn could be your perfect nature getaway if:

  • You seek out Relais & Châteaux hotels for their luxury
  •  You love a wild, untamed setting and could get into winter storm-watching
  • You seek a quiet interlude with someone special
  • You insist on a great restaurant right in our hotel
  • You like to indulge in a terrific spa
  • You're planning nature activities like birdwatching, fishing, hiking, cycling
  • The very idea of storm-watching intrigues you
  • You're traveling with your pet
  • Your bucket list could use a breathtakingly set country inn

Wickaninnish Inn may not be your ideal Vancouver island hotel if:

  • You prefer traditional, Old World furnishings to a modern look
  • You're looking for on-premises nightlife
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Guest Rooms & Suites at Wickaninnish Inn

Amazing sunset from Wickaninnish Inn hotel room on Vancouver Island
© Chris Pouget and Duncan Booth

The 75 rooms and suites at Wickaninnish Inn are beautifully designed and quite luxurious, with handmade wooden furniture, ample closet space, and complimentary wifi.

The Chesterman Beach Loft Suite boasts a gas fireplace, a king bed plus a queen convertible sofa, a gourmet kitchen, and duplex accommodations in 1,100 square feet of living space.

My Deluxe Room at Wickaninnish Inn was spacious and sunny. Its panoramic windows looked out onto a Pacific tidal bore, lush with marine life.

Amenities in All Wickaninnish Inn Rooms

Guest rooms and suites at Wickaninnish Inn generally contain:

  • Comfy king beds with high-denier Egyptian cotton linens
  • Gas fireplace
  • Multiple closets with robes, ironing board, slippers, and a safe
  • A Douglas fir writing desk, a cedar coffee table, and driftwood art objects
  • An interesting minibar with local treats and British Columbia wines
  • Complimentary in-room tea and coffee
  • Fruit basket
  • His-and-hers stainless Thermos bottles, filtered water pitcher, and umbrellas
  • Helly Hansen rainwear for Vancouver Island rain
  • Bushnell binoculars for birdwatching and nature-gazing
  • iPhone/iPod dock
  • Free wifi

Posh Guest Bathrooms at Wickaninnish Inn 

Guest bathrooms are spa-like, with:

  • A naturally striped slate tile floor
  • Large bathtub, some sized for two
  • Separate stone-clad shower
  • Douglas fir sliding panels for privacy
  • Plenty of counter and drawer space
  • Frette towels and plush bathrobes
  • High-end, Canadian-made Comfort Zone toiletries

Flawless!

Room drawbacks at Wickaninnish Inn are virtually non-existent. The owner, Mr. McDiarmid, and his staff have thought of everything.

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Dining, Drinking, Fitness & Spa at Wickaninnish Inn

The Pointe restaurant at WIckannish Inn on Vancouver Island
© Peter Jackson

Dining is of a high order here, with several options.

The Pointe Restaurant at Wickaninnish Inn

Wickaninnish Inn's fine-dining restaurant, The Pointe, is a deluxe dining experience with a panoramic ocean view and reasonable tabs.

Chef Nicholas Nutting gets the big picture, too. He specializes in farm-fresh organic food. Delightful signature dishes include potato-crusted oysters and fresh halibut with yogurt sauce.

The Pointe is a destination for its wine list, strong on British Columbia wineries; it's chocolate desserts; and its Sunday Champagne Brunch.

The Pointe Bar

The Pointe's bar hand-mixes creative cocktails. Some have a campfire theme and may feature grilled marshmallow garnishes. An extensive list of single-malt Scotches includes some with a smoky peat flavor.

Room service at Wickaninnish Inn features The Pointe's menu. Guests can enjoy brunch items such as quinoa-crusted Tofino salmon, or Berkshire pork with baked beans and a poached egg. The room-service dinner menu covers dishes like grilled Pacific octopus or Dungeness crab with bone marrow.

Driftwood Café

Driftwood Café is a serene, quiet room where coffee and pastries are served.

Fitness at Wickaninnish Inn

In-between dining indulgences, Wickaninnish Inn guests can visit its fitness center and take in its ocean view. 

  • The gym is equipped with the latest cardio machines, free weights, mats and the like
  • Guests have complimentary use of the inn's bicycles

Ancient Cedars Spa at Wickaninnish Inn

Wickaninnish Inn's full-service Ancient Cedars Spa is a hushed sanctuary designed almost entirely of cedar wood.

  • A tranquil meditation room occupies a bluff of land outdoors 
  • A varied spa menu includes facials, massages, mani-pedis, and yoga classes
  • Spa site with treatment menu and rates
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Connect with and Follow Wickaninnish Inn

Wickaninnish Inn on Vancouver Island is very pet-friendly
© Dane and Dane

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