Luxury Suites amid Pacific Rim Scenery on Vancouver Island
While it seems counterintuitive, tourists head to Vancouver Island from November through March in search of awe-inspiring storms. Here on the island’s western coast, 30-foot waves batter the coastline, exploding against craggy bluffs like fireworks. Not far from several popular storm-watching vantage points, Water’s Edge Resort looks onto Ucluelet Inlet’s calm waters. While storm watching is fun, this part of the island can be also be pleasant and quiet, a place for kayaking, hiking, and fishing amid the coast’s natural beauty—activities that helped the resort earn a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2013. Dense conifers surround this picturesque cove, which can be enjoyed beside a roaring fireplace or in a jetted tub, which are standard features in the hotel’s luxury one-bedroom suites.
Those suites evoke a contemporary West Coast style, juxtaposing glass and cement with wood, stone, and other natural elements. All have scenic views of the water through tall windows. You can also take in the cove and its sea lions and otters while soaking in the jetted tub on the private patio. The separate kitchens come fully appointed for making homemade dinners.
To further indulge in the tranquil atmosphere, enjoy a soothing massage or other treatment at the onsite Nurture Day Spa, which uses plant-based skin- and bodycare products.
Ucluelet, British Columbia: Gateway to Pacific Rim National Park and Untapped Natural Bounty
Tucked between the ocean and a protected bay on the edge of Canada’s Pacific coast, the small town of Ucluelet is in a remote spot where visitors can see nature at its rugged best. Like nearby Tofino, Ucluelet began as a logging and fishing community. But unlike its neighbor, the town has not yet experienced a big boom in tourism, making it a more laid-back destination for kayaking, fishing, and whale watching. Head to He-Tin-Kis Park to hike the short trail that wends through a coastal rainforest and ends at a rocky beach. The park is a part of the larger Wild Pacific Trail, which skirts the craggy shoreline all the way up to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Vancouver Island’s only national park, Pacific Rim National Park is an extensive strip of old-growth forests, fjords, and sandy beaches that have long been a playground for outdoors enthusiasts. Stretches of deserted coastline draw surfers in the summer, and miles of elevated hiking trails pass through small coves and mossy natural bogs with close-up looks of the ocean. Daring visitors can reach any of the hundreds of secluded forested isles scattered just offshore by hopping on a kayak or pole-vaulting across lily pads with a pool cue.