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Wickaninnish Inn’s Charles McDiarmid: West Coast Storm Watching Pioneer

In 1995, Interior Designer, Sharon Bortolotto, Principal of BBA Design Consultants Inc. was contacted by Charles McDiarmid to design a new kind of Inn, one built specifically for winter storm watching.

McDiarmid had a revolutionary idea.  Not only did he want guests to come and enjoy the West Coast of Vancouver Island during the stormy winter months, he also wanted that natural world reflected within the interior of his new Wickaninnish Inn. 

Bortolotto goes on to say, “When Charles presented his idea of the Wickaninnish Inn, set on the storm-swept beaches of Tofino, I had to take his words and his vision to create a new design vocabulary for us to use. Many have followed, using this concept in their own unique ways, but Charles was the first to marry rustic and elegant in the same design.”

Bortolotto adds, “People can go anywhere to find a sunny beach and a chaise lounge. And though there are many sunny moments at the Wickaninnish Inn, it is McDiarmid’s vision of winter storm-watching that was a first, a true inspiration.”

Winter storm watching in Tofino has proven to be a major draw for vacationers. Guests flock from all over the world to watch the weather, hoping for a storm. From early November until late February, the winter storms are at their wildest on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Revamped for this season the Wickaninnish Inn Storm Watchers vacation package includes the following:

  • Two nights of accommodation for two
  • A two-hour guided nature walk with a local naturalist
  • Two Wickaninnish Inn oilskin hats
  • A take home copy of the book,  'Pacific Reef and Shore'
  • Continental breakfast for two daily
  • Complimentary valet parking
  • Opportunity to see Mother Nature’s stormy temperament.
  • This package with deluxe room accommodations starts at $980. 

The Inn's guests are provided with Helly Hansen rain gear and gumboots for walking the mile-long hard-packed sands of Chesterman Beach in awe of the 30-foot, thunderous waves crashing into shore. But the view from inside the Inn is no less dramatic.  The Pointe Restaurant, with its 240-degree panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, provides diners an equally immersive - and yet cozy - vantage point to watch raging winter storms while enjoying the locally sourced meals prepared by Chef de Cuisine Nicholas Nutting.

About the Wickaninnish Inn: The award-winning Wickaninnish Inn, perched on the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island near Tofino, is a year-round destination exemplifying "rustic elegance on nature's edge". A Relais & Châteaux member property since 1997, the Inn is owned and managed by the McDiarmid family of Tofino, and is exclusively located on beautiful Chesterman Beach. Each of the 75 oceanfront guest rooms and suites is designed to AAA/CAA Five Diamond standards, welcoming guests with a gas fireplace, soaker tub, local art, an individual balcony and a beach or ocean viewscape. The Wickaninnish Inn is home to The Pointe Restaurant, boasting 240º Pacific Ocean views and an innovative culinary program, as well as the award-winning Ancient Cedars Spa. The Inn’s on-property reservations team is available 24 hours a day by calling toll-free 1.800.333.4604 or visiting www.wickinn.com.

  • A Proud Relais & Chateaux Member
  • Rated a Top Travel Destination
  • Travel & Leisure - Best Hotels in the World
  • Traveller - The Gold List 2012
  • Travel & Leisure - Worlds Best Awards
  • CAA - Four Diamond Award
  • J - Award Winner
  • Travel & Leisure - The Ultimate in Travel
  • 20th Annual Restaurant Awards Vancouver