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WEDDINGS, corporate meetings and incentive programs flourish in the far corners of the world, resulting in attendees experiencing not just a special event but also a special location. Between the event itself and a resort brimming with activities, event-goers remain active, when they're not distracted by the spectacular backdrops.


The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, British Columbia, sits by a temperate rain forest and is “situated on a rocky promontory surrounded by panoramic Pacific Ocean views on three sides,” according to the inn's manager of public and media relations, Jane Ince. In addition, it's one of the few locales where “guests are not hoping for dry, sunny weather,” Ince says, since “storm-watching” is a favorite activity for visitors. Natural vegetation surrounds the building, and structural beams are textured with a hand adz — an ax-like tool — for a rustic look that adds its own unique charm.

Ince claims “the professional level of service offered in this remote, end-of-the-road, resort location” often surprises guests and partygoers. For social events, the Salal Room offers 720 square feet of space along with natural lighting and views of the rain forest and beach. One of the more elaborate events held at the Wickaninnish is the Relais & Chateaux Congress, an annual congregation of hoteliers, who booked the Wick in April 2005 for an exclusive-use visit. The first night included a Champagne gala, which was held in the Beach Building set up with tasting stations throughout three floors of the structure. The next night featured an outdoor beach party and seafood supper with native storytellers; tents and heaters kept guests warm during the chilly evening. The final night's event was a seven-course meal that had to vie for attention with “a winter storm {that} blew in and knocked out the power,” Ince says. But candles and a kitchen run on propane prevented any catastrophes. In fact, Ince adds, “Visitors were impressed with the timing of the storm — it certainly added a thrill to the evening.” In addition, the Wick's staff delivered newsletters doubling as mementos to guests each morning that advised guests on upcoming daily events. “Included in the newsletter was a recap, with pictures, of the events from the previous day,” Ince says.

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