A private hideaway on Vancouver Island’s West Coast
Tofino is the end of the road on Vancouver Island’s west coast, a quirky outpost surrounded by the tidal waters and temperate rainforests of Clayoquot Sound. Not too far off this road, the Wickaninnish Inn stands serenely on the westernmost point of residential Chesterman Beach, a luxurious retreat that lavishes visitors with nature, locally inspired cuisine and First Nations culture.
Established 15 years ago by the family of Dr. Howard McDiarmid, who helped create Pacific Rim National Park, “The Wick” defines North West Coast style using natural elements of cedar, fir, driftwood and stone. Each of its 75 rooms and suites has a fireplace, soaker tub, balcony and private view of the Pacific Ocean.
Light-filled meeting space is a favourite for executive retreats that seek to be transformative. Groups of up to 150 can book exclusive use of the Inn, while a multi-purpose conference room can always accommodate up to 50 people, theatre-style. The Swordfern boardroom hosts up to 10 around a spectacular driftwood-slab table.
As an incentive travel lure, The Wick has generated worldwide buzz, earning impressive accolades in the world of luxury travel. It has been a multiple Grand Award Winner in Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report, a privately published newsletter whose readers also ranked the Inn as #14 of 20 International Hideways for 2009. It is perennially named among top Canadian resorts in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards. The property has been a member of the Relais & Château association since 1997.
The entire region is gaining popularity in summer months, when Tofino is abuzz with tourists, says conference services manager Rachelle Cole. To achieve that true “hideaway feel” for a group, she says, consider an event in April to June, or in September, when the weather is lovely and the town’s all yours.