R&C Spotlight: Wickaninnish Inn
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The Wickaninnish Inn stands on a rocky outcrop between the mighty Pacific Ocean, Chesterman Beach and the old-growth temperate rainforest of the Pacific Rim. Each room has a fireplace and picture window offering views of the wild coastline, bringing the outside into every guest through the ethos of Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge. Situated in the small oceanside community of Tofino with its colourful characters and rich history, you can set off on a day of sea kayaking, whale watching, bear watching, and exploring the diverse wildlife and breathtaking landscapes of Clayoquot Sound. From November to March, the powerful Pacific storms roll in and watching from the comfort of your guest room as towering waves come crashing ashore is ever a profound experience. Providing an exquisite and authentic local west coast cuisine, the Pointe Restaurant offers a stunning 270-degree view overlooking the Pacific Ocean from a spectacular part of the coastline that brings you out into the sea.
When the Wickaninnish Inn was still a distant vision, Charles McDiarmid remembers hearing about Relais and Chateaux from guests while he was working for Four Seasons Hotels. They would share their stories about staying at small and unique properties that reflected and highlighted the best of their local environments while focusing on exceptional service. At first, Charles asked: “you go all the way to France every time?” At the time, there was perhaps one R&C property in Canada and few in North America, and yet immediately it resonated - and Charles saw clearly that this was a part of the vision for the Wickaninnish Inn.
When you ask Charles what he loves most about being part of the Relais & Chateaux family, he says it is “that each hotelier or maitre d’maison has the ability to define what they believe is the very best in hospitality to showcase their unique individual destinations.” At its heart, the Inn embodies the highest standards of guest service and the Relais & Chateaux pillars of “character, courtesy, calm, charm, and cuisine.” Deeper than that, there is within the Inn’s spirit the authentic integration of warm family life in all seasons out here on the wild west coast, modelled in no small part on the seasons of Charles’s upbringing.
While celebrating its 25th year this month, the messages from the Inn’s guests flooded in and were overwhelmingly the golden memories of the special times spent enjoying the splendour of this community and environment. Together with the incredible people that have warmly welcomed our guests since the beginning, these memories are the rich history of these last 25 years and the promise of things to come.