Vogue | Why Vancouver Island, Canada is the Next Great Wellness Destination

Article Information & Social Sharing

Shawna Gardham
By Shawna Gardham, Public & Media Relations Manager
In the Media15 November 2023


Original article by Zoe Baillargeon for Vogue

Sitting off the storm-battered western coast of British Columbia, Vancouver Island’s rugged, wild landscapes have long marked it as a top destination for outdoor adventure and spectacular scenery. Cold-water surfers plunge into the frigid waters of the Pacific Ocean off half-moon-shaped sand beaches as hikers pad through lush old-growth rainforests along the Wild Pacific Trail. Winter brings skiing and storm-watching season, when awe-inspiring storms slam into the coast in great cataclysmic symphonies of waves, wind, and rain.

But sports and recreation are far from the only way to connect with Vancouver Island’s landscape. Sourcing wild, natural materials from the oceans, forests, and mountains, Vancouver Island’s terroir-grounded wellness scene brings together the home-grown best of the island—from ingredients to idyllic vistas—with health, fitness, and well-being philosophies and practices from around the world from Nordic saunas to yoga and forest bathing. Even spa traditionalists who prefer to stay indoors have options for outdoor exposure through locally-made skincare brands using wild-grown or foraged seaweed and kelp.

From purely wellness-focused retreats to restorative treatments and escapes after a surf session at Cox Beach or trekking along woodland trails, Vancouver Island will have visitors feeling their best, inside and out.

What to do

The legendary Wickanninish Inn in Tofino houses Ancient Cedars Spa, where soothing treatment rooms look out directly onto the Pacific Ocean as wellness-seekers luxuriate in detoxifying algae wraps, mud treatments, and sea salt polishes.

Facial at the Ancient Cedars Spa

Where to Stay

The Fairmont Empress in Victoria is the grand dame of the island’s hotels. Overlooking the city’s inner harbor, this “Castle on the Coast,” as it’s known, offers an opulent stay full of high-end dining and indulgent spa experiences.

Up north are the island’s finest adventure lodges. Huddled up against the rocky shoreline of Pacific Rim National Park, The Nami Project is a minimalist dream of sleek Scandinavian design, wellness, and privacy. Ocean-facing suites come with personal cedar saunas, while separate cabins have cedar hot tubs built into private outdoor decks for soaking while gazing at crashing waves and surfacing whales. One of the best hotels on the island for storm-watching (in fact, it was popularized here by founder Charles McDiarmid), the Relais & Chateaux Wickaninnish Inn at Chestermen Beach, Tofino is an elegant escape on the edge of the world, with world-class dining and a balanced approach to adventure and wellness with thrilling excursions like floatplane tours and kayaking followed by pampering massages at the spa.

Subscribe to the Inn's monthly newsletter here and be the first to know about our latest news and exclusive offers.

View All & Social Sharing

See All News