Huge expanses of lakes, stately trees and untamed nature… Vancouver Island is an island wilderness embraced by the Pacific Ocean. And it's here that we find our destination: the Wickanninish Inn. It's a place where time stood still for us.
The hotel clings to a steep rocky outcrop framed by the forest of giant conifers that conceals Chesterman beach. We hear the cries of the gulls as the powerful waves pound the shore.
The enormous windows of our room give spectacular and infinite views of the ocean, as we watch the surfers dance on the waves at sunrise. It’s like a work of art that changes every hour of the day to offer us a different kind of spectacular. To appreciate it, we light the fire and snuggle up on the sofa to listen to the music of the place. The moment is pure magic, and we feel like we’re the only two people to inhabit this Eden.
The Wickaninnish Inn has a deep-rooted commitment to conserving local heritage and protecting the environment. Vancouver Island has a flourishing creative community, and the hotel has its own sculpture studio used by local artists. It’s here that the famous wood carver Henry Nolla made much of the hotel's furniture with his skillful combination of art and nature.
The Pointe is one of the best restaurants in Tofino, and a go-to fine dining destination for Vancouver Island. But before turning our attention to the menu, our eyes seem unable to leave the sunset and 240° panorama over the Pacific Ocean. The dishes prepared by Chef Warren Barr rely on his innate inspiration and love of seasonal vegetables. And it would be an understatement to say that he excels! Every dish is a work of art in its own right and transports us beyond imagination.
The Wickanninish Inn is the perfect starting point for many hiking trails through the natural wilderness. As lovers of nature and wildlife, it would have been inconceivable for us to leave without meeting the bears. The opportunity to see these stately, yet clumsy, animals was a real joy. It’s an experience that’s guaranteed unforgettable.
At 7:30 am, we meet with Mike White onboard his boat in Tofino. Mike is passionate about this region, which he knows like the back of his hand, because this is where he was born and grew up. He tells us about his life with real passion as we enjoy a hot coffee on his small fishing boat. We sail out to the middle of Clayoquot Bay with its spectacular, intoxicating and mysterious landscapes.
When we get to our destination, the magic begins. The bears are there, searching for food among the rocks and constantly raising their muzzles, curious about our presence.
It’s a magical and silent spectacle. Having bears right there in front of us was almost unreal. Such moments are undoubtedly some of the most beautiful of our travels.