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“At one with Nature” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre

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Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre
41040 Gold River Highway | P.O. Box 2160, Campbell River, British Columbia V9W 5C5, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“At one with Nature”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2010

A delightful respite in one of the lodges for 3 nights. Beautiful area, very tranquil. did a great hike up to Colonel Foster on the Elkhorn trail. Superb flowers at Buttle Lake and Lupin Falls. Also great canoe session on the lake.
Good food and very reasonably priced food in the dining room.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    24
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Lausanne, Switzerland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

Great variaty of organic healthy and tasty food.

Wide choice of outdoor adventure activities in a magnificient prestine setting.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2009

My husband researched, planned and organised our holiday to Vancouver Island, and after reading the reviews of Strathcona Park Lodge, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
We had a cabin on the edge of the property, on the shore of Upper Campbell Lake. The cabin was obviously not new, but had its own rustic charm. The compact bathroom was quite adequate, opening off an open plan bedroom that was on a bit of a mezzanine from the main living area. The mattress was on a ledge, at the same level as windows that gave a fantastic view of trees and the lake - almost like sleeping outside!

The living area was heated by a free-standing wood heater, with a plentiful supply of firewood. I gather that there was some electric heating as well, but we didn't bother with it. We only used the wood heater on the first three nights of our 10 day stay, because of cloudy/wet/cool conditions, and it heated the cabin beautifully. For the rest of our stay we had fantastic summer weather, and didn't need any heating.

The view from the front of the cabin, overlooking the lake, was fantastic.

The only drawback was that the kitchen was just a little bit too compact - there was a stove and a sink, but no bench space for preparing food, so our culinary activities were a bit curtailed.

We didn't dine in the Whale Room, which offered buffet breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We preferred to have our own simple breakfasts in our cabin (and the limited kitchen space was fine for that), and we packed our own lunches each day. We also found the timing of the dinner in the Whale Room too inconvenient (5.30 to 7.00) - much too early. There was, however, another dining room on site, the Canoe Club, with a quite adequate menu and very friendly service.

The location of the Lodge was wonderful - we spent our days either exploring trails within the lodge property, canoeing on the lake, swimming, or venturing into the adjacent Strathcona Park to explore the vast number of easily accessible trails. (I think my favourite was the day walk to Bedwell Lake, with fantastic views of permanent snow on Big Interior Mountain)

We found the level of service quite acceptable - not intrusive, but adequate. The rooms were serviced every second or third day, with new towels etc, and the staff at the resort, mostly young, and from a range of different countries as well as local canadians, were polite, hospitable and friendly.

I would recommend the Lodge for anyone who wanted a relaxed holiday with a focus on nature and physical activities (walking, swimming etc), rather than a high end luxury resort. On balance, one of the most enjoyable and relaxing holidays I have had.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2007

We stayed in the lodge in one of the rooms on the top floor. There was a lovely view of Upper Campbell Lake with a small balcony out front.

There was a comfortable sofa and sitting chairs in a living area. It was all very comfortable (especially the beds after a week camping)

Food is available in a dining room with a self serve buffet.

We also rented a motor boat for 2 hours to go around the lake.

The lodge offers various day events (particularly for kids) - learning ropes, climbing techniques, kayaking etc. We didn't try those activities this time but did one of their adventure trips.

Enjoyed it immensely

One caution - the lodge is out of cell phone range and there is no regular telephone service. The lodge has a satellite phone but it is expensive to use. Make any phone calls before you get to the valley or go into Gold River to make any phone calls

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
British Columbia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2007

i dont know why some people say that this place sucked. it rocked! the food was great, the cabins were good, overall everything rocked!

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2007

I just got back from SPL and was dissappointed. I heard good things from people who went years ago. The food was terrible and the room service was non-existent.

For $21, you get a buffet dinner. The word "BUFFET" has a different meaning here. They limit you on certain items. The pita NAZI would only let you take one. They consider a pile of lettuce "salad" and they confuse mutten for lamb. It is the worst food I have had since my travelles in 3rd world countries (but they cost $2). They also expect you to clean off your plate, put away your dishes and then tip! BRING YOUR OWN FOOD IF YOU MUST GO!!!!!!!

The cabin cost $169/night and was a dump. There was rat poison out and also a trap set. The place had not been renovated in the last 25 years. We stayed for 3 days and the room service never showed up! The garbage became smelly, sheets and towels were never changed. THe mattress was absolute junk. If I am paying $80/night I expect very little. AT $169 it is a rip off.

We thought maybe we were just having bad luck at SPL, but we met people who were also from Vancouver Island. They were just as upset with the food and lodging. The only thing I will give credit to is the very nice staff (They seem to agree with our issues but keep it quiet).

Their advertising is slick and very professional but don't be fooled. They will take your money and provide very little in return.

Vancouver Island is a beautiful place to go. Don't waste your experience at SPL. Go to Tofino or Victoria.

  • Liked — Beer STore
  • Disliked — Food
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
acclarke, General Manager at Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre, responded to this review, July 7, 2010
Let me tell you a little about our food. We no longer use the term 'buffet' for our meals - discontinued a few years ago as it tends to conjure the idea of eating to excess and waste, which is not consistent with our philosophy. The food served at our 'Chef's Table' varies by what is available week to week from our local farms. However some things haven't changed here in our 50 history - all of our ingredients are natural and preservative free and prepared fresh on site. Our typical dinner includes several salads, house made bread, meat or fish entree with appropriate starch and hot vegetables, house made dessert, organic coffee and teas. Plenty of healthful and delicious food choices. Inclusive price for adults is $25.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
La Jolla, CA
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2007

With a 5 day program, 3 activities a day, and a marvelous instructor,
we picked a winner when we booked this grandparent-grandchild vacation through elderhostel intergenerational programs. Our two grandsons, age 11, and 12, rappelled, high roped, zip lined, kayaked, canoed, and learned wilderness skills at this lodge.
Our instructor encouraged us to do many of the things which the children did, so we took part in activities which we have never done before. The food was delicious, healthy, and well prepared. The positive attitude of the staff was helpful. The owner, who originally started these educational programs, and built the lodge on beautiful Upper Campbell lake on Vancouver Island was present and oversees the lodge, so there is a definite pride of ownership. There are many programs to choose from, including camping and marine programs off site. I would highly recommend active families, or like us, active grandparents, to check into this resort. What a treat it was to bond on a one to one basis with our grandchildren.
The apartments and rooms are rustic, clean and very varied in their space. We had a 3 bedroom apartment.
Have to add that even without kids, this is a peaceful resort on 160 acres of wooded land.

  • Liked — Spaciousness
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre

Address: 41040 Gold River Highway | P.O. Box 2160, Campbell River, British Columbia V9W 5C5, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Campbell River
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Campbell River
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
At Strathcona Park Lodge, on the edge of the vast wilderness of Strathcona Park, the possibilities for breathing in the restorative powers of nature are as many as the adventure options. Overlooking the shores of Upper Campbell Lake and a procession of snow-capped peaks, our accommodations consist of an eclectic collection of log and timber-framed chalets and waterfront cottages, with no television, cell phone or internet access from the rooms to disturb the natural tranquility. The accommodations of Strathcona Park Lodge consist of a collection of log and timber-framed chalets and waterfront cottages overlooking the shores of Upper Campbell Lake and snow-capped peaks. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Strathcona Park Lodge And Outdoor Education Centre
Strathcona Park Lodge & Outdoor Education Centre Hotel Campbell River

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