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“Absolutely fabulous!”

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Wickaninnish Inn and The Pointe Restaurant
Ranked #3 of 16 Hotels in Tofino
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed September 5, 2007

The Wickaninnish offered an incredible stay. We had a double room with fireplace and spectacular view to the ocean, and then on deciding to prolong our stay booked into a suite, which was simply divine. The inn is an understated luxury experience which does not need gimmicks to impress - sheer solid quality is what its all about; plus of course the wonderful location. Too often 'boutique' hotels seem to get away with tiny rooms and haughty poor service - none of that here - everything was perfect.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MDSLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,198 - 1,204 of 1,370 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2007

Well, I was expecting great things of this hotel and it was chosen as a great place to relax at the end of a rather busy holiday schedule. Not a cheap option as we were travelling with our four children and took three rooms (one of which was room 209 - a premier room). In total we were spending nearly $2000 dollars a night!

First the positives - room 209 is quite breathtaking in terms of its view and position. Right on the corner of the main building with huge windows all round and stunning views over the Pacific Ocean. The double soaker tub was a real treat too! The other two rooms were very comfortable and had nice views. All the rooms had private balconies. Chesterman Beach is just lovely - a long sweep of golden sand, clean and idyllic. When you arrive you are given an envelope with vouchers for free cycle hire, free drinks in the Driftwood Lounge and free yoga lessons.

So far, so good. Now the downside (and please understand that this is our experience and may be different for others but....) the six of us had a meal in the lounge the night we got there and breakfast next morning in the restaurant. At both meals we felt the service was "OK" but nothing to write home about at those prices. Therefore we left a tip of around 10 to 12%. (Also please note that we tip generously when we feel it is warranted). As we arrived at breakfast the second morning, a young waitress came to us, very red and obviously embarrassed, and told us that the hotel has a policy of adding 15% service charge on its bills for parties of 6 or more. As we had already had two meals there with no mention of this, we felt this was the restaurant manager's way of making sure we paid up! She was floating around in the background and we felt, was not desperately friendly to us. When the bill finally came, the gratuity amount had been hand-written in in biro and had actually come to 20%! Now, if a place has a policy on gratuities, it generally has a button on the till that it can press to calculate it automatically. Therefore this, I believe, was a "try-on". My husband sent it back and we paid the 15% but cancelled breakfast there the following morning and also a dinner that the six of us had planned for the following evening.

We felt very uncomfortable whenever we came to the restaurant and this particular person was around. We felt that we were being monitored all the time and that we were found wanting. At the price we paid and for the amount of rooms we took for five nights, this should simply not have happened. Incidentally, the crab cookout on the beach was great fun and we chose to tip the waitress and chef in cash separately (yes, 15% but by choice!) and also we had one breakfast when only three of us came down where, again, we tipped more than 15% because the service was excellent. Also the massage I had in the spa with Susan was lovely and again I chose to tip her in cash.

Room cleaning was a bit hit and miss. The rooms were not left dirty by any means but things which could have been tidied up were not (empty water bottles) on occasion. Until the day that, as an experiment, I left out $10 with a note of thanks for the housekeeping department. I did not tell my husband this until afterwards so he was totally unaware of this fact as he came in later that day and remarked "this room has had a really good clean today for a change!" Hmmmm

I know we Brits have a reputation in America and Canada as being bad tippers but I can truly say that this family DOES tip well and appropriately when it is merited. The hotel handbook mentions what sort of gratuities staff might expect but does go on to say that this is by no means expected. Perhaps the person in the restaurant should take a look at that paragraph before she manages to make another family feel like lepers whenever they approach!

My husband and I ate in the Pointe restaurant on our final night to celebrate our anniversary. The food was OK, not fantastic.

By contrast, try and have a meal at the Shelter restaurant in Tofino. We ate there twice. Good cocktails, fab food and excellent and friendly service. Also went to Schooner where food was very good. They had warned us in advance about 15% gratuity for parties of six or more. However, when bill came it was 18% and the waiter muttered something about his calculator being broken! Make sure you check your bill! The seafood there was excellent however.

All in all, would we recomment the Wickaninnish? No, not really. Perhaps there is an element of resting on their laurels and a slight snootiness which I do not care for.

The sunsets, however, are FANTASTIC and free!!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled with family
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12  Thank kazpalms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 27, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Wick for 4 nights at the end of our 10 day holiday to Canada - we were not disappointed! The Wick is a great hotel which exceeded our expectations. It is located at one end of Chesterman beach and has a fantastic location. We struggled to think of anywhere else in the world where you can go whale watching, stroll along beautiful and quiet beaches, walk in the rainforest and photograph snow topped mountains, all within the immediate vicinity of the hotel. The Ancient Cedars Spa is well worth visiting - the massage I had was the best I have ever experienced! The rooms are very well appointed and the double bath, aveda products, DVDs, CDs and books were all appreciated. Contrary to some comments, we found the service to be pleasant and professional. The main downside to this hotel is the food. We ate at the Pointe Restaurant on our last night and wondered whether it trades on the views rather than the standard of the food. Whilst the food is very edible it is of no better standard than an average London restaurant and really nothing to write home about. We ate out on the other 3 nights and we would really recommend Sobo which is based in the grounds of the Botanical Gardens. The Schooner is also pretty decent. My other smallish gripe was the breakfast options at the Wick - the breakfast choices offered by the Pointe were generally expensive. The "cheaper" option is to go to the Driftwood Lounge although even here a bowl of granola is at least $10 and the muffins were usually of the less than healthy variety (i.e. chocolate chip). We found a place in Tofino called Breakers which does excellent muffins and fantastic sandwiches and is well worth a visit. The other "must do" is a whale watching trip and visit to the hot springs (we went with remote passages and found them to be very good). Overall we had a great stay at the Wick and would recommend it to anyone - we will definitely plan a return trip.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank JT1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2007

Let me precede the posting by stating that we are accustomed to nothing but exceptional service and 5 star resorts and very upscale resorts

Let me precede my posting by stating that my partner and I are accustomed to very upscale five-star resorts and I am writing this review based on our past experiences. We decided on an impromptu getaway to Tofino for a few days and booked about three weeks in advance during their busiest time of the year.

The resort itself is an image of perfection located on the best beach in Tofino. We found the staff to be extremely friendly and courteous, we checked-in in 3 hours early and our room was ready (much relief after a 3 hour drive). We were escorted by a staff member who explained all the amenities of the resort and room which was quite helpful. The room was spectacular – exactly as it should be. There was nothing ornate, gold trimmed or large crown molding – simply decorated, a very upscale cottage feeling. You are not in a glitzy Vegas hotel, this is very relaxed West Coast Tofino. Our private balcony overlooked the magnificent Pacific Ocean and Tofino beach where the warm sun pours in every morning. The large bathrooms are equipped with everything Aveda including bath salts and candles for an evening soak in your Jacuzzi overlooking the beach – think romance taken to the extreme.

The resort itself if very lovely and the Pointe restaurant is a must stop. We had dinner one evening and it really blew us away. The service exceptional, the food fantastic. The Pointe has large floor to ceiling windows and a panoramic view of the ocean and mountains so there is no bad table. Breakfast was also sublime, try it at least once during your stay.

Some nice touches included a ‘beach napsack’ complete with beach blankets, towels, bottled water and daily newspaper prepared by staff when you wanted to venture out comfortably to the beach.

We had a magical time beyond our expectations.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank vanessa83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2007

Stayed 4 nights at this beautiful hotel. The amenities, location, etc. etc. All that you would read are very true. It is a beautiful resort and they have thought of all the details to make your stay one that will be very memorable...

However...it would seem that the Wick Inn is also suffering from a marked lack of staff dedication because there was not one day that we spent at our $500/night resort (and that was NOT the most expensive kind of room by a long stretch) when we did not experience very disappointing customer service, primarily focused around the Pointe Restaurant.

The hostesses on two particular mornings spend more time trying to take reservations for dinner than even acknowledging that there are people standing in front of them waiting to be seated for breakfast. While we didn't actually mind waiting a few minutes, we DID mind several wait staff walking right past us as if we were invisible time after time after time. When the hostess finally hung up the phone or finished ignoring us, one actually asked us what our room number was...as if to imply that we shouldn't be there if we weren't guests of the hotel. When I asked her why she wanted to know, she said "we always ask". That is in fact not true, as we were not asked on any other occasion.

Now, while I usually temper my opinions on such matters to short staffing, a boom economy, young and inexperienced staff, and yes, I'm on vacation and should relax....but this was an 'exclusive' resort that caters to special occasions, high end clientele (lots of celebrities go here I'm told). Should they not also have 'the best possible staff who understand the principles of getting things right the first time instead of having to apologize for their ineffectiveness after the fact? At $500.00/night for a basic room, I would expect the hotel to have higher standards than something a little less exclusive.

I should have had an inkling that I wouldn't have my expectations met when the spa phone rang 3 times during my 60 minute 'relaxation' yoga session.

The icing on the cake came when, needing to check out early the next morning, we hung our room service breakfast menu on the door before retiring. We even phoned the front desk to let them know we had hung it out there because we were leaving early in the morning. But alas, at the time we should have gotten our breakfast, the menu was still hung on the door. We had 12 hours of driving ahead of us and a hot breakfast was the only thing we were looking for. But it was not to be. And while the hotel apologized (again) for the shoddy service, that solidified my opinion.

Lovely location, beautiful hotel, etc, etc. But we won't be back to the wickaninnish inn. Save some money and stay at the Pacific Sands. At least you can cook your own meals for when you actually want them.

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Calgary_traveller33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2007

I just returned from The Wick and while the scenery is magnificent, I found the resort to be very sterile and our room at the Point was very ordinary with limited views. The Ancient Cedars Spa was wonderful. The Point Restaurant was good but not as good as it should have been. We found dinner at the Shelter in Tofino fabulous. Next time I would stay at Long Beach Resort which seemed much warmer and cozier, with similar beach views.

Stayed: August 2007
2  Thank cecerecr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2007

The Wickaninnish offers everything you would expect for a spectacular Vancouver Island experience:
- A spectacular location overlooking 3 km of Pacific beach, with the restaurant sitting directly on the cliff and offering sights of bald eagles hunting dungeness crabs while you are enjoying great sea food.
- An architecture that from the outside is rather rustic and plain and blends in with the environment, yet at the same time has very nice and cozy rooms. (Comfortable beds, thick carpets, fire place, nice bath tubs etc.)

Many outdoor opportunities such as hiking trails, kayak tours, boat trips and the nice village of Tofino are right around the corner.

If possible try the crab bake on the beach which they do two to three times a week.

Service was o.k. but not quite as professional as you would expect.

But all in all a place to be highly recommended if you stay on the West Coast.

  • Stayed: July 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LehGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wickaninnish Inn and The Pointe Restaurant

Address: 500 Osprey Lane at Chesterman Beach, Tofino, British Columbia V0R 2Z0, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District > Clayoquot Sound > Tofino
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Tofino
#1 Family Hotel in Tofino
#2 Green Hotel in Tofino
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Tofino
Price Range: $230 - $592 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Wickaninnish Inn and The Pointe Restaurant 5*
Number of rooms: 75
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Wickaninnish Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property since 1997, overlooks the Pacific Ocean from a rocky point on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast, near the eclectic town of Tofino and Pacific Rim National Park. Two contemporary cedar buildings, set against a backdrop of ancient rainforest, boast an extensive local art collection (complemented by the neighbouring wood carving shed), and all rooms and suites offer ocean or beach views, gas fireplace, soaker tub and individual balcony. Uncompromising service, including a Clefs d’Or Concierge team, is a standard. The sole resort on Chesterman Beach, Tofino’s longest at 2.5km/1.5mi, the Inn is home to refined West Coast cuisine at The Pointe Restaurant and naturally-inspired treatments at its intimate Ancient Cedars Spa. Tofino’s McDiarmid family welcomes you to this locally owned, world renowned sanctuary offering Rustic Elegance on Nature’s Edge. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Wickaninnish Inn And The Pointe Restaurant Hotel Tofino
The Wickaninnish Hotel And Pointe

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