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“A wonderful location, but service needs to be sharper”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Middle Beach Lodge

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Middle Beach Lodge
Ranked #6 of 16 Hotels in Tofino
Certificate of Excellence
St. Albans, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
93 reviews
82 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“A wonderful location, but service needs to be sharper”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is a lovely place as many reviewers have pointed out. We stayed in room 30, one of the "Headlands Suites" in the "Lodge on the Headlands" (one of the two main lodges). This was large, very comfortable room, with great views out to sea, and over MacKenzie Beach, and with a balcony shaded by pines. Middle Beach, to the other side of the headland, is few minutes walk away, and effectively private, with access only through the hotel grounds.

The main lounge in the Lodge on the Headlands is exceptional, being really comfortable and relaxing, and again with great views. The continental breakfast is served in the adjacent dining room: the quality of the breakfast is good, but the choice is quite limited. We opted for dinner in the Lodge on two evenings: as they make quite clear, this a set meal with no choice (unless arranged beforehand). The fish on both occasions, particularly the salmon, was very good.

However, Middle Beach has a significant flaw (at least when we were there in late July): the service. The place seems to be run with the minimum number of staff, and, while superficially friendly, they appeared inexperienced and uncommited. There are lots of signs of this: dealing with my booking on the phone was a bit amateur, our room was never refreshed until about 5pm each day, the breakfast seems planned on the basis of minimal preparation, and those on reception did not seem very interested in guests (for example, nobody asked whether we enjoyed our stay or whether they could help). There was no sign of anybody being firmly in charge. In a chain hotel, these factors wouldn't be surprising, but give the prices here,it is disappointing.

Notwithstanding the service, all the great features of the hotel mean I've still given it a 'very good' overall rating.

Room Tip: Room 30 (see above) is an excellent, but expensive, room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Verulam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (245)
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2013

This was my second visit to Middle Beach Lodge. I returned because the place is very cozy and the location simply cannot be beat. If you're after the West Coast ruggedness and want to see the ocean, this is a great choice.

I had booked at the end of March for a stay at the end of July and could not get four nights in the same room, so opted to move inbetween. One thing to note and which I noticed both last year and this year, is that this place is tough to get into. I don't know how early people book, but even months in advance it's a challenge to get something for more than a night or two.

I spent the first three nights in an upper end unit at the Sixplex and these continue to be my favourite ones. I was pleased to see that some simple renovations had been done since last summer: the kitchenette appliances were replaces (no more white old combo unit, now there's a stainless steel fridge/freezer, microwave, and cooktop). I think last year there wasn't even a microwave. The kitchen counter is also wood now, which is much easier to clean and work on than the thick, uneven white tiles (which you still find in the washrooms). I throughly enjoyed this unit, and any unit from the simplex has wonderful views of the ocean. I spent evenings just sitting on the couch and enjoying. In the bedroom I kept the window open to hear the ocean. It was bliss. They use Comphy linens, which were the sofest I have ever slept in in my life.

For my final night I moved into a triplex, which is what first drew me to Middle Beach Lodge last year. I didn't get one then, but managed to get one night in one this time. The outsides are very nice and I liked the huge wrap-around balconies with views of the ocean (lower floor units only). However, in the end I was glad to only have one night in a triplex for I found that the units were older than the simplex and just felt a little more run down. As a female traveling solo, I also preferred that the sixplex balconies are fully enclosed on the backs of the units, whereas on the triplexes you just walk right on from the parking lot. I didn't leave the windows open there during the day with all my belongings (mostly laptop and extra camera gear) inside, but did so while staying in the sixplex.

The common areas can't be beat. There's a large variety of seating choices, so go for a couch, chairs, Adirondack chairs on the verandah, or whatever your heart desires. As I was there to just relax and unwind, I spent my mornings sitting in the lounge at the Headlands Lodge. Views simply can't be beat, and you can help yourself to drinks (coffee, hot chocolate, teas, and water) when you're there. Wonderful place!

So, why not a five star rating? There are a few minor shortfalls that just stood out as some 'annoyances'. Nothing that would keep me from going back, but things that just didn't have me overly excited:

- WiFi - As everyone seems to note, this continues to be an issue, especially the further you are from the main building. Access cuts in and out. It seems to have been better than last year, but still not seamless.
- Friendliness/booking - I don't need someone to wait on me or to remember my name, but there were a few basic things I wasn't impressed with. When booking, I'd ask about room options so that I could stay four nights. The first three times I called I was simply told nothing was available. Staff didn't seem interested in checking options when willing to move rooms. Only on my fourth try did I reach someone who seemed more helpful and was willing to actually look things up. Also, whenever I stay here, I get the impression that they have some preferred clientele, but can't figure it out exactly. It reminds me of Lake O'Hara Lodge where unless you're a repeat customer, you really can't get in. Not sure if they're looking for executives only, but it felt that way. Still, I just put that aside and enjoyed the place.
- Breakfasts - The cinnamon buns and croissants are great and I'd have one of each every day. However, if you're trying to eat healthier, selections are severely limited. I'm technically not supposed to eat gluten or much sugar, so that basically left the hard-boiled eggs otherwise. it just gets a little repetitive if you're there longer than a couple of nights.
- Front desk service - While there, I got an urgent fax that had to be signed and faxed back. I took it to the front desk asking if they could fax it for me, was assured they'd send it right away, but found out a couple of hours later that it still wasn't sent. I went back to follow up and a different lady was very helpful in re-sending it. Turns out the first one didn't dial 1 in front of the area code, so if you ever need anything faxed, make sure you tell them to dial 1 for anything long distance in Canada or the US.
- Cleaning - Corners could use some work. When I moved into the triplex, one bed was not made, there was a tomato on the floor, and a half-finished coffee cup on the window sill. I understand things can get overlooked, but whether I stayed in the triplex or simplex this time, or the sixplex or room at Lodge at the Beach last summer, there were always a few such items.

On a positive note, when I entered my room the first night I was greeted with a complimentary bottle of red wine for coming back, which was a nice gesture ... and I enjoyed it sitting by the stove.

Lovely place, and I will definitely go back when I return to Tofino.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 478BarbaraB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

There are so many positives about this place: the location is stunning and the private beach means it's quiet even in peak season, the communal lounges are beautiful and relaxing, the endless free tea/coffee and evening cookies are a great touch and the self service laundry room is useful and cheap. Breakfast is ok, however as someone that doesn't eat wheat or sugar, the dominance of muffins, pastries, croissants and bread/cereals left me little to choose from.

The main problem was our room. We were booked into a ground floor forest view as this was the best value, but on entering we were hit by an overwhelming smell of damp. Our travel agent had also messed up and so we had been given a twin room instead of a double. I raised the concerns, emphasising this was our honeymoon, and eventually we were offered a room swap for one night with a gentleman who needed a twin room but had been given a double. Thanks to the kindness of this chap and his son, we were upgraded to a lodge on the headland, which was beautiful, spacious, clean and had the most comfortable bed! I'm not convinced this would have been offered to us otherwise though. However, the hotel did arrange for us to have a double room for the following 2 nights, just down the corridor from our original one. Although much better than the first, this still smelt damp and we had to keep the extractor fan running constantly. The room was also very small with nowhere to keep suitcases.

Additionally, with the exception of Christina on reception who helped us to change rooms, we did not find the staff very hospitable when compared to other places we've stayed in Canada.

To sum up, the communal spaces and location are beautiful. However, our advice would be to book into a more expensive room/lodge if your budget can stretch to it, otherwise you may be disappointed.

Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Lee27Bristol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013

This is a nice hotel with a well thought out guest proposition i.e. "You are on holiday - so relax". The environmmnent is lovely and the location great. Its very peaceful but don't expect big hotel features. The rooms are tiny, the plumbing basic, there is nowhere to hang clothes other than pegs on the wall and the wi-fi intermittent at best. On the upside there is a very nice breakfast, the view over the beach is spectacular (weather permitting) and the common rooms are lovely (I actually dozed off over tea one afternoon, very unusual for me). I had to be in touch with the UK each morning and the wi-fi didnt work in the room, so I had to break into the the lounge in the mornings (there is a "secret" way in, ask them how, they'll explain) to do my emails. There ar lots of nice touches, I liked the free Sou Westers and wellies (tells you something abut the weather they expect). If you do go to Tofino don't miss a walk along Long Beach. And the drive to get there is spectacular.

Room Tip: There are two main locations, stay in the Headlands Lodge if you can, its much nicer and its Worth s...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank perryburns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
53 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2013 via mobile

Exceeded expectations. The rooms are so comfortable with the sound of the ocean through our windows. Views are amazing as we are on a point. You can relax and/or mingle in the lounge. Meals were perfect, we had dinner in all three nights the seafood truly fresh. Breakfasts simple to get you started. All staff friendly especially Mary on the desk and the bartender (Jason?). We will be back

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank FerrisToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
50 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 10, 2013

Middle Beach Lodge is a beautiful property, between two beaches, with views of the ocean and coastal trees. Our families spent almost a week here and enjoyed the beautiful area. The breakfast buffet in the lodge was generous and delicious. The problem was a lack of housekeeping and upkeep. The railings in all of our accommodations were unsafe, needing tightening due to quite a bit of movement when leaned against. We had several young children and it was awful how filthy the cabin was when toys went under the furniture. Cobwebs everywhere, etc. Obviously the housecleaning staff was not even trying. In all the time we were there, five days, no one cleaned our cabin. Supposed to change the sheets every third day, yet none of the sheets were changed. We had to ask for toilet paper and towels. For the price we were disappointed with the dirt and lack of basic housekeeping. Lovely spot though and the beds were comfortable. So if the housekeeping can improve, and some basic repairs done, this would be a first class resort.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joni R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Middle Beach Lodge

Property: Middle Beach Lodge
Address: 400 MacKenzie Beach Road | PO Box 100, Tofino, British Columbia V0R 2Z0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Clayoquot Sound > Tofino
Amenities:
Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Tofino
#7 Family Hotel in Tofino
#8 Romantic Hotel in Tofino
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Middle Beach Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 64
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Also Known As:
Middle Beach Hotel Tofino
Middle Beach Lodge Vancouver Island

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