I was so disappointed after reading a good review here of this place. I was in transit 7 hours from Vancouver in the rain to get there and was in desperate need of a washroom.
I got to the door and knocked and there was no answer although I had called ahead so the owner was expecting me. Standing in the rain I got a good look at the place and saw all the junk strewn about the house - certainly not what looked like the home of someone who cares about our planet and lives close to nature. I finally had to call on my cell phone and when I got the owner again he asked in a harsh tone, who I was. I explained I was the person who had booked his cabin, that I was at his door, and if he could please answer it.
He came out from the upstairs porch via the glass doors. We got to the cabin around the back and at first look, it seemed warm and inviting (same as the internet pictures indicate). He asked a lot of questions as to whether I’d even been to Tofino, where I was from and where I worked, etc. I was anxious to use the washroom so I was hopeful it would not take too long.
He finally left and I took a quick look around and thought the place was quite cute. I went to use the washroom but noticed there were no window coverings in the bathroom although it faces the neighbour’s house where they have a window directly looking into the bathroom! I was surprised and looked for a towel to hang up for some privacy but there was nothing to hang it on. I went into the living room and noticed there is not a curtain or window covering in the entire place! I had to take the couch pillows and stack them in the window. I figured I would make do with the situation as I'd had a long journey and just wanted to rest on my vacation. When I went to go out and lock the door, I noticed there was no door lock other than the little push in style that anyone with a knitting needle can open from the outside hole and there were elastic bands all around the inside to prevent someone from locking it. I was alarmed as I realized he'd not given me a key to the place and now I was unable to lock it. Night was settling in and I still had to drive to town to get cash, as he didn't take Visa.
I was surprised when I came to the glass doors to see he and his son were living in what appeared to be squalor. He had shirts hanging in the window on a rod and the place was a mess. He was sleeping on the couch after just having told me he would be up all night as he had missed the deadline to get the "Tofino Times" magazine published on time. His son was surprised and quickly stirred his father who got up and had a sour look on his face. I apologized for disturbing him and asked for the key to which he angrily replied, "There is no key! Didn't you say you've been to Tofino before!?? Where are you from again?"
This upset me as it was as if he was trying to shame me into accepting that this place that cost $135 a night didn't have a lock and was somehow an unreasonable request based on that I don't know Tofino or I must be from some place that doesn't get it. I was born and bred in Vancouver and lived there over thirty years and I have been visiting Tofino every year for at least a decade. Not that I find any of this relevant however I thought it was rich coming from this person from Africa, not even from my country yet talking down to me as though something was wrong with me. By the way, he was a white person from Africa, not black... and he was rather snobby for someone living in such poor conditions. I insisted I could not stay and that it was irrelevant where I am from and that yes, I had visited Tofino often to which he replied, "well haven't you noticed that no one locks anything around here?" to which I replied no, that I had not.
He stormed off angrily saying that he'd try to find one and made sure to let me know that I was the only person who required one in nine years and left me standing outside in the pouring rain to wait for him. Now that is what I call customer service!
It was at the point he came out with a key and said he'd try it to see if it works... that I decided I had made the wrong choice and that this certainly wasn't a place I felt welcome or safe at. I went to leave and at that point, someone else had come in the driveway and parked directly behind me, blocking me in. I went to find him and asked politely if he could move his vehicle and he snapped back at me, "Ya, can you give me a minute??!" I agreed and went to my car and started making calls on my cell phone for new accommodations.
Thankfully, there was availability in town. Once the van finally moved, I went to pull out and at that moment, the owner at my window asking me what I was doing. I told him I can't do it, I can't stay and that the whole experience was rather traumatizing to which he replied, "Yes, it was traumatizing." I tried to explain that I meant no offence but that I couldn't believe the way he spoke to me and that having a key to the place would be such a big deal... and I drove away feeling so thankful to be as far away from there as I could. It was a horrible experience and I would strongly warn anyone from thinking of staying there, to not stay there. This is not a gem in the woods with an owner like that. I travel a lot and have stayed in all kinds of places such as a shack with no running water/electricity and I have also stayed in world class resorts and never in my life have I been treated so poorly at an accommodation as I was that day. Be forewarned – stay away or you will be disappointed.