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“Boy, was this a mistake!!”

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Solwood Healing Arts Retreat & Spa
Ranked #38 of 41 Tofino B&B and Inns
Central Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Boy, was this a mistake!!”
Reviewed August 10, 2009

I must have been asleep when I consulted Tripadvisor about this place. If I had read the recent reviews I NEVER would have booked it. There is virtually nothing positive to say about Solwood, except its location is pretty much as advertised. This is NO RETREAT/SPA. It felt more like a glorified campsite. There was no one to greet us, check us in or check in with us. We stayed in the Forest Den. It was dank and musty. No soap in the bathroom. No instructions on turning on the heat. (It was 55 degrees and damp). Not enough towels. (Didn't matter. We didn't want to use the dirty bathroom.) We stayed one night and left. (Have no idea whether we will get our money back as we have had no correspondence from owner). The Forest Den does not come with breakfast, but I had made arrangements to join the B and B guests for breakfast, confirmed in an email. They had no record of it when we arrived.

This was a complete disappointment and definitely false advertising.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank nk2008060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solwoodproperties, Owner at Solwood Healing Arts Retreat & Spa, responded to this review, January 27, 2016
My humble apologies!
Clearly this was inexcusable, and all that I can say is I am very sorry.
Certainly, this is too little too late, though I can say with confidence that such a situation will never be repeated!
Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, I have been absent from the running of business since 2007, and only this year have I taken over the management once again.
I assure you I have a 5 star cleaning team, lovely on site caretaker, and have done several renovations and upgrades to the property since your stay.
It is with full confidence that non of these issues would be repeated, and I hope that you can forget or at least forgive this terrible experience. Please contact me directly if you were not properly compensated or refunded by the management at that time.
Kind Regards,
Janine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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14 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Victoria
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2009

I've stayed at Solwood 5 times. Each time I stay there it gets worse. The first time I stayed, it was great for a large party of 8, great price. However, the lady that is regularly there is very snarky to customers. The yard area has a lot of garbage around. One time I stayed in the main house for bed and breakfast. The room was ok, breakfast was good but the kitchen is dirty. They have a lot of piled up garbage. The outdoor shower is a great feature, however it's dirty with slugs crawling all over.

The Forest Den cabin has water issues. Sometimes the water doesn't work. The shower water pressure isn't very good. Drainage in the sink is poor. There's no proper stove, just a hot plate that doesn't heat up well since the electrical outlet has issues. The place is very damp and we found a slug in the washroom!

I wouldn't recommend this place. It would be best to stay somewhere else like Crystal Cove, Heart Garden or Long Beach Lodge. I have stayed at many places in Tofino, and this place is the worst. The only great thing is that its close to the beach.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank westcoastrocks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Solwoodproperties, Owner at Solwood Healing Arts Retreat & Spa, responded to this review, January 27, 2016
Where to begin!
First of all, I am very sorry that you had such a terrible experience.
I was absent from the property between 2007-2015 and have only now taken over management once again.
All that I can say is to assure you that everything is clean and functioning properly.
I have a fantastic cleaning staff and a wonderful onsite caretaker.
There are no pluming issues and the outdoor shower has been renovated.
The kitchenettes are well equipped and adequate heating has been installed.
Since taking over, my reviews have been glowing, I am just sorry that you had to experience these inexcusable issues.
Kind Regards,
Janine
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Tofino hotels

ZRH
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2008

The other reviews from august '08 say it well. We stayed the first 3 days of august. Don't let the website and price (high) fool you. This is no B&B. And the owner doesn't live there, she lives in Ucluelet 30 miles away.
The 'kids' who run it are just recruits looking for a room and board. We got very lucky in that our hosts happened to speak english and could actually put a breakfast together. They (a different one works everyday) were very honest about their job there and were very surprized they weren't asked if they could speak english and cook when applying for the job from their home country. Germany in our case. But I think we got lucky.
Secondly, we stayed in the cathedral room. No shower. Carpeted bathroom is pretty rough. Towels smelled moldy. Even the fresh ones. The whole room was kind of clean. The pics on the website are probably from 10 years ago. The layout is all correct but the condition is way off.
Those cool little cottages you see on the website are crammed into a normal size frontyard. They don't look so cozy when you're standing outside. I was glad we booked the cathedral room. Except you don't know that there are 2 other TINY rooms they rent out in the house. Closet like things. So, its not just you and your host for breakfast. In our case they had families of 4 in both rooms. We were lucky the families were nice people and equally as disappointed as us. Except I think they only paid $100 for their closets per day. Our cost of $270/night was just wrong.
The good part is it's really just across the street from the beach. Yes you do have to walk down a path and across some driftwood at the beach edge but it's maybe 2-3 min. there. Did I mention you may not have a parking place? Seems everytime we came back we had to park somewhere else. Oh and forget about that Spa, Workshop, Healing arts stuff. The handwritten note to contact Natasha for a massage was it. Natasha is one of the kids there BTW. I sure hope the rest of the B&B's there are really B&B's but this one is NOT.

Stayed August 2008
Helpful?
3 Thank ms_childers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnaby, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 14, 2008

We never actually got to stay in this location.

We called Solwood and booked our stay on Tuesday for our weekend getaway.

In the morning of our departure date, one lady called us and told us they overbooked us! Besides overbooking, they even got the wrong date!

So I guess I should consider myself lucky, cause if they never overbooked us, we would not have a place to stay anyway.

Solwood did find us an alternative accommodation, but at a higher price with no kitchenette at this new location.

  • Liked — I don't know. I never got to stay there.
  • Disliked — The fact that they over booked us while we booked this place three days before.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tpalice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BC
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2008

This was our first experience with Tofino and dont get us wrong, Tofino is a very beautiful place. We tried to select an accomodation that would give our family, that has two young girls and a dog a memorable trip. We chose the Forest cottage with the seperate loft. It will be memorable, only not in a good way. We arrived to a note on the door that said this one is yours, and no workers in sight. The cabin smelled really bad and I do understand there is a wood burning fireplace, however it smelled like the place had a campfire in progress. The cleanliness of the entire cabin was not suitable for anybody and I had to clean the bathroom before anyone used it. Which I had to do with no towels. The next day I asked a girl that was drinking wine and painting her nails, if anybody worked here and it was her! I had to ask for towels, and soap. The staff jumped on my request but this stuff should have been done before we got there. The loft is not as good as it looks on the website. The stairs to get up are very steep and the drift wood handrail are not functional so I constantly worried about the kids falling down. The kitchenette is a bar fridge and a hot plate with an electric kettle. You will need the kettle because 2 out of the 3 days that I was there, we had no hot water. The so called spa retreat is a piece of folded cardboard that someone has handwritten "call and ask for Natasha if you want a massage"! Incase you haven't noticed we were very dissapointed in our "retreat". We had the opportunity to see other places while we were in Tofino as we were there for a wedding and friends stayed elsewhere. The price to stay where we did was way overpriced for the value. In some cases it was more than friends that stayed on the beach. The beach access across the road from us was a huge climb over 40 feet of logs. We didn't bother because I didn't want any broken bones on top of this nightmare. We were lucky that we got to spend our time at friends accomodations and the most beautiful wedding I had ever been to. We never did meet the owner who we were waiting for because apparently they show up on Wednesdays. We didn't think it would be useful to talk to the young staff that seem to be just there for free room and board.

  • Liked — Some of the decor.
  • Disliked — The fact that they market this place as a rustic spa get away.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank famlee-travler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norfolk
2 reviews
Reviewed August 8, 2007

I booked this room (The Cathedral room) as I wanted our visit to Tofino to be the high spot of our trip to Vancouver & the island. The room was very expensive but looked something special on the website. In fact it WAS spectacular, but not comfortable. No shower (OK it has got a powertub, but I like a shower). Bed not comfortable. No comfortable seating, although there is acres of space. No chest of drawers.

Worst of all was the service, which is provided by surf dogs in exchange for a bed - in other words non-existant. We felt as if we were intruding on a private party - which we probably were. One morning we had no breakfast as the lad making it had no clue about what to do.

If you are looking for a laid back stay and are about 20, this may be the place for you - but it is not the 5* accomodation which we paid for. Just writing to the owners......

  • Liked — Close to Chesterman beach
  • Disliked — service
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NorfolkBert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2007

If you want a flashback to the past, this is the place. A true hippy gem. We stayed in the Solwood cabin for $150/ night as we came during the week. Loved the driftwood/wood decor, and cedar shingles, Cottage style dishes, surrounding trees. The best part were the skylights above the loft bed, and watching the stars. And, it was very quiet at night. Didn't like the resident cat, which was left inside, and was very cute, but left fuzzy black cat hair all over the duvet. It was very nice being so close to the beach, but we got the impression when booking that it was on the beach. We were anticipating the hot stone massage, but when we arrived, nothing was ever mentioned to us about it (but we should have asked). The owners were very nice, but the staff were a bit standoffish. Note: the breakfast is homemade muffins and waffles, don't expect eggs. Tthe neighbouring b& b's were a little overzealous with the leafblower/chainsaw/ around dinner time, so it would have been better to have eaten out. I have been to Tofino several times over 8 years, and I would recommend this to someone surfing/with pets, and as a romantic hippy getaway.

  • Liked — Cottage decor & skylights
  • Disliked — Cat hair and standoffish staff
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank espressoqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Solwood Healing Arts Retreat & Spa

Property: Solwood Healing Arts Retreat & Spa
Address: 1298 Lynn Road, Tofino, British Columbia V0R 2Z0, Canada
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Vancouver Island > Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District > Clayoquot Sound > Tofino
Hotel Style:
Ranked #38 of 41 B&Bs / Inns in Tofino
Number of rooms: 17

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