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Tigh-Na-Mara Resort
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Reviews (2,402)
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All reviewsmineral poolgrotto spatapascedars restaurantthe cedar roomspa treatmentsmurphy bedlog cabinjetted tubget awaycouples massagegirls weekendocean viewgas fireplacevancouver islandbeautiful locationfull kitchen
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2,016 - 2,021 of 2,403 reviews
Reviewed October 25, 2012

This resort is a great place to visit on Vancouver Island, especially since we live on the Island! It's beautiful, rugged but well kept grounds are very inviting and right on the ocean. The spa is excellent, we have been once before and the staff are very professional and make you feel welcome. The mineral pool is relaxing and the waiting area is the best I've been to. We had one little glitch in our overnight stay and that was rectified. Staying one night and having 1 spa treatment each was a little pricey but it was a treat for my daughter and I.
If the staff prove they care about your experience, you know they are top notch, and people will come back! We will definitely return.

Room Tip: Be specific where you want your view to be, ocean or trees. Near the spa is very quiet. It's all good though!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank janinereal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

My husband and I spent last weekend at this wonderful resort and it was beautiful.

Check In:
Went very smoothly, Staff were extremely friendly and due to a large convention we were provided with a complimentary upgrade to an Ocean View Suite.

The Room:
Was very spacious and had all the ameneties including full kitchen, large deck facing the ocean, and large soaker tub with jets. The bed was extremely comfortable and the pillows were exceptional.

The Resort:
Great setting with lots of trees with easy Beach access. There was a large communal firepit plus several smaller ones along the beach for guests use. This resort is definately pet friendly as we saw lots of guests out walking dogs. Pool house with hot tub, had great hours 7am to 12am. Several options for dining, with varying menus.

The Spa & Tree Top Tapas:
We utilized the Mineral Pool and Spa services and had a great time. The highlight of the trip was going to the Tree Top Tapas, so worth the $49 per person for unlimited Tapas, we spent 2 hours there and we were too full to try all the options they have available. Our Server was very friendly and extremely professional.

Overall:
I would definately would return to this resort as a family or on another couples getaway. My only criticism would be that our room must not have been used for awhile as there were cob webs on the fireplace and on a couple of the light fixture when we arrived but were cleaned the next day.

Room Tip: Go to the Tree Top Tapas Restaurant for Amazing Experience!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank We-Love-The-Ocean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We have an annual conference at Tigh-Na-Mara for about 100-110 people in October. The location makes you feel like you are getting away from it all. Practically, you are a 40-45 minutes drive north of Nanaimo, the nearest city. Nearest ferry terminal from the Mainland is the Horseshoe Bay (West Vancouver) to Departure Bay run (1 hour, 45 minutes, about $70 for car and driver each way). You could also use the Duke Point terminal further to the south which leaves from Tswassen, closer to the US-Canada border, about an hour south of downtown Vancouver. Parksville is small but has everything you'd need. Qualicum (another 15 minutes north) is more quaint with nicer shops.

At the resort, the hotel's buffets are appetizing, good quality and reasonably varied. Brunch includes some great seafood and a children's dessert area (fun!). The cons: the large meeting room (Walbrun Room) is either freezing or too hot, the sound system is not great, there's practically no room service (you could order pizza) and the hotel rooms are dark (even on the ocean) with average to poor quality finishings. It's a bit of a mixed bag -- the beds and bedding are good. Drapery and blinds are ok. The kitchenettes (in some rooms) are pretty low rent in terms of finishings and dishware. Some rooms have ordinary hotel bathrooms. Some have large jetted tubs. All of them seem to have inexpensive melamine cabinetry and arborite counters with industrial carpet and tiles. The one picture (print) hanging in my room was screwed through the frame to the log cabin style wall. Classy!

The Spa (The Grotto) is across the street from the main complex (5-10 minute walk through a parking lot). A number of the rooms are styled as "spa bungalows" -- really small cabins with three or so self-contained units in each. Most rooms also have a murphy (pull-down) bed so you could double bunk if you wanted to. The spa is good but not great. There is decent if uninspired tapas available at the spa as well as a mineral pool (about to undergo renovations in January 2013 apparently).

The serving staff are pleasant and looked after our group very well. The front desk staff are a bit on the indifferent side in terms of temperment. They do not seem to have the "service" and "welcoming / hospitality" orientation I typically see at this sort of property. The spa attendants manage a bit better on this front.

In terms of what's nearby -- check the tide tables to see when low tide is if you can -- and go north a bit to Rathtrevor Provincial Park. Fantastic smooth sand and the tide goes out for miles -- great walking and birding. This is the east (protected) side of Vancouver Island so the beach is fantastic and the views are of the straight. Nearby, Little Englishman River Falls is also a nice place for an easy hike. There is the North Island Recovery Centre where they rehabilitate eagles and other wildlife -- pretty amazing. And nearby Coombs (off the Alberni Highway) is seasonal but has a great market (in the summer, the goats live on the roof), pottery, etc. There is also a great jewellery store / gallery of First Nations (Aboriginal) art across the street from Coombs market.

Tigh-Na-Mara is supposed to be one of the better resorts in this area. For the money, I'd rather go another hour north to the Kingfisher, Resort & Spa, just south of Courtney on Gartley Bay but they don't have the conference facilities!

Room Tip: Top floor (3rd) in ocean front buildings probably the best in terms of quiet with maximum view / light. Spa cabins are in a wooded area, rooms in "Amelia" and "Bowen" are too close to the road for my liking.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

I went to Tigh-Na-Mara as a guest of a friend who was given a voucher for 2 as a gift for the hotel and spa there. The location is magical, in the midst of woods with gigantic, lush, evergreen forests, next to the ocean. The air was fresh, and it truly was a getaway where one could forget the stresses of everyday existence elsewhere. Outside was quiet, as we went in the off-season; and though it rained as a fine mist, it was all part of the experience. The room was comfy and more than we needed, with a kitchenette and fireplace. The food in the restaurant at the front was alright, but service was very slow there (though staff were friendly). The spa was out of this world, as we enjoyed the mineral pool immensely; and the hot tub next to it was wonderful. The grotto setting is very classy and makes one feel at home in the surrounding woods, as if living the life of the rich and famous. I had an absolutely wonderful massage in the spa (best one in my life), and then bought a few of their products, which were reasonably priced for the most part. The Tree-Top Tapas restaurant there served the best food I have ever had in my life, and customers go upstairs to sit in comfy wooden chairs while wearing their bath robes from the spa. Really different and relaxing! Our waiter was exceptional and knew all the ingredients of each dish that he one by one brought to the wooden table on small plates that held little works of art and health. All the dishes featured wonderful mixtures of healthy ingredients, and each one surpassed the previous one in flavour with interesting greens, wonderful cheeses, and light textures of anti-oxidants. When the chef (Benjamin) introduced himself quietly at the end of the meal, I told him that this was the most delicious meal I'd ever eaten in my life (and it was true). I can hardly wait to go back!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Cheri K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2012

If the actual resort looked half as good as the image portrayed by the website, it might not be half bad here. But it isn't... What a lack of charm. I would say that the decor is out of date, but there isn't any. Not one picture of decoration to be found anywhere. What is out of date is every other thing in the room. The bedroom is dark and crowded. The ocean view is lousy at best. If you want to see overgrown weeds and trees with an minuscule ocean backdrop, you're in luck. Don't waste your time or money. There are numerous spots in the area with offer more personality and character for far less money. I sincerely hope no one else comes here with high expectations and leaves as disappointed as my wife and I did. Happy travels.

Room Tip: Try the captain's inn in qualicum beach. Anywhere but here.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Adam H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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