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February 4, 2006
From journal Vancouver Island Vignettes
by Mrs. J
February 15, 2003
The photos don't do it justice, though. You won't be able to hear the ocean waves crashing outside your many large windows. You won't be able to smell the fresh lavender buds in pottery bowls scattered around the room or feel the soft wool carpet under your toes, or hear the ocean roaring in and out of the surge channels that run right beneath your balcony, or the eagles shrieking above it. Or the wind howling if you're lucky enough to be there on a storm-watching night. You can even hear and see the powerful waves from the bathroom Jacuzzi tub that's big enough for four people.
The staff outnumber the guests, so service is amazing. We asked for quite a few different concierge services - all of them graciously provided efficiently. The first night of our stay we weren't able to book a premiere corner room and stayed in a very "basic" room. It was so wonderful that I couldn't imagine anything nicer. The next few nights were spent in one of the best rooms with windows wrapping around two walls from floor to ceiling, only broken by the fireplace. The bathroom and Jacuzzi tub were even larger than in the first room. But I'm telling you, the first room was completely awesome, as it too had floor to ceiling windows, magnificent ocean and surge channel views, fireplace, and large Jacuzzi.
As beautiful as Tofino is, I really found it hard to leave these rooms and just wanted to stay in the room and snuggle into the down duvet with the lovely foghorn blowing, the waves crashing, and the bald eagles crying right above my deck. There was a small library on the mantle and I discovered in it a great biography of a woman who lived in an even more remote section of Vancouver Island's Pacific Coast. There is no fitness center, but you can walk along the beach. They even provide nice rain slickers if you go during storm season.
The Ancient Cedars Spa is the best I've ever seen. This resort was rated #1 in North America by Travel & Leisure magazine about a month after I visited it. I wasn't going to write about the resort for IgoUgo because I really wanted to keep it a secret - it's hard to get a reservation. But when T & L did that issue I figured I might as well write about it. It is a destination by itself. I wish I'd spent my honeymoon here. I want to go back without the kids for at least a weekend. A three hour trek from Vancouver or four from Victoria. You'll never see better views or feel so immersed in coastal nature.
From journal Tofino, Vancouver Island Escape