Forty-five minutes on a boat in the middle of the Canadian wilderness may sound extreme – but the journey to the family owned and operated Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is as majestic as the resort itself. Awash in the splendor of nature as the boat makes its way up Clayoquot Sound surrounded by fjords, Technicolor water and the Pacific Rim mountains you can’t help but enter into a different state of mind – detached from all the noise of urban life. However, if you are anxious to arrive quickly, you can always float in over the protected reserve on a seaplane or private helicopter, arriving to an estuary sidled by 25 white canvas prospector tents, ready to take you in for a transformative stay. Pure luxury caressed by windswept sounds, pine scents and birdsong. This is our kind of escape.
STAY – ENSUITE TENTS
Each of the resort’s sixteen tents have a unique setting—some waterside, sunset-facing while others are rainforest bound—but the most spectacular are the twelve sitting on the secluded back channel of the estuary. Each has the appearance of simplicity but stepping inside of one shows you how deceptive appearances can be: billowy down duvets, fluffy towels, plush robes, king beds, candles set in antique silver and cozy wood stoves await (and with a remote control to set the perfect temperature!) Apart from the impressive interior comforts, the tents serve as a vessel for a sensational interaction with the surrounding nature. Sitting on the attached deck provides hours of transporting movements as the intertidal landscape comes to life throughout the day.
Listening to the burbling creek while using the private outdoor shower washes away any thoughts of work or life beyond this majestic enclave. Each morning, the sun dapples the tent with a kaleidoscope of leafy shadows dancing across the canvas walls as the sun crests the horizon. At night, the inky sky makes it easy to lose oneself in the millions of visible stars.
FLOW – AT 4,500 FEET
Yoga streamside at the resort is relaxing, but yoga at 4,500 feet is enlightening. This experience cannot be missed. The resort’s helicopter lifts you and a private Vinyasa instructor to CloudCamp where you’ll downward dog and reverse your warrior over sweeping views of the Pacific. Opt for the evening sun excursion to salute the glowing ball of fire as it sinks into the western horizon.
RELAX – WITH A VIEW
Back at camp, the Clayoquot Sound is as lively as any metropolis, but with wildlife: bears, seals, salmons, eagles, and more. Take the best seat in the house—the cedar hot tubs on the deck of the Healing Grounds Spa—to take it all in while breathing the scents of the deeply healing forest. The Spa, made up of a compound of tents connected by wooden walkways is built for total immersion: relax in one of the two saunas, built from foraged old-growth cedar, rehydrate with rosemary cucumber water, take savasana on the waterfront deck under behemoth mountains shrouded in mist, or take a nap on the deck post-riverfront hot-stone massage to the sounds of the estuary.
DINE – ON LOCAL OFFERINGS
The Cookhouse’s deck has reserved its finest seat for you and an immersive dining experience, delving into the local offerings, choose the fireside dining table… Greens are gathered from the resort’s greenhouse, goat cheese and olive oil on nearby Salt Spring Island. Dungeness crab, scallops, salmon, prawns and more are all harvested from the neighboring wild Pacific and nearly 100 other foods come from the forests and foreshores nearby. We’re still dreaming about the smoked tomato pappardelle, lemon ricotta, seared salmon and garnished mussels and clams. Let the pastry chef’s dark chocolate bar with wild currant leaf ice cream swirl you into dreamland.
LEARN – ABOUT YOUR SURROUNDINGS
The day’s adventures brings guests to new heights but rooting into the area gives the entire experience a deeper meaning. The Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve is one of the largest intact temperate rainforests in the world, protected by UNESCO, and since 2001 the owners of the resort have been working with the government and local environmental groups to rehabilitate and ensure that the delicate balance of the natural cycles are preserved. Mother Earth is our greatest ally when we treat her well – and we love supporting institutions who make this central to their mission.
"It’s a harmony of creature comforts set among nature’s most spectacular scenery."