Vancouver Island, Canada

Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge

Style

Amped-up outback glamp

Setting

Canada’s wild wild west

For turn-of-the-century prospector-chic immersed deep in the gloriously remote Canadian outback, Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge has struck gold. The glamp site’s Clayoquot Sound setting is home to an astonishing variety of wildlife, from sea otters and orca pods to black bears and cougars who live among the ocean inlets and coastal rainforest. Everything from fine dining to rock climbing is covered in this luxurious all-inclusive resort, but it’s the experience of drawing open your tent flaps and stepping into this pristine scene of natural beauty that shines above all else.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

CAD$150 to put towards any on-site helicopter excursion

Facilities

Photos Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge facilities

Need to know

Rooms

25

Check–Out

12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Also

Can’t find your room service menu? There’s a strict no-food-in-the-tent rule lest a passing black bear catches sniff of it. And don’t worry, tents also come with a bear alarm...

Hotel closed

Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is open over the Canadian summer, which typically runs from mid-May to late-September.

At the hotel

Hot tub, loaner bikes, games room, pool table, gym, kids’ play area. In rooms: free WiFi, lounge area, cast iron stove, veranda, ensuite bathroom, all-natural toiletries.

Our favourite rooms

Although the waterfront tents are a little farther away from the main lodge, the views from their decks are particularly spectacular and they offer the best chance of spotting frolicking local wildlife.

Spa

The lodge’s spa provides the perfect counterpoint to all that exertion. Its secluded setting sits along the ocean foreshore and among new and old growth forest. Soaking tired limbs in one of its cedar hot tubs while gazing out over the water is a popular pastime here. There’s also a waterfront massage tent where you can indulge in a menu of treatments using Canadian glacial clay and Pacific seaweed.

Packing tips

If you prefer to travel light, the lodge can provide all the extra clothes you might need for your outdoors experiences, from hiking and riding boots to rain pants and wetsuits.

Also

All tents accessible by flat and ramped boardwalk, and service animals are allowed.

Children

Kids aged six years and older are more than welcome at the lodge, although considering the activities available be sure to consider the suitability of the property for your little Smiths.

Sustainability efforts

Above and beyond. The lodge operates completely off-grid with much of the renewable natural resources sourced from the local environment. Almost all food and drink is grown onsite or sourced locally, too, and organic whenever possible. A small surcharge also goes to support a range of sustainability initiatives and community engagement projects.

Food and Drink

Photos Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge food and drink

Top Table

Plump for a stool at the counter to fully enjoy the buzz and sizzle of kitchen-based theatrics. For a more romantic mood, choose a table within basking distance of the restaurant’s big log fire.

Dress Code

The lodge likes to infuse every dinner with a sense of occasion, so feel free to swap your hiking boots for heels.

Hotel restaurant

The lodge has just one restaurant, The Cookhouse, which opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner – which is useful, because there’s certainly nowhere else to eat for miles. Breakfast is a fully à la carte affair, offering a flexible choice of healthy and hearty options. Highlights include stacks of buttermilk pancakes dripping with local maple syrup, or for the less sweet-of-tooth, omelettes stuffed with forest-foraged fungi.  

Lunch is a daily-updated menu of seasonally-inspired belly-pleasers. These range from the lighter (zingy ceviche) to the more substantial (organic Vancouver beef burgers). Dinner ramps up the pzazz every evening and showcases the finest of the region’s cuisine. Seafood tends to be the star of the show, with fruits of the nearby Pacific Ocean such as crab, scallops, halibut and cod making a regular appearance. You can rest assured everything that reaches your plate will be either foraged, locally harvested, or delivered daily by boat.

 

Hotel bar

With its edge-of-the-water setting and floor-to-ceiling windows, the Clayoquot Bar is easily one of the best places to appreciate the lodge’s spectacular surroundings. A wide selection of drinks are included, from (relatively) local craft beers and ciders, top wines and small batch spirits, plus a few treatier tipples (say, champagnes) available for an extra outlay. Sunset draws most of the guests here, either on the roof deck or inside by the crackling fire, to watch the sun dip behind the surrounding peaks.

Last orders

9pm

Location

Photos Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge location
Address
Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge
Bedwell River Valley
Alberni-Clayoquot C
V0R 2Z0
Canada

The Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, on the banks of Bedwell River with the only access by boat or seaplane.

Planes

The nearest international hub is Vancouver Airport (YVR) with direct connections from London and several major US cities. From here you can arrange a direct seaplane transfer through the lodge for around CAD$700 a person each way. You can also fly to the regional Tofino-Long Beach Airport (YAZ) and get a boat transfer from Tofino (CAD$200 a person each way). Both options take less than an hour.

Other

If you’re feeling extra treat-y, you can opt for a private-charter seaplane flight direct to the lodge dock.

Worth getting out of bed for

Part of the Unesco-designated Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, the area offers a vast and varied natural playground for the adventurous – why else would you be here? The lodge offers a broad gamut of all-inclusive activities to get you in amongst it, which they divide into three categories. ‘Signature’ experiences include heart-pumping fun such as forest hiking, canyoning and wildlife-spotting. The ‘à la carte’ menu of activities add archery, fly fishing and rock climbing, plus there’s a variety of splurgy options that involve taking to the skies in the lodge’s resident helicopter. For extra spesh occasions you can order bubbles and canapes for a mountain-top toast to mother nature. To squeeze as much into your stay as possible, sign up for an organised itinerary spanning several days chock-full of outdoorsy adventure. If you’re feeling sore the morning after all that exertion, you can join a yoga session for a sunrise stretch and you’ll soon be supple enough to do it all over again. Alternatively, there’d be no shame spending the day soaking in the spa.

Local restaurants

Absolutely not. The lodge is surrounded by nothing but untouched nature for many miles.

Reviews

Photos Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this glamping lodge in British Columbia and unpacked their bentwood box and fur-lined moccasins, a full account of their outdoors adventure break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge on Vancouver Island…

Whether it’s swooping over the pine-clad hills in a seaplane or swooshing through the salty ocean inlets by boat, arriving at the lodge is high on drama. And with no road access, these are happily your only two options. The last leg to the retreat is by rather more placid horse and cart, but the perfect mode to adjust to the laid-back, off-the-grid groove of this tented resort. The Clayoquot Sound setting is a stunner and the lodge continues the fierce commitment of its late founder, Richard Genovese, to protecting its delicate and pristine ecosystems. 
Much of the luxury lodge follows a vintage prospector-style aesthetic, most evident in the canvas tent accommodation filled with antique furnishings, cast-iron stoves and vintage oil lamps. High on the agenda are back-to-nature activities, from canyoning to heli-hiking, with an encounter with a member of the local animal population – including bears and seals – always a possibility. This is a wilderness retreat with an emphasis on the ‘wild’.