Getting to Tofino is relatively easy: the outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise is accessible by plane or by car through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Finding a full-service resort to stay at, with its own dock and friendly, relaxed staff, only a short stroll from the oceanside community’s artisan shops and surf shops is the hard part. At least, it was until Tofino Resort + Marina opened in February.
Flanked by marina-, ocean-, and mountain-facing balconies, the property’s spacious rooms are a comfortable base from which to explore the protected inlet’s wilderness. Besides renting bikes, taking surf lessons, or getting on a complimentary paddleboard, nature lovers can maximize their experience by tapping into activities offered at the on-site adventure centre. Hike the rugged trails on skyline-dominating Lone Cone Mountain, and spot West Coast wildlife from whales near Flores and Vargas Islands to black bears scouring for crabs along the rocky beaches of Clayoquot Sound from on-board an open boat. Spend a day at the legendary hot springs hidden among the old-growth forest of Maquinna Provincial Park, or take a guided fishing trip, bringing the successful catch to the resort’s kitchen where talented chefs will prepare your ocean-fresh dinner. Divers will soon have the option to take a tide-to-table free-dive foraging course to harvest bottom-dwellers like sea urchins and crabs.
Tofino’s cuisine is lauded for its distinct Pacific Northwest flavours; and the property’s signature restaurant, 1909 Kitchen, is quickly becoming an area favourite for executive chef Paul Moran’s refined boat-to-table dining. Accented by foraged finds and infused with Pacific Rim flavours from Mexico to Japan, the Hawksworth alumnus’ share-friendly menu might feature treasures such as gooseneck barnacles or Dungeness crab, vegetable-dominated mains like a field of morels topping a Mugnaini wood-fired oven baked sourdough-crust pizza. Admire the breathtaking views of eagles soaring above Strawberry Island from the bright, exposed beam–filled dining room’s floor-to-ceiling windows, on the wrap-around patio, or belly-up to the horseshoe-shaped bar at neighbouring Hatch Waterfront Pub to sample local craft brews and cocktails using Vancouver Island-made spirits like Pacific Rim Distilling’s Humpback Vodka with an order of crispy panko lingcod with house-cut fries.
Nothing is as restorative as slipping into your plush king bed at the end of the day and surrendering to the serene vibes simulated by local photographer Jeremy Koreski coastal wall wrap. After all, there are more adventures to chase tomorrow.
Tofino Resort + Marina, 634 Campbell Street, Tofino, BC.
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