What better way to kick off this summer than visiting an island paradise for a truly off-the-grid luxury wilderness escape? If you have any last-minute upcoming stories in the works on where to travel this summer, we would love for you to consider Vancouver Island’s celebrated outpost Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge, skirting the banks of its namesake ocean inlet, Clayoquot Sound, which offers an escape to the still, tranquil beauty of Canada’s remote wilderness. With an atmosphere ideal for digital detoxing, travelers can only arrive at Clayoquot via boat or a 45-minute scenic seaplane flight from Vancouver directly to the lodge dock on the Bedwell Sound. Newly reopened for the 2022 season until this September, the luxury lodge entices summer travelers with its remote location near the town of Tofino, on Canada’s west coast, and direct, exclusive access to one of nature’s greatest amphitheaters.
A few of the signature amenities and experiences guests can discover at Clayoquot as a part of their summer island escape include:
- Canyoning in the Clayoquot Sound: One of the most popular adventures at Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge, canyoning is a fun way to discover the valleys and waterways that run to Clayoquot Sound. Thrill-seekers can jump on a paddle board from the top of Bedwell Sound and paddle up the glacier-fed Bedwell River to a waterfall channel and several hidden waterholes. Here, in the deep calm waters, hundreds of salmon gather, creating a rewarding spectacle for snorkelers and swimmers. Jumping off the river rocks to float in the crystal-clear waters is as liberating activity as any.
- Locally sourced dining: Dining at Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is both celebratory and considered, reflecting the natural surrounds of Vancouver Island’s wild west coast and using locally sourced, sustainable produce to offer a real taste of the destination. The lodge offers contemporary-style cuisine with influence from British Columbia’s multi-cultural community and the Pacific Northwest’s thriving culinary scene. Ingredients on the daily changing menus are mostly sustainably produced, foraged, or respectfully harvested and are sourced from Vancouver Island and the greater province of British Columbia. When not exploring the stunning surroundings, guests can enjoy a cocktail at The Ivanhoe and discover the renowned local flavors at the lodge’s signature restaurant The Cookhouse, courtesy of new co-chefs, Mark Ota and Olivia Bolano.
- Luxuriously appointed décor: Twenty-five luxuriously appointed white canvas tents, in the style of turn-of-the-century prospectors, line the banks of the magnificent Clayoquot Sound and are dotted among the region’s pristine old-growth temperate rainforest. A Baillie Lodges-led reimagining of the tents’ interiors brings a fresh new contemporary look to the accommodations with signature clean lines, generous appointments, and pared-back, refined luxury. End-of-the-bed views and specially commissioned furnishings from local designers evoke a personal connection with the Vancouver Island landscape.
- Take the chance to see prolific wildlife: Clayoquot is dominated by large trees including the Western Hemlock and Western Red Cedar, while around 300 animal species include the American black bear, cougar, American mink, and grey wolf. The sound is home to grey whales, orcas, humpback whales and porpoises as well as the California sea lion. The lodge’s half-day Sights of the Sound wildlife-spotting adventure is a wonderful way to encounter Clayoquot’s ‘wow’ wildlife in a short space of time. Bear and whale watching often go hand in hand, because, during low tide, black bears can almost always be seen flipping rocks along remote foreshores in search of tasty crabs and other crustaceans. The tour then continues further out to sea where whales, porpoise, seals, and sea lions can be spotted close up as they dive the depth of the sound and surface to surf the waves.