Vancouver Island; Sunshine Coast; Southern Gulf Islands

Immersed in Nature

There’s no shortage of wilderness hideaways on BC’s coast. From secluded lodges to fully equipped safari tents, these accommodation options offer unique ways to experience some of the coast’s most picturesque spots.

by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth

Bodega Ridge. Photo by Shayd Johnson.

Bodega Ridge

Galiano Island

As the first stop on the Southern Gulf Islands ferry route from Tsawwassen, Galiano is convenient to get to, but it also feels delightfully remote. The individual log cabins of Bodega Ridge and its sister property Bodega Cove are perfect for those who want to feel like they’re immersed in nature — but still surrounded by luxury. All of the cabins boast spacious bedrooms, fully equipped kitchens, cozy wood stoves or fireplaces, high-speed internet and spectacular views of the smaller Gulf Islands “They’re rustic-looking cabins, but quite modern inside,” says proprietor Jesse Keefer. “[Everything here] is really private, but with an iconic Canadian feel.” bodegaridge.com

Homfray Lodge

Desolation Sound

For some solitude amid pristine waters, consider this woodsy, all-inclusive wilderness retreat, which accommodates 16 guests at a time. Situated at Forest Point in beautiful Desolation Sound, on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, Homfray Lodge is only accessible by private boat — getting here is part of the allure and the experience. To reach Homfray, BC Ferries passengers arriving to the Sunshine Coast must make their way to Lund Harbour, then, via Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours, embark on a three-hour boat trip directly to the lodge. Part of a three- or four-night tour package, this experience gives visitors the rare opportunity to explore the Sound’s secluded waters in style. Choose from comfortable hotel-style suites within the main cedar lodge, or private chalets with jaw-dropping ocean views. “It’s accessible wilderness,” says Chris Tait, director of leisure product and operations at Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours. “You can look out your window and see whales swimming by as you have dinner.” homfraylodge.com

Homfray Lodge. Photo by Pacific Coastal Cruises & Tours.

Ruby Lake Resort

Sunshine Coast

When Aldo Cogrossi moved from Italy to the Sunshine Coast 26 years ago, he wanted to build a property that showcased his love of nature. His Ruby Lake Resort is a haven for swimmers, mountain bikers, yogis and birdwatchers, all of whom stay in cottages or glamping-style safari tents. The latter are canvas tents mounted on wooden platforms and fitted with power and full beds, immersing guests in the wild without compromising comfort. And the resort’s La Trattoria Italiana restaurant offers fine-dining meals with a farm-to-table focus. “Our business is designed to work in harmony with nature,” Cogrossi says. rubylakeresort.com


Ruby Lake Resort. Photo by Laura Baptist.

Tofino Resort + Marina

Tofino

The only full-service resort right on the Tofino Inlet, this coastal getaway has two renowned restaurants (1909 Kitchen and The Hatch Waterfront Pub), fully decked-out guest suites, chic wall wrap photography and extra-plush beds. Plus, an on-site Adventure Centre connects guests with whale-watching, bear-watching, fishing and hot springs tours. “The resort is just a short stroll from the heart of town,” says general manager Daniel Vogel. “It offers guests the perfect base for exploring the wild west coast of Vancouver Island.” tofinoresortandmarina.com


Tofino Resort + Marina. Photo by Leila Kwok.