Even though the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet have remained small and relatively untouched by urbanization, the area offers some fantastic top-notch resorts. In fact, many of the accommodations in Tofino have made several “best resort” lists.
While we haven’t been able to check them all out, over the years we’ve stayed at quite a few, and we definitely have our favourites. Ones that we’d have no problem going back to again and again (and often do!).
What we love about the West Coast is there’s something spectacular about each season, making it a year-round destination.
Why Stay in Tofino?
Tofino holds obvious appeal for outdoor enthusiasts and remains Vancouver Island’s favourite retreat. It’s a place where you can go surfing, fishing, kayaking, hiking, camping, whale watching, bear watching, bird watching, and storm watching…all in the same trip. But it’s also a wonderful place for history buffs, art and culture lovers, and those accustomed to luxuries like five-star resorts, exclusive wine lists, farm-to-table tasting menus, and full-body seaweed wraps.
It’s a place that appeals to surf fans for the vast expansion of surf-worthy beaches, for families looking for a friendly relaxing escape from home, and for couples looking for a romantic retreat. It’s a place packed with things to see and do. And most importantly, a place blessed with stunning forested trails, spectacular sandy beaches, and ever-dramatic waves.
I guarantee it’s a place you’ll wish to return to time and time again.
But before you book that trip, check out what we feel are the top accommodations in Tofino.
Top Accommodations in Tofino
If you’re looking for deluxe beachfront accommodations, try…
Best for couples and/or families.
Located on beautiful Cox Bay Beach, the accommodations at this resort give you front row seating to some of the most spectacular West Coast ocean views.
The resort offers suites and beach houses, as well as a 4-bedroom private home. All of their units come with a fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen. If for some reason you feel you are missing a gourmet pantry item, guest services will most likely have it, and they are just a phone call away.
Splurge: If you can swing it, stay in a Signature Suite for the private hot-tub looking out over the spectacular view!
Pet-Friendly?: The resort has a few pet-friendly suites. When you register your pet, they’ll be provided with dog dishes, treats, and a pet towel upon arrival. The resort also offers pet wash stations (for after that sandy beach run), as well as waste bags and disposable containers.
Where to Eat?
Although Pacific Sands doesn’t have an indoor restaurant, they do have a Surfside Grill. Enjoy fresh local seafood, along with classic beach food (fish and chips, burgers, tacos, etc.) for lunch and dinner each day until 7:00 pm. If you are there during the winter months, it’s the perfect comfort food for curling up by the fire and watching the storms roll into Cox Bay from the privacy of your room. For the warmer months, there’s an outdoor seating area for you to enjoy.
Need coffee? Although coffee is supplied in each room, if you’re looking for something a little more gourmet, you’ll find ‘Beans on the Beach Espresso Bar‘ at Guest Services. Enjoy your speciality coffee, tea or hot chocolate curled up on one of the comfy couches, or take it to go.
If you’d like to utilize that fully-equipped kitchen, the front desk carries a wide variety of grocery items. You’ll find everything from the basics (bread, milk, bacon, and eggs) to ready-made favourites, such as pizza, burritos, ice cream, and waffles.
And let’s not forget…Pacific Sands Resort is ideally located, and only a short 5-minute drive from the town of Tofino where you’ll find grocery stores, liquor stores, and many delicious and unique restaurants.
If you’re looking for a bucket list trip, try…
Best for couples – especially those celebrating an anniversary or milestone birthday.
With direct access to Chesterman Beach, this world-class hotel offers inspiring ocean views from all guest rooms and public spaces. However, the views are best seen and enjoyed from the privacy of your deluxe room or suite!
Each room is elegantly equipped with a fireplace, soaker tub, balcony, and binoculars to help you take in that spectacular view.
Splurge: Okay, who am I kidding…every room in this resort is a splurge! But, if you are looking to celebrate a milestone of some kind and want an unforgettable experience, this is the place to do so.
Pet-Friendly?: The Inn has a few pet-friendly rooms. If bringing your pooch is a must look for the Deluxe Rooms, the Beachcomber Suite, or the Frank Island Suite.
The ‘Ruffin It‘ package includes a bed and blanket for your dog, food and water bowls, treats, use of a ‘Chuckit!’ ball launcher, and your own issue of Modern Dog magazine. Cost is $40 per night for your first pet, and $20 for your second (there’s a maximum of 2 pets per room).
The resort also offers pet shower stations, as well as pet sitting for an additional charge.
Where to Eat?
The Pointe Restaurant is one of Tofino’s top restaurants. And with the 240-degree view of the Pacific Ocean, tip-top service, and a gourmet menu, it is not hard to see why. Their menu changes with the season and is à la carte. They serve a West Coast inspired cuisine, specializing in fresh seafood, and use locally sourced high-quality ingredients.
- For the best seat in the house reserve a window table if you can.
- Don’t reserve too late in the evening, for once the sun sets the views aren’t quite as good.
- For a truly decadent experience try the Chef’s Tasting Menu, paired with accompanying wines.
Bar & Lounge
For a great selection of drinks, as well as a small menu option with a bit more casual fare, head to On the Rocks Bar & Lounge. Here you will find an excellent selection of wines, ports, and one of B.C.’s largest selection of single malt scotches.
For delicious speciality coffees, smoothies, and great breakfasts, lunches, and/or light dinners, the Driftwood Cafe is the place to be. They even have daily house-made bread available for purchase!
Resort Tips and Services
- If you are celebrating something special, make sure to tell staff upon booking. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the attention you receive!
- The entire design of the Inn was planned to be the best storm watching destination on the coast of North America. So take advantage of this fact, and plan to go during storm watching season (November through February).
- Full rain gear is provided in each guest room, along with rubber boots sized to fit, upon request. So don’t worry about having to pack those bulky items!
- For a relaxing retreat head to the Look-Out Library. Use the high-powered binoculars to scan the horizon, or sit in one of the comfy chairs and read a book from their lending library. This is where you’ll also find their great selection of DVD’s, puzzles and games.
- If you love art, make sure to check out the Carving Shed (located to the left of the Inn on Chesterman Beach if looking out at the ocean).
- Don’t leave without checking out Secret Cove. You will find the trailhead in the parking lot located on the far right of the Resort.
- There is an onsite fitness centre, also with great views of Chesterman Beach.
- Hatha Yoga is available daily (for an additional charge).
- For a divine experience, book a treatment at the Ancient Cedars Spa.
If you do decide to take the kids:
- Enjoy complimentary babysitting for children under 12 when dining at The Pointe Restaurant (based on availability).
- Babysitting is available to you while you are at the spa or on an outing (for an additional charge).
- You will find a kids basket in your room upon arrival.
- You will receive a Scavenger Hunt, designed to take you and the kids on some local discoveries around the Inn and the surrounding beach and forest.
- Children’s bicycles are available on a first come, first-served basis.
- Complimentary beach toys are available upon request.
- There is a great selection of movies, board games, books and puzzles for inside fun.
- You will find child-sized bathrobes in your room upon arrival.
If you are looking for a great family getaway, try…
Best for families.
The cozy cabins found at Crystal Cove have direct access to Mackenzie Beach, which, in my opinion, is the best family-friendly beach in Tofino. Tidal rock protects the shore by defusing any big waves from coming in, making it the perfect beach for kids to explore.
The resort has 34 modern log cabins to choose from and a number of different styles. Whether you are looking for a cabin with multiple bedrooms, a private hot tub, ocean views, surrounded by trees, or literally right on the beach, there really is something for everyone!
Each cabin comes equipped with a full kitchen, fireplace, and BBQ on the deck. Even though the cabins come fully stocked with every amenity you might need, if you feel there is something missing the friendly staff at the front desk will be happy to help you out.
If camping is more your thing, make sure to read our review of the Crystal Cove campground.
If it’s ocean views you are seeking, definitely splurge on the Beachfront Cabins (the ones with the private hot tubs are pretty great too).
If you are looking to impress the kids, try the Treehouse Cabins, which come with an adjoining treehouse for the kids to play in, or the Rainforest cabins, which are the only ones with outdoor firepits (perfect for roasting marshmallows)!
This is THE most pet-friendly place we have ever stayed.
Pets are welcome in every cabin, and upon arrival, you will receive towels, blankets, and doggy bowls for your furry friend(s).
There is a $25.00 fee per pet, per stay (not per night), and dogs must remain on a leash at all times while in the resort (but not necessarily while on Mackenzie Beach).
The resort has on-site dog showers near the beach entrance, and complimentary waste bags are located at various stations around the resort.
For the Kids
Along with the above mentioned, totally cool, kid-friendly accommodations (see Splurge), the resort is a mecca for fun. Kids will love the adventure playground equipped with tire swings, a slide, a teeter-totter, a boat to climb in, and the climbing wall.
And let’s not forget about that fantastic beach! Forgot sand toys? Not to worry, you’ll find a variety of buckets and shovels in the playground, which you are welcome to take down to the beach (minding you bring them back).
The resort also has a great selection of DVD’s and games for you to borrow, as well as a book exchange (leave one, take one).
And if you are staying at the resort during Spring and Summer, on select weekends you can enjoy “Kids at the Cove” family activities. These activities include things such as Easter egg hunts, pancake breakfasts, scavenger hunts, and nature explorations.
Where to Eat?
Located in the resort office you’ll find Bean at the Cove Coffee Bar, serving Starbucks coffee (including all their speciality drinks) and locally made goodies. You might also be happy to know that with the rental of a cabin you receive a complimentary Starbucks coffee to start your day!
Take advantage of the Cabin Stocking Program. For an additional fee, resort staff will take care of your grocery shopping needs. Before you’re due to arrive (min. 72 hours), send them your grocery and beverage list and they will stock your cabin with everything you asked for (yes, even alcohol). Now THAT is a holiday!
If you are wondering where to eat, inquire at the front desk and they will provide you with sample menus from many local restaurants.
And there we are, our favourite picks for the top accommodations in Tofino!
Do you agree with our choices? Where do you choose to stay while on the West Coast?
Let us know in the comments below.
Other Accommodations Options
For Ucluelet accommodations, check out the following articles:
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