In Photos: Editor in Chief Nathan Lump’s Pilgrimage to the Wickanninish Inn
I’m a hotel junkie. In addition to following all the latest openings, I keep a quite long list of established properties that I need to visit sooner or later (preferably sooner). Earlier this year I made a pilgrimage to the Wickanninish Inn on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, which was named the No. 1 resort in Canada in this year’s World’s Best Awards.
Years ago, when I used to edit the World’s Best Awards for T+L, I had the Wick—as its fans affectionately call it—photographed for the magazine when it was named the top hotel in the continental U.S. and Canada for the first time.
I’d been meaning to visit it for myself ever since, but somehow never got around to it. Earlier this year, I finally made it there, so I thought I’d share some of my photos (and a couple that aren’t) that hopefully give you a taste of how great it is.
More good reads from T+L:
• World's Top 10 Cities
• A Wine Lover’s Perfect Weekend May Just Be in Ontario
• World's Best Islands
Okay, so this one isn’t mine, but it captures one of the things I love about the Wick: its incredible location in a pristine natural environment. The stars really are this great there.
This gives you a little bit more of a sense of the Wick’s architecture: a fairly simple shingle style that blends pretty organically into the surroundings. There are actually two separate structures on the property; this is the original one, called The Pointe, situated on a headland above Chesterman Beach. The other, called the Beach Building, sits steps away from the sand.
Chesterman Beach is an incredibly beautiful stretch of sand, popular not only for strolling but also for surfing. I would get up early every morning to catch the incredible sunrises.
The sunsets are pretty spectacular too. This one is taken from my room. Not a bad view, eh?
I didn’t get a good shot of my room’s interior, so this is an official shot from the Wickanninish. But I can say the rooms really do look like this—fairly simple, décor-wise, and extremely comfortable, with a gas fireplace to keeps things cozy. Really, though, it’s all about that view. I spent a lot of time curled up in one of those armchairs with a book and a glass of wine.
Not an amazing composition from me but I became kind of obsessed with this bathtub—and specifically, the gorgeous view from it. My early evening ritual: run a bath just before sunset and watch the play of golden-pink light on the water.
This was the view from my balcony, overlooking the water and the Wick’s Pointe Restaurant in the pavilion below.
No surprise, the Pointe has great views. But the food, from chef Warren Barr, is pretty darn good, too; think creative takes on local produce, including a bounty of seafood including the freshest crab and halibut.
The Wick also has a terrific spa, called Ancient Cedars. I had an expert pine-scented massage in this treatment room.
Vancouver Island has some incredible forests of towering cedar and fir trees. The Wick’s surrounded by them; the property offers guided walks through the forest and on the beach to learn more about this special environment.
The Wickanninish sits just outside the town of Tofino, which has a laid-back surf town vibe and is incredibly picturesque, thanks in part to its setting along Clayoquot Sound.
I took a boat tour through Clayoquot Sound—it was cold but really beautiful. If you’re lucky you’ll see sea otters.
A must stop in Tofino is the Eagle Aerie Gallery, which showcases the work of First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers in a traditional longhouse. Great stuff.
Okay, this place doesn’t look like much but, trust me, Tofino’s Wildside Grill is amazing. Order the fish tacos—best I’ve ever had—and scarf them down at one of the picnic tables.
If you’re out and about early, pop into Rhino Coffee House—a pleasant, sun-filled spot for a cup of Joe and a fine doughnut. When I stopped in, there was a table of Canadian hipsters playing cards. Playing cards!