The West Coast of Vancouver Island has a certain vibe unto its own. Tofino is known to be more of a yuppy touristy town, with a hippie flair, while Ucluelet is the hardworking, rugged-edged counterpoint. Both have equal appeal, and an added level of luxury peppered in. Which means no matter where you go on the West Coast you get a laid-back, upscale, eco experience.
Why Stay in Ucluelet?
Ucluelet is a friendly fisherman community, well-known for sports fishing charters. When wandering around town, you’ll find residents who are happy you’ve stopped by. They’re eager to talk and enjoy sharing their love of the place by offering you stories and helpful tips.
With its rocky shoreline, the natural environment of Ucluelet provides a dramatic backdrop, along with extraordinary opportunities for outdoor adventure and recreational activities. A highlight for tourists to the area is the easily accessible Wild Pacific Trail. This trail offers spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean and incredible wildlife viewing opportunities.
Rounding out Ucluelet’s appeal as a fantastic tourist destination is the many well-stocked gift shops and galleries, a small aquarium, and a few great restaurants.
If you want the charm of a small town with a rugged west coast feel, make Ucluelet your destination of choice!
Top Ucluelet Accommodations
Accommodations in the area range from campsites to luxury retreats. In continuing with our review of the best places to stay on the West Coast, this post will review our top recommendations for Ucluelet.
For a comparison of what’s available in Tofino, check out our Top Tofino Accommodations.
If you are looking for a romantic retreat, try…
This resort is best for couples.
Surrounded by rain forest, this oceanfront resort was built with innovative architecture – of rock, water, glass, steel, and wood – to enhance and contrast the wild pacific landscape.
Each suite offers floor-to-ceiling windows featuring pacific nature views, a gas fireplace, and a balcony with outdoor seating. You will also find either a kitchenette or full kitchen (including a microwave, fridge and dishwasher), along with a flat-screen satellite TV, an iPod docking station, and a spa inspired bathroom.
Splurge: Opt for one of their Premium Suites for the unobstructed panoramic ocean views!
Pet-Friendly?: This resort has many pet-friendly rooms. If requested they will provide your dog with a bed, bowls and extra towels. The resort also has a dog wash station outside the main lodge building, as well as a waste bag dispenser.
Located beside the resort is Big Beach, offering a fantastic place for your dog to run freely. From the resort, you will also find an access point to the Wild Pacific Trail, which is another great place to exercise your dog.
- Pet fees are $25.00 per night.
- While on the resort property, pets must stay on a leash at all times.
- The gift shop carries a variety of dog toys and treats.
Where to Eat?
Featuring an outdoor patio and stunning ocean views, every seat at Fetch, indoor and out, has a spectacular view of the surrounding rocky headlands and the open Pacific Ocean. The rotating menu is inspired by locally sourced seasonal ingredients and specializes in “Ocean-wise” sustainable seafood. They also carry an extensive wine list and create yummy (and unique) housemade cocktails.
The Fetch is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Float Lounge offers floor-to-ceiling windows and a fireplace, along with a casual contemporary atmosphere. The Lounge is meant for sharing cocktails, appetizers, and warm conversations. They offer a small snack menu if you are looking for a lighter fare.
The Float Lounge opens daily at 3:00 pm.
Resort Tips and Services
- If this resort sounds like the place for you, make sure to watch for specials (great deals can frequently be found on websites such as Travelzoo, etc.).
- If you are celebrating something special, make sure to tell guest services when booking.
- This hotel has both a spa and fitness facility, as well as two outdoor hot tubs and a seasonal plunge pool.
- There is free WiFi (although definitely spotty).
- As mentioned in the ‘Pet-Friendly’ segment above, this resort sits adjacent to both Big Beach and one of the Wild Pacific Trail’s access points.
- The resort is located only a few minutes to the town of Ucluelet if you’re wishing to dine elsewhere.
If you are looking for an upscale B&B, try…
This resort is definitely a couples retreat, for it is an adult-only property.
You’ll find this luxury Bed and Breakfast retreat perched on a cliff overlooking the rugged West Coast shoreline, surrounded by an old growth forest.
The rooms are well-appointed with a fireplace, seating area, private outside deck (to enjoy those incredible views), and a private spa-like bathroom equipped with a jetted tub and heated floors.
And of course, breakfast is included each day (and absolutely delicious, by the way!).
Splurge: The Forest View King Rooms are superb! They have an added level of privacy, are very large, and come with a 2 person jetted tub (many of the other rooms come with the large tub too).
Pet-Friendly?: The Rowland Forest View room is their only pet-friendly room. Please note, though, that pets are not allowed in the Inn’s main building.
Where to Eat?
As mentioned, you will receive a full breakfast every morning, one that is not only delicious but varies each day. Breakfast is served in the Great Room at the large harvest table, communal style, where conversations with fellow guests and owners of the Inn (Sue and Drew) are encouraged.
In this same room, you will find a light-duty kitchen equipped with a full-sized fridge accessible to all guests.
For lunch and dinner, you’ll be happy to know that you are within walking distance to many great Ucluelet restaurants.
- If you are seeking a fine dining option, I recommend Norwoods.
- For casual dining, try the Cedar Grill.
Resort Tips and Services
- The Ferris Room (one of the large Forest View – King Rooms) is completely wheel-chair accessible.
- Take advantage of the large common room (otherwise known as the Great Room) to sit by the warm fire and take in the views from the large picture windows.
- A year-round hot tub is located on the main deck.
- Get friendly with your gracious hosts (Sue and Drew). They are a wealth of information with regards to the best things to see and do in the area.
- If you do happen to return to the Inn mid-day, there will most likely be a freshly baked cake to nibble on to be enjoyed with a cup of hot tea.
- Complimentary WiFi is available in the Great Room.
- Make sure to descend the 85 feet down to the small private beach. It’s a truly beautiful and pristine place to explore.
- At the end of the resort’s driveway, you will find an access point to the Wild Pacific Trail. Ask one of the hosts for a detailed trail map of either the 2.5 km loop or the 4.5 km hike (or both, if you are feeling ambitious!).
- During March and April whales migrate past the area on their way to Alaska, and there is a good chance you’ll see them from the comfort of the Inn during this time. However, no matter what time of year you decide to stay at the Inn, make sure to use their high-powered mounted binoculars to scan the horizon. It’s a great place to spot all kinds of treasures!
If you are looking for a great family-friendly resort, try…
At low tide, Terrace Beach is one of the most bio-diverse beaches on the West Coast. Adults and kids alike will love gawking at the tide pools left behind full of living sea creatures, such as starfish, crabs, anemones, and plant life. However alluring, please try your best to only look and not touch. This helps keeps the area in the pristine condition it is accustomed to!
The Oceanfront accommodations at The Cabins offer a glimpse of this amazing beach. The resort also offers guests the option of condo style accommodations at Spring Cove, as well as an authentic cabin experience in the Rainforest Cabins.
All of the cabins come with a full kitchen, stone fireplace, and floor to ceiling windows.
Compared to all the other accommodations we reviewed on the West Coast, The Cabins are extremely reasonably priced!
Splurge: I highly recommend splurging on an Oceanfront Cabin. Being near the ocean is why you’re heading to the West Coast, is it not!?
All of the Cabins, as well as the Sabbatical Suites overlooking Spring Cove, are pet-friendly. Pets receive frequent treats, as well as dog towels upon arrival. The cost to bring your dog is an extra $20 per night (per pet), with a maximum of two pets per cabin.
Things to note:
- You must bring your own dog bed and bowls
- Dogs are not allowed on the cabin furniture
- If your dog has to be left unattended for any length of time, it should remain inside a kennel.
- Pets must remain on a leash while on the property
Resort Tips and Services
- This property is adjacent to the Lighthouse Loop section of the Wild Pacific Trail (one of my most favourite trails ever!).
- The cabins are bigger than they appear. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at their size and spaciousness once inside.
- There is a beautiful Lodge on site, used mainly for weddings and events. While the lodge does have its own set of accommodations, children are not allowed in this particular area.
- Make sure to take advantage of the many boardwalk trails accessible from within the resort.
So tell me, have you stayed in any of the above mentioned Ucluelet accommodations?
Where do you like to stay while in the area? Do you have another choice you think I should check out?
Let us know in the comments below.
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