Watch out Tofino and Long Beach! There is a new(er) accommodation option in Ucluelet that is up there with the best of them, especially if you prefer to stay somewhere where there is still a sense of community rather than a huge commercial rush to rake in every tourist dollar possible. Whiskey Landing Lodge is one of the newer kids on the block in the west coast accommodation sweepstakes, having only opened in July of 2013 but it has clearly won the hearts of travelers – and with good reason.
I have to admit that when we booked in Ucluelet I had some misgivings – I wanted our guests from England to experience the wild west coast of the Island at its best, and in my mind that has always meant staying right on one of the beaches that stretch away from Long Beach and Pacific Rim National Park. However after experiencing the tourist trap that Tofino has become and consuming a less-than-stellar lunch at one of its most revered restaurants I was happy to settle into our Ucluelet abode. There is still a small-village feel there, and a slower pace of life. And you can find parking during the height of the tourist season!
Whiskey Landing Lodge was a great surprise and a huge delight for us – with Ucluelet always having been the ‘poor cousin’ on the Island’s west coast my expectations weren’t very high. I am delighted to report that my attitude changed as soon as I walked in to our stunning suite, where a view of the inlet, soaring ceilings and big timbers took my breath away.
The lodge is constructed in what has become known as ‘west coast’ style – lots of natural wood is used, including on the bathroom counters. A wall of floor-to-ceiling windows lets in plenty of natural light and enhances the beautiful views. There are special small touches in every nook and cranny that add to the spectacular ambiance – decorative additions adorn the wall above the soaker tub, a west coast sunset tops the gas fireplace, two very comfortable easy chairs and an occasional table provide a comfy place to read or, as we did, enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the early morning parade of sport fishing boats heading out for the day.
The suites at Whiskey Landing include fully equipped kitchens, so if you feel inclined to do your own meals that works (not an option for me when we are on holiday – we only used the fridge to chill some wine). And what better way to greet the day than waking to the beautiful maritime ambiance outside our windows?
Added bonuses to staying at Whiskey Landing include some excellent restaurants in Ucluelet, close proximity to the stunning Wild Pacific Trail and the well-regarded Ucluelet Aquarium, great sport fishing and kayaking opportunities and a truly friendly attitude from everyone we met. Service was above and beyond everywhere we went. It seems that Ucluelet is finally coming of age – I just hope that the place manages to retain its small-town charm and doesn’t get gobbled up by the Gods of commerce.
Further information on Whiskey Landing Lodge can be found at the website:
Whiskey Landing Lodge is located at 1645 Cedar Road, just above the Government Dock in Ucluelet.
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 48.94336581017499 Long. -125.54604840619942
N 48 56.602 W 125 32.763