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My Route du Bonheur

From Lake Louise to the Pacific

Charles McDiarmid
By Charles McDiarmid, Owner of the Wickaninnish Inn

Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge

+1 800 735 2478 * *Local charges apply
In his home town of Tofino, Charles McDiarmid built one of the most beautiful hotels on the Pacific coast. A fan of hiking and surfing, he is intimately acquainted with western Canada, from the Rockies to Vancouver Island. It was in 1955 that my father, a brilliant doctor, moved to Tofino. At that time there was no road here. Fifteen years later, he was one of the figures who would help to establish the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. "I spent the first thirteen years of my life in Tofino as a sort of Tom Sawyer. I even had my own boat! Later I went to study at Cornell University. Working with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts for 13 years provided the opportunity to travel, work and develop my skills as a hotelier in Calgary, Washington DC, Dallas, Newport Beach, and Seattle. I slowly made my way back to this land that I love to open a hotel with my family, a lifelong dream."
Suggestion of itinerary
  • 6 hotels
  • from US$ 3,569.90 *
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0
2
(193 km)
3
(264 km)
4
(209 km)
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To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.


1 Tofino — 2 Nights
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Hotel + Restaurant
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Hotel + Restaurant

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

Tofino - British Columbia, Canada

Hotel and restaurant on the seaside. Your experience starts with your trip to the camp by sea plane or boat: you leave comfortable city life far behind and reconnect with the beauty of the wilderness. Here nature is all-enveloping, a huge expanse of ancient temperate forest with rare species and cedars more than 1,000 years old. Whale- and bear-watching, climbing, white-water rafting, archery, fishing and horse riding – the programme is varied and final decisions are only made each evening depending on personal preferences, the tide and the weather forecast. The Eco-Lodge’s huge tents, furnished with sophisticated comfort in antiques and velvety carpet, put the finishing touches to this idyllic picture. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
25 rooms
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant
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Hotel + Restaurant

Wickaninnish Inn

Tofino - British Columbia, Canada

Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. The Wickaninnish Inn stands on an outcrop between the Pacific Ocean, Chesterman Beach and a forest of giant evergreens. Artists, including renowned wood carver Henry Nolla, designed elements of its two buildings with the aim of blending art, nature and culture. You can even meet local artists at the onsite carving shed. Each room has a fireplace and picture window offering views of the coastline. Set off on a day of sea kayaking, or to see whales, sea lions or bears around Clayoquot Sound. Relax with a soothing spa treatment after your day's adventures. From November to March, you can admire mighty Pacific storms, watching from the comfort of your guest room as waves come crashing ashore. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
75 rooms
(from) US$ 263.62
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Close to the property

Walking on idyllic beaches

Walking on idyllic beaches

The first thing to do upon arriving at Wickaninnish is to walk along Chesterman Beach, which is about three kilometers long, and enjoy the sights, the waves, and the surfers. The next day, ask the hotel staff to prepare a back pack picnic for you and head for Schooner Cove Beach, which borders the Pacific Rim National Park. Even in the height of summer, you may not see a single soul for fifteen kilometers. It is my favorite beach.

On the route

Discovering bears

Discovering bears

Mike White is a local legend who has trekked through every corner of the region. With his restored wooden boat, “The Browning Passage”, he will take you to watch bears hunting for crab along the beaches. A true immersion in the wilderness, during which you might also come across some wolves foraging along the coast.

Floatplane to Hot Springs Cove

Floatplane to Hot Springs Cove

Take a morning flight at the break of dawn to reach Hot Springs Cove, inside Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. Thanks to the quick flight, you can enjoy this heavenly site, isolated and quiet, before the tourists arrive by boat. The return trip is by sea where, between the coves of Clayoquot Sound, you might cross paths with whales, seals, sea lions and otters.

A visit to the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve

A visit to the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve

Designated by UNESCO in 2000, Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve lies at the heart of one of the world’s most impressive temperate rainforests. Being so inaccessible to mankind, his evil intent has been kept at bay. This explains why so many ecosystems are found here, including: forests, lakes, rivers, marshes, beaches and mountains. You can discover all of these landscapes at a leisurely pace along the well-marked paths...

Whale-watching boat trip, Cow Bay

Whale-watching boat trip, Cow Bay

The trips run by the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort whisk visitors away on a childhood dream: a boat trip dancing with whales. Depending on the season (and some good luck), you’ll see grey whales and humpback whales coming up to the surface for air, and in summer, orcas perform their moves before a stunned audience of tourists. Not far from Cow Bay, there are seals and sea lions lazing at the foot of the rocks. Man is only passing through in this unspoilt paradise...

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2 Vancouver — 2 Nights
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Wedgewood Hotel & Spa

Vancouver - British Columbia, Canada

Hotel and restaurant in town. Located on fashionable Robson Square, the Wedgewood is a superb address displaying distinct European elegance, right in the heart of the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. The guest rooms and suites provide every modern comfort, alongside antiques and original artworks, while the restaurant, dedicated to Bacchus, serves inventive, epicurean cuisine. The lounge is the epitome of understated luxury, featuring stylish furniture, rich fabrics, old-fashioned fireplaces and Venetian light fixtures personally selected by the owner. Every member of the staff, from the team at the inviting wellness center to the chef in the restaurant, strives to attain one goal: perfection. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
83 rooms
(from) US$ 226.08
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Close to the property

Biking along the seawall, Vancouver

Biking along the seawall, Vancouver

The pathway along the seawall is great for fans of running, cycling and rollerblading. Along the way, stop at the aquarium and, perhaps, at the pretty Teahouse in Stanley Park. If he has the time, ask Philip Meyer, Wedgewood’s very friendly Maître de Maison, to accompany you on this superb two-wheel ride.

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3 Salt Spring Island — 2 Nights
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Hastings House Country House Hotel

Salt Spring Island - British Columbia, Canada

Hotel and restaurant in a park. On picturesque Salt Spring Island, Hastings House Country House Hotel is a charming waterfront resort overlooking Ganges Harbor. A magnificent 11th century Sussex-style manor house, built by British architect Warren Hastings in 1940, is the heart of the property and a convivial spot for cocktails and dining. Its inglenook fireplace and other authentic details are embellished with antiques and works by local artists. With 18 suites and rooms, Hastings House is an ideal base for exploring the area. The island itself is a hotspot for artists and locavores. The dining room offers award-winning gourmet cuisine highlighting fresh produce from its own garden. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
18 rooms
(from) US$ 365.62
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Close to the property

The vineyards of Salt Spring Island

The vineyards of Salt Spring Island

Several vineyards have become known far beyond the island’s borders, featuring on the wine lists of the country’s greatest restaurants. Gary Oaks Winery has won many awards for its excellent Pinot Gris while, a few kilometers away, Salt Spring Vineyards produces a superb organic blackberry "port". Continue your wine country tour with a visit to Mistaken Identity Vineyards, where sustainable development is synonymous with great wine.

Art in Salt Spring

Art in Salt Spring

Salt Spring is a destination of choice for art lovers. A native of the island, Robert Bateman became famous for his abstract depictions of nature, before becoming a realist painter. He was very inspired by the Group of Seven, one of the country’s most important artist collectives. Some of their works are on permanent display in the Pegasus Gallery and at Hastings House. Tours are organized to the town’s main galleries. You can also meet resident artists during the Salt Spring Studio Tour.

Salt Spring Market

Salt Spring Market

Between April and October, this famous market attracts all of the island’s locavores and art lovers. It’s a very funky, colorful spot! Small-scale producers, artists, artisans, bakers and cheese-makers gather on Saturdays amidst gales of laughter. The only rule is that vendors must “make, bake or grow” everything at their stalls.

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4 Sonora Island — 2 Nights
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Sonora Resort

Richmond - British Columbia, Canada

Hotel and restaurant in the woods. Nestled in a Pacific Archipelago, Sonora Resort offers a rare alchemy of virgin wilderness and opulent comfort. Accessible only by sea or air, this is the stage for a breathtaking natural spectacle: eagles perched on towering trees, whales and sea lions surfing the currents… Spend adventurous days fishing, hiking, and observing grizzly bears in their natural habitat. For quieter moments immerse yourself in soothing mineral pools. Here, every room commands a stunning view of snow-capped peaks that seem to plunge into the emerald sea. Fresh local ingredients are prepared by accomplished chefs, paired with world class wines and served before an ocean vista. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
88 rooms
(from) US$ 829.94
Choose Room
On the route

Helicopter to Sonora

Helicopter to Sonora

London Air Flight AW139 reaches Sonora in barely 50 minutes. From the Esso Avitat Terminal in Richmond, this is above all a unique voyage along superb fjords and craggy coastlines. On the right you can see the landscape of British Columbia and, on the left, Vancouver Island. You fly over mountains and vast stretches of water. A true delight.

Fly-fishing

Fly-fishing

Take a trip up the Phillips River in search of cutthroat trout, charr and migratory salmon. The hotel will lend you all the equipment necessary for the region’s beloved pastime, and you will be accompanied by a fly-fishing expert. With a bit of luck, here on the territory of the Kwaiakah First Nation, you might see some grizzlies catching fish not far away.

Kayaking in the fjords

Kayaking in the fjords

Gliding down British Columbia’s fjords in a sea kayak, to the sound of paddles, is one of the most beautiful ways to commune with nature. Accompanied by a guide, you might spot kingfishers, bald eagles, sea lions or killer whales along the way.

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5 Lake Louise — 2 Nights
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Outpost
Hotel + Restaurant
Cheeseburger in Paradise
Hotel + Restaurant
Hotel + Restaurant

Post Hotel & Spa

Lake Louise - Alberta, Canada

Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. Nestled in the Bow River Valley, with the spectacular Canadian Rockies as a backdrop, the Post Hotel offers one of the most picturesque locations imaginable: the heart of Banff National Park, Canada’s first.This is a protected region, designated as a World Heritage Site – unspoiled natural beauty, pristine wilderness and a safe haven for the bountiful wildlife. Imagine skiing or hiking in this breathtaking landscape. Just two hours west of Calgary International airport and you are there: spacious suites, crackling fireplaces, Temple Mountain spa, award winning fresh market cuisine and one of Canada’s largest wine cellars, with over 25,000 bottles and more than 2,200 labels. ... Learn moreless

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor
Key Services
90 rooms
2 villas
(from) US$ 363.31
Choose Room
Close to the property

Bears and a gondola ride

Bears and a gondola ride

This is perhaps the best – and quickest – way to observe black and grizzly bears. A 14-minute gondola ride lets you discover these animals in their natural habitat. At the summit, at 2088 m, the view of the lake and surrounding mountains is breathtaking. On the mountain there is an interpretive center, and the possibility of following grizzly tracks accompanied by a seasoned guide.

Discover the Glenbow Museum, Calgary

Discover the Glenbow Museum, Calgary

Dedicated to the history of the city and the region, this museum attracts enthusiasts of both pop culture and tradition. Western Canada can be discovered here through the lives of the indigenous people, cowboys and oil explorers. Between contemporary works and old artefacts, there are various collections from precious stones, to paintings depicting Arctic explorations from the 19th century (William Bradford) and abstract paintings (Marion Nicoll).

Discover why booking with Relais & Châteaux is a world of privileges
Texts : © Guides Gallimard