14 Top-Rated Resorts in British Columbia
It's no secret that one of the biggest draws for tourists to Canada is this vast country's stunning natural beauty. And one of the top destinations for nature lovers to enjoy this bounty is beautiful British Columbia (BC), where travelers are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a great place to stay as they explore.
Particularly popular are the province's many luxury wilderness resorts and lodges. These include everything from remote northern coastal lodges, accessible only by air or water, like Sonora Resort, to backwoods affairs that provide guests with the ultimate in refined outdoors experiences in elegant canopy-covered suites, such as Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (think "glamping," only better). And, of course, these wilderness lodgings usually include opportunities to enjoy some wildlife spotting, including the might grizzly bear.
Those preferring an urban experience won't be disappointed, either. The province's largest cities boast a variety of world-class luxury accommodations, from glamorous boutique inns to larger downtown affairs such as L'Hermitage Hotel in Vancouver.
Plan your stay with this list of the top-rated resorts in British Columbia:
1 Echo Valley Ranch & Spa, Clinton
For those seeking a truly authentic Canadian outdoor experience, Echo Valley
Ranch & Spa near the town of Clinton in BC's Cariboo Region certainly delivers. Billing itself as part-ranch, part-spa, this unique luxury establishment is set on 160 acres yet keeps things intimate by accommodating just 42 guests in its mix of lodge rooms and cabins (there's even a Royal Suite). All meals are included and are made using local seasonal produce.
Though not suitable for young children, kids 13 and older are welcome and will have as much fun as adults participating in outdoor activities, including horseback riding, hiking, fishing, gold panning, 4WD safaris, rafting, and even bear viewing. For those seeking indoor activities, on-site amenities include two full-service spas, a fitness center, heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, and steam room. Other activities and amenities on offer include yoga classes, a games room, gift shop, private stocked fishing ponds, nature trails, and mountain bike use. The resort even has its own private paved airstrip. (Note that Echo Valley Ranch & Spa's northerly location means it is without cellular service, though landline service is available.)
Address: 10635 Jesmond Road, Clinton, British Columbia
Accommodation: Echo Valley Ranch & Spa
2 Sonora Resort, Sonora Island
Getting to Sonora Resort is half the fun. Accessible only by boat from Campbell River or by helicopter or float plane from Vancouver and Seattle, this stunning island wilderness resort has incredible ocean views in one of the most beautiful settings in BC. In addition to offering superlative luxury accommodations, guests can enjoy an array of guided eco-tours and wildlife spotting adventures that include salmon fishing, grizzly bear watching, biking, hiking, swimming in mountain pools, and kayaking.
The resort's room options include 12 large, stand-alone, and extremely cozy lodges with plenty of room for friends and family. Each boasts the same magnificent water views and include all meals, which are crafted by Chef Lukas Gurtner. On-site amenities include a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs and regenerative mineral pools, a fitness center, fly-fishing ponds, tennis and shuffleboard courts, as well as a movie theater and putting green. A nice added touch is the free use of the resort's digital cameras to record the whole experience.
Location: Sonora Island, British Columbia
Accommodation: Sonora Resort
3 The Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino
Another of BC's stunning coastal wilderness lodges, the historic Wickaninnish Inn (it opened in 1955) in Tofino offers guests a selection of 75 luxury accommodations to choose from; those wanting a little extra space should consider one of the larger suites. All rooms come with a large soaker tub, fireplace, and a private balcony with panoramic ocean views. The same lovely views can be enjoyed from the resort's dining room (The Pointe Restaurant), as well as the Ancient Cedars Spa.
Outdoor fun includes swimming at nearby Chesterman Beach and exploring Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, just a short drive away. The inn has become a popular destination in winter for its storm watching programs, and even supplies guests with waterproof rain gear. Pet-friendly rooms are also available (be sure to request when booking due to availability), and the resort also offers a special welcome option for visiting pooches called the "Wik Pup" program, including dog sitting, pet bedding, ball-launcher, and pet shower. Parents traveling with children should also ask about the "Wik Kid" program, which includes special in-room treats, programs such as treasure hunts, and even babysitting services.
Address: 500 Osprey Lane, Tofino, British Columbia
Accommodation: The Wickaninnish Inn
4 Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Tofino
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in Tofino offers what can best be described as the ultimate in camping experiences: a wilderness "safari" experience in the most luxurious tents to be found anywhere. Fitted with the most elegant furnishings, the adventure includes one of 25 prospector-style tents set along the edges of an estuary, each with large beds, washroom facilities, and in some cases, lovely lounges (depending on your tolerance for luxury and pampering). Bathrooms include heated floors plus a covered outdoor shower. Other pioneer-era home comforts include cast iron wood stoves, along with vintage oil lamps and candles for lighting.
Located near the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve just a stone's throw from Tofino on Vancouver Island, guests also have access (for a fee) to a great deal of outdoor adventure, too. Highlights include helicopter service to all points of interest across the island and mainland, including heli-fly fishing adventures, heli-ziplining, and cloud camping. A highlight of a stay here is having a meal in the resort's original dining tent or log Cookhouse.
Address: 1 Clayoquot, Tofino, British Columbia
Accommodation: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
5 Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, Stuie
Starting out in 1929 as a hunting and fishing lodge, historic Tweedsmuir Park Lodge is located within the boundaries of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park, one of the largest unspoilt tracts of land in the country. Perhaps not surprisingly given its location, the lodge is a popular jumping off point for tourists looking to explore Canada's rugged north western shoreline, and activities including heli-skiing and wildlife spotting are big draws. Guided grizzly bear tours are a popular option, and guests can make use of the lodge's bear viewing platform to watch nearby grizzlies hunting for salmon in the Atnarko River.
On-site amenities include gourmet dining; a traditional sweat lodge; a sauna and hot tub; and access to large social spaces in the main lodge, with its living and dining rooms, a huge fireplace, games area (including billiards, foosball, and table hockey) plus a small store. A separate spa building with a yoga room and exercise equipment is also available.
Then, of course, there's the unique lodging. With just nine rustic, timber-frame chalets hosting up to four people, guests can enjoy plenty of tranquility as they soak up the mountain views from their private porch or cast a line in the nearby river. Other fun things to do include an 18-hole Frisbee golf course, plenty of hiking and biking trails, plus archery.
Address: 7011 Corbould Drive, Stuie, British Columbia
Accommodation: Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
6 L'Hermitage Hotel, Vancouver
Perfect for those preferring to explore an urban jungle rather than the forests of BC, the exquisite L'Hermitage Hotel in downtown Vancouver offers a high degree of luxury and pampering just steps away from the city's shopping, dining and entertainment hubs. With 60 elegant rooms and suites to choose from, as well as one- and two-bedroom apartments complete with kitchens, the hotel also offers guests a variety of world-class amenities, including a heated, outdoor saltwater pool, fitness center, daily newspapers, and the use of bicycles to explore this people-friendly city and its many great parks and open spaces.
The hotel also offers great dining in its L'Orangerie Dining Room & Lounge, including delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. A highlight of any visit, though, is indulging in a decadent afternoon (or "high") tea, complete with a selection of finger sandwiches, pastries, scones, and Devonshire clotted cream.
Address: 788 Richards Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
Accommodation: L'Hermitage Hotel
7 Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, Vancouver
Another downtown Vancouver accommodation option tourists should consider is the Wedgewood Hotel. Considered one of the city's most elegant addresses, the Wedgewood has earned a well-deserved reputation for its high levels of service, as well as for its dining. Bacchus, its fine dining restaurant, has long been a popular destination for the city's business and social elite, and its international inspired menus continue to delight. The hotel is also a popular place to stay for its spa, as well as for its other on-site amenities, including a steam room and fitness center.
When it comes to rooms, guests are spoiled for choice. Options include well-appointed deluxe- and executive rooms with marble bathrooms, private balconies, and great mountain or city views; one- and two- bedroom studios suitable for families; and the extremely luxurious penthouse suites with their own spacious terraces.
Address: 845 Hornby Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
Accommodation: Wedgewood Hotel & Spa
8 Magnolia Hotel & Spa, Victoria
Magnolia Hotel & Spa, a chic boutique hotel in Victoria, boasts numerous great reasons for travelers to consider spending time here. One of the city's leading pampering retreats thanks to Spa Magnolia, it's the perfect place for couples or groups of friends wanting to indulge in some down time. Offering seven treatment rooms plus a large, comfy lounge, the spa has a variety of organic beauty and massage treatment options guaranteed to revitalize.
The hotel's accommodations are also a treat. Guests can choose from spacious corner rooms with excellent views over Victoria harbor, or the even larger Signature Diamond Rooms featuring a king bed, gas fireplace, marble bathrooms, and stunning views over the city's historic downtown core. All stays include iPod/laptop/phone chargers, a large desk, umbrella, bathrobes and slippers, and - a particularly nice touch - fresh fruit upon arrival and handmade chocolates left after your room's evening turndown service. Other great reasons to stay include on-site dining, a fitness center, laundry services, and valet parking.
Address: 623 Courtney Street, Victoria, British Columbia
Accommodation: Magnolia Hotel & Spa
9 The Fairmont Empress, Victoria
Perhaps the best known of BC's urban hotels, the iconic Fairmont Empress recently underwent a $60-million-dollar renovation that makes a stay at this Victoria landmark even more appealing. Located adjacent to the city's lovely Inner Harbour area just a short stroll from Victoria's major cultural attractions, this historic luxury resort consists of 464 refurbished guest rooms and suites with views over the coast, historic buildings, and parks. Guests needing space to spread out (or for hosting larger groups) can opt for a one- or two-bedroom unit with adjoining family rooms. For something truly remarkable, splash out on the hotel's uber-luxurious Vice Regal Suite.
Whatever the level of opulence, guests will enjoy such in-room features as bathrobes, coffee makers, large soaker tubs, and ceiling fans. On-site food options include fine dining in Q at The Empress restaurant (in summer, dine al fresco on the veranda), as well as a classy high tea in the elegant Lobby Lounge. The hotel is also home to the Willow Stream Spa, complete with relaxing energy pools.
Address: 721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia
Accommodation: The Fairmont Empress
10 Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Whistler
One of the leading luxury hotels in BC's top winter (and summer) playground, Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Whistler offers 178 rooms and 95 suites. Set in the heart of Canada's Rocky Mountains, this alpine resort offers great views from all the guest accommodations, along with cozy fireplaces. Located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain just a short stroll from the ski slopes and golf courses, there's no shortage of great things to see and do here, both on-site and in the neighboring wilderness.
On-site amenities of note include a large spa with 14 treatment rooms, massage therapists, a eucalyptus steam room, and outdoor year-round whirlpools; a fully heated all-season outdoor pool; fitness center with yoga and Pilates classes; and superlative dining featuring the gourmet menus of Chef Eren Guryel. In addition to having access to great skiing (arranged by the resort's ski concierge team), guests can also enjoy other activities, including tennis, golf at any one of three nearby championship courses, plus plenty of hiking and biking trails.
Address: 4591 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, British Columbia
Accommodation: Four Seasons Resort and Residences
11 Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver
Located close to the major attractions that make Vancouver one of Canada's top luxury travel destinations, the five-star Fairmont Pacific Rim is well worth considering as a base from which to explore all this beautiful city has to offer. Featuring a contemporary design esthetic throughout, the hotel's stylish accommodations include stunning unobstructed water or mountain views from each of its 367 rooms and suites. Options include standard rooms, one-and two-bedroom suites (some with their own patios), as well as the sumptuous Presidential Suite.
In-room amenities include high-end linens, towels, and bathrobes, as well as bathrooms with large soaker tubs and stand-alone showers, plus an easy-to-use touchpad control for heat and air conditioning. Hotel amenities include the Willow Stream Spa, complete with private outdoor terrace, saunas, hot tubs, and meditation pods. Also available are a fully equipped fitness center, a restaurant, and in-room dining.
Address: 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, British Columbia
Accommodation: Fairmont Pacific Rim
12 Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Vancouver
The historic Rosewood Hotel Georgia welcomed its first guests back in 1927 and rapidly became the most fashionable hangout in Vancouver. While much has changed since then - including recent renovations throughout the building - the Georgia continues to be a must-stay destination for those wanting to explore this dynamic city. All told, the hotel has a mix of 156 rooms and suites ranging from charmingly decorated deluxe rooms with walk-in, rain-style showers; large soaker tubs; and great views over the city to larger premier suites with separate living areas (and even better views).
Guests can also take advantage of a wide variety of amenities and services, such as a concierge, in-room and on-site dining, a full spa, fitness center, saltwater lap pool, seasonal terraces, valet parking, kids' programs, and a courtesy car service to help you lug back all that shopping.
Address: 801 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia
Accommodation: Rosewood Hotel Georgia
13 Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort
When it comes time to book those luxury accommodations in Whistler, Canada's top ski and summer adventure sports destination, Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort should certainly be on your list to consider. Located close to the ski and snowboard action in winter, plus summer activities such as golf, hiking, and mountain biking, this large resort is perfect for everything, from couples wanting a romantic getaway to families seeking a truly memorable vacation experience.
The hotel offers 539 luxurious accommodations, each with in-room features like deluxe toiletries, bathrobes, and windows that open (not to mention stunning mountain or village vistas). The resort is particularly popular for those traveling in larger groups due to its spacious suites, each with its own private living area. Other amenities include a full-service spa, on-site and in-room dining (be sure to try the traditional Swiss fondue), and a health and fitness club.
Address: 4599 Chateau Blvd, Whistler, British Columbia
Accommodation: Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort
14 Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa, Victoria
Offering guests commanding views over Vancouver Island's Saanich Inlet, Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa is located just far enough away from Victoria to appeal to nature lovers, and yet is close enough to appeal to those who enjoy everything a large urban center can offer. For fans of the great outdoors, the resort's marina is the perfect jumping off place to explore nearby Tod Inlet, either by canoe, kayak, or paddleboard, along the way catching glimpses of wildlife such as seals and eagles. The resort is also within walking (or paddling) distance of popular Butchart Gardens with its many fun family activities, including regular firework displays and festivals.
Comfortable accommodation options include the elegantly appointed Ocean Suites, complete with fireplace, bathrobes, slippers, and floor-to-ceiling windows to ensure great views, and the larger One Bedroom Ocean Suites with Jacuzzi tub, stand alone shower, and an outdoor hot tub.
Address: 849 Verdier Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia
Accommodation: Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa