Indulge in Luxury and Experience Indigenous Culture in BC
With a wealth of properties situated amid pristine nature, Indigenous communities are redefining the experience of a luxury vacation in British Columbia. From oceanfront resorts on Vancouver Island to spectacular new lodgings on Haida Gwaii and jaw-dropping scenic beauties nestled against the Rockies, these accommodations boast all of the features travellers expect from a high-end escape, plus the chance to learn about the regions’ Indigenous cultures, history, and the environment in an immersive way. Here are eight fantastic places to stay in BC.
Wya Point Resort: Next to the Pacific Rim National Park in Ucluelet, Wya Point features luxury lodges and yurts amid magnificent 600-year-old trees that tower toward the sky while the ocean laps onto the shores of the resort that is owned by the Ucluelet Nation.
Activities: Fishing Charters, Surfing, Hiking, Eagle Aerie Gallery [in Tofino] WyaPoint.com
Kwa’lilas Hotel: Meaning ‘place to sleep’ in the Gwa’sala Nakwaxda’xw language, Kwa’lilas Hotel offers exceptional dining and activities in Port Hardy. Situated on the eastern tip of North Vancouver Island, Port Hardy is surrounded by an eye-candy feast of mountain ranges and pristine forests.
Activities: Scenic Boat and Wildlife Tours [k’awat’si Tours], Drum-Making and Cedar Weaving
Skwachàys Lodge: A boutique hotel in Vancouver’s trendy Gastown district, this unique property includes rooms designed by local Indigenous artists featuring custom furniture, paintings, murals, wood-carvings, textiles and works that express the spirit and traditions of the Indigenous cultures. The lobby-level gallery is an attraction in itself. Activities: Stanley Park Walking Tours [Talaysay Tours], Bill Reid Art Gallery, Canoe Tours [Takaya Tours] Skwachays.com
Ocean House at Stads K’uns GawGa: Debuting in Spring 2018, the Ocean House promises to establish a new standard for luxury resorts on the west coast. Owned by the Haida Nation, this fly-in lodge fits a maximum of 24 guests, and each one will be spoiled with flavours and activities galore.
Activities: Cultural Tours, Nature Walks, Stand-up Paddle Boarding, Wildlife-Viewing Hiking, Visits to Ancient Village Sites
Great Bear Rainforest
Spirit Bear Lodge: The famed Spirit Bear — a black bear with a recessive gene, also called the Kermode — is the main draw to this lush part of the world that is the traditional home of the Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation. While tours into the Great Bear Rainforest are the reason travellers visit, the experience at Spirit Bear Lodge is why they will desire to return.
Activities: Wildlife-Viewing / Bear-Viewing Tours, Cultural Workshops
Quaaout Lodge & Spa at Talking Rock Golf Resort: The star of the Shuswap Region, Quaaout Lodge provides outstanding waterfront accommodations as well as golf opportunities, spa amenities, canoe tours and cultural workshops.
Activities: Golf, Spa, Canoe Tours, Berry Picking Tours, Cultural Workshops
St. Eugene Golf, Resort & Casino: An incredible success story, the St. Eugene is owned by the Ktunaxa Nation and offers a place of fun, relaxation, entertainment and exceptional service. The resort also features Speaking Earth ‘Haqaⱡpaⱡninam’ packages where a nation member shares and interprets traditional knowledge and culture in a hands-on environment.
Activities: Golf, Spa, Casino, Hiking, Cultural Workshops
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort: The hot springs were first visited by the Ktunaxa First Nations peoples who experienced the waters as a welcome respite after a long day of hunting, fishing, gathering roots and berries in what is now known as the Kootenay region. Today, this upscale property is owned by Yaqan Nukiy, returning the Ktunaxa peoples to this significant land so that they may share their appreciation with others.
Activities: Healing Hotsprings, Cultural Workshops, Spa, Hiking