On our summer 'walk about' my partner and I traveled to Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia. Visiting Hornby Island, the Comox Valley and Tofino home of the award winning Wickaninnish Inn and its Ancient Cedars Spa voted Canada's top year-round resort spa by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.
The Wickaninnish Inn is part of the Relais & Châteaux group and renowned for its natural splendour. Located on the Pacific Ocean on the west side of Vancouver Island it is the only resort located on the stunning Chesterman Beach. Wickaninnish Inn was acknowledged by Travel + Leisure readers as the top rated Canadian hotel and one of the top 25 resorts in North America for 2011 in their World's Best Travel Awards.
Founded in France in 1954, Relais & Châteaux (www.relaischateaux.com) represents the highest benchmark in hotel accommodations and fine dining, with a select group of over 450 privately owned hotels and restaurants worldwide. The concept grew from the vacationing traditions of well-heeled French society, who traveled to a variety of "relais" (lodges) and "châteaux" (castles) which, while different in architecture, scenery and cuisine, presented consistently high standards.
The essence of Relais & Châteaux lies in its "5 C's": charm, courtesy, character, cuisine, and calm.
From the moment you drive down Osprey Lane the lush well manicured driveway lined with giant red wood trees which form a canopy well above your head, smell the brine of the sea, the earthy scent of the rain forest and hear the crashing waves, you feel a remarkable sense of peace and calm. An ideal start to any spa treatment.
Ancient Cedars Spa places an emphasis on relaxation and rejuvenation inspired by its natural surroundings and ancient customs that are incorporated into their spa treatments after consulting local members of the Nuu chah nulth First Nations. Hishuk Ish Tsawalk Awakening, a signature treatment of the spa incorporates techniques gleaned from traditional cleansing ceremonies. An extensive spa menu includes various signature treatments, results-driven skincare, thalassotherapy and esthetics, offered by a team of internationally-trained spa professionals.
The spa offers all its guests a soothing fireside or oceanside foot soak in Dead Sea salts prior to all treatments and I have to say, this is one of the most magnificent ocean views you will find anywhere. They have also taken care to scout out natural products and organic botanicals from around the globe.
We unconditionally soothe the Body, Mind and Soul by enveloping your being in a sanctuary inspired by nature.
The Spa has a great brochure which describes their philosophy, the experience, how to spa and information on their treatments from skin care, signature treatments, body therapy and yoga. Treatments run from $50.00 for a Hydrotherapy soak to $830.00 for a side-by-side Lomilomi Duo.
If you love the ocean, want to walk in an old growth rainforest on B.C.'s rugged West Coast, see eagles soaring in the sky and be pampered in an award winning spa, then Ancient Cedars Spa at the Wickaninnish Inn is every Spa Girls dream.