Stretching from the ornate colonial capital of Victoria to the rocky headlands and windswept beaches of Cape Scott, Vancouver Island boasts one of the planet’s most diverse ecosystems, owing to its untamed shorelines, snow-capped mountains, and old-growth forests.
Famed as an idyllic summer sanctuary as well as a surfer’s paradise, its endless list of wild adventures is enjoyed by vibrant, quirky communities bound by a passion for the great outdoors.
The island’s rugged landscape and tremendous seasonal transformation lure visitors to its fabulous hotels all year round, which range from charming, cabin-like boutiques to luxurious garden resorts. Here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Vancouver Island, Canada (in no particular order)...
1. The Shoreline Tofino – a tranquil and enchanting oceanfront resort perfect for a romantic getaway, set in the heart of Tofino
Nestled between old growth cedars hanging on the edge of the shore, this dreamers, surfers, and lovers haven invites you to stay oceanfront and see things from a new perspective.
Originally built in the late 1960’s, the A-frame house and two A-frame cabins reflect the rich, natural splendour of the surrounding landscape, and evoke a sense of modern surf shack cool.
The thoughtful touches in the cabins offer an inspiring yet laid-back feel, upholstered by blissful home comforts which include plush linens, a spacious wardrobe, and a flat-screen TV. Every room features a patio with a sea view, offering a graceful spot to kick back and soak up the chic island vibes.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Shoreline Tofino
2. Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages – a unique high-end rustic-chic resort that offers a lush garden and a private beach area
A stunning assortment of boutique accommodations is on offer at Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages. As the day wanes, you can retreat to a waterfront cottage or plush log cabin with your own private firepit, or one of the fan-favourite ‘Seaside Cottages’ which are fitted with high-end furnishings and a private wood burning sauna, creating a ‘Glampers Paradise’ feel.
The Renfrew pub offers a cosy gathering place for locals and visitors and boasts an enviable spot next to the dock, as well as a 10-tap draught system, a pool table, and nautical charm.
The scent of toasted cedar drifts through the dining room’s French doors, which are surrounded by sprawling wrap-around patios that feature panoramic bay views.
- To book, check prices or availability for Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages
3. Pacific Sands Beach Resort – a peaceful and stylish all-suite beachfront resort very popular amongst those who are looking for a relaxing vacation
A family-friendly bliss awaits you at this west coast stunner, lapped by the azure waters of the Pacific. Sitting elegantly amongst the Sitka spruce and fragrant Western Red Cedar trees, hammocks and communal barbeque areas are dotted around the complex, harmoniously blending with the stunning natural surroundings.
The 121 rooms are well-equipped with a full kitchen, propane fireplace, and decors which favour the natural approach. These include bountiful shining redwood sequoia, glowing wood furniture, and earth-toned accents.
All units come with rain slickers and beach towels, while the more spacious Beach Houses feature a whirlpool and a soaker tub. Guests are invited to complimentary yoga sessions by the seaside, while private and group classes can also be arranged.
- To book, check prices or availability for Pacific Sands Beach Resort
4. Tofino Resort + Marina – a modern, sleek and travel-sustainable resort that is located on the West Coast surfing destination in the heart of Tofino
Take a step into British Columbia’s ancient and luscious Pacific Rim Park and experience all things adventure, at this full-service waterfront hotel.
Presenting rustic comfort across five slick buildings, lots of white and natural woods bolster an authentic Canadiana vibe. Tofino Resort is located in an area brimming with activities for every taste.
These include catching 40-pound salmon, whale-watching, soaking in ancient hot springs, and paddling into waves on a surfboard.
The 63 rooms are comfortable and cozy and are decorated in a minimalist colour scheme of black, white, and grey. The in-room amenities were designed to reflect the hotel’s passion for the west coast outdoor lifestyle.
- To book, check prices or availability for Tofino Resort + Marina
5. Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa – a deluxe boutique resort spa that comes with an onsite marina and is embraced by Brentwood Bay
An excellent choice for an upscale romantic getaway, a chic experience is offered through a highly acclaimed wine cellar, a high-end restaurant and sushi bar, a blissful spa session, and gorgeous warm décor throughout the hotel.
In room offerings include large furnished balconies with ocean panoramas, deep Jacuzzi tubs, Deserving Thyme toiletries, and quaint fireplaces. At the helm of this spectacular resort, the most passionate and engaged group are set out to enhance the lives of all, with award-winning spa & wellness experiences embodying this ethos.
Upon entry, begin your stay in luxury with a complimentary taste of local sparkling apple SeaCider, and fall in love with the spectacular surroundings.
- To book, check prices or availability for Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa
6. Hotel Zed Tofino – a fun, cool and hip hotel ideal for Millennials and Gen Zs that is amongst a rainforest along the Pacific Rim Highway
A hotel experience which completely rebels against the ordinary, the retro-chic motel feel manifests itself in a swanky 70s hip style, decked out in modern, groovy décor.
You will never get bored in Hotel Zed, whether you can choose to hang out in the sunken living room, the retro office, or lobby, which has a bike path running through the middle of it. An on-site bird sanctuary also features, winning the hearts of many nature lovers.
This Instagrammable hotel boasts a bunch of quirky amenities in its guestrooms, including a rotary dial phone! Nestled in a natural paradise on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, some of Canada’s most iconic beaches are close by, where you are sure to be blown away by the surf and the sunsets.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Zed Tofino
7. SookePoint Ocean Cottage Resort – a premium and unpretentious seaside resort that has won awards for Building Excellence
Surrounded by stunning nature, SookePoint Ocean Cottage Resort is perched cliffside above the Pacific, conveniently set away from the hustle and bustle of Victoria.
Offering 4 cottage room types with a variety of layouts and bedding configurations, an exclusive experience is offered to the discerning traveller. The spacious accommodations are decked out with modern amenities, which include flat-screen TV’s, spa-inspired bathrooms, and large living spaces.
Most suites feature balconies, allowing guests the chance to step outside and breathe in the fresh ocean air and watch the marine life from the comfort of their own home. Located a 30-minute drive from Sooke, your luxury suite is truly a haven to enjoy the deep depths of Mother Nature.
- To book, check prices or availability for SookePoint Ocean Cottage Resort
8. Qualicum Breeze Beach Resort – a cool and tropical beach resort where visitors can enjoy the fresh sea breeze, ideal for the ultimate relaxation
At the foot of the Strait of Georgia, Qualicum Breeze Beach Resort offers exceptional opportunities for aquatic adventures.
Anglers from around the world descend upon the resort’s shores for the Coho salmon runs, and an abundance of marine life including blue herons, bald eagles, and seals can be viewed from the comfort of your beachfront suite.
Here you can relax on a private patio and listen to the mesmerising sounds of the waves, or cozy up around a beachfront campfire and experience the star-lit nights. A memorable experience is offered in the luxurious honeymoon suite, which comes equipped with a fireplace and a jetted hot tub.
- To book, check prices or availability for Qualicum Breeze Beach Resort
9. Cowichan River Lodge – a bespoke and country-style lodge tucked between a gorgeous pond with beautiful nature in the surroundings
Located on the banks of one of Canada’s first heritage-status rivers, this boutique-style lodge is nestled within a stunning area of natural wilderness.
Cowichan River Lodge is not only a haven for those wanting to fish in the wild waters of Vancouver Island, but also for those seeking a restful oasis to relax with friends and experience an outdoor-oriented charm.
As you wake in your beautiful guestroom, you will be graced with a delicious home-cooked breakfast before being given detailed plans for activities such as local winery tours, kayaking, river tubing, and whale watching tours. The idyllic surroundings and elegant splendour of this stunning lodge will be the source of stories for a lifetime.
- To book, check prices or availability for Cowichan River Lodge
10. Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa – an intimate oasis of style that provides an oceanfront spa, embraced in a coastal forest on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island
Overlooking the enthralling scenery of the Gulf Islands and coastal mountains, this seaside sanctuary combines wellness and relaxation with delicious food and drink.
Succulent, pacific North-western style cuisine is served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with locally caught seafood and organic produce in a casual ambiance.
The resort’s low-rise buildings and thoughtful landscaping of fragrant lavender bushes and driftwood sculptures, encourage you to spend time outdoors at the lush swimming pool, while enjoying stellar views. You can pamper yourself in pure luxury at the Pacific Mist Spa, where the therapies focus on the rich ingredients of the sea, leaving you feeling relaxed and renewed.
- To book, check prices or availability for Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa
11. Storm Cove Suites – trendy and awe-inspiring accommodation located on a rocky cliff edge next to Brown’s Beach
Situated on a rocky cliff, steps away from the renowned Wild Pacific Trail, this private oasis is perfect for couples in pursuit of a luxurious retreat.
The accommodations boast an open yet cosy interior with a fully equipped kitchen, as well as a patio which features a BBQ and a scenic picnic area. In the spacious suites, a unique, contemporary style is mixed with functionality, topped with large windows peering out over spectacular cedar trees and the beautiful Brown’s Beach.
The polished concrete walls of the kitchens, and the beautiful, tiled bathrooms complete with tempered glass add a touch of lavish freshness, and there is an outdoor shower build into the natural rocks for cleaning off after a day out at the beach.
- To book, check prices or availability for Storm Cove Suites
12. Dashwood Manor Seaside Bed & Breakfast – a historic and spacious B&B housed in a Tudor revival–style mansion dating from 1912
Casual elegance is at the core of this heritage-designed seaside B&B, which peers out over Victoria’s most epic ocean and mountain panoramas.
This 1912 mansion sits gracefully on the edge of Victoria’s scenic marine drive, just a short walk from the inner harbour of downtown, where an eclectic array of chic restaurants awaits you.
Epitomizing the very best of island living, the elegantly appointed guestrooms boast spacious sitting areas, while some feature Jacuzzi’s and fireplaces for that special romantic getaway, anniversary, or honeymoon.
You can step right outside you front door and onto beautiful walking paths, or take a leisurely stroll along the beach while breathing in the fresh seaside air.
- To book, check prices or availability for Dashwood Manor Seaside Bed & Breakfast
13. Port Hardy Cabins – a charming and gorgeous motel that is an excellent choice for visitors looking to escape the urban chaotic life
Offering a rustic and quaint ‘West Coast’ inspired getaway, a stay in one of the Port Hardy Cabins offers an unrivalled spot to kick back and reflect on the day’s hiking adventures.
Boasting minimalist yet well-appointed furnishings, the self-contained accommodations are charmingly nestled within lush green grounds, with private gardens and barbeques sharing a nod to the exclusive woodland essence which suffuses the surrounding area.
A stay here does not mean you have to compromise on your home comforts, with flat-screen TVs with cable channels, private kitchenettes, and dining areas offering an extravagant twist on your typical cabin getaway.
- To book, check prices or availability for Port Hardy Cabins
14. Amante Luxury Bed & Breakfast – a cozy rustic-chic B&B where guests can enjoy the beautiful surrounding scenery
Set in 10 acres of parklike settings with a creek, bridges, walking paths, hand-carved trees, and lush manicured gardens of blooming colourful flowers, Amante Luxury Bed & Breakfast is the perfect garden getaway.
Golf carts are available to explore the property’s picturesque grounds, while a 3-minute venture will take you to a pristine beach, with lots of wide-groomed hiking trails around.
You can relax in a private cottage with an outdoor hot tub and gated patio, whilst cooking up your own meal on a BBQ, or ordering off a custom appetizer menu on-site. Rooms boast heavenly quilted queen beds with Egyptian linens, and comfy pillows, quilts, and throws.
- To book, check prices or availability for Amante Luxury Bed & Breakfast
15. A Float Home B&B in Fisherman’s Wharf – a cool, unique and informal B&B that is a floating accommodation
Rock gently to sleep at this unique floating home, which is the coolest place to make unforgettable memories in one of North America’s premier travel destinations.
Surrounded by a host of wildlife including ducks, geese, seals, herons, and seagulls, a stay here is like a front row seat to a brilliant nature spectacle. A 10-minute walk will take you to downtown, the inner harbour, and the beaches along Dallas road, while water taxis can take you to many of the island’s hidden gems.
This funky and vibrant B&B boasts 33 whimsical guestrooms which evoke the feeling that you are living in a romantic fairy-tale on the Venice waterways.
- To book, check prices or availability for A Float Home B&B in Fisherman’s Wharf
16. Cabins West – a sophisticated and well-equipped boutique cabin that offers a sun deck and bbq facilities
This locally owned boutique boasts eight customized cabins, each anchored with a large cedar log, and opening to a stunning deck perched above lush landscape.
Designed with relaxation and comfort in mind, each cabin is decorated in beautiful knotty pine and warm earthy décor to reflect the surrounding rainforest, and boasts a fully equipped kitchen and private barbeque.
The homes are similar on the outside but exclusively designed on the inside, ranging from rustic appearances to modern styling. Complimentary parking is a key feature, which means you can take advantage of Cabins West’s supreme location without relying on public transport. Simply park up at the lodge and head out on your blissful West Coast adventures!
- To book, check prices or availability for Cabins West
17. Fairholme Manor Inn – a cute vintage-chic European-style boutique B&B housed in a grand Italianate mansion
This delightfully restored Victorian mansion is perched on a hill overlooking beautiful gardens, and is backdropped by the Olympic Mountains and the Juan de Fuca Strait.
Fairholme is a romantic, European style B&B offering the ideal haven for honeymooners, anniversary couples, and those seeking a lush getaway. The inn’s high-ceilinged suites are unsurpassed, with vast sitting areas, period furnishings, elegant décor, and sumptuous soaking tubs offering touches of class.
These fabulous accommodations have been featured in ‘Healing Lifestyle and Spa Magazine’, as well as in many in-flight magazines, owing to its 5-star Boutique inn ambiance. Fairholme Manor Inn is located close to the ocean, yet downtown Victoria’s attractions and inner harbour can be easily accessed for epic afternoon ventures.
- To book, check prices or availability for Fairholme Manor Inn
18. Oyster Bay Resort – an ultra-chic and distinctive complex of chalets that is an ideal place for honeymoons
Oyster Bay Resort is a place where visitors come to relax, amid a romantic environment that radiates into the unique chalets, which are shaped in half-hearts.
Upon entry into your well-appointed chalet, you will feel the charming ambiance, with a gas fireplace and knotty-pine interior setting the tone for a vacation characterized by tranquillity.
In the evenings, you can sit on your own private deck and enjoy the gorgeous views of the Georgia Strait, or kick back on your L-shaped couch and watch TV. The delightful staff presence is always on hand to make your stay a truly memorable experience, and can offer insightful advice on blissful hikes around the local area.
- To book, check prices or availability for Oyster Bay Resort
19. Prestige Oceanfront Resort; BW Premier Collection – an elegant oceanfront hidden gem that features individually designed rooms with mountain, ocean or harbour views
Presenting the ideal haven for relaxation and rejuvenation, this full-service resort welcomes you to a distinct style from the minute you walk in.
Steeped in refined elegance, the highest quality of service is provided in this amenity-laden resort. This standard of hospitality extends into the fully equipped fitness room, the exquisite on-site dining experience for the culinary aficionado, and the ample amounts of meeting space.
Rising above the Pacific, this waterfront resort boasts awe-inspiring views of Sooke Harbour, Sooke Basin, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Olympic Mountains. Situated close to epic sightseeing, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and zip-lining spots, this resort is potentially Greater Victoria’s best-kept secret.
- To book, check prices or availability for Prestige Oceanfront Resort; BW Premier Collection
20. Island Village Properties at South Chesterman’s Beach – a quirky-chic and homely guesthouse surrounded by greenery and next door to South Chesterman’s Beach
This quaint garden retreat is glazed in an elegant redwood exterior, while the interiors exude a homey ambiance courtesy of thoughtfully appointed seating areas and cosy cabins.
A sense of relaxation and rejuvenation is ever-present on the property’s grounds, which guides you to retreat to a simpler way of life amid a tranquil, tree-lined paradise.
A graceful, stoned walkway leads you through the gardens, under cheery archways towards the accommodations, which feature wooden decks and patio furniture where you can spend a relaxing evening with your family.
Downtown Tofino is just a 5-minute drive away, while Long Beach and the National Park can be reached within 15 minutes, owing to the property’s supreme location.
- To book, check prices or availability for Island Village Properties at South Chesterman’s Beach
We also have posts on…
- Cool and Unusual Hotels in Vancouver
- Cool and Unusual Hotels in Toronto
- Cool and Unusual Hotels in Calgary
- Cool and Unusual Hotels in Jasper
- Cool and Unusual Hotels in Banff
- Cool and Unusual Hotels in Montreal
- Cool and Unusual Hotels in Quebec
Gary is an award winning full time professional photographer and videographer with too much wanderlust for his own good. Fuelled by strong coffee, you’ll often find him wandering well off hiking trails in search of interesting photographic subjects or scenery to video. Self taught and with the use of pioneering digital techniques, he quickly built up a strong client base and has worked with many prestigious organisations, including GQ, BBC, London Fashion Week, Grazia, Sky, Metro, Vogue Italia. He specialising in evocative images of people, places and cinematic videography and his goal is to make the viewer look twice and engage. As well as a penchant for good design, the ketogenic diet and Hungarian Vizslas, he also has a huge affection for Chicago, Bucharest, Scandinavia, Croatia and absolutely everywhere in Italy. Find him on Instagram @garynansome, Twitter @garynansome and his website https://garynunn.co.uk/