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Vancouver island and Rockies where did you stay?

(21 Posts)
mummymeister Sun 17-Nov-13 16:15:23

Planning a big trip and am overloaded by all the accommodation available on the internet. have you stayed anywhere good? places or things to avoid? how long did it take you to get from Vancouver over to the Island? 5 of us going and would really appreciate some help from anyone who has been recently. thinking timber lodges, lake/sea side places not condos in towns ideally.

NCISaddict Mon 18-Nov-13 07:21:07

Can't help but am also planning a trip there next year for five of us so interested. Hadn't thought of timber lodges but they sound lovely.

louloutheshamed Mon 18-Nov-13 09:18:26

If you can afford a night or two in the Wickanninish in Tofino then do it, it's amazing.

Also enjoyed Victoria.

mummymeister Mon 18-Nov-13 12:30:15

thanks loulou. was thinking of staying outside Victoria on Van Island what is ucluelet like? our current loose plan is to fly into Calgary, spend time in the Rockies take the Via train down to Vancouver. Stay here for a couple of days, then go on to Van island. doable in 2 and half - 3 weeks?

Pedallleur Tue 19-Nov-13 09:51:56

It's a couple of hours on the ferry to the Island. Not much going on there unless you like outdoor stuff then it's great. I did the Rocky Mountaineer train which was 2 days but I'll guess it's a day from Calgary to Vancouver. Lot of miles tho'. The road to Banff/Lake Louise/Jasper is long with some great side trips. I stayed at Moraine Lake (stunning!) 11 miles from Lake Louise.

Weegiemum Tue 19-Nov-13 10:22:10

Tofino and Uculet are brilliant, we stayed just outside Tofino in a huge cabin by the beach. We went to Van Island as one of my best friends from school lives there.

Also think about some of the other gulf islands - we've been to Bowen and Galiano, both were lovely.

When we went to the Rockies we rented a huge RV and drove from Vancouver - really long drive!! But it was good to have the flexibility - we stayed in Jasper, and drove back over about 4 days via Banff, Yoho, and the Okanagan. My parents didn't rate the train very highly.

We've been as a family twice (Bil and family lived there for about 6 years), each time for 3 weeks.

First time we did Vancouver (it's worth giving the city itself at least a couple of days - try to have breakfast at Sophie's Cosmic Cafe in Kitsilano, and Granville Island is also good), Rockies trip, Bowen and Van Island to see my friend in Courtenay. Second time we did Tofino, Courtenay (it's just an ordinary wee town, nice but we only went because of friend), Galiano Island and Vancouver.

If you're going with children, there's some good stuff, especially the water parks and the aquarium in Stanley Park. Can highly recommend the Frommers book "Vancouver with Kids"

Have a great time, I'm quite envy

mummymeister Tue 19-Nov-13 14:49:44

thanks weegie and ped. can you send me links to the places where you stayed. I am having trouble choosing lodges/houses/hotel/motel. that would be great as it is so tricky finding something that looks as good as it says it is smile

Weegiemum Wed 20-Nov-13 16:53:10

We stayed here but I don't remember it being quite so expensive - it was in May, we shared with bil and sil. Chesterman Beach is awesome! We had campfires on the beach and walked for miles. I'd shop before Tofino, though, it was quite expensive - in fact I'd go shopping in Vancouver (and don't forget alcohol has to be bought in a state liquor store! TFR were very helpful as we arrived very late due to losing all our luggage in LA en route from Guatemala!!

Rented our RV from Canada Dream Again excellent service.

All of our other stays were with friends or family (or friends of family). In the summer a lot of student houses out near UBC can be rented - cheap but basic, though in Vancouver in the summer you'll hardly be inside.

You don't say when you're going, but the Kids Festival was brilliant! and dh and I managed an evening out at Bard on The Beach which we loved.

Weegiemum Wed 20-Nov-13 16:56:46

Highlight of both my trips for me though was the Athabasca Glacier Bus

mummymeister Wed 20-Nov-13 21:22:18

Thanks weegie. we are going in July so the beach house looks fantastic but $3,000+ for a week is a bit out of budget. Might e mail them though and see if they will do us a deal as you have recommended them (to me and thousands of other Mnetters) smile any others you can think of please let me know.

CosyTeaBags Fri 06-Dec-13 14:57:26

I have stayed here Hidden Cove Lodge

It was fabulous - rickety and old fashioned, but black bears frequent the garden, they have seen a wolf foraging on the cove, the local Raccoons come onto the balcony to be fed, and we watched Orca while sitting outside the lodge.

DP ordered Crab for dinner, and we watched the owner walk down to the jetty, pull up his crab pot, take one out and kill it there and then - 20 mins later it was on DPs plate.

Telegraph Cove was also delightful - although it's a long drive.

Campbell River is nice, interesting place. Great base for whale watching.

Ucluelet is gorgeous, as is Tofino - just utterly, utterly gorgeous.

I used Tridadvisor extensively when planning my trip, loads of recommendations on there.

mummymeister Wed 11-Dec-13 08:02:23

thanks cosyteabags will check all of this out. really useful to have places to stay as tripadvisor and others have so many it gets baffling.

ishouldcocoa Wed 11-Dec-13 08:08:21

We organised a trip over to Vancouver and Vancouver Island - we were going to charter a boat to sail off the island. It never happened due to various family crises...

However, I did discover in the course of all my dealings with the travel agent, that you can fly directly back from Victoria to Vancouver International Airport which would save a lot of 'faffing' at the end of the holiday.

HTH

mummymeister Wed 11-Dec-13 13:13:17

yes it does ishouldcocoa!! hadn't realised this myself will start looking into it now. just concerned that trying to do Vancouver island and the rockies all in one holiday might be trying to pack too much in with the long distances that you need to travel between places.

Rosebag Fri 27-Dec-13 09:51:52

I'm glad to have found a relatively recent thread on this. We are planning a trip to the Rockies and Vancouver in August. (Me, DH and 2 teens). I have also been a bit bamboozled by all the googling. We got some help from Barhead Travel (based in Scotland I think, we just found them on the web)...non pushy but very knowledgeable. They got us the best price of anywhere else we researched, on The Rocky Mountaineer ('First Passage To The West' from Banff to Vancouver, overnight at Kamloops). Our current plan is to fly to Calgary and pick up a hire car a day or so later, and drive to Banff. We'll stay there for a bit and see Lake Louise, Columbia Icefield etc, before taking the train. We're trying to plan the second leg at the moment, a few days in Vancouver and a few on Victoria before flying home. By that point in the holiday, I'm wanting to relax and slob around for a bit, so looking at nice hotels with pools. But pricey... Love to hear how your plans are getting on, mummymeister and NCISaddict and any other advice or experiences.

hendo2 Mon 30-Dec-13 20:34:48

Did this trip this summer. Great place to stay is Uclulet on Vanc Island. Rented a fab condo from www.naturalelementsrentals.com. Condo was really spacious and overlooked the beach. Also stayed at Magnolia Hotel in Victoria - really central and great for the kids. In Vancouver stayed at the Times Square Suites which are right at the top of Robson Street. Very central and within walking distance to main shopping areas and Stanley park. Hire bikes in the park and go to the heated outdoor pool for the day. Also toured the Cannucks Ice Hockey stadium which the kids loved.

hendo2 Mon 30-Dec-13 20:37:44

Good place to stay in Banff is to Douglas Fir Resort. Biggest water slides in Western Canada. Great lodges and they run a shuttle bus into town.

mummymeister Mon 30-Dec-13 23:29:07

we have a plan A and a plan B and are hoping to narrow it down in the next couple of days. Plan A fly to Vancouver straight to the sunshine coast stay here for 5 nights then back to Vancouver for 3 ish nights. Drive slowly about to Jasper. stay there for 3 or 4 nights then drive to near Banff and stay there 6 nights then fly home from Calgary. Advantage of plan A is that it is less driving at the start.
Plan B fly into Vancouver and head for Van island. couple of nights in Nanaimo, 4 nights in Ucluelet, then 3 nights in Victoria. Ferry to Vancouver 3/4 nights here then up to the rockies as above. I really fancy Van island but it is a heck of a drive from the airport to the ferry then ferry over all after a long flight. could fly into Victoria from Vancouver on a little plane but then have the 4+ hour drive to Ucluelet to do. anyone else got any other ideas? Mainly staying in lodges as we need min 3 bedrooms.

lessonsintightropes Tue 31-Dec-13 15:54:04

We rented an apartment in Tofino from these guys - clean, reasonbly priced, well-located and great communications. TBH whilst Uculelet is nice, Tofino has better amenities, particularly for kids. I'd also recommend the boat trip for spotting black bears from Tofino - we saw tonnes, including cubs, from about 20 ft away. Very memorable! Sunshine coast is nice but nothing like as spectacular as Van Island. And if you come via ferry from Van city you get to stop at Goats on the Roof which is totally goofy and great, and goes down well with kids of all ages.

Waswondering Tue 31-Dec-13 16:01:40

If you're driving from Banff to jasper, please stop at the Numtijah lodge. Lovely, and beautiful, and I want to go back.

We stayed at Canmore on the way from Calgary to Banff, in lovely accommodation, which iirc was outside the national park, so cheaper (but on the main road, if that makes sense).

It's quite a long drive though: a good 6h plus to do the full length. Athabasca glacier very good, would echo that.

Enjoy. Hot springs at Banff are a must too.

mummymeister Tue 31-Dec-13 22:25:57

Thanks waswondering. we are a family of 5 and rooms in numtijah only sleep 4 fsad I would love to go to van island but it looks like miles too much driving with all the drive up to Banff and the driving around when there on top of it. will need to stop dithering and book soon or all accom will be gone. Looking at mount 7 lodges and alpine village jasper for the rockies end of the tour. anyone been?

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