God Really Took His Time When Creating This Great Escape
By Rosanne Slusar & Chris McBeath
"I wake up every morning to this view of heaven", remarks innkeeper Susan Brown as she gestures towards the expansive and unspoiled ocean vistas that lay beyond the floor-to-ceiling wall at A Snug Harbour Inn.
"The previous owners had spent years sailing the world and knew this spot to be the most beautiful" she adds, "so is it any wonder why I have to pinch myself just to believe it's reality".
Perched on an 85-foot cliff overlooking the pounding Pacific Ocean, A Snug Harbour Inn is a romantic oasis just waiting to share its pampering delights. It's quite the romantic refuge, and since opening in September 1996, A Snug Harbour Inn has taken credit for at least fifty engagements! Stay-overs such as the 'Enchanted Evening' package, which offer extra romantic touches, have helped ignite many a spark for a truly memorable experience .... made all the more so when combined with the luxury limousine service, or an arrival by helicopter to the inn's back-door!
Each of the four thematically designed guestrooms are geared for togetherness with their fireplaces, double jet tubs, and private decks boasting vast ocean views. Heated bathroom floors, lavish robes, quality aromatherapy products, and down duvets are some of other pampering touches.
A recent addition includes a charming cottage in the woods which opened in July 2002, and incorporates many features that make it especially wheelchair-friendly.
The timbered post and beam Great Room was created by local craftsmen, and is where most guests gather as much for the telescope trained on an eagle's aerie, as for its access to the spacious deck, hot tub and stairway leading down to the ocean. But be warned: it's quite a trek to the bottom and we could have sworn that there are more stairs going up than we remembered going down. But the climb was well worth the effort, especially if one of Susan's scrumptious breakfasts is the reward. "I love to cook and I love the mornings" enthuses Susan, "so breakfasts are feasts that will fuel you up for a day of exploration".
There are plenty of activities to enjoy in and around Ucluelet, so after you've visited the famed Pacific Rim National Park, which must include lunch at the Wickaninnish Restaurant and a look-see through the Interpretive Centre, we suggest hiking the Wild Pacific Trail. It's a two-kilometer walk beneath the forest canopy and along Ucluelet's incredible coastline, offering wonderful views of Barkley Sound, and the Broken Islands. Much of the trail is on boardwalks and there are several areas where steps lead down to hidden coves. In Ucluelet Harbour, you'll find fishing and whale-watching excursions, kayaking, and bear watching expeditions, and as we wandered through the village, we had the opportunity to chat with a friendly local resident who related this story. He saw two eagles fighting over a fish in the air. The fish dropped in front of his vehicle and he was forced to stop while both eagles swooped down to retrieve their prey. "Where else but in Ucluelet," he smiled, "do you brake for eagles!"
In awe of the weather and wildlife, visitors are drawn to this destination year round. Winter may offer the experience of a full-fledged storm. If winds blow 'gale force' (eighty km / hour) during your Snug Harbour Inn stay, your hosts will either tuck fifty dollars under your pillow or put a chilled bottle of fine champagne aside your fireplace to enhance your enjoyment while watching the big waves. Summer and spring afford picnics, hiking, and whale watching. Autumn offers spectacular colors, spawning salmon, and, as part of nature's parade, whales that migrate right past your bedroom window.
As we prepared to leave, I took one last lingering look at the piece of heaven around me. "Susan is right," I thought to myself. "God really did take his time here."
If you Go:
A Snug Harbour Inn
PO Box 367, 460 Marine Drive
Ucluelet, BC V0R 3A0
Toll Free: 1-888-936-5222
Tel: 250-726-2686 Fax: 250-726-2685
Web site: www.awesomeview.com
Hosts: Sue Brown & Drew Fesar
Canada Select - four and a half star Rated
Vancouver and other lower mainland travelers: B.C. Ferries accommodates travelers from Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay terminals to Duke Point or Departure Bay. General Information for sailing schedule is 1-888-BCFERRY (223-3779)
For our State-side Neighbors: The Washington State Ferries will meet your needs 206-464-6400
Take Island Highway #19-across island to Ucluelet BC -approx. 3 hours
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