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Jul 22, 2003 05:45 PM

Wickaninnish or Sooke Harbour?

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Hi everyone. SF Chowhound here. We stayed at the Aerie for our honeymoon and are thinking about making it back up to Van Island for our anniversary in Oct. I can't seem to decide between the Wickaninnish Inn or Sooke Harbour House. I know Sooke Harbour has the better reputation for food, but the setting of the Wick Inn is awfully appealing. Anyone stayed at both and have strong preferences? Thanks!

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  1. v
    viola da gamba

    To be honest, I think Sooke is over-rated, particularly for the price. IMO the rooms are MUCH nicer at the Wick - as are the surroundings (Long Beach is one of the world's top ten beaches, last time I saw a survey). Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is supposed to be wonderful - fabulous food, amazing surroundings, and seclusion - and Point No Point may also be worth a look - private decks with hottubs, the food is excellent, and there's a long, sandy bay with a gazebo in which the Resort lights a fire in the evenings. Clayoquot's link is - I can't work out how to put 2 links in - and I've attached the link to Point No Point - keep in mind that the Clayoquot rates are all-inclusive. Clayoquot is in the area up by the Wick, Point No Point is about 40 minutes further along the coast from Sooke. When are you going?


    11 Replies
    1. re: viola da gamba

      Wow, this post couldn't be more timely, I've been trying to plan a B.C. trip for next month, have seen some of these places mentioned on the Fodor's message boards, but it's chowhounds that I trust.

      The Clayoquot places look stunning, I was drooling over those tent cabins when I checked the website out the other day, but it costs way more than we're going to spend. Hadn't seen anything about Point No Point - renting a cabin or a "unit" near water is the kind of thing we were thinking of. I think I'll give them a call. Besides their own restaurant, are there other good places to eat nearby? What's the road like from there to Sooke? (Like if we had dinner w/ wine at SHH, would the drive back after dinner be really annoying?)

      And where do people stay who don't have honeymoon-level sums to spend on accomodations, but want to stay in a relaxing, beautiful place in that part of the world? (I mean, other than pitching a tent?)

      1. re: Helen F

        Hellief, I've heard that the Pacific Sands Resort is a local family favorite. We're just looking to splurge. ;-)


        1. re: PegS

          We stayed at Pacific Sands last fall - it was lovely! It was stormy, rainy, windy - they provided presto logs for the fireplace (expensive tho if you need more than one - better to buy your own to bring if you are staying a few days). We had an ocean view; walked on the beach, came back to the room, drank wine, read and had a fire - very romantic!

          1. re: Allison
            viola da gamba

            I love the whole area in the fall (and hey, let's be honest, the spring, winter & summer too). As to travelling to/from Point No Point - it is quite some distance from Victoria, but do-able - just don't drink too much b/c the cops up here are watching for it! It's not too far from Sooke - there's a great B&B in Sooke near to the Harbour House that (I think) is cheaper - and the road to & from Point No Point is very good - it's only if you keep going to Port Hardy and Botanical Beach that things can get interesting! B&B's often offer cheaper alternative accommodations - this link is in US dollars, and the link I've added below gives a fairly complete set of BC Accommodations listings for B&B's throughout the province.


            1. re: viola da gamba

              I never came back to thank everyone for their responses. We've decided to concentrate on the Sooke area, rather than Tofino. I really appreciate the input, it helped inform our decision.

              So, aside from the places already mentioned in the thread, where's the good chow? I guess I should do a search and see if there are any older tips. I'll start a new thread when I have some specific questions.

              Thanks again,

              1. re: Helen F

                Okay, the lodging is set - good for you, unfortunately Tofino is considered one of the best spots for dining on Vancouver Island. See the May issue of Gourmet magazine - two of the restaurants featured are in Tofino, one is Sooke Harbour House, and the last one is Cafe Brio in Victoria - where the chef just left there to open a new restaurant in Tofino called Shelter - add in Schooners, Raincoast Cafe, SOBO and the other local haunts and you have one amazing dining spot - good luck in Sooke - don't know the restaurants there well enough to comment other than Sooke whose food is considered some of the best on the Island.

                1. re: Chris

                  Actually, Sooke Harbour House is in Sooke, about 30 miles out from Victoria. Tofino is where the Wick Inn is, and a much longer drive.

        2. re: Helen F
          Annie, Vancouver

          There are many, many inexpensive Tofino options. I've attached a link to a recommended resource below. Pacific Sands was good 4 years ago when I stayed there.


        3. re: viola da gamba

          Thanks for both links. Both look really interesting! We're thinking about going either this October or, if things don't quite work out, next year.

          1. re: PegS
            viola da gamba

            I'd recommend heading to the Wick, Clayoquot or Point no Point then - if there is a Pacific storm (quite likely at the beginning of November) the view should be amazing for any of those places - Sooke is in an inlet so doesn't get much in the way of truly dramatic weather. Have a wonderful time - I'm very envious!

          2. re: viola da gamba

            Just found this posting. We stayed at both the Sooke Harbor House and The Wickaninnish (spelling?) last fall. We were not very impressed with the bed nor the bathroom in our room at Sooke. The bed was so hard and uncomfortable, I actually slept on the couch. The bathroom was updated about 10 years ago and was in dire need of another update. The tub rocked when you took a shower. Perhaps we had an older room. The included breakfast was rather sparse. However, the view from the room was fantastic.

            We also dined at Sooke and it was okay, not all that great. Leave it to say, we would never stay there again.

            The Wick is another story! We loved our experience in the Tofino area. The Wick was great - all the rooms have balconies facing the water. And you are right next to the rocky shoreline. The rooms are more modern but very comfortable and all have a gas fireplace, etc. The food at the Wick was fantastic. The atmosphere is casual elegant. The Tofino area is gorgeous and interesting. Also love the food at the Raincoast Cafe.

            We want to go back someday. Just love Vancouver Island!

            That's our experience, for what it's worth.

          3. I stayed at the Aerie last August for an anniversary. We drove over to The Wick for one night. I was not impressed. The drive over is long, over 4 hours, and the view is not impressive except for one particular spot going through a huge forest. The scenery at The Wick is great, but I walked 4 miles on the beach and I would rather be back at Sooke Harbor. It's much closer and looks nice. We drove out and walked in and looked around. We did not stay there but we looked at a room and the menu as well as the wine list. If I went back, I would stay a night or two there but The Wick is well worth a one time trip. I agree about Clayoquot. I have looked at a brochure as well as their website. I would love to make a trip there. There another nice place we stopped by close to The Wick called Long Beach Lodge. We stopped by and looked around. It looks nice. The food at The Wick was nice and they had a good wine list. The view was excellent but I was not impressed with our room which was a Premier Room. They could have better one, I didn't ask but ours was quite small for the price.

            I am planning a trip back to Vancouver Island but I'm going to The Hastings House on Salt Spring Island this time. I'm thinking about flying to Seattle or Vancouver and taking a float plane to Hastings House. It's a Relais and Chateaux property and looks great. All I have read is good too. For someone that's been to Vancouver Island and The Aerie, as well as Victoria I assume, I would try The Hastings House before The Wick.

            JMO though. Good luck.


            2 Replies
            1. re: Ike!

              One other Canadian trip we made that equals Vancouver Island was Banff, Canada. We flew to Calvary, rented a car and drove to Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper Park. The Post Hotel in Lake Louise is worth the trip. Have fun.

              1. re: Ike!

                Thanks Ike! I'll check out Hastings House as well. I remember thinking about it when investigating the Aerie.