Gloriously remote and set in one of Canada’s wildest and most astounding natural settings, Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is a luxury settlement in the style of the turn-of-the-century prospectors, complete with canvas tents and central guest outpost. Clayoquot offers guests an unforgettable experience of Vancouver Island’s Clayoquot Sound, where the landscape and wildlife combine in an enchanting adventure.
The Baillie Lodges experience embraces the luxury of travel. A stay with Baillie Lodges is about connection with the landscape, its culture and wildlife, a celebration of superb regional cuisine and luxurious lodgings. It offers a genuine sense of place, a union of sights, scents and tastes that immerses guests in their surrounds. Guest itineraries are tailor-made, creating a personal, lasting connection with the destination. A stay with Baillie Lodges offers time to reconnect with the people and places that matter most. Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge is the first international property in the Australia-based Baillie Lodges collection.
Call of the wild
The sights and sounds of Vancouver Island’s wild west coast are welcomed into the 25 luxury canvas guest tents which line the ocean shores and dot the ancient growth forest, a tribute to the pioneering pursuits of the turn-of-the-century prospectors with contemporary comforts and custom furnishings. A stone’s throw away lies Clayoquot Sound, surrounded by coastal landscapes and towering forests where a swag of adventures awaits.
Located on the foreshore of Clayoquot Sound and welcoming magnificent views of its vast oceanic wilderness, The Cookhouse is the hub of dining, drinking and lounging. The restaurant features an open kitchen promising coal-face style theatre and a daily-changing menu of locally sourced sustainable produce. Generous lounging flows to the decks outside, a perfect spot to relax and drink in the views. In the evenings an outdoor fire draws in guests for s’mores and shared stories.
Named for Clayoquot’s vintage tugboat, the SS Ivanhoe, the bar rests at the shore edge where the Bedwell River spills into the Pacific Ocean. The Ivanhoe features floor-to-ceiling glass welcoming in views of the sound as wildlife including bears, eagles, blue herons, otters, and seals go about their business. Inside, guests lounge with handcrafted cocktails in swarthy leather armchairs warmed by cast iron stove. A menu of canapes and bar snacks complements premium wines, craft beers and small-batch spirits.
The resort’s hub for dining, lounging and recreation, The Outpost is centrally located near the Bedwell Bridge and comprises The Cookhouse and adjoining tents, the pick-up point for water sports equipment including kayaks and canoes and the meeting point for guided tours. A fitness centre is free for guest use, while nearby a tree climb to a forest canopy viewing platform offers panoramic vistas across Clayoquot Sound.
The Healing Grounds Spa is a serene sanctuary perched on the water’s edge where the rainforest meets the rhythmic currents of river and ocean. Rejuvenating treatments feature marine botanicals along with glacial clay sea salts and pure forest essences hand harvested in British Columbia. A wood-fired sauna provides restorative warmth, while the deep hot tubs are the perfect post-adventure tonic with spectacular views by day and starlit views to the heavens by night.
Australia-based Baillie Lodges took the reins at Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge in time for the 2021 season, working with its partners KSL Capital. Clayoquot was the first Baillie Lodges property outside of Australia, and joins an award-winning family of intimate lodges including Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, Longitude 131° at Uluru-Kata Tjuta, Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree Rainforest, Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island, The Louise in the Barossa Valley and Huka Lodge in New Zealand.
Baillie Lodges has started on a three-year plan to align Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge with its luxury lodges around the world, commencing with refurbishment of its 25 luxury tents to lead with a more contemporary vibe in 2021. A second phase will take place following the 2022 season, and include a makeover for The Cookhouse and guest facilities. James and Hayley Baillie believe Clayoquot is a natural fit for the Baillie Lodges family as the most remote and wild addition to the collection to date.
Founder Richard Genovese dreamed of a place where guests could unwind, reconnect with loved ones and immerse themselves in the wild. His vision was realised when he bought land at Clayoquot Sound and the 600-acre resort opened in 2000 as Canada’s premiere eco-safari lodge. In 2017, Richard tragically died following a battle with cancer. KSL Capital Partners purchased the property in 2019, with a view to upholding Richard’s vision and protecting the ecosystem in which the lodge is set.
In an ode to Clayoquot Sound’s bygone era as a goldmining settlement, prospector-style tents are furnished with contemporary interiors to complement locally made textiles and artworks from First Nations artisans to provide an opulent retreat. Baillie Lodges signature clean lines, generous appointments, pared back, refined luxury and end-of-the-bed views evoke a personal connection with the Vancouver Island landscape.
Our commitment to the environment
The Baillie Lodges environmental commitment is best expressed by each lodge’s interaction with its local natural and cultural surroundings.
A stay on single-use plastic is in place across the property, and wherever possible opt for glass and stainless-steel bottles and canvas tote bags. Straws are not used at all. Amenities in guest tents are presented in refillable glass and stainless-steel vessels.
The provision of educational information is fundamental to guest experiences at Clayoquot. Guides share their knowledge to raise awareness around such themes as environmental protection and ecological impact mitigation – crucial in ensuring longevity of the natural world.
Clayoquot’s culinary program uses as many locally produced organic ingredients as possible, all of which are sourced from British Columbia – and always from Clayoquot Sound if available. An extensive kitchen garden and greenhouse produces organic fresh greens, vegetables and herbs.
Since 2001 Clayoquot has worked to help regenerate the declining wild salmon population by creating new salmon spawning habitat channels and restoring native stocks to river systems as well as phasing out its salmon fishing program, and ceasing to serve salmon in the restaurant.
The Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge team is dedicated and close-knit, attracting hospitality professionals from Canada, Australia and around the world and creating a remote family for guests and staff alike. Renowned for their relaxed and friendly first-name service along with impeccable attention to detail, our people are the secret sauce that keep our friends returning for more.
Sarah Cruse returned to Clayoquot as General Manager for the 2020 season. In the interim, Sarah has enjoyed a successful term leading Dunton Hot Springs in Dolores, Colorado. Sarah has nearly 20 years of experience leading luxury experiential resorts, including a decade at the helm of Peninsula Hotels’ Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California. Sarah’s passion for Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge will ensure the lodge continues to be recognised as a world class travel and adventure destination.
Lucky’s career began in South Africa’s luxury safari lodging industry before joining the Baillie Lodges family, including management roles at both Southern Ocean Lodge and Capella Lodge. Lucky’s natural vivacity sparks joy and laughter in all those around her and she’s been described by guests as a great storyteller and a one-woman cheer squad. In the Pacific Northwest, Lucky teams up with General Manager Sarah Cruse, in what appears to be the most passionate and enthusiastic leadership team ever assembled.
Clayoquot’s first Executive Chef duo, Mark Ota and Olivia Bolano met at the lodge in summer 2019. With an emphasis on local, sustainable ingredients, the partners in life draw inspiration from the awe-inspiring wilderness of Vancouver Island to deliver a clever interpretation of the sights, scents, tastes and emotions of the region to the plate. Beyond their professional expertise, the duo are widely known for their down to earth personalities, relaxed demeanor and ear-to-ear smiles.
With an eye for design, culinary daring and a clear adventurous streak, Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge shows just how wild luxury can get…Lodestars Anthology Canada
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