There’s a serene lightness to watching a bad storm. It reminds you how good you have it, to be able to keep shelter and watch the world tremble. Here in the northwestern wilderness, though, this isn’t just some cloudy day or rainy night that talks you out of running errands or meeting up with friends. It’s well beyond that, instead a fantastical barrage of tempestuous water thrashing the rocky coast of Canada.
An onslaught of gale force winds, giant swells, and lashing waves relentlessly barge and blitz the rugged west coast of Vancouver Island—and then, thanks to the Wickaninnish Inn, there’s you, bundled up and beholding the fierce nature of...well, nature.
This week’s #BirthdayBucketList inspires the warmest of feelings with the coldest of surroundings, an exercise in being awestruck by what power the world carries (it’s nice to be humbled from time to time).
From the first day of November to the last day of February, Tofino majestically erupts as a furious dance of sea meeting earth. It’s an adventure you and your guests will have the freedom to view from a fireplace-heated suite or interact with by venturing into the boondocks. Either way, the hotel’s Storm Watcher’s package ensures that you’re always more than prepared.
The Storm Watchers Package
Did we mention it can get stormy here? With nothing between Wickaninnish Inn and Japan, you can imagine the spectacular shows that Mother Nature puts on.
Full rain gear will be provided for you and your birthday bash crew. Each and every guest room comes equipped with rubber boots sized to fit. Additionally there is a gum boot and rain gear drying unit, so once you and your birthday besties have finished watching the storm, you can head the onsite Driftwood Café and hang up whatever is wet, turn on the boot dryer and enjoy a specialty coffee or cocktail by the crackling fire.
Included in the 'Storm Watchers Package' is:
- Two nights accommodation for two in your preferred room type including $80 nightly savingsfrom regular rates,
- Two Wickaninnish Inn oilskin hats
- 'Pacific Reef and Shore' book
- Blue Mountain Wine & a local cheese Plate
- Breakfast for two daily
Named a Canadian Signature Experience by the Canadian Tourism Commission, storm watching at the Wickaninnish Inn gives you the rare chance to witness a disquieting landscape of dark greens and darker blues slam, batter, and pummel before you in playful destruction. It’s a score of memories that’ll never leave you, and it’s the most profound way to experience Clayoquot Sound.
In fact, Wickaninnish Inn was designed specifically to be the best storm watching spot between the Mexico and Alaska stretch of North America. Prior to the hotel’s construction, the McDiarmid family would hike from their nearby cabin to the eventual site, paying close attention to the height of wave crashes and where they landed, ultimately deciding what the best vantage points were on the beach or in the forest.
A Stormy Sea Birthday Bash
After exploring the misty hectic wilderness, return to the welcoming light of the inn and throw your boots and rain gear in the dryer while enjoying a hot tea, hot cocoa, or specialty coffee beside a crackling wood fire. Some recoup in 15 minutes and head right back out with fresh threads and renewed spirit. Others go the ultimate yin-and-yang route and watch the storm from the Ancient Cedars Spa located at the inn’s ocean level.
Otherwise, you can watch the waves claw at and bounce off the jagged coast while enjoying a Beet and Bone Marrow Salad at the Driftwood Café, the cherished Champagne Brunch at The Pointe Restaurant, or your favorite cheese showcase alongside a single malt scotch at the On The Rocks Bar & Lounge. It’s your call in the wild.
Stormy Sea Soirée Style Tips
Every birthday bash needs a little bit of fun decor, although when you are hosting a stormy sea soirée we recommend letting mother nature be the star of the show. This gathering will be so unique and so wildly fun that your guests won't want to be distracted by much more than cocktails, rain slickers, cute wellies and delicous comfort food!
The first thing you will need to set the tone is a mysterious invitation. We encourage you to not get too literal. Avoid invations laden with nautical elements and boats and opt for a romantic dark and moody vibe reminiscent of the wallpaper one may find in an 1800's sea captains home. Matte black with graphic florals adorned with a golden wax seal. Don't forget the hand calligraphed envelope, this will definitely whisk your guests back to the romance of this seafaring bygone era.
The Dress Code
Don't forget the dress code. Ask your guests to 'wear wellies' or perhaps give them as a gift in a welcome basket in their room! Black ponchos will be the party perfect addition for your windswept wellie wearing guests to don at this spectacularly stormy party.
Your crew will be hungry after all of this chilly storm watching, so warm them up with the classic 'Dark and Stormy' cocktails served alongside something unique like black spaghetti with mushrooms and parmesan. Last but not least, gift your guests with little favor bottles filled to the brim with black sea salt.
Now go forth and gather!
1. THE INVITATION: Designed by Ever After Press , photographed by Greg Finck // 2. WEAR WELLIES: Matte black Chelsea Boots by Hunter // 3. THE COCKTAIL: Dark and Stormy Cocktail recipe // 4. THE FAVORS: Black Sea Salt in glass bottles // 5. THE MENU: Black Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Parmesan recipe // 6. THE DRESS CODE: Wear Windswept Ponchos - photo via Vogue Italia Nov 2015 by Peter Lindbergh