A big thank you to the folks at Tourism Tofino for helping make this trip possible by securing us a slightly discounted rate at Ocean Village in exchange for sharing our experience with you here on the blog.
Before the days of Pinterest, I was tearing pages out of magazines with destinations I dreamed of visiting. From New Zealand to Colina Flora in Pé da Serra, Portugal - I've slowly been making my way to visit these spots which I've archived either on my refrigerator door or on one of my Pinterest boards. When I began talking about taking a trip to Tofino for my 30th birthday, the one question I always got was how I had heard of it and to be honest I couldn't remember. It felt like one of those places I've always known about. However, after thinking about it more I recalled a resort, found in my wanderings around the web maybe six years ago, called Ocean Village.
Once I started planning our mid-November getaway and read-up on what Ocean Village has to offer - there was only one choice to be made for lodging in Tofino. It all circled back to the find which had first introduced me to this isolated and beautiful part of Vancouver Island. Ocean Village's one-bedroom beach front cabins and pet-friendliness sold me from the moment I set eyes of them. My expectations run high and I'm happy to report back that they were only exceeded. Had life not gotten in the way (as it so often does I suppose) I could have happily stayed in our little one-bedroom cabin indefinitely.
While there are a number of lodging options at Ocean Village, including good fits for tight budgets in the off-season, we chose a one-bedroom cabin for the beach front location. There's nothing I wanted more on my birthday than to be in a beautiful place hearing the waves crash on the beach. Waking up each morning to the waves and looking out at the steam rising over the water and MacKenzie Beach fulfilled all my birthday wishes.
Inside, the wood walled cabins have all the basics in order; a full kitchen with most all the tools you'll need to cook in, a full-sized tub and bathroom well stocked with locally made products, and plenty of towels and a broom for sandy paws and floors. The bedroom is a bit cozy with the queen sized bed taking up most of the space, but incredibly peaceful - or at least thats how the wood paneled walls made it feel for me. In the main room, there is a gas fireplace which brings a powerful punch of heat into the space as well as a couch perfect for relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate.
Just a couple of items to be aware of prior to visiting; there's no dishwasher - so if you plan on cooking in for most of your visit, I advise keeping on top of the dishes due to the limited counter space. The internet connection is spotty, enough to scroll through your social media feeds and post to Instagram, but certainly not enough to stream video. If you would like to watch any visual media during your visit, make sure to bring your own device to do so - there's no television set in the cabins. Which for the record, I applaud the resort for, an excellent choice by the owners of Ocean Village. You won't miss it here in Tofino.
Being situated right on the shores of MacKenzie Beach offers guests at Ocean Village two huge perks right outside their front doors; an off-leash dog park and a spot to have a bonfire. While we didn't take advantage of the second perk (this time!), MacKenzie is also a great place to star gaze with the Milky Way being easily in view from just steps outside your cabin. Ocean Village also provides a number of other amenities including an indoor pool, hot tub, coin-operated laundry, outdoor picnic tables, a foot washing station, and a barbecue.
One of the other things I enjoyed about Ocean Village is that it's actually about 3 km outside of the main town - giving you a bit more of a wilderness feel. However, it is just down the road from a little shopping center and one of the famed Tacofino trucks. So supplies are never far off.
If I had one tip for planning a trip to Ocean Village, it would be to take advantage of their off-season, mid-week storm watching special! It's still going into March of 2015 - so there's plenty of time left. We visited in mid-November with temperatures below freezing and had a grand time - just make sure to bundle up. We were fortunate enough to be welcomed with a full week of sunny skies, however I would have been just as happy to drink hot chocolate on our couch and watch rain come down and waves crash on the shoreline.