Apr282015

On the Beach at Best Western Tin Wis Resort Tofino, British Columbia

Best Western holds a distinction for me as the National Parks hotel chain. Most of my stays at Best Western hotels occur when I am visiting a national park. Pacific Rim National Park in British Columbia is located on parts of the western coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. BC Highway 4 passes through Pacific Rim National Park on the 33km stretch of road along the peninsula leading to the town of Tofino. This is a long stretch of road through the forest beside beaches and coves with road access to the open Pacific Ocean. BC 4 highway ends in the small town of Tofino.

Best Western Tin Wis Resort

About 3 km before the town of Tofino is a sign on the side of the road for Best Western Tin Wis Resort, where every room has an ocean view.

BW Mackenzie Beach

Tofino, on the western coast of Canada, and on the eastern edge of the wild Pacific Ocean has a distinction as being one of the wettest spots on the North American continent with an average annual rainfall over 128 inches, mostly falling between the months of October and March. July and August are the dry months here with only 6 inches of rain on average for the two month peak summer period. I arrived in Tofino just as the April dry spell of several days ended.

Best Western Tin Wis Resort is a hotel owned by the local First Nations people known as the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations. MacKenzie Beach where the hotel is located is the traditional land of the Tla-o-qui-aht. The area was traditionally used as a safe water beach for indigenous whale hunters who found shelter in the calm waters of the cove, even during rough storms. The name Tin-Wis means “calm waters” in the local First Nations language.

In the 1970s there was a residential First Nations school on the site for 150 students. After the school closed in 1981, a hostel and campground operated on the site for many years. In 1994, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations built a 55-room hotel and based on the hotel’s success, expanded the hotel with another 30 rooms. This property is branded as the Best Western Tin-Wis Resort on what is now known as MacKenzie Beach, 3 kilometers south of the village of Tofino.

BW Tin Wis resort view

Best Western Tin-Wis Resort seen from room 710 balcony.

Best Western Tin Wis-2

My room 710 was the top third level floor at the northern end of the hotel (left end in photo). I was upgraded to a one bedroom suite for my reward points stay.

BW Tin Wis 710 couch

The one bedroom suite included a fireplace and kitchenette.

BW Tin Wis 710 fireplace

The temperature dropped quite a bit with the rainstorm that came onshore hours after my arrival. I was able to wash several days of dirty clothing and dry them around the fire. The hotel has a laundry room if I had really been ambitious to clean all my clothing.

BW 710 tv

The hotel provided a welcome amenity for my arrival with a tray of meats, cheeses, crackers and a large bottle of water.

BW 710 kitchenette

The kitchenette featured a stove top, microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker.

BW spa tub

The spa tub in the bedroom with a beach view and large patio are great features of the room.

BW bedroom

Fly Like an Eagle

MacKenzie Beach provides a stretch of sandy beach for three separate resorts. Within minutes of walking along the beach, I spotted two bald eagles perched on trees.

Mackenzie beach view of BW    MacKenzie Beach-2

MacKenzie Beach-3    Bald eagle

From the water’s edge, a look back at Best Western Tin Wis Resort provides the full coastal mountain and forest setting of the hotel and Tofino.

BW Tin-Wis setting

The hotel features many cultural items of local First Nations arts and crafts.

BW Tin-Wis sign

The totem pole outside the restaurant area is dedicated to children forcibly removed from First Nations families by the Canadian government to attend Indian Residential Schools from 1906 to 1986.

This is a history that was also prevalent in the United States with children removed from Native American families to be educated in residential school settings, sometimes several states from the homeland reservation. In 1991-92 I organized an educational conference through Humboldt State University in northwestern California in cooperation with the Indian Tribal and Educational Personnel Program. During that project I heard several stories from Native Americans of the Yurok and Hoopa tribes about their residential school experiences in the United States.

Tin Wis totem pole    Tin Wis totem

Beachfront Bistro is the Best Western Tin-Wis Resort restaurant.

Beachfront Bistro

There are wood carved masks and art decorating the lobby and restaurant.

Mask-1     Mask-2

BW entrance art     Whale art

The employees I saw working at the Best Western Tin Wis Resort looked to be all First Nations people. Seemed to me like a great opportunity to offer employment to First Nations locals through a tribal owned hotel resort.

BW beach view

There are many lodging options in the Tofino area, from luxury beach resorts to hostels, campsites, B&Bs and motels. Best Western Tin Wis is the only hotel chain branded property in the area. These little gems in natural settings near national parks are what keep me coming back to the Best Western hotel chain.

I often refer to Best Western as the ‘national parks hotel chain’ due to the proximity of the brand to many of North America’s most scenic natural wonders. Best Western Tin Wis Resort fits that moniker perfectly in a wild northwest Pacific coast setting at Tofino on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

Best Western Tin Wis Resort is a TripAdvisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence award winner.

Best Western Tin Wis, Tofino, British Columbia (local website)

Best Western Tin Wis Resort (Best Western website)

My award stay was 24,000 points per night. Paid rates were a low $134.99 CAD for $155.24 CAD after tax ($128.90 USD) with AAA rate. Breakfast is not included in the room rate. The one bedroom suite I was upgraded to had a room rate of $250 CAD best available rate or $225 AAA rate.

This hotel is an example of variable seasonal Best Western Rewards rates.

  • April – May 2015 = 24,000 points per night.
  • June 2015 = 28,000 points per night.
  • July – August = 36,000 points per night.
  • September = 32,000 points per night.
  • October = 24,000 points per night.
  • November – March 2016 = 20,000 points per night.

Related posts:

Loyalty Traveler – Tofino is the end of the road for adventure in British Columbia wilderness.

Surfermag.com has a good video showing aerial views of Tofino region in highlight of local Tofino surfer Peter Devries.

Tourism Tofino for all stuff Tofino.

Pacific Rim National Park

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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