Visually splendid, deeply pampering getaway to the Pacific
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet is one of my top favourite escapes from Vancouver, British Columbia. It's a getaway that relaxes and rejuvenates. Only a two and a half hour drive from the ferry at Nanaimo, it's visually splendid, deeply pampering and the gourmet food served in the Fetch Restaurant is delicious and nourishing.
Photo of Fetch Restaurant courtesy of Black Rock Oceanfront Resort Facebook page
The first time I stayed at Black Rock with my two boys.The visit was packed with adventures memorialized in photographs we all look back on with fondness. Highlights for the boys were studying the sea anemones we discovered on the rocks near Tofino and diving into the winter waves in wet suits, struggling onto surf boards.
The next time I came with my partner. We kicked back and savoured the amazing ocean views and the easy access to the old growth forest on Meers Island, a quick boat ride away from Tofino. We enjoyed Long Beach walks, hikes in the woods and having time to just be.
This weekend, I had the chance to visit again.
Delicious anticipation preceded the trip and Black Rock didn't disappoint.
Meet Tanya Edwards at the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort Spa
When you book a massage, you really don't know what you're getting into other than a big bill, and I usually don't get massages, as a result. But today I was willing to gamble.
Tanya didn't speak in the typical "I've been meditating all morning" massage-therapist voice. Her voice was more like, "Hey, girl, let's party!" as she told me to take off my clothes and lie down on the table.
"Whenever I hear someone's got neck and shoulder problems, I go right to the lower back," Tanya explained. Tall, powerful-looking, smiling, Tanya gave a wild, exceptionally-healing massage, making ample use of her elbow to drill down into pressure points.
When it was over, my neck had a whole new range of motion.
Tanya studied Hawaiian massage and Chinese medicine, and if you get to Black Rock, I recommend asking for her.
Gourmet food from The Fetch Restaurant
Moment by moment, the evening unfolded from massage to oysters and wild mushroom soup in the restaurant. Later, relaxing in front of the fire, reading, stepping out on the balcony to breathe in the ocean air and watch the white ocean foam break against the rocks were pleasures enjoyed on a dark night, quiet except for the ocean's drawl.
Romance can't be packaged. But creating the conditions for romance helps and certain things have been triggers for me.
Encountering the magical and the inspiring, like seeing the Northern Lights, or hearing howling wolves, or the sound of a river, or stumbling upon an unexpectedly delicious meal in a forsaken country town after a long bike ride. These are good conditions.
At Black Rock, the conditions for romance include two bottles of wine on the suite's kitchen counter, fluffy white robes, and the constant presence of the ocean, ever powerful, carrying sweet and salty scents.
In the morning, dawn broke over a bleak-looking sea, a sea utterly uncompromised in its sombre totality. A reluctant sun pouted behind petulant clouds. A day to be cherished.
View from Black Rock Ocean Front Resort room
Two chairs sat on the balcony, their emptiness inviting. Their presence suggested that to settle in and observe the simplicity of the ocean, to note its constant motion, its infinite textures, its ability to endlessly arrive and depart, would be a lesson in impermanence, in creation and destruction, how both manifest in nature and our lives no matter who we are or what we do, how the human condition mirrors the conditions of nature, so bleak and so beautiful—and that reflecting upon these paradoxes at the edge of the Pacific would be a very fortunate way to spend the day.
Story by Linda Solomon
Black Rock Resort has specials available for the New Year. If you want to bring in the New Year in a place that's beautiful inside and out, a place with all the right conditions for romance and that's an easy getaway from Vancouver, learn more here. Or, win a free trip here.
More views of Black Rock Resort and the area