Where to go in British Columbia? Black Rock Oceanfront Resort
The journey from Departure Bay in Nanaimo to the entrance of the Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet went quickly. With one kid sleeping in the back seat and another staring dreamily out the window, I drove forward and the wilderness flashed past me, soon giving way to the strip malls of Port Alberni, before the woods took over again---miles of trees that nudged right up to the slender road.
Forest abutting Highway 4 West to Black Rock Resort in Ucluelet
The trip from the ferry to the resort, which opened in January of 2009, included stopping to observe a bear lumbering across Highway 4 West, as the two-lane road cut past pristine lakes and rounded innumerable mountains that reached into the clear May dusk with jagged peaks topped in snow. Two hours and fifteen minutes after disembarking from the ferry, I shifted down and pulled into the impressive entrance of one of Canada's premier luxury resorts.
Kennedy Lake on the road to Tofino and Ucluelet from GoTofino.com
Because the resort gave me a complimentary visit, invited me so that I could write about it, I worried that I wouldn't be genuinely thrilled about the place and that I'd have to find a way to talk about it anyway. But the photographs I'd seen on the Black Rock Resort website accurately depicted the $50 million complex and I knew that I'd have ample opportunity to praise the hotel. What I didn't know yet was that I'd have that opportunity when talking about the food, the spa, the rooms, the staff, the decor, the setting, and the area. It was all going to be exceptional. Every detail.
Entrance to Black Rock Resort
My thirteen-year-old son and I woke up my eight-year-old son and we proceeded into the lobby appreciating how well this family adventure had already turned out.
A gorgeous drive, a bear, and now the staff gave us a warm greeting. Jarrett, one of the guest relations staff (below right), handed me an itinerary and told us to be at Wickaninnish Beach at 10 AM the next morning to meet Inner Rhythm Surf Shop for a surfing lesson. After that, my schedule outlined a massage and seaweed treatment at the Black Rock Resort's Drift Spa. I stopped to consider that being a journalist wasn't all words and keyboards.