Indoor grotto mineral pool at Tigh-Na-Mara Spa
Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort, Parksville, British Columbia
Stretching along the shores of Vancouver Island, this truly spectacular oceanfront resort requires a bit of a longer trek and involves a border crossing and ferry ride. But it’s worth it! Tigh-Na-Mara is best known for its award-winning spa, which features a stone grotto, mineral pools, waterfalls and a decadent menu of spa treatments.
Stay in: Handcrafted log guest rooms and cottage bungalows offer a secluded atmosphere, cozy rustic décor and a slew of luxury amenities, including in-room Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the beach. Sports courts, barbecue grills and a playground are tucked away throughout the forested grounds. A must is the Treetop Tapas & Grill restaurant, where you can dine on an all-you-can-eat array of artful spa-cuisine tapas while decked out comfortably in your bathrobes and slippers!
Head out: The resort’s private stretch of shoreline is prime beachcombing territory during low tides. Venture farther out to the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre to enjoy a close-up and personal look at eagles, owls, bears and other creatures. Additional unique adventures — everything from Pacific Northwest rain forest tours to family-friendly spelunking at nearby Horne Lake Caves — can be arranged through the resort. And don’t miss the Old Country Market in the tiny town of Coombs, where you can stock up on local goodies and watch goats grazing right on the roof!
Next stop: Posthotel