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Coastal Allure

These luxurious seaside retreats offer a true sense of place.

Oceans inspire us. With their vastness, their bounty, their unpredictable ferocity and their beguiling beauty, they captivate, nourish and restore us.

Canadians have unparalleled opportunity to enjoy the splendours of the sea,
with coastline on three oceans including our unspoiled Arctic.

By Sarah B. Hood

British Columbia’s Pacific panoramas, rich with salmon and majestic red cedar, have been home to humans for thousands of years, beginning with the Indigenous peoples who have thrived on the gifts of the sea.

Today, this pristine coastline draws visitors to experience Pacific life at establishments like Queen Charlotte Lodge at the remote Naden Harbour, Haida Gwaii. Located on the former site of the Naden Harbour Whaling station, this 20-acre property opened its doors in 1991.

Queen Charlotte Lodge has modern home comforts in a traditional setting.

“I was here when we built this place. I’ve seen three decades of change in tourism in Haida Gwaii and in our property in particular,” says Marketing Manager Duane Foerter. “In the beginning, it was really for fishermen; they would arrive in pickup trucks.”

Today, fly-in visitors from Canada and the United States return every year for the fishing, the dining and the peace of the surrounding woods; a true antidote for the stresses of the urban grind. “Haida Gwaii has so much to offer in terms of wildlife and natural history,” says Foerter. “It’s the cleanest air you’ll find anywhere in the world.”

The main lodge itself is breathtaking. Built of massive blonde logs of lodgepole pine with a huge stone fireplace, it is truly designed to fit into the landscape. Those who are not excited about the chance to land a huge salmon can spend their days on the hiking trails or get out on the water with a sea kayak or paddleboard, watching for a passing whale.

“I love the early morning,” says Foerter. “Being on the water to watch the sunrise is a special experience. That’s where it all begins.”

The Lodge offers a dining program called, cleverly, Taste of B-Sea, which exposes guests to the wide variety of prized Pacific fish and seafood, from salmon to spot prawns, Dungeness crabs, albacore tuna and sablefish, as well as B.C. wines to savour in the dining room or take home.

On the Atlantic coast, visitors can enjoy a similarly distinctive taste of place at Newfoundland’s renowned Fogo Island Inn, where they can pick more than 20 types of wild edible berries, try their hand at pond fishing, ice fishing or handlining cod, or forage for wild greens and mushrooms.

View of the Inn from the road during berry picking season.

“We incorporate wild and local ingredients into the cocktails on our list... think blackberry syrup, sea buckthorn juice and Newfoundland Distillery gin. At the end of an active day outdoors, guests can kick back by one of our woodstoves or fires and sip on a drink that reveals the flavours and stories of this place,” says Managing Director Amanda Decker-Penton.

An awe-inspiring architectural gem designed to harmonize with the bleak loveliness of its remote east-coast landscape, the Inn is “built on the principles of sustainability and respect for nature and culture,” she says. “Unlike other luxury properties, Fogo Island Inn is an initiative of the registered charity Shorefast, which helps build community wellbeing while sharing new models of economic development.”

The Newfoundland Room with a view.


Dine where nature and cuisine meet.

The Inn’s one-of-a-kind rooms and suites feature dramatic views of the Atlantic from floor-to-ceiling windows and are furnished with the work of local artisans. Guests are paired with local community members who act as guides, and “amongst the many offerings on the Island and at the Inn, we are told time and time again by guests that these interactions with the people of Fogo Island are some of their most memorable,” Decker-Penton says.

Whether you choose to explore the Pacific’s inviting ocean culture or immerse yourself in pure Atlantic coastal luxury, the world’s longest coastline awaits you. ✈

Photos courtesy of Queen Charlotte Lodge and Fogo Island Inn. Duane Foerter (Birdseye view of fishing boat; QCL Exterior; Sunrise Whale Watching; Bald Eagle; Happy girl with her catch of the day; One-O-One Fishing Charter); Mike Dell/Coffee Abroad (Berry Picking); Rene Synnevrag (View of the Inn from the road); Fogo Island Inn (Berry close-up); Alex Fradkin (Fogo Island Inn coastal fire; Newfoundland Room; Dining Room & Library).
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“Unlike other luxury properties, Fogo Island Inn is an initiative of the registered charity Shorefast, which helps build community wellbeing while sharing new models of economic development.”

~ Amanda Decker-Penton - Managing Director

The world's longest coastline destinations await.

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