Waterfront Accommodation in Alert Bay, B.C. - home of the Orca
Alert Bay Lodge is a west coast retreat lying off the pristine north-east coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. Located on the south shore of Cormorant Island, the lodge overlooks Johnstone Strait. This narrow, glacier-carved waterway is home to a population of about 200 orcas, the largest pod in the world.
Cedar log in construction, the Lodge was originally a church. This legacy is reflected in the arched cedar beams that frame the expansive common room and the former pulpit which now serves as the dining room for our urban Montreal and rural Alberta-inspired restaurant. In the Great Room guests can peruse the library, relax by the woodstove and exchange stories with other guests. Wireless internet is available without charge.
Orcas are often spotted from the sundeck, which is a stone's throw from the beach. Across the Strait from the Lodge, the Vancouver Island Mountain Range rises from the shores of Vancouver Island, providing a stunning backdrop to our ocean view. The lodge is busiest from mid-June to the end of September when orca and grizzly bear viewing is prime. We utilize Tide Rip Grizzly Adventures for our bear tours and Stubbs Whale Watching for our whale and marine life tours. Tide Rip picks up in Alert Bay, a short walk from the lodge. Stubbs is located in Telegraph Cove which is accessible by water taxi or by vehicle.
Year round attractions unique to Alert Bay include the U'Mista Cultural Centre. Known for its potlatch collection, the Centre is a 20 minute walk away along the ocean road and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. About one kilometre inland lie the Ecological Gardens and Big Tree Trail - haunting and beautiful at any time year. For a summary of local events go to here.
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Open Net Salmon Farms
In November 2017 we were pleased to host representatives of the Council for Canadians as part of its protest against open net salmon farms in the Broughton Archipelago. The Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, ‘Namgis and Mamalilkala First Nations have never given their consent to open-pen Atlantic salmon feedlots operating in their territories and are now demanding that both the provincial and federal governments recognize their right to traditional fishery and have the fish farms removed. See the video "Get Fish Farms Out" shot in the Broughton, in Alert Bay and at Alert Bay Lodge.
Alert Bay Lodge is on the waterfront a small distance from the center of town. The lodge area is thoroughly cozy and has lots of seating to tuck in and read or watch the activity on the water. We were in Room 4 which had a large covered outdoor patio with views of the water. Breakfast in the morning was plentiful and local - eggs, potatoes and fruit grown on the island. We had an early morning whale watching trip and owner Nina was up bright and early to make sure we were well fed before our trip. I can also highly recommend booking your whale watching trip with Sea Smoke. We were really happy staying at Alert Bay Lodge followed by whale watching the next morning. Gave us plenty of time to explore the small island, get some adventure in, and be on our way!
Saturday, July 28 2018
It's mid-season, The flowers are in bloom, the weather is warm and sunny - time to relax with a favourite glass and do a little whale watching from our sundeck. Resident orcas are now being spotted daily along with Transient orcas, Dall’s Porpoises, Pacific Harbour Seals, Steller Sea Lions. There are several companies providing whale watching with various sizes of boats - feel free to give a call to see what works for you. Grizzly bear viewing is also in full swing with two tour operators picking up in Alert Bay.