The first thing my kids noticed upon entering the grounds of Parksville BC‘s Tigh-Na-Mara Beach Resort was the pool house. Then the kids’ club space. Then the playground and the basketball and tennis court. Finally, they spotted the beach access leading to one of Parksville’s famous warm sand beaches. The first thing I noticed was the Cedars restaurant and Grotto Spa. To say Tigh-Na-Mara has it all is a true understatement, however, because what they don’t have on-site, they bring to their guests in the form of off-site activities and family excursions.
Our accommodations at Tigh-Na-Mara consisted of a two-bedroom log cabin adjacent to the tennis courts and playground (and just steps from beach access). The cabin was bigger than I expected, with a nice living room area with fireplace and flat screen TV, full kitchen with a dining table for four, and a futon-bed in addition to the queen bed in the first bedroom and two twins in the second. We also had a nice porch and picnic table. Other cabin loops are more secluded, but farther from the beach and playground, so families will need to assess priorities.
Parksville beaches are a phenomenon, or at least seemed so to us, used to beaches in the states: the tide varies by full kilometers here, so at low tide, the. Tigh-Na-Mara beach is over a kilometer in length from the resort to the water (bring something to haul your stuff, and chairs…the sand is constantly damp), but at high tide, the water laps the shore steps from the path, and is incredibly warm for the Northwest. Both high and low tide make for fun beach-going.
When not at the beach, Tigh-Na-Mara offers a drop-in kids’ club for no additional charge (a huge value) and an entire schedule of family off and on-site activities families can sign up for (additional charge). We participated in Twilight Golf, which was held at Morningstar Golf Course nearby. This activity, fully set up by the resort, included a private golf lesson for the family members with a Canadian PGA pro and plenty of time on the driving range. A Tigh-Na-Mara recreation staff member drove us to and from, and had the adults wished to spend the time in the spa (more on that to come) or the Cedars Restaurant, a rec staff member would have stayed with the kids (we opted to stay and watch). Adults are welcome to join the lesson, too! At $39 per person, Twilight Golf is a good value, and would be a perfect evening before setting up a full nine or 18 holes the next day.
The following morning, we consulted our resort schedule again and my mom (along with us for the trip) joined the kids for Tigh-Na-Mara’s Underwater Exploration of nearby tide pools with a marine expert while I enjoyed a day pass at the Grotto Spa. While they learned about intertidal wildlife in the sunshine, I treated myself to BC’s only mineral spa pool and hot tub (heavenly, if you’re wondering) and an hour in their relaxation room with complimentary tea, coffee, and fruit.
Tip: Check the resort’s activity schedule online when you book to sign up for popular activities beforehand. The kids’ club can be more spontaneous, but advanced notice is useful. Kids have to be potty trained to attend the club and activities without a parent, but can attend at any age with an adult. One on one babysitting is also available.
Date last visited:
Distance from the interstate:
Only minutes from Canada’s BC-19.
At the time of our visit, rates for a two-bedroom log cabin started at $380. Packages and deals abound, however, especially in the non-peak season of summer.
The Cedars offers fine dining, but kids eat free with adults from 5-6 pm, and they offer pizza delivery as well. In the morning,a pancake breakfast is $7.95 per person. We ordered a few pizzas during our stay and made use of our kitchen. Additional Parksville dining is only minutes away by car.
Tigh-Na-Mara is located at 1155 Resort Drive in Parksville. From BC-19, take Island Highway to Resort Drive.
As I disclose whenever applicable, I experienced Tigh-Na-Mara and the Grotto spa at no charge, for the purpose of review. While I appreciate this opportunity (and the opportunity to share it with my readers), it came with no expectation of a positive review.