As you might guess, the outdoor excursion, storm-watching, and surfing mecca of known as the west side of Vancouver Island offers more lodging in Tofino than anywhere else we visited on our July 2012 Vancouver Island trip. Families can choose from B&Bs, five-star resorts, vacation home rentals, and our favorite, beachfront resorts with individual cottages for let.
We made the MacKenzie Beach Resort our home base while exploring Tofino, and loved its laid-back atmosphere, can’t-beat-it beach access, and comfortable cottages. Located directly on MacKenzie Beach, the resort is the oldest in the Tofino area (though is now joined by several more along the same strip of sand). Families can choose between campsites or cottages, some of which are directly on the sand. We stayed in Cottage 3, which is a two-bedroom unit with a living room area, wood-burning stove, full kitchen, bathroom with whirlpool tub, and two bedrooms (one of which has bunk-beds). It slept five comfortably, and while the decor is not new and the furnishings have seen a few summers, we found the cottage to be just perfect for a relaxed stay.
MacKenzie Beach itself offers constant entertainment for busy kids: when the tide is low, it’s one of the best for Tofino tide pools, and families can even walk out to a small island to spot literally hundreds of sea stars and sea anenome. MacKenzie Beach does get some waves, though the south end is protected. In addition to beach activities, MacKenzie Beach Resort offers an indoor heated pool and hot tub (great for warming up after a dip in the ocean) and grass space for outdoor activities. There’s a small corner of the office that’s been made into a bit of a convenience store, but for most things, you’ll want to head into town (5 minutes away).
We loved experiencing Tofino during the day, and returning in the late afternoons for long evenings on the beach. At night, camp fires can be built on the sand, and the Tofino sunsets are amazing.
Date last visited:
Distance from the interstate:
Right on Highway 4.
At the time of my visit, peak summer rates were $399 for a two-bedroom cottage. In winter, families can certainly snag a deal. I found it interesting to note that rates for comparable cottages in the resorts adjacent to MacKenzie Beach Resort were listed as approximately $25 less per night. This is not significant, but does bear mentioning. Expect accommodations at MacKenzie Beach to be comfortable, but nothing fancy. Note:: maid service is not included in a stay. Fresh linens and towels are available.
Cottages have full kitchens (but no dishwashers) and a communal BBQ pit outside. Guests are expected to clean the kitchen up before departure.
From Highway 4 heading into Tofino, follow signs to MacKenzie Beach. A large sign will point the way!
As I disclose whenever applicable, I experienced MacKenzie Beach Resort free of charge, for the purpose of review. While I appreciate this opportunity to bring a review to my readers, it came with no expectation of a positive review.