Tofino is an adorable coastal town on Vancouver Island, offering a unique blend of chilled out coastal atmosphere, pristine wilderness, plenty of outdoor activities (both on land and in water) and some of the best surfing beaches in Canada. It seems like there’s nothing in this cute, scenic, quiet town at first glance, but nature lovers will never be out of things to do in Tofino: hiking, stand up paddle boarding, surfing, biking, hiking, storm watching, taking scenic flights or going on whale and bear watching trips.
We’ve already written a post about the best things to do in Tofino, now we’d like to tell you about the best places to stay in Tofino. In this post you find unique accommodations in Tofino. Some of them are truly luxurious, others are more simple and budget-friendly, but all of them offer a location that makes it unforgettable.
How to choose the best Tofino accommodation?
Here are some things to consider when choosing the best place to stay in Tofino for you and your companions:
- Budget. Tofino has a range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hostels and campgrounds. Visiting off season results in both more choices and more affordable prices, so you might want to visit in spring or fall instead of summer.
- Bucket list experiences. What activities do you want to include? How about the location of your accommodation: would you like to stay central or close to the ocean? Or maybe location doesn’t matter that much (everything is close if you have a car) – what else is important then? Are you planning an isolated, romantic retreat, or would you like to have the option to use shared spaces and meet other travelers?
- Amenities. What is important to you: complimentary breakfast, spa facilities, bike rentals, surf lessons or guided tours?
- Availability. You are likely to have more choices in the off season (outside of the summer months). If you’re visiting in the summer, book your accommodation early. Popular resorts and campgrounds often book out half a year in advance for the summer season and popular long weekends.
Best places to stay in Tofino
Best resorts in Tofino
This luxury beachfront resort is not actually in Tofino, but it offers oceanfront accommodations on Cox Bay Beach – an excellent location and wonderful views! If you enjoy surfing, romantic beach walks and delicious food, you all find it here. Downtown Tofino is a few minutes drive away, just like Chesterman Beach.
beautiful Cox Bay
The resort has a mix of lodge rooms (41) and rainforest cottages (20). The rooms in the lodge are steps away from the beach, and some of them have ocean facing balconies. The rainforest cottages are tucked away in the beautiful lush greenery, about 20 minutes walk from the beach. If you’re looking for a peaceful, cozy hideaway, they are the ideal choice for you and your family.
Long Beach Lodge Resort has an excellent on-site restaurant (as good as any in town, and it comes with amazing views!), sauna, hot pool and coffee bar. Surf lessons, surf equipment and bike rentals are offered all year. In-room childcare is a service that parents will appreciate very much. (Additional charge applies.)
Long Beach Lodge Resort is one of those places which guarantees a magical stay even in bad weather. It’s great for storm-watching in winter, because you can enjoy sea views from your cozy room. Watching the powerful waves from indoors is among the few enjoyable things to do in Tofino when it rains, anyway.
surfing in Cox Bay
Middle Beach Lodge (adult only)
Though a lodge-style accommodation, the cabins, lodges and the location of Middle Beach Lodge are truly luxurious. It’s one of the best Tofino resorts for a peaceful, child free getaway.
The two lodges and twenty self-contained cabins (“the Treehouses”) are on the waterfront. Timber furniture and careful decoration gives them a warm vibe, and you can enjoy wonderful views from the decks. Furnishing, fireplaces and everything inside is made from recycled natural materials.
You’ll have walking access to two beaches, Middle Beach and Mackenzie Beach, and a few short walking trails. There’s a dining room on-site, with delicious complimentary breakfast (like pastries served straight from the oven), and guests are offered complimentary rain gear (first-come, first-serve), coffee and tea. The sun terrace has BBQ facilities.
Pacific Sands Beach Resort is also located on the wonderful Cox Bay Beach, and it’s a luxurious surf-in/surf-out accommodation near Tofino, with on-site surfboard and SUP rentals, and daily surf lessons. You find walking and biking trails nearby, and bike rental is available, too. Guests can choose from unique wellness services like private wood-fired Nordic spa, massage treatments or complimentary summer beach yoga.
Outdoor loving couples and families will both love it. You can stay with your dogs in one of the pet-friendly suites, and there are pet wash stations, pet towels, biodegradable dog bags and disposal containers for your convenience.
The suites and beach houses are only steps away from the waves. The rooms are bright and comfortable, floor-to-ceiling windows offering fabulous views. Suites and beach houses are all equipped with a full kitchen and their own fireplace, and you’ll have access to a private patio or deck.
Beach toys and boogie boards are available at the resort, and umbrellas and raincoats are provided for guests during the storm watching season.
The Surf Side Grill takeout restaurant is on-site, and they have a nice outdoor patio.
Best hotels in Tofino
If you’re looking for a more affordable option than the beachfront resorts, take a look at the following hotels.
One of the best Tofino hotels on the waterfront is The Shoreline Tofino. This beautiful boutique hotel includes an A-frame house and two A-frame cabins, offering suites. Rooms include a private bathroom and a balcony. Sea views are fabulous, and you can enjoy sunsets from your balcony. All the rooms are carefully furnished, and guests appreciate the lovely finishing touches, such as local coffee and card games.
There’s a lovely garden, terrace and BBQ facilities, sauna and free guest parking. You’re in a quiet neighborhood, yet close to everything in Tofino’s center.
The MAQ Hotel is a recently renovated boutique hotel in the heart of Tofino. It’s more central and less quiet than The Shoreline. With an on-site pub and weekly live music events, a coffee shop and all the places and restaurants in Tofino’s center walking distance away, it’s for those who like being in the midst of things.
The hotel overlooks the harbor, the beautifully decorated rooms are brand new, the beds are very comfortable.
Best apartments in Tofino
If you’re looking for self-catering accommodation in Tofino, the Island Village Properties at Fred Tibbs on the Tofino waterfront is ideal for you. You can choose from family-sized loft style apartments or cozy studios, and they have pretty ocean views through large windows and balconies.
Restaurants, cafes, groceries and galleries in downtown Tofino are close by. You can launch your canoe from nearby Grice Park. Tonquin Beach is about 15 minutes walk away, partly through a beautiful lush rainforest trail.
Sienna’s Tree House is a few minutes drive away from Tofino, great for those looking for an apartment in the midst of the peaceful greenery. The lovely wooden house has one and two-bedroom apartments, they come with a living room, spacious rooms, a well-equipped kitchenette and a BBQ.
Chesterman Beach is about 10 minutes walk away, the Pacific Rim National Park is a few minutes drive. It offers much more affordable prices than beachfront accommodations, yet the location is still very good, and the beach is close.
Glamping in Tofino: Ocean Village
One of the best Tofino accommodations if you’d like a luxurious beachfront glamping experience is the Ocean Village. Located on MacKenzie Beach, guests have direct beach access, and they can also use the heated indoor pool and hot tub.
Since MacKenzie Beach is relatively protected by rock outcroppings, it’s the best place to stay in Tofino for families. Surfboard rentals, on-site massage, free games, propane fire pits and BBQ are also available.
The studios and suites are rustic, compact and comfortable. Choose an upper studio for elevated views of the coast. The lower suites are dog-friendly. Each suite includes a full kitchen and its own private bathroom.
Where to stay in Tofino on a budget?
Are you on a very tight budget? I still have options for you: one is a motel at an excellent location, another is a campground – and guess what, the location is simply unbeatable.
Tofino Motel Harborview is in the center of Tofino, offering spacious rooms for a very friendly price (we are on the West Coast of Canada, so align your expectations accordingly). All of the rooms have balconies, overlooking the harbor, Clayoqout Sound and a lovely inlet – like a postcard.
They have pet-friendly rooms and a family suite, as well, and rooms are equipped with a mini fridge, microwave, coffee maker and electric kettle. Free parking is included.
Green Point Campground
Where to stay near Tofino on a very tight budget? Camping it is! Green Point Campground is the most affordable campground near Tofino and the only vehicle accessible campground in Pacific Rim National Park. While it’s not right on the beach, it’s behind Long Beach, with 94 vehicle accessible sites (with electrical service) and 20 walk-in tent sites. They’re sheltered in the forest and about 5 minutes walk away from iconic Long Beach.
You can imagine the demand is huge for these sites. Being midway between Tofino and Ucluelet, you can conveniently visit both while staying here. But make sure to reserve your site in advance. (Most sites fill up as soon as reservations open each year.)
The campground is open between May 1 and October 10. It has good amenities, like showers, flush toilets, drinking water, and even electrical service.
Are you looking for more campgrounds? We have a comprehensive guide to the best campgrounds on Vancouver Island!
Don’t get lost on the backroads of Vancouver Island!
As we learned from our own mistakes, relying on Google Maps and other online maps in British Columbia is risky, especially when driving on the back roads. They don’t have accurate information. What to use then not to get lost?
The Backroad Mapbooks has a great outdoor recreation guidebook series about Canada, with waterproof maps, GPS maps and a smartphone app. Their Vancouver Island edition comes very handy for traveling extensively on this large island.