A Family Getaway To Best Western Tin Wis Resort

How do you know where to stay on your Vancouver Island Tofino vacation? So many great options! How do you choose? Tin Wis Resort is an excellent choice right on the ocean.

Rolling waves in front of me, sandy beach, west coast shoreline to my right and left, and the well kept grounds of the Tin Wis Resort surround me.

There is nothing like being able to experience the best of the sights and sounds of the location you are visiting than right from your accommodation… there is only one word to describe our stay, “bliss”.

“Until the end of the 19th century the beach-front property on which the resort now stands provided a safe landing place for the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations whale hunters and their dugout canoes even in the roughest storms. The beach became known as “Tin Wis” as it means “calm waters” in the local First Nation’s language.” Tin Wis Resort

Mackenzie beach TofinoMackenzie Beach Ariel Photo  •  Tin Wis Best Western Resort is located on the South Side of beach

We drove into Tofino a little later than we had planned, but we didn’t mind, we were here and on vacation. Now the big question… did we choose our accommodation wisely?

Picking an accommodation is one of your most important decisions you’ll make when heading off on a grand family vacation.

If you get it wrong… well, I don’t really have to tell you how that feels as we have all done it, haven’t we? But if you get it right… well, that just feels soooo good and makes the vacation that much better.

We did our homework on Tin Wis; the web reviews, scouring their website, anonymously calling the resort to see what guest services is like, yes you can call me thorough. But you never really know what it’s going to be like until you actually arrive at your destination to see for yourself, do you? Well that is… unless you are an avid reader of Traveling Islanders Travel Blog (Yes, you just read a shameless plug).

Tin Wis Best Western Resort oceanviewI took this photo of Tin Wis while riding by on the West Coast Aquatic Safaris whale watching boat!

We typically like to look at  5 categories when evaluating a hotel/resort. We trust this information is helpful as you choose carefully where you will be staying in Tofino.

1. Location

The Tin Wis Resort location fits every check box we have for an excellent location in Tofino. Tin Wis is 5 minutes from Tofino, which was super convenient for our whale and bear watching tours with West Coast Aquatic Safaris. We had to meet our boat captain at 6:50am to depart for bear watching… we loved seeing the bears, but those guys need to learn to sleep in! Keep in mind, that even though you are close to Tofino, Tin Wis is secluded away from town. Although, there is a very nice paved recreation trail all the way into Tofino which is about 2 miles away.

Tin Wis is situated right on beautiful Mackenzie beach…close enough that you can easily see and hear the ocean waves rolling in from your sliding patio door. Having all the amenities of a hotel room, yet so close to the sounds of nature, was a big plus.

Every room in the resort, and I mean every room, has a beautiful ocean view.

Our list could go on and on… big grassy area to run around on before getting to the beach, a little playground for kids 8 years old and down, just the right wave height for our little ones (during non-storm watching season) and gorgeous views makes for one amazing location.


2. The Room

We stayed in a King Kitchenette Room with an adjoining Double Bedroom. Perfect is the one word I would use to describe our rooms. The rooms were modern, very clean and had a West Coast warm feeling… I think the propane fireplace helped with that. Just like every window you look out of at the resort, we had a gorgeous panoramic ocean view. Very handy to keep an eye on the kids as they would travel back and forth to the beach. It’s a very nice feeling to have throughout the day that there is no need to rush off anywhere to the beach, because you are literally right there!

Having the adjoining room made it really nice for the parents to stay up a little longer while the kids went off to bed.  Speaking of beds… they were super comfortable and the sheets were high quality. The kids loved having their own “kid room”, although our boy Titus was disappointed there weren’t more kids to share the room with… I think he was thinking kids camp, pretty cute. As you can see from the picture below, the kids were pretty excited about their nice big beds! The kitchenette is fully equipped and convenient if you don’t want to eat every meal in the Tin Wis Beachfront Bistro.

Side note: we were in a non-pet friendly room, but we did notice that there were pet friendly rooms available. We left poor Mango, our faithful Goldren Retriever home this time around.

Tin-Wis-best-western-resort-roomsImage of bedrooms via: www.tinwis.com

3. Dining

The pictures say it all – “delicious!” The ambience is warm and classy, and once again there are stunning ocean views from every table. The Beachfront Bistro is open for breakfast (8:00am – 12:00pm) and dinner (5:00pm to 10:00pm). For your convenience you can order box/bag lunches to take with you on your afternoon excursions.  Another option is to mix it up by having a simple breakfast in your room first thing and then a second breakfast/early lunch around 11:30am. Our family likes breakfast any meal of the day, so that worked nicely for us.

On Sunday nights there is live music from local Tofino artists, that was a fun treat for our first dinner. We thoroughly enjoyed our family dining experience at the Beachfront Bistro.

I usually stick to the tried and true items on the menu, but with my new goal of achieving a more refined pallet I ventured out and enjoyed several tasty seafood entrees. When you’re in Tofino, it just feels right to eat seafood. The kids loved anything on the kid menu, Gretta really enjoyed seafood curry and my favourite was definitely the deep fried Halibut and french fries (Yes, I know… tried and true, but it was so good!).


4. Service & Overall Feel Of The Accommodation

From the moment we stepped through the front lobby doors, we felt welcomed.

Whenever we needed something, the staff was there to help us or make it right. You could really tell that there was pride in the cleanliness and presentation of the hotel. The hotel was fresh and upgraded in most places, and in others you could tell it was soon to be addressed. I often saw staff sweeping, cleaning blinds, or just tidying up in general. Our room was spotless, and that definitely helps with the overall feel of the hotel.

When my kids are begging to stay, and then quickly playing “Tin Wis” in their imagination play as soon as we got home… you know the service and overall feel of the hotel was just right. Now if I could only get my kids to stop trying to freshen up my room while I’m changing in the morning!

Tin Wis LobbyImage via: Tin Wis Best Western Resort

5. Amenities & Things to do

The hot tub was a lot of fun with the kids and there is a small fitness room as well. Both had excellent views of the ocean, I think you are starting to notice a trend on the view!

I used the fitness room once… but you know you really have to be careful on these spontaneous vacation workout sessions. The last time I worked out at a hotel I ended up throwing something out in my back. My chiropractor asked me if I did any exercises I usually don’t do, and I responded: ” Ya, all of the exercises, I typically don’t do :)” He laughed so hard that the treatment table started shaking.

West Coast Aquatic Safaris

Enjoy the West Coast of Vancouver Island's premiere wildlife and sightseeing aboard our all weather family tour boats. Bear Watching, Tofino Whale Watching, Deep Sea Fishing & Hot Spring Tours. Impeccable safety record.

A couple amenities we didn’t take advantage of but are worth mentioning is the on-site surf shop for all your surf rental and lesson needs. We also noticed beachfront BBQ’s, both gas and charcoal.

If you are looking for a Day Spa while at Tin Wis, we recommend Sacred Stone Spa right in the heart of Tofino just a 5 minute drive away. Gretta absolutely loved her massage at Sacred Stone, and we know you will too! Read about Gretta’s experience at Sacred Stone Spa. 

For you local islanders who have access to cheap firewood, don’t forget to bring some with you for a fire on the beach. We forgot! We also forgot our beach toys and boogie board, but truthfully the kids didn’t even notice. The hotel could have easily helped us out with both of those items, but we were honestly having too much fun just playing in the surf and the sand.

We were at Tin Wis in May, and today was a record breaking +24!! (76 F).  I know it’s not always that hot in Tofino, but the number one thing to do on a hot sunny day in Tofino is hit the beach. After our bear watching trip in the early morning we came back to Tin Wis resort and just played and played on the beach all day.

Mackenzie beach is excellent for young kids because of the soft sand, small waves in most sections and the the ocean stays shallow a good ways into the water. We felt very safe having our kids (ages 8,6,5 at the time) venture into the ocean without us right beside them the whole time.


What do you look for in a place to stay when going on a family vacation? Start the ball rolling in the comment section below.

While our stay at Tin Wis Best Western Resort was complimentary, our thoughts, opinions and findings are our own as always. 


Read about some of our other Tofino experiences:
• Sacred Stone Spa • Bear Watching • Whale Watching • Camping • Surfing


  • Your Tofino vacation looks wonderful! What a beautiful family! Keep travelin'! - Reply

    • Thanks Jane for your kind words! It truly was one of those amazing "forever memory" trips! Love those kind of memories. - Reply