Pacific Rim Glamping at Wya Point Resort

One of the many reasons I’m gaga for glamping is because it offers an all-access pass to nature, and at Wya Point Resort, perched on the cusp of Canada’s West Coast, this access is VIP.

Located a few hours from Vancouver, BC, via car and a trip aboard BC Ferries, connecting the mainland to Vancouver Island, I arrived at Way Point Resort with my family in the early evening. The sun was starting to set, bathing the resort’s private beach in a pink, blue, and golden-hued light so complex it would be difficult for Pantone to capture it in a color chip.


So taken by the way the light was peeking through the old-growth trees towering over the Pacific Ocean, we dashed out of our car and ran to the resort’s sandy cove before even setting foot in our yurt. Once the sun sank into the horizon, we walked a few steps to our “glampsite” and realized we could have witnessed the kaleidoscope sky from the lounge chairs topping the cedar deck circling our yurt.


Built strong and sturdy by the Ucluelet First Nation—the original inhabitants of the land—to withstand their position at the edge of the Pacific Rim, the 15 beach-access yurts at Wya Point Resort are far from fair-weather. Indoor wood-burning stoves provide heat in the winter, while the pop-up rooftop skylight cools in the summer. Small indoor kitchens—intended to complement the outdoor grill—provide just enough space to prepare a coastal feast.

At 8:00 p.m. the tide rolled in and with it, waves so powerful, their froth dusted our yurt’s window with millions of micro bubbles. The sound of the waves juxtaposed against the quietness of nature soothed my soul into a sleep so deep I awoke the next morning to the cry of eagles.


After an obligatory sunrise beachcombing session where we checked out tide pools teeming with sea anemones and starfish, we headed into the nearby town of Ucluelet. Locally-roasted coffee from The Foggy Bean Coffee Co was on our menu, as was a coastal hike along the 5.5-mile Wild Pacific Trail.


Before returning to our woodsy hideaway, we felt it was our duty to the destination (and our inner foodies) to pick up salmon and halibut caught that morning for an evening cookout.

Barbecuing local fish under a canopy of ancient cedars, I was struck by the privilege of Pacific Rim glamping, and the front-row seat Wya Point Resort gives you to the Pacific wild.


Know this:

– Well-equipped bathrooms are a few steps from each yurt.
– In addition to yurts, Way Point Resort also features campsites, as well as a collection of nine beachfront, timber-frame lodges.
– The region is famous for fishing, surfing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing, so there’s no shortage of activities.

Tented Paradise – Wilson Island

Editor’s Note: Wilson Island’s tented paradise is currently taking a vacation of its own. Check back for updates on its reopening. In the meantime, check out nearby Heron Island, another southern Great Barrier Reef castaway stay.


While planning a trip to Australia, my husband and I knew our tropical getaway had to incorporate two things: Glamping and the Great Barrier Reef. Is there a better travel cocktail? To our extreme delight, this combo led us to Wilson Island, a private coral cay with six tents, on-demand wine, and a personal chef in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Reaching paradise found is no small feat, though, when you’re sipping Champagne at sunset watching baby turtles hatch before your eyes, the plane and two-boat journey fades into oblivion.


On Wilson, there’s no fancy dock or water toys or plunge pool. The lack of these luxuries only adds to the castaway allure. Upon arrival, our skipper put the speedboat in neutral and let us off three feet from shore. I hiked up my dress, dodged a few waves, waded up to the deserted beach, and stood in awe for a good five minutes.


Basking in island bliss, I met my host, one of two staff members who tend to guests’ every island need. She welcomed us, explained Wilson’s “island time” flow—breakfast, beach, wine, lunch, snorkel, Champagne, dinner, sleep (repeat)—and carried our bags to the tent. As she was walking away I noticed she had no shoes on, and realized, “what’s the point?” The entire enclave is serenaded in sand.


Closed on three sides and secluded from other guests by the islet’s thick tropical foliage, my sand-hued safari-style stay was graced with a timber base, a king-sized bed, and a white hammock gently swaying in the wind. The ocean side of our plot was left open offering a view more magnificent than priceless art. It should be noted that I never closed that fourth tent flap, the vista was too soul-soothing.

Keen on exploring the five-acre footprint, we found the central washhouse for when nature calls (or we needed a solar-powered shower), and the Longhouse, where all meals are prepared and served. Peering at the board games, books, and rows of wine, we got stalled here when we met the chef who rushed over during prep to offer us some chocolate and wine.


Hand-in-hand, we took our pinot gris to the beach and strolled speechless as birds flew overhead and the waves lapped up over our feet. For the next hour, I searched for places to hide, so I’d never have to leave.

For lunch, we sat at a 12-person long table topped in shells and multi-utensil place settings. Over more wine, macadamia nut-crated barramundi—brought to shore by local fisherman—sweet potato purée, and watermelon granita, we traded travel stories with the other island-goers. Despite the formal menu, t-shirts and bathing suit coverups were the most elegant attire. At Wilson, you come as you are, sea-swept hair and all.


Full and little tipsy from our feast, we spent the afternoon transitioning between sand and surf, snorkelling with turtles, (friendly) reef sharks—yes, I almost peed my bathing suit at the sight—and a gazillion tropical fish in a rainbow of color.

While sharing the water with sharks is bucket list-level, it was nighttime that created the most lasting impression. As we were watching the sun paint a tangerine hue on the horizon, we were summoned to a communal beachfront pavilion where Champagne paired with cheese and crudités was served on a silver platter.

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Just as my bubbly was fizzing over my flute, someone yelled “turtle.” In a flash, I ran over—making sure to keep a respectable distance—and for the next 30 minutes watched a baby turtle hatch from its egg, dodge rocks and driftwood on its way to shore, and flail like a toddler as it learned to swim.

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In a state of is-this-for-real bliss I started weeping, knowing I was experiencing something near otherworldly. Once I composed myself, I asked our host if there were any cancellations for the next night. I knew in advance the island was fully booked, but after my eye-popping day, I felt the universe was on my side.

A few minutes later she came back and informed me there had been a double booking and we could stay another evening. All I had was 24 hours worth of clothes, but I didn’t care. We were shipwrecked in style, and for the next 36 hours, I was on a mission of Great Barrier Reef proportions.

Glamping Gets an Oscar Nod

Who needs a gold statue when you can go glamping?

Spoiler Alert: Reese Witherspoon did not go glamping in the Oscar-nominated hiking-camping-and-coming-of-age movie, Wild (but you should see it anyway). However, as a nominee, she and her fellow runners-up in the Best Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress, and Director categories, as well as host Neil Patrick Harris, received a six-figure swag bag, which includes a $12,500 USD seven-day glamping getaway.


The upscale wilderness experience pairing luxury camping with private chef-prepared meals and fine Napa Valley wines was offered to Oscar contenders such as Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, Julianne Moore, Bradley Cooper, Steve Carell, and Benedict Cumberbatch so they could flee into the arms of nature and unwind after a busy award show season.


While nobody likes to lose, in this case, it pays to be in contention. TerraVelo Tours’ glitzy-come-outdoorsy escape takes Hollywood’s elite from the red carpet into the most awe-inspiring alcoves of Wyoming, California, and Utah. Here, guests are wooed with A-list amenities from plush memory-foam beds with Frette linens to a “transportable luxury bathroom” stocked with C.O. Bigelow toiletries and Turkish towels. Couple these frills with the option to surf, cycle, go hot air ballooning, or do sunrise yoga, and we’d like to put our name forward to be Bradley Cooper’s +1.

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This is not the first time Oscar has given a nod to glamping. Back in 2013, one of the presenter perks was an elephant safari and four-night stay for two at Abu (tented) Camp in Botswana, valued at $15,000 USD.

In case all this talk of upper crust camping is making you think it’s easy to insert a star-studded stay into Oscar bag territory, making the cut is no small task (read: near-impossible), which is why we’re ecstatic glamping is taking center stage.


Photo Credit: TerraVelo Tours