British Columbia’s Black Rock Oceanfront Resort


Sue Facter arriving in Naiamo by seaplane, Vancouver Island.

Did I really have to travel thousands of miles for a seaweed treatment in British Columbia? Well, yes.

One of the advantages of visiting the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet is its Drift Spa, where one can go “green,” detox your body and have a few moments of relaxation from an overly-scheduled media tour.

When I first heard about my Organic Therapeutic Seaweed Massage and Soak, I thought seaweed? Apparently, there are about 700 species (on BC’s Northwestern Pacific coast) that are packed with tons of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and natural astringents. Japan has 400.

I needed the massage. After planes (including one sea plane), trains and automobiles, (not to mention countless interviews/ notes) all within a two-day radius, it was time.

Just walking into the Black Rock Resort took years off! Located on Vancouver Island, 180 miles north of Victoria, the resort sits between the Pacific Ocean and a rainforest, about 20 minutes from Tofino. Its doors open to the Wild Pacific Trail those winds along a breath taking rugged coast. You see the lobby’s expansive spaces, natural light, a huge firepot and views of the ocean. What a treat to see the innovative architecture including rock, water, glass, steel and wood from the Pacific landscape.

Opened in January 2009, this haven is the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. You never seem to run into too many people at once, unless you’re dining at Fetch, which features an awe-sweeping view of the ocean. But, even then, it doesn’t seem crowded. Executive chef Andrew Springett’s organic cuisine takes your mind and palate to another level.

My seaweed spa treatment was set for the day after arrival, at the end of a long day of travel reviewing. To tell you the truth I was torn to break free from wondering the streets, art galleries, and the tiniest aquarium I’ve ever seen (all oceanside) to rush to our next appointment. But once the mas-seuse’s hands were placing the soaked seaweed on my exhausted body, I was in heaven.

The plants were blended with pumpkin, flax and olive oil to treat those tired and achy muscles. I really didn’t want to ask questions about the vitamin C, A, E, B complex, iodine, sodium, phosperous, calcium, magnesium and beta carotene it contained.

And that was just half the treatment. The adjoining room provides a Thalasso hydrotherapy hydraulic tub. By now, I didn’t care about the health advantages to my soak. The effects were working. Seaweed is added to the sea salts to increase the bennies of circulation, exfoliation, hydration, and nourishment of the skin. Just press the button for the Jacuzzi jets. The piece de la resistance was the comfy head pillow.

I hated leaving the spa. But, my temporary home upstairs was not too shabby. After a shower with a rainforest shower head, I learned I could heat the tile floors with the flick of a switch. There was a separate soaking tub in another area of the huge salle de bain.

No time for e-mails or back-home work, as I was set to meet my group for dinner in town at Norwood’s, a tiny, but oh so wonderful eatery. We had to rise early to do the three-hour drive to the sea plane terminal in Nanaimo and return to Vancouver, as we had places to go and people to see!

Sue Facter, a luxury travel connoisseur, writes about all things A-list. Follow her on Twitter @TheFacter.

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Sue Facter writes about all things A-list for publications world-wide. Follow her on Twitter @TheFacter.

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