One of the best things about living on Vancouver Island is that you have total access to beaches, parks, hiking trails, and lakes. There are also lots of great options to eat, stay and visit. Now that we’ve moved here we plan to take full advantage of all that the Island has to offer, from small getaways to luxury vacations. So, here’s my honest review, with a list of pros and cons, of our latest Vancouver Island getaway. Photos and some video shorts too of the amazing wildlife you’ll see when you stay here!
We were looking for a place to stay that was pet-friendly, within driving distance (no flight nightmares for us!), had an ocean view, a kitchen, a hot tub, a wood burning fireplace, and an on-site restaurant. We decided to try two nights at Dolphin’s Resort in Campbell River.
Before we book accommodations we always check reviews first. The Dolphin’s Resort had 4.6 on Google Reviews. You’ll see our review further below. In the meantime, I hope this list of pros and cons is helpful.
- Our Cabin was spotlessly clean and a non-smoking room. This is very unusual. Pet friendly accommodations we’ve stayed at elsewhere have often been the worst rooms where smoking was allowed so this was a very pleasant surprise for us!
- Our cabin was located in a spot that was very private so we could enjoy our deck and hot tub without people passing by.
- It’s quiet time from 10pm to 7am so it was extremely quiet and we got great sleeps (if you like to party late into the night this is not the resort for you).
- The beds and linens were suited to the rustic vibe of the resort but very soft and cozy.
- The shrubs in front of our deck were pruned so that the ocean view was clear, and there was a nice table for dining outside. Ours had a sun umbrella but we did have to ask for this.
- There was enough firewood included to have a cozy wood burning fire during both nights of our stay.
- The kitchen had all of the basic amenities: full fridge and freezer, microwave, stove top, oven, coffee machine, coffee, tea, sugar, kettle, toaster, dishwashing liquid, paper towels, wine/bottle opener, and a small selection of pots and pans. They even had a cheese grater! We also found cutlery, plates, small bowls, wine glasses, mugs, and drinking glasses.
- Bathroom linens and hot tub towels are included.
- There is a tiny gift shop on-site that has a small assortment of sundries like QTips, bandaids, aspirin, and feminine products if you need them in a pinch.
- The restaurant, Anglers Dining Room, had a very rustic charm about it and the customer service was very friendly. They offer Celiac friendly gluten-free options, and vegetarian options, on their menu. The food was five star! I had the Caprese Chicken with a local Malbec wine, and my hubby had the Mushroom Wellington. Definitely worth a stop if you’re driving through Campbell River. They are also open for breakfast and the restaurant patio has a fabulous ocean view.
- WiFi worked great while we were there. Not super fast but sufficient for texts, GPS, and social if that’s you’re jam.
- The resort grounds were very nice with old growth trees and gardens to enjoy. If you don’t have a cabin with a view, there are Adirondack chairs in public spaces you can enjoy.
- If you like to go fishing, there are charter boats at the resort dock that will take you out so you don’t have to drive anywhere.
- The beach area had a small landing and rustic wooden structure that would be perfect for a wedding ceremony. A macrame curtain would be perfect as a backdrop (email yours truly at hello(at)brambleblossom.com for something custom). And there is a large cabin you can rent for a wedding party.
There were a few cons; but, this would not stop us from staying there again in the future. Here they are:
- Given that the resort is pet friendly it would be nice if they provided dog bowls, a little welcome treat, and maybe some dog bags (in case guests run out or forget to bring them). They did have them; but, we had to ask at the front desk.
- When we made our booking we told the front desk staff it was our wedding anniversary; but, no one wished us “Happy Anniversary” or “Congratulations”. There was no special welcome card in the cabin, or any other acknowledgement of the occasion.
- Campbell River has a number of places where you can get fresh seafood. I got freshly steamed crab from Crabby Bobb’s (soooo delicious!) which was just a 13 minute drive into town. But, when we got back to the cabin we discovered there was no crab cracker, or seafood pick. I had to use some pliers from our car’s toolbox. Might be a good addition to kitchen amenities for future guests.
- The restaurant, Anglers Dining Room, did not have any vegan options. With so many people who are vegan we had hoped there would be at least one menu option, or that alterations could be made to existing dishes. My hubby had to make do with a vegetarian option, which isn’t optimal.
- Since we had our chocolate lab with us on the trip, we wanted to order our dinner as take-out from the restaurant and eat in our cabin. The front desk staff had told us that take-out was not an option; but, the chalkboard sign next to the restaurant front door said that it was. Maybe it’s just a breakdown in communication between staff? Thankfully, we double checked at the restaurant and take-out was an option for us since we were staying at the resort. What a relief! We were looking forward to our special anniversary dinner.
- Dogs must be on a leash at all times. There is no designated off-leash area anywhere on the property.
Overall, we give the Dolphin’s Resort 5 stars (August 2023)! If you’re looking for rustic, pet friendly accommodations with an ocean view, hot tub, beach access, a wood burning fireplace, and an on-site restaurant, it’s a perfect spot!
No matter what type of trip you have planned to Vancouver Island, it’s always a good idea to check recent google reviews and visit the website before booking any accommodations. Although we lucked out booking only 2 weeks ahead, we got the last cabin available, so booking in advance is recommended. The Dolphin Resort seems to be a popular spot and we can see why.
If you end up staying at this resort, or eating in the restaurant, we’d love to hear your comments. Comment on our blog or connect with us on social.