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If you have already discovered King Pacific Lodge in Canada, you may not want to tell many people about this extraordinary secret. The floating lodge is located on the shore of Barnard Harbor, Princess Royal Island in British Columbia, about 380 miles north of Vancouver. The island has no permanent residents and this highly-sensitive environment is in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, the world’s largest remaining tract of temperate rainforest.
Once you arrive at the Vancouver Airport, you will be greeted by a representative of King Pacific, who will direct you to a private charter to Bella Bella where you will board a floatplane for a transfer to the lodge’s front door. The property is only accessible via floatplane, which offers the most scenic tour of the area. Not only will you see an abundance of bald eagles, but also whales and even an occasional black bear.
When you step off the plane, you will know you have arrived. The floating luxury wilderness lodge is built of native pine, fir, cedar and stone on a 120 by 60 square-foot barge. The lodge is towed from its winter home in Prince Rupert to its summer operational location in Barnard Harbor where it stays from May through September each year.
There are just 17 guest rooms and suites here that offer an intimate setting and personalized service. While a luxurious stay here could cost you anywhere from $5,000 to $27,000 per person (depending on the length of stay), this once-in-a-lifetime experience includes everything–roundtrip air transportation from Vancouver, all meals, open bar and guided activities.
There’s so much to do here that you won’t know where to start. Most guests begin by taking in the amazing views from the lodge’s wrap-around deck with spectacular views of the pristine rainforest. There’s also a spa, Jacuzzi and plunge pool for added relaxation.
The best part about this unique property is its natural preserve and King Pacific Lodge certainly knows it has something amazing to offer guests. Professional wilderness guides offer interpretative hikes, sea kayaking, beach combing, heli-hiking, whale watching, wildlife viewing, star gazing, floatplane tours, fly-tying instruction and cultural tours with the indigenous Gitga’at. This region is home of the “Spirit Bear” (a black bear with a double recessive gene which is rarer than the panda) and expert guides even lead bear viewing searches in September.
You won’t believe what you might see during your stay here. The area is teeming with orcas, humpback whales, black bears, grizzlies, Spirit Bears (also known as Kermodes), seals, sea lions, sea otters and eagles. Saltwater trolling and fly-fishing are also offered, as well as remote freshwater heli-fly-fishing.
Dining at King Pacific Lodge offers culinary delights featuring seasonal local and regional organic produce and fresh seafood and meats that are paired with award-winning wines. The dining room boasts ocean views on two sides, a large open fireplace and dining for families, groups or individuals. Part of the charm of this entirely unique experience is getting to know other guests by dining at group tables for dinner.
The lodge offers 17 guest rooms, including three suites, all of which feature in-room bathrooms with deep Osaka tubs and showers, and the ultimate in luxurious linens, towels and robes. You may feel like staying in bed all day but with just a quick glance outside, you’ll want to start your day off early to explore this fabulous region.
Most discerning travelers have already discovered King Pacific Lodge, which is in a class of its own (partly due to its costs, remoteness and intimate size). But I am convinced most prefer the property to remain under the radar because it truly is a hidden gem.