Embark on an unforgettable journey of tranquility and discovery at Tigh Na Mara Resort—a hidden paradise nestled along the pristine shores that will captivate your senses. If you’re longing to break free from the monotony of everyday life, this is the perfect place for you.

As we entered this coastal sanctuary, a sense of serenity embraced us, inviting us to surrender ourselves to the embrace of unparalleled bliss. We discovered a world where lush forests meet sandy beaches, where the soothing rhythm of ocean waves lulls you into a state of peace, and where every corner holds the promise of extraordinary experiences.

Come with us and experience the enchantment of Tigh Na Mara Resort, where time stands still, and the essence of pure rejuvenation unfolds before your very eyes.

Welcome to Tigh Na Mara Resort

tigh na mara canada

Tigh Na Mara comes from the Gaelic for ‘House by the Sea,’ and the resort has its roots firmly in the rich tradition of inn-keeping. What is now 192 handcrafted log rooms and extensive amenities was once a single tent over 70 years ago. While the progress is unmistakable, the resort has carefully maintained its rustic charm.

We selected this tranquil place for a two-day treat during our honeymoon camping trip to Vancouver Island. What a beautiful place to lay in luxury for a midway point in our 3-week camping trip!

Tigh Na Mara perfectly balances a sprawling set of amenities with cozy and rustic charm, set across 22-acres of rejuvenating douglas fir and arbutus forest with sweeping ocean views across the Strait of Georgia.

No matter what experience you are after, you can find it all here. Some of the warmest waters in Canada alongside a fine-sanded beach provide for the beachgoers amongst you, while 10,000 square feet of corporate meeting space set in the majesty of forested Vancouver Island will make even the dullest corporate retreat a breeze.

You do not even have to leave the comfort of your hand-built rustic bedroom to enjoy the sight and sound of the lapping ocean if you don’t want to, with oceanview rooms available to make the most of both the in and outdoors.

To find out just how ideally situated Tigh Na Mara is, skip to the end of the article for a handy list of things to do in the surrounding area.

How to Get to Tigh Na Mara

You can find Tigh Na Mara tucked close to Parksville on Vancouver Island, around the middle of the island on the east coast. This puts it just a 30-minute drive northwards from Nanaimo and just over a two-hour drive northwards from Victoria.

If you are heading from the lower mainland of British Columbia, you can take BC Ferries which offers awe-inspiring insight into the varied landscape of this coast. It also gives you a great chance of witnessing some of the natural inhabitants here, such as whales, seals, orcas, and various seabirds.

The resort even offers pickups from the ferry terminal to take the stress out of your journey. Prices usually start at around $50 for two people, each way.

The Grotto Spa at Tigh Na Mara

Now, let’s delve into the incredible spa services offered by Tigh Na Mara that deserve our undivided attention. Grotto Spa, rightfully holding the prestigious title of the number one spa in British Columbia, is an oasis of bliss spanning across a lavish 20,000 square feet.

Prepare to embark on a remarkable journey that not only nurtures your body and mind but also tantalizes your taste buds with a unique in-robe tapas experience unlike any other found in Canada. Indulge in the ultimate pampering and allow Tigh Na Mara’s Grotto Spa to transport you to a realm of pure relaxation, where your senses will be captivated and your well-being elevated to new heights.

Grotto Spa at Tigh Na Mara

Photo contributed by Tigh-Na-Mara

Indulge in a comprehensive array of spa treatments at Tigh Na Mara, encompassing pedicures, manicures, facials, massages, and body treatments. What sets these experiences apart is their dedication to utilizing locally sourced, natural West Coast ingredients, ensuring a focus on authenticity and the rejuvenating power of nature.

Immerse yourself in the soothing oasis of the Grotto Mineral Pool, adorned with a whirlpool and a refreshing cool-splash waterfall. Every aspect of this enchanting space has been thoughtfully crafted to recreate the ambiance of a traditional natural stone grotto. As you soak in the mineral-rich waters infused with detoxifying elements, you’ll feel a renewed sense of vitality and wellness.

Find solace and complete relaxation in the inviting embrace of the Relaxation Lounge. Take respite between treatments and savor healthy refreshments that are thoughtfully served, allowing you to fully decompress and restore your energy.

But perhaps the most exhilarating part of your spa journey awaits you at the Treetop Tapas & Grill area. Picture yourself savouring an exquisite selection of miniature dishes while overlooking panoramic forest views. With seventeen different tapas plates to delight your palate, this indulgent experience seamlessly blends local and international influences. Expertly crafted by a dedicated team of chefs, each dish is a testament to their artistry and a symphony of captivating flavours.

At Tigh Na Mara, the spa experience transcends mere pampering; it becomes a harmonious celebration of nature, relaxation, and culinary delights, leaving you with lasting memories and a renewed sense of well-being.

Grotto Spa Tapas

Photo contributed by Tigh-Na-Mara

However, flavour is not the sole focus here. The menu at Tigh Na Mara’s Treetop Tapas & Grill has been thoughtfully curated to incorporate ingredients with exceptional antioxidant properties, working to combat the harmful effects of free radicals and promote overall well-being. Moreover, many of the dishes cater to specific dietary needs, embracing vegan, dairy-free, and gluten intolerance requirements.

After relishing the delightful culinary offerings, guests are encouraged to reorder their favourite plates or conclude their dining experience with a touch of indulgence. Treat yourself to a well-curated chocolate plate, carefully selected to provide the perfect sweet finale to your extraordinary culinary journey.

Grotto Spa

If you want to get in on this magic, advance booking will be necessary. We would recommend booking between 4 and 6 weeks ahead of time to ensure you get the time you want. Both full and half-day packages are available.

The Range of Rustic Rooms Available

Tigh Na Mara understands that everyone has unique preferences when it comes to a spa getaway. That’s why they offer a diverse range of rooms to ensure your specific needs are met.

Each guestroom is equipped with a private balcony, patio, or decking area, allowing you to enjoy moments of serenity in your own personal outdoor space. While their rooms do not feature air-conditioning, the lush woodland surroundings and refreshing sea breezes provide a natural cooling effect, keeping you comfortable throughout the year.

Tigh Na Mara Patio

Oceanview Rooms

Located perfectly on a wooded bluff, Tigh Na Mara offers you a prime spot with stunning views of the nearby Coastal Mountains and the Strait of Georgia. You’ll have the pleasure of choosing from a variety of beautiful Oceanview suites and studios.

Each room has its own unique characteristics that showcase the handcrafted rustic nature of the accommodations. Depending on your selection, you can expect a range of amenities such as comfortable beds, fireplaces, kitchens, and dining areas. The size of the room will depend on the specific choice you make.

If you’re traveling with a larger group, there’s the option to book adjoining rooms and studios to ensure everyone stays close together. To secure these arrangements and avoid any disappointment, we recommend reaching out to the reservationist in advance.

Experience the tranquility and charm of Tigh Na Mara as you relax in an Oceanview suite or studio, immersing yourself in the natural beauty of the Coastal Mountains and the Strait of Georgia.

Rustic Cottages

If you’re seeking the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle, Tigh Na Mara’s standalone rustic cottages are the perfect choice. Nestled within the serene embrace of the surrounding pine forest, these cottages offer a truly secluded retreat.

Step inside and be captivated by the authentic rustic charm, with beautifully furnished interiors adorned with genuine log furniture. Tigh Na Mara Cottage

At Tigh Na Mara, you have a range of options to choose from, including standard one-bedroom cottages, duplex cottages, and two-bedroom varieties. While each type may have slightly different amenities, all of them feature a minimum of a queen bed, a cozy living room, a fully equipped kitchen and dining area, a comforting fireplace, a bathroom, and a private decking area.

These rustic cottages also cater to your furry friends, as they are designated as pet-friendly accommodations. So if you’ve brought along your beloved companion, rest assured that Tigh Na Mara has made provisions to ensure their comfort too!

Spa Bungalow Rooms

If you have booked a spa trip alongside your visit (which we highly, highly recommend doing!), it doesn’t get much more convenient than staying in a beautiful spa-side bungalow room. Nestled in amongst the tranquil forest, it is just a few seconds to walk to the pampering halls of the Grotto Spa.

Once again, these are available in studio, two-bedroom, and suite varieties.

Jedediah Studio Rooms

Tigh Na Mara Jedidiah

While our initial preference was for a rustic cabin, we were delighted with the lovely accommodations we secured during our booking. The Jedediah Studios, situated within a centrally located two-story building, provided a comfortable and convenient stay. 

Tigh Na Mara Jedediah Studio Room

All the rooms in Jedediah Studios come equipped with a queen bed, a living area with a separate Queen Murphy Bed, kitchenette, dining area, full bathroom (with a heated tile floor), gas fireplace, and either a private balcony or patio. The rooms have 380 square feet for you to relax in. (Blanket not included! That blanket helps keep us warm in our iKamper, you can buy it here.)

Tigh Na Mara’s Dining Options

Tigh Na Mara Dining

In addition to the extraordinary treetop tapas experience we mentioned earlier, Tigh Na Mara offers a variety of dining options to cater to your preferences. Whether you’re seeking a relaxed cocktail lounge, a delightful set menu, or the convenience of takeout, there’s something to satisfy your culinary desires. 

Tigh Na Mara Cedars Lounge

Cedar’s Restaurant and Lounge is Tigh Na Mara’s primary award-winning eatery. Under the instruction of Executive Chef Eric Edwards, you can pick from a menu lovingly planned and prepared using local and regional ingredients to create exotic international dishes and new twists on old favourites.

From appetizers and entrées to your favourite cocktail, craft beer, or fine wine – you can get it all at Cedar’s. They even offer a takeout option if you can’t quite make it to Tigh Na Mara but still want to sample the wares!

Tigh Na Mara Cedars Dining Room

We both ordered the NY Striploin to celebrate our honeymoon and were so excited to devour it, we forgot to take photos!

During the holiday seasons you can also try the exciting Turkey-To-Go scheme from Cedar’s and let them take the stress out of your big family meal. That’s right, you can have an expertly prepared turkey dinner, stacking with all of the fixings, delivered directly to your door.

Tigh Na Mara Beach Access

Tigh Na Mara Beach Access

Tigh Na Mara has its own private beach access for you to enjoy. It was just starting to pour rain when we were there so we were unable to capture the full beauty of this beach for you, but here’s a little glimpse.

Tigh Na Mara Beach

The Nearby Rathtrevor Beach

As Tigh Na Mara is a seaside resort, it would be wrong of us not to give you a sneak peek and a good idea of what to expect at nearby Rathtrevor Beach.

The beach is part of the larger Rathrevor Beach Provincial Park, which stretches across 347 hectares and has a rolling 2km of seashore. The beach is extremely popular, especially in the summer months. During low tide, the sea retreats back almost a kilometer, giving you and your family plenty of space to relax and enjoy the beach even during high season – which is great considering that Rathtrevor Beach is one of the most popular holiday destinations on Vancouver Island!

We were there when it was quite windy and the beach itself didn’t wow us, although the park is very beautiful.

Rathtrevor Beach

You will also find plenty of amenities at Rathtrevor Beach if you are taking a day trip. A large day-use area provides the perfect picnic spot, while campsites only a 5-minute walk away could be the next spot on your expedition after Tigh Na Mara!

Rathtrevor Beach Picnic

Please also note that if you are taking advantage of one of Tigh Na Mara’s pet-friendly rooms, that dogs are not allowed on Rathtrevor Beach.

Other than the beach, the rest of Rathtrevor Provincial Park has plenty to explore. Rolling Douglas Firs play host to beautiful greenery and wildlife, especially birds. Rathtrevor is famous with birdwatchers, as during the spring months seabirds gather for the annual herring spawn. The beach is also one of the best places on Vancouver Island to spot migrating Brant geese from February through to April.

Finally, if you have any wildlife enthusiasts in your family who aren’t afraid of creepy-crawlies, Western Thatch Ants create incredible mounds and towers here around August and September.

What Else Is There to Do Near Tigh Na Mara Resort?

If you do manage to tear yourself away from the immersive and rejuvenating spa experience (and the endless tapas!), the prime location of Tigh Na Mara means you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to additional activities to fill your day with.

To plan the perfect action-packed getaway, please have a browse through our list of suggestions below: