Monday, 07 April 2014 09:47

LUXURIOUS ECO TOURISM

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Accessible only by floatplane, a luxurious floating lodge operates for four months a year in the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, one of the last untouched corners of Canada – and the world.

King Pacific Lodge

Sustainable Luxury

How do you build a five-star hotel in one of the last untouched corners of the world without hurting the environment or building roads? Make it float. The King Pacific Lodge does just that. Owned by Hideo “Joe” Morita, son of the late Sony founder Akio Morita, the lodge operates for four months of the year from June to September. It is towed to and from its docking location 380 km north of Vancouver at the beginning and end of each season, and guests arrive by floatplane.

 

Accessible only by floatplane, a luxurious floating lodge operates for four months a year in the heart of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, one of the last untouched corners of Canada – and the world.

King Pacific Lodge

Sustainable Luxury

How do you build a five-star hotel in one of the last untouched corners of the world without hurting the environment or building roads? Make it float. The King Pacific Lodge does just that. Owned by Hideo “Joe” Morita, son of the late Sony founder Akio Morita, the lodge operates for four months of the year from June to September. It is towed to and from its docking location 380 km north of Vancouver at the beginning and end of each season, and guests arrive by floatplane.

Wilderness Paradise

The King Pacific Lodge is anchored off Princess Royal Island in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, the world’s largest remaining tract of temperate rainforest. The lodge is built of native cedar, fir, pine and stone on a 120 x 60 square-foot barge, with 17 guest rooms and suites, a wrap-around deck, Jacuzzi, spa and plunge pool. The lodge offers a host of outdoor adventures from guided hikes to heli hiking, beach combing, sea kayaking, fly fishing, saltwater trolling and wildlife watching. Guests are bound to see whales in what is Canada’s richest whale habitat. Catch an authentic glimpse into the culture of the First Nations, a native Aboriginal people who aren’t Inuit or Métis. There could also be a sighting of the rare white or cream-colored Kermode, or “spirit” bear, through expert-guided searches in September. The area teems with grizzlies, black bears, wolves, white-tailed deer, humpback whales, orcas, seals, sea lions, sea otters and eagles.

Bringing the Whole Family

Those of us who are parents, know that the only way we truly relax and have fun is when we know our kids are being well taken care of.I love this about King Pacific Lodge. The hotel offers age-appropriate activities for children within the safe confines of the resort under adult supervision, allowing parents to relax during their visit. Activities for children ages four to 10 include stargazing, fireside storytelling, pajama party movie and popcorn night, a whale presentation, the Great Bear Rainforest movie, a treasure hunt, arts and crafts, cooking classes and board games. Activities for children ages 11 to 17 include a guided rainforest trek through the nearby Cameron Cove, fly-tying and lessons in fly fishing casting techniques.

Corporate Retreat

The lodge can be booked for up to 34 people. They offer customized team building programs from fishing tournaments and wilderness scavenger hunts to adventure races and team survival games. Not into survival games? Employees can relax by fishing, going on boat rides, taking leisurely hikes or melting away corporate stress with a relaxing massage. The lodge has highspeed, satellite-based Internet access as well as a satellite telephone system for Internet-based presentations.

Gourmet Dining

The lodge’s chef prepares meals from local and regional organic produce, and fresh seafood and meats paired with award-winning wines. The dining room is comfortable and has ocean views on two sides, a large open fireplace and family or group dining. You can also request individual dining for your group.

Cultural Heritage

The Gitga’at people, part of the Tsimshian nation, are native to the area. Guests at the King Pacific Lodge can share in native cultural ceremonies, wildlife viewing and other types of experiences in the Gitga’at territory, home to spectacular scenery, flora and fauna, as well as historical sites rarely seen by the outside world. There is a close relationship between the King Pacific Lodge and the Gitga’at people that is helping preserve the rainforest. This provides an opportunity for lodge guests to spend time with the Gitga’at.

Protecting the Environment

In 2006, the King Pacific Lodge gained recognition for its role in establishing protection for the 21 million acre Great Bear Rainforest surrounding the property. The barge’s filtration facilities use glacial river water, and the food and beverage program is based on locally sourced ingredients. There are plans for energy reduction by developing a river hydroelectric plant and eco-friendly solar farms.

Award-Winning Resort

The lodge combines luxury, environmentalfriendliness, natural beauty, romance, wildlife and relaxation. To top it off, it is known as the No. 1 spa in Canada. I’m not the first travel journalist to stumble upon this gem in the middle of the rainforest. Media from around the world have crowned this Rosewood Resort with a heap of awards. Travel + Leisure handed it the Global Vision Award in the sustainability category for green luxury as one of the 20 favorite green hotels and top 50 romantic retreats. Condé Nast Traveler put it on its Gold List, its Readers’ Choice Awards Best Resort in Canada (for five consecutive years), 4th Best of the Best among all resorts, hotels & cruise lines in the world (for two consecutive years), No. 1 Spa in Canada, Top International Resort Spa, and Best Location - Perfect Score. CNN Travel called it Mainstay’s Top 5 Floating Hotels. AskMen. com awarded the lodge as its Top 10 Floating Hotels. Other awards include Bride Magazine‘s Ultimate Eco Resort, RusticVacations.com’s Best Canadian Place to See Wildlife, Coastal Living’s Top 10 Romantic Retreats, Sunset Magazine’s 10 Earth-friendly Spring Flings, Celebrated Living’s Readers’ Choice Platinum Awards, and Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report’s award for The World’s Number One Wilderness Lodge.

Click here to see a spectacular Photo Gallery

– Photos courtesy of King Pacific Lodge

   
   
   
   
   

Originally appeared in Tokyo Journal Issue # 270

To order Issue 270, click here.

King Pacific Lodge Photo Gallery

 
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