Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa

From Vancouver, you don’t need to venture too far off the beaten path to enjoy British Columbia’s natural beauty. Just outside Comox (on Vancouver Island) is Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa, our recent base for a few days at the tail end of a long weekend.

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Geared primarily to couples and girls’ getaways, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa is a fully-contained luxury property on the eastern shore of the island with a spa, signature Pacific Mist Hydropath circuit (housed inside an underground sandstone-sculpted cave), a fitness room, yoga studio and two full-service restaurants.

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A focal point of the property is a gorgeous, meticulously-tended serenity garden that changes seasonally, showcasing colourful blooms, trees, shrubs and grasses.

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There’s even a detailed illustrated guest pamphlet listing all plants (and their locations), so you can wander through the garden and get inspired to create your own paradise.

Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa

This beautiful, intimate resort at the water’s edge features 64 rooms including deluxe suites and 14 newly-renovated rooms (the latter included in this feature).

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The light-filled lobby is the first place you’ll be met with local art, unique wood-working and the check-in desk.

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This focal point of the property leads out the door towards the garden, guest rooms, amenities and beach.

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Our king Ocean Courtyard room, inside a West coast craftsman building, has been modernized with touches of locally made wooden accents and lighting fixtures.

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The beautiful marble bathroom with heated tiled floors contains a combination handheld/rain shower and a sink that emits gently flowing water through its waterfall fixture. On the wall is a keypad with timed options for the bathroom fan, plus both regular and softly-dimmed lighting, one of my favourite features of the room!

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Our bed is illuminated from below via a switch on the wall, adding a graceful, romantic vibe day or night. Inside the closet is a DeLonghi Nespresso machine, a pair of robes, slippers, a safe and mini fridge.

Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa

The balcony contains a pair of steel-coloured Adirondack chairs and a small side table for enjoying that stunning view over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. We settle in nicely here as the clouds begin to part, the waves lessen and the rain gives way to a few stretches of sunshine. In other words, we’re not yet ready for storm-watching season, not in mid-April anyway!

Pacific Mist Spa

Pacific Mist Spa & Hydropath

A full array of spa treatments are available at the Pacific Mist Spa, including balancing body wraps, manis and pedis, bride-to-be services, expectant Mom pampering, plus massages, mineral makeup application, waxing and tinting.

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The pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub is also located in this area.

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My 60-minute Relaxation Massage is a true escape from city life, a busy travel schedule and all the worries in between. Kelly begins the session asking if I have any outstanding health issues as well as spots that might need some attention.

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A combination of essential oils hits my nostrils from underneath the massage table, and so begins an hour of bliss, as she works through my body with even pressure, relieving tension and tightness throughout. My mind wanders and I slip into half-sleep during the first half, and before I know it, our time together is up.

Pacific Mist Spa

Post-massage, there’s the option to relax in one of the spa’s lounges, or to simply head back to your room to rehydrate and come back to life.

Pacific Mist Spa

After lunching at AQUA Bistro, we’re booked in for a Hydropath session, a one-hour wonderful, water-full experience inside a sandstone cave at the Pacific Mist Spa.

It all begins with a stimulating multi-jet Swiss shower then continues on to a series of alternating whirlpools, waterfalls, steam room, sea mineral soak and a wind-down sea salt body polish with a few lingering moments in a warm rock bathtub for one.

All those sandstone formations call to mind The Flintstones, with the addition of small waterfalls cascading from one area to the next.

Following the circuit is a chance to chill in the relaxation lounge with a view of tall swaying trees and coastline. Up to four groups are allowed into the Hydropath at a time, and though it’s asked that you keep your voices down as the caves echo pretty easily, sadly this isn’t always adhered to. Nevertheless, it’s a unique experience here on our West coast ($89 per person).

Starfish Studio

Starfish Studio

For over 15 years, the resort has taken pride in offering a dedicated house yoga program to both its guests and locals. Many of the teachers, culled from the Comox Valley yoga community, also have an RYT500 level of training, others are training graduates who are happy to keep their practice up to date by following a close mentorship of yoga under guidance from their teacher.

Starfish Studio

60- and 90-minute yoga classes ($16 and $20 respectively) are offered in a hardwood floor studio filled with natural light. You won’t need to bring much with you as mats, towels, blocks, bolsters and even Pilates equipment is available onsite.

Go with the Somatic Yoga Flow class or a Restorative, Hatha or Balance session. Schedules are posted on the resort’s website and reservations are recommended.

For $15, non-guests can also upgrade their yoga class with access to the outdoor pool facilities and gym.

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Fitness Center

Machines with an ocean view! The fitness center is open from 6 am to 10 pm, so you can indulge at the resort’s two restaurants guilt-free.

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[Biking out the Royston Shipwrecks, where over a dozen retired ships were sunk to create a breakwater in Comox Harbour]

There’s also a few complimentary guest bikes, helmets and locks available to borrow for a bit of two-wheeled local sightseeing.

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Kingfisher can also arrange a variety of tours, including kayaking to nearby Tree Island, snorkeling with seals and grizzly bear viewing.

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Award-winning Executive Chef Richard Benson creates a seasonal menu with culinary dishes that pay tribute to the Salish Sea, Coastal Mountains and all seven continents.

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[Nothing says West coast like a smoked seafood board!]

Chef Richard’s team works with local producers, fishermen and farmers to bring the best of the region to diners looking for an elevated dining experience with a gorgeous view out to the sea.

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Between newly-renovated Ocean7 Restaurant and its more casual, adjacent AQUA Bistro & Wine Bar counterpart, you’ll come away with a delicious meal, from beautifully-presented breakfasts straight through to dessert.

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[Breakfast at AQUA Bistro]

There’s a large variety of craft and classic cocktails, spirits, local craft beer and international wines to choose from, as well as non-alcoholic selections.

Both are also open for weekend brunch from 8 am to 2 pm and AQUA features a daily happy hour from 3 to 5 pm.

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How to Get There

Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa is located at 4330 Island Highway South in Royston, BC (8km south of Courtenay). They’re a one hour drive north of Nanaimo, a two-and-a-half hour drive north of Victoria on Island Highway 19 or a three-hour drive from Vancouver on the ferry.

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Or you can travel in style with Harbour Air’s direct service from downtown Vancouver Harbour to Comox Airport, a 50-minute flight offered seasonally three times a day.

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There’s often deals to Comox (and other routes) listed online. For example, the Vancouver to Comox route starts at $132 one way. The check-in experience includes a complimentary coffee drink and snack.

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Harbour’s been in business for 35 years with a fleet of over 40 aircraft, which together with Whistler Air and Saltspring Air (under the umbrella Harbour Air Group) now form one of the largest all-seaplane airlines in the world, serving over 400,000 passengers annually.

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Board a de Havilland Beaver, Single Otter or Twin Otter and enjoy direct service without the ferry lines, reservation fees (ranging from $10 to $21 per sailing) or driving!

The resort partners with the airline in a daily shuttle service from 8 am to 8 pm (reservations must be booked 48 hours in advance; $10 per person each way).

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We were hosted by Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa for this feature. Non-watermarked images courtesy of Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa. Opinions, as always, remain our own.

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