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Spectacular Stays: Nimmo Bay Resort

Hotels | North America | By Marianne Abraham

Built seamlessly on the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest in coastal British Columbia under a surging waterfall, the Nimmo Bay Resort is utterly gorgeous.

A family-run business owned by the Murray family, this pristine, remote wilderness resort was created on a dream of running a totally sustainable fishing resort, run on off-grid, renewable energy. Since those intrepid early days, the focus has softened from pure fishing mecca to a broader retreat experience, perfect for families and even multi-generational gatherings.

All the while remaining true to the foundation of sustainable, environmentally conscious tourism—a philosophy we here at B&R also subscribe to.

The Property

There’s a choice between the gorgeous coast and the woods when you arrive at Nimmo Bay. With a total of nine spacious cabins, six of them planked with red roofs are known as ‘Intertidal Cabins,’ due to their proximity to the rise and fall of the tides (a natural nighttime lullaby right beneath you).

The remaining three cabins are ‘Forest Cabins,’ just a short amble inland where you’ll peacefully slumber under roofs of forest green, placing you within earshot of the waterfall and nearby stream. Families or couples can easily spread out between the two bedrooms, homey living area, and bathroom. For the remoteness it represents, this luxurious slice of space is an excess of riches.

Speaking of riches, the cascading waterfall that initially attracted the Murrays to the area is the heartbeat of the resort, providing enough renewable energy to run the entire lodge, not to mention a glacier-fed water source.

The waterfall also gets credit for the natural wonder it is, splashing down from the top of Mount Stevens at a perfect distance from the elaborately constructed wood platform that houses the hand-crafted hot tub. There’s no better way to relax after a long day of activity—unless it’s out on the dock, by the glow of a fire pit.

The Food

With menus that make ample use of the catches along the coast, Chef David Hassell reflects the natural world back to us. It’s his philosophy to use seasonal ingredients sourced “within sight of the lodge,” an ambitious project that strives to tell the story of the region through food.

Hassell has helped hone Nimmo Bay’s reputation for culinary excellence and he’s done it by remaining close to the land, the unique ingredients and by revering the traditions of those who have lived off this land for millennia.

So beyond spruce shoots (potentially unrecognized by the average eater), you will surely recognize Dungeness crab, appreciate the fresh, wild salmon, and perhaps—it goes without saying—local wine. And that’s just a primer of what’s to come.

 

The Experience

To separate the property from the experience would be a false binary, for the very ideals of the property are the ideals that motivate the activities: that of preservation, conservation and education.

The most pressing question each day should be: how best shall I split my time between sea and land? That is the crux of the experience: a gentle divvying up of your time between the two worlds, which of course inform each other.

The water-based realm is the province of fly-fishing, heli-fishing, kayaking, SUPing, whale-watching, crabbing, boating, or kayaking—which often includes crossing paths with orcas or sea lions.

As you head inland, it means such coveted activities such as scenic helicopter rides, bear viewing (black bears are around all season, while grizzlies are only present in the fall) and hiking (look up to see bald eagles and other impressive bird varieties). The Murrays have also partnered with First Nations communities to highlight connect lodge visitors with authentic cultural experiences.

Or, simply stay at the lodge and relax in nature, with an added dose of pampering. I’m thinking specifically of the Spa’s new full-day program called “Wild Within Wellness,” five glorious hours of holistic, nature-based spa immersion.

Sometimes though, wellness is the simple care and pleasure you make for yourself. One of my standout moments here was a rather simple one: on the day I decided to hike the old-growth forest, the kitchen sent me along with a to-go lunch. It was, quite frankly, exquisite.

Everything was delightfully fresh and prepared that very morning—the goodies were delicious, the charcuterie board succulent; it was the realization of a perfect sojourn in the woods complimented with a nourishing and elaborate meal in a truly unexpected spot.

That seems to be a re-occurring theme in the tale of Nimmo Bay Resort: finding yourself at the heart of pristine wilderness with a host of thoughtfully-conceived amenities—working in concert with the natural—to bring your stay to new heights.

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