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Say Aloha to the Hawaii of British Columbia, Canada.
Pacific Sands Beach Resort Tofino Back Grass, Kyle Maltz
Pacific Sands Beach Resort

I live in the Pacific Northwest, land of evergreen wrapped water towns, so every time my wife said  “I really want to go to Tofino”… I thought to myself, and maybe a little out-loud, “why’d you want to go to just another pacific northwest beach town”. Well I eventually caved, and to make the following story short, I’m soooo glad I did.

With a an upcoming 6-year wedding anniversary on the horizon and child that’s not yet two, I figured I’d finally surprise her with with an extended weekend away at a destination not close but not too far away, so Tofino seemed like the perfect fit (Huge assumption. More on that later).

I’ve had the pleasure of spending some time in Vancouver island once before, but have never ventured farther up the massive island to explore one it’s other well know towns. I initially didn’t think there be many cool hotels, resorts, and short term rentals in the area, but I was shocked to see that there is actually a lot for such a small town. It’s honestly weird in my opinion, to see how many well established and expansive hotels there were dotted along the coastline of Tofino on Google maps, so finding something truly special that stood out from the bunch seemed like it might be a tough task, but then I remembered my wife had sent me a few posts on instagram about a special resorts in Tofino, the Pacific Sands Beach Resort. With a quick call, I booked 4 night visit to see what the hype was all about, and after my little family adventure to the Pacific Sands Beach Resort and the Greater town of Tofino, I’m left captivated, amazed, confused, and looking forward to more.


Location & Ease Of Access

As they say in Real Estate, location is everything, and The Pacific Sands Beach Resort is primo, but is that location in a good location? There’s a few layers to this location onion that we’ll need to peel back…

The Pacific Sands Beach Resort is located about 7-mins drive outside of central Tofino, which leaves you close enough to bike to downtown, but far enough away that it doesn’t feel too crowded. This family owned property is massive and situated on one of the most premier surf beaches in Tofino, Cox Bay. The beach is amazing and surrounding landscape is spectacular. The beautiful hotel is nestled in the foggy woods on a beach that felt like Hawaii with the smashing waves, expansive beach, and the unusually hot 87° Fahrenheit days that we had while there. All that said, we need to talk about the location of this location.

The town of Tofino is not and easy place to get too. I thought it wouldn’t be too bad coming from Seattle, which on a map doesn’t appear to be far away as the crows flies, but the reality is, it’s on the far side of an island in Canada that requires a 2-hour ferry ride to reach and nearly 3-hour car ride once you hit land. Our road trip looked like this: 3-hr car ride to from Seattle to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Canada, a 2-hr ferry ride to Vancouver island, and then a 3-hr car ride to the resort. Sprinkle in a few bathroom breaks, food stops, and baby, and it’s kind a trek.

Oh, and one last thing, there’s been road work on the mountain pass that’s been going on for a number of years (see pic below) that only allows groups of cars to drive on throughout the day, and at night starting at 11pm, they shut it down for only 1 more groups to pass at 2am and then open it back up at 5am apparently. We didn’t know this, and luckily made the last group at 11pm. Good thing we did, or we’d be doing a little car camping. There is a local airport though in Tofino, so if your pockets are deep enough or you hate driving, charter a flight.

All this said, the juice is very much worth the squeeze. It’s some of the tastiest juice I’ve had in a minute, and I’d be willing to drive much further for my next sip.

Tofinio Trip Kyle MaltzThe Daily Navigator


Most hotels and resorts are usually relatively limited in options but Pacific Sands is not one of those resorts. There are a handful of different options that range in price from not particularly cheap (for most) to quite expensive. They have houses, suites, some new, some old, some with hot tubs, some without. One thing I did notice during our stay is that not a single room seemed to have a bad view. I didn’t book a beachfront room, but it damn near felt like I was.

What I did notice with their booking options though, is that they highly incentivize long stays (see image below), which I will 100% be doing on my next stay. The resort is dog friendly and a lot of the rooms have full kitchens so you don’t have to leave, which is nice, because you won’t want to!

Pacific Sands Booking The Daily Navigator



We decided to come a day earlier than initially planned so we stayed in two different rooms for our trip. This gave us the opportunity to try out two different styles of room, and they frankly were both great. We stayed in the “Oceanside Suite” for the first night and the “Lighthouse Suite” for the rest of the trip. The rooms were not mind blowing, bit of a Goldilocks story… not too hot, not too cold, just right…metaphorically speaking of course (The temp was fine for the most part).

The rooms had exactly what you need. Good size bed rooms, good size living rooms, full size kitchens, great balconies with awesome views of the beach, and cozy fireplaces to set the mood. There were only two drawback honestly with the room, the bathroom and the lack of AC. On the bathroom front it just felt kind of small, but I do have a child so having a little extra room is always helpful. As far as the lack of AC, we did have to use the provided fan in our room each night to avoid overheating, but honestly we were there during one of their exceptionally hot (yet limited) days.

Overall though, the rooms are really nice throughout and have plenty of space for a small family. There was spots to hang your wetsuits and leave your surfboard overnight. Also, our room came with a local bottle of wine and they had awesome heavy rain jackets in the entry closet, because you know…PNW life. 

Property & Amenities

As I mentioned earlier in this review, each room we stayed in had a full kitchen so it made it easy to not have to leave the resort for food. Well if that was any indication of them really trying to make life easy for you to just relax, the property and onsite amenities will really drive the point home. 

The resort really does have it all….

DFC, Pacific Sands Resort Tofino Review, Kyle Maltz

Theirs an onsite restaurant, and the food honestly was great. There’s a selection of soups, salads, burgers, fish tacos, and even cases of beer to go. What was also nice to see, is everything on the menu didn’t seem to have a large mark up. The restaurant is a big win for an after surf or bike ride meal. 

Speaking of they have both an onsite bike rental shop and a surf shop. There’s also a coffee shop currently being built and an onsite sauna area where you can run directly out of your sauna to the ocean for a cold plunge, incase you need to dial in your Wim Hof method. 

Tofino DFC | Tofino Bike Co

The bike shop had both e-bikes and beach cruisers which are great for a quick beach cruise. The beach is big so really makes for a good time. They also have kids seats and buggies they can connect to your bike if you have any little members in your party.  

One of the most special things about Tofino is that there is a bike trail that runs along the side of the main highway from one town to the next. You can hop on your bike, leave the resort entrance and ride to downtown in about 20 mins. It’s smooth, pretty, and a great way to explore the area. 

The surf shop was awesome and well equipped with wetsuits and surfboards for all shapes and sizes of humans. Seriously, they had the smallest kids wetsuits I’ve ever seen. What’s crazy though is the water really wasn’t that bad on the hot summer days we we’re there. Tofino is known for it’s surfing and the Pacific Sands Beach resort is THE beach to be. It’s maybe my favorite spot I’ve ever surfed. No rocks, no seaweed, no sharp reef…just long consistent waves all day and plenty of space to avoid snaking a wave. 

Cox Bay Tofino Pacific Sands Beach Resort
The beach was the absolute highlight of the resort. Cox bay is massive and has plenty of space to have your own area to relax, explore, and play. There’s even a couple of cool hikes at both end of the beach if your up for some exploring. 

The resort in general was a really a special spot. Even from the entrance you just know it’s going to be a great time. There’s so many areas to spend time with the family from sitting in beachside hammock, gathering around a fire pit, or having dinner around the barbecue. 

Bonus: for the parents reading the article, there is even a daily kids camp so you get back a little free time for some beachside R&R. 

Local Surroundings

As mentioned earlier in article it’s tough to want to leave the Pacific Sands Resort with everything on the property, but if you do, there’s a lot of cool things happening in Tofino. 

Rhino Coffee Tofino Pacific Sands Beach Resort

Every morning we would leave the resort to snag a coffee, and our first day of the trip we stopped by the Rhino Coffee house for our morning fix and a sweet treat. The line was very long, but it was worth the wait. Some would say I’m a sweet connoisseur, so that should fully set the tone for this statement: The bacon maple donut was the best donut I’ve ever had. If bacon maple is not your thing, there is plenty of other awesome options.   

Ronnies Beachside BBQ Tofino Pacific Sands Beach Resort

One of the nights of our trip we snagged tickets to a small concert at Ronnies Beachside BBQ. The vibe was amazing at this place…Loud music, delicious modern BBQ, and a whole host of tequila drinks and beer. This is a must do when you visit. 

Shoping Tofino Pacific Sands Beach Resort

The town in general also has a ton of really cool boutique clothing and goods stores so you can shop around for amazing home goods, clothing, surfboards, homemade gifts, and local art. 

Final Thoughts

Kyle Maltz Tofino Pacific Sands Beach Resort

The Pacific Sands Beach Resort just snagged a spot on the coveted annual trip list for me. It felt like I was in Hawaii, but in a different dimension. I was left captivated, amazed, confused, and looking forward to more.  There is no doubt in my mind, that I’ll find my way back to here next year and the year after that. 

Tofino is worth the trek, so when you make it, make the most of it and stay at this little slice of Canadian Aloha next year. 

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