With its sea and sand, towering old-growth forests and snow-capped mountains, Vancouver Island is one of Canada’s top vacation destinations. It’s also great for a staycation if you’re fortunate enough to live there. For the rest of us, planning a trip to Vancouver Island is easy: Accommodation options include drive-in campgrounds, wilderness camping and also cabin rentals.
If you’re looking for a more permanent home base for your paddling adventures, check out a Vancouver Island cabin rental. The options are nearly endless, including family- and pet-friendly cottages, unique treehouse stays, and glamping accommodations that bridge the gap between cabin and tent. Best of all, many cabins on Vancouver Island are perfect for paddlers, with easy water access to some of the most spectacular places on earth.
[This article is part of our 7 Adventurous Things To Do On Vancouver Island Paddlers Will Love series. Read more about the varied attractions and stunning scenic beauty of Canada’s Pacific Coast.]
Best Cabins with Hot Tubs
What’s better than a long soak in a hot tub after an adventure-filled day? Some of the best cabins on Vancouver Island feature hot tubs for your pleasure.
Secluded Oceanfront Cabin in Sooke
Secluded, oceanfront, hot tub—this private Vancouver Island cabin rental located just 40 minutes west of Victoria has it all. The Covehouse sleeps four adults comfortably, with one bathroom. You’ll find cozy indoor space and sweeping views from the deck. There’s great access to sheltered water for kayaking and paddleboarding.
Rainforest Retreat in Ucluelet
Soak in a hot tub in your own private Vancouver Island cabin, set in the majestic rainforest near the trendy West Coast town of Ucluelet. This Vancouver Island cabin rental features modern accoutrements like cell service and wireless Internet, as well as a luxurious bathroom—choose between soaking indoor or out! Of course, you’ll also get easy access to some of the best beaches of Vancouver Island for paddling, sunbathing and long oceanside walks.
Paddler-friendly Cabin in Ucluelet
Great for outdoors-loving couples, this cozy one-bedroom Ucluelet cabin with a hot tub is set on a private beach. Indoor features include a gas fireplace and luxurious king-size bed. Paddlers can cross the cove to visit the town of Ucluelet.
Nature’s Edge in Tofino
This Tofino cottage rental is set on nature’s edge—and literally perched on the rocky shore of the Pacific Ocean. Soak in a luxurious outdoor hot tub and gaze across saltwater to the stunning mountainous skyline of Clayoquot Sound. With three bedrooms and two baths, this gorgeous timber frame Vancouver Island cabin will accommodate up to six people.
60 Steps to the Beach
You can’t get much closer to the ocean than this Vancouver Island rental cabin set on the famous West Coast beaches of Tofino. This cabin sleeps four—with a luxurious hot tub and a unique outdoor shower. World-class paddling and surfing is within steps (60, to be exact) from the door.
Best Camping Cabins
You may desire something more than a tent, but less than a cabin. Look no further for the best camping cabins on Vancouver Island—featuring great glamping accommodations for paddling enthusiasts.
Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge
This luxurious resort near Tofino offers 25 glamping tents for adventurous Vancouver Island travellers looking to blend cabins with camping. Bright and spacious canvas tents are available for couples and families, with indoor bathrooms and showers. Interiors were refreshed in 2021 with the goal of achieving “refined luxury.” Make these unique accommodations your perfect Vancouver Island retreat for day paddling and comfortable overnight stays. Reserve online.
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Wya Point Campground
Wya Point is a private oceanfront campground near Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island, with accommodations ranging from tent campsites to RV parks, yurts and luxury cabins. Fourteen yurts are located right next to a secluded beach, with several sizes available. Wya Point is dog friendly and provides surf lessons, whale-watching tours and more. WiFi, showers and flush toilets are available. Book online.
Stay in a unique geodesic dome at WILDPOD Glamping, located in Tofino. Six oceanfront cabin domes are available for a luxury Vancouver Island camping experience. You’ll go to sleep to the sound of the tide and wake up refreshed, ready for adventure in one of Vancouver Island’s greatest outdoor destinations.
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Best Lakeside Cabins
Of course, Vancouver Island’s Pacific Ocean beaches are renowned. But you’ll also findcabin rentals on spectacular mountain-fringed freshwater lakes. Here are a few of the best choices available.
Lake Cowichan Cabin
This cabin rental is set on the shore of Lake Cowichan, a freshwater jewel on southern Vancouver Island, a short drive from Victoria and the town of Duncan. Crystal-clear water is great for paddling; the cabin sleeps five comfortably with two bathrooms. This sun-soaked region is noted to have the warmest climate in all of Canada.
McIvor Lake Sunsets
You’ll enjoy spectacular sunsets at this Vancouver Island cottage rental on McIvor Lake, located minutes from Campbell River. Explore the islands of McIvor Lake by canoe or kayak (included with the property) while taking in the glorious mountain views. Plenty of windows bathe the spacious cabin in natural light. Sleeps six.
Sproat Lake Waterfront
This private lakefront cabin on Vancouver Island is located on Sproat Lake, just west of Port Alberni. You’ll find inspiring outdoor spaces with amazing views and a bright, modern interior that sleeps six guests. Launch your kayak from the dock and trace the shores of Sproat Lake, soaking in the mountain views.
Lake Cowichan Houseboats
Looking for a unique Vancouver Island cabin rental? Live the life aquatic with a rental from Island Houseboats on scenic Lake Cowichan, near Victoria. Several sizes of fully equipped, floating cottages are available to accommodate groups of up to 14. Rental kayaks are available.
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Upper Campbell Lakefront
Close to Campbell River, this lakefront cabin is your quintessential Vancouver Island mountain retreat—with great paddling opportunities for kayakers and paddleboarders on Upper Campbell Lake. Two kayaks are included with the rental; launch from a private beach. The cabin is located on the edge of Vancouver Island’s famous Strathcona Park and is perfect for couples or a small family.
Best Cheap Cabins
Paradise need not cost a fortune. We pared down the best Vancouver Island cabin rentals under $150 per night.
Studio at French Beach
This cozy cabin is a real bargain for couples, located near Sooke on a large, private property with quick access to great Vancouver Island beaches and hiking trails. The 240-sq-ft cabin includes a full bathroom and all you need to prepare your own meals. Make this your home base for exploring the southwest corner of Vancouver Island.
Micro Cabin on the Inside Passage
This small yet well-appointed cabin is located on the ocean’s edge, between Parksville and Campbell River on Vancouver Island’s east coast. You’ll find a compact kitchen with a fridge and microwave, as well as an indoor sink and shower with a heated outdoor shower. The cabin is nestled in the woods, with a sweeping deck and a short trail to the Pacific Ocean, where you can launch a kayak or paddleboard.
This seaside, B&B-style private guest suite is located on Malcolm Island, home to the quaint village of Sointula. You have 500 square feet to yourself, with a self-contained kitchen, full bathroom and a hot tub. The paddling here is outstanding, with opportunities to explore Johnstone Strait (a prime whale-watching and kayak fishing destination) right from your door. Drive to the northern Vancouver Island town of Port McNeil and take a 20-minute ferry ride to visit this idyllic retreat on a near-forgotten island.
Best Pet-friendly Cabins
Fido is welcome to join the family for vacation fun at these pet-friendly Vancouver Island cabins.
Courtenay Beach House
This Vancouver Island cabin rental is pet-friendly and located on the ocean in Courtenay. With two bedrooms and one bath, it’s comfortably rustic with plenty of large windows for natural light. But the real attraction is the waterfront, which is perfect for dogs and paddling enthusiasts alike.
Saltspring Island is noted for its laidback vibe and rich artisan scene. Get a taste of Saltspring and bring your pet to this two-bedroom cabin rental in the woods, with easy access to a freshwater lake or the Salish Sea. Saltspring Island is a short ferry ride from Vancouver Island.
This pet-friendly cabin rental is located on a freshwater lake near Victoria in southern Vancouver Island. Revel in relaxing privacy, with your own waterfront that’s perfect for launching a kayak or SUP. The cottage is perfect for a family of four and features a fenced backyard for pets, as well as direct access to walking and hiking on the Cowichan Valley Trail.
Best Tree Cabins
Looking for something whimsical and totally unique? Check out these great Vancouver Island tree cabin rentals.
Free Spirit Spheres
Looking for “the most remarkable accommodation in the world”? You may find it at Free Spirit Spheres, in Qualicum Beach. This Vancouver Island tree cabin rental provides three unique treetop globes, with designs in Douglas fir and fiberglass and connected by elevated forest walkways. Perfect for couples and those looking for creative inspiration. Check availability and book online.
Bird’s Eye Views of the Salish Sea
This Vancouver Island treehouse rental is located five minutes from Sooke. The stunning wooden tree cabin features a sleeping loft and plenty of deck space to enjoy the views. It’s located on Sooke’s Galloping Goose Trail and close to some of the region’s best beaches, with plenty of options for launching a kayak or paddleboard nearby.
This treehouse rental overlooks French Beach and the Juan de Fuca Strait, with easy access to some of the best beaches on Vancouver Island. With one queen-size bed this tree cabin is ideal for couples looking for a unique getaway. It is located between Sooke and Jordan River, off of Highway 14.
Best Oceanfront and Beach Cabins
Sand and sea are Vancouver Island staples. Here are some examples of fantastic West Coast cabin rentals set on the Pacific Ocean’s edge.
Gulf Islands Oceanfront
Kayak and SUP rentals are available with this luxurious waterfront cottage rental on Pender Island, an easy ferry ride from Victoria. You’ll experience a laidback lifestyle including a great Saturday market for fresh fruit, vegetables, breads and more. This Vancouver Island cottage rental also gives you access to swimming pools and yoga classes.
Famous among landscape photographers and storm watchers, the legendary Wickaninnish Inn is one of Tofino’s greatest luxury resorts, with guest rooms and suites on Chesterman Beach. Experiences include kayak day-tripping in Clayoquot Sound, surfing and ocean fishing. Check availability and book a suite online.
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Book your stay: A cozy wood cabin in the woods of Vancouver Island. | Feature photo courtesy: Tourism Vancouver Island // Ben Giesbrecht