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Escape The Everyday At Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort

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Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort and the Endless Beach

I need a break. An escape from ordinary everyday life and I’m bringing one of the most special people in all the world with me, my Mom. We deserve a little quality us time and what better place for us to escape to than Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort in Parksville on Vancouver Island. A visit to Tigh-Na-Mara has long been on my bucket list of west coast resorts to visit and now I can finally check it off. I’m dreaming of blue skies, endless beach views and a whole lot of peace and tranquillity. Basically, I am in need of some quality rejuvenation time and spending it with my Mom will make it even more special.

View of the seaside when the tide is out from my room at Tigh-na-Mara resort

My Mom lives in the Shuswap so I flew into Kamloops from Toronto where she picked me up and we then proceeded to drive south towards Vancouver. After four hours on the road, we arrived at Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal in time to catch the noon sailing to Nanaimo.

BC Ferries lineup at Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo

The sailing takes about 1.5 hours and on a clear blue sunny day, it is a truly wonderful crossing to make. It is rare but you may even be lucky enough to see Orcas swim past the ferries.

From Nanaimo to Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort is only a further 20 or so minutes on the road. Relaxation begins in 30 minutes!

We have arrived. Tigh-Na-Mara feels hidden in the surrounding forests. There is no massive hotel tower sticking up, instead, the resort is a sprawling collection of bungalows and seaside facing 3-storey buildings.

Resort checkin at Tigh-na-Mara Seaside Resort

We check in at the resort registration and restaurant main building and then proceed to our room which is located in the Ballenas building.

Ballenas building at Tigh-na-Mara resort

There are three floors to our building with four suites per floor for a total of 12. Each suite has been newly renovated and offers a great view of the endless beach and seaside that is on the other side.

Want a tour of our Oceanview Deluxe Suite?

I’ve given my Mom the bedroom while I pull down the murphy bed behind the couch in the living room. It’s an easy process to pull it down and push it up out of the way during the day. And most importantly the bed was super comfortable. I loved leaving the patio door open so I could hear the sounds of nature and the tide coming in while I was drifting off to sleep and waking up in the morning.

Did you notice the kitchen? How could you not as it is fully equipped with everything you need. My Mom had prepacked a cooler with food and some drinks so we were able to prepare snacks and light meals on the nights we decided not to eat out. I told you we were looking to chillax and getting dressed to go out for dinner seemed like too much work for us a couple of nights.



After dropping off our luggage and unpacking the groceries we decided to check out the beach. It goes without saying that Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort has plenty of beach access points and one was right beside our building.

Headed to the beach in front of our bungalow at Tigh-na-Mara resort

A little walk down to the seaside and it is all ours. While the beach is public as you can see it is massive and this is just one side of it. It stretches just as far in the other direction. We share it with the other guests but there is plenty of room for everyone to have their own little patch of beach paradise.

The beach is all ours

Great fun to walk out as far as you can when the tide is out. It goes on forever. Watch out for baby crabs though. They won’t bite but there will be hundreds underfoot so try not to step on them as it is there beach as well.

Part of our stay at Tigh-Na-Mara includes a visit to the Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara and an Endless Tapas dining experience.

Entrance to the Grotto Spa

Located across the road from the resort it is an easy check-in at registration followed by changing into our swimming trunks so we can relax in the heated mineral pool. This is definitely putting the chill in chillax for me.

The Grotto at Tigh-Na-Mara mineral pool

After a good soak in the pool, we head back to the changing rooms to dry off and put on our bathrobes. It is time to head up to the 3rd floor to the Treetops Tapas & Grill. A 16-course tapas menu is served over two hours. Dining in your bathrobe has never been so refined. The menu changes seasonally so chances are you’ll never sample the same dish twice unless you ask for seconds.

One of the endless tapas served at the Grotto Spa at Tigh-na-Mara

I am full and blissed out. Time to head back to our suite, crack open a bottle of wine and enjoy the view from our balcony. Maybe we’ll read for a bit or perhaps we’ll just stare out into the great beyond. Either way, it’s a wonderful escape away with my Mom and I couldn’t have asked for better quality time with the person I love more than anyone else in the world.

View of the seaside when the tide is out from my room at Tigh-na-Mara resort

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Disclosure: General

Thanks to Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa & Resort & BC Ferries for hosting this getaway adventure. All views and opinions are 100% my own.


About Author

Marc Smith is a former event planner turned vagabond adventurer. He loves strong Americano's, great wine, cold beer and zip lining over tree tops. Formerly of Vancouver, most of Marc's time when not travelling is in Canada's largest city, Toronto. Follow along on his nomad adventures and discover places to stay, things to do and where to eat & drink as he explores the world one city and region at a time.

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