Nice Lodging in Nanaimo or Nearby

Jun 1st, 2004, 08:17 AM
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Nice Lodging in Nanaimo or Nearby

We are heading to Tofino later this year, and are thinking of staying one night near Nanaimo rather than driving to Long Beach after our ferry ride.

I haven't found much in the area so far except Best Westerns and a Days Inn. Can anyone recommend something a little nicer? We are willing to drive a little ways for something special. Thanks for any suggestions.
tpl is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 09:21 AM
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.....try the Coast Bastion right in
the 'heart' of Nanaimo.......

I don't know where you're driving from,
but I'd be more inclined to stay in
Parksville. Actually, we don't find
the trip too onerous right from Vancouver straight through to Tofino.
llamalady is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 01:04 PM
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Nanaimo is a gritty blue collar town with nothing to recommend it to visitors.
Crime rates are high and the local economy has been depressed since the earth cooled-give it a miss.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 01:17 PM
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Thanks for the info. We will already have driven pretty far to get to the Tsawwassen ferry, which is why we thought of stopping before Tofino, which would be another 2.5 or 3 hours.

Other than Parksville, which didn't seem to offer a lot more in the way of accomodations, is there anything else?
tpl is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 02:48 PM
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tpl, I wouldn't stay in Parksville itself but at one of the resorts on Rathtrevor Beach, just south of Parksville. I've stayed at Tigh-na-Mara, Madrona Beach Resort... and a couple of others whose names I forget. Have a relaxing stay, enjoy the terrific beach, and you'll be fresh for your drive to Long Beach.
BowenLinda is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 06:00 PM
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The Coast Bastion is a good place to stay in Nanaimo. It is nicely situated looking at the harbour and is just across the street from a lovely waterfront walk. There are two good restaurants near by - next door at the Dorchester (Best Western) and also within a block is The Modern Cafe with nice atmosphere and good food. I wouldn't stay at either Best Westerns or Days Inn. The Coast Bastion has just been renovated. We live in Tofino and go to Nanaimo often. We stay either in bed and breakfasts or at The Coast Bastion. I would recommend a bed and breakfast because there are some lovely ones but most of them do not take a one night booking. Please do stay in Nanaimo. It's a good stopping point on the way to Tofino and is quite safe. Like all cities it has it's crime but there are areas for that and you're not likely to seek them out.
ginocat is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 09:37 PM
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Hi. I dont know who "Sam Salmon" is, but he sounds like a Troll who is trying to get a rise out of you. Nanaimo is a lovely small city, and is a very nice place to spend a night.
I can recommend the Ramada Inn at Long Lake. We overnighted there last year on our way home from Tofino. Its brand new, and is quite lovely.A very short drive to the ferry terminal to Vancouver.
We spent the day downtown at the Warf area, and saw no evidence of high crime or "blue collar" mentality.I maybe wouldnt spend a week there, but it is certainly a very convenient stopover on the way to Tofino (about a 3 hour drive).
The drive to Tofino from Nanaimo is gorgeous, so I would definately recommend doing it the next morning after the ferry when you are fresh and can enjoy it more. Definately think about stopping at Cathedral Grove Provincial Park for an hour to see the giant Douglas firs. Its right on the way and breaks the drive up nicely.
jimmoi is offline  
Jun 1st, 2004, 11:21 PM
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I think Sam Salmon's assessment of Nanaimo is spot on, although some tourists seem not to notice. The Ramada Inn at Long Lake might be one of the better places to stay, but I would probably still prefer Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville.
April is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2004, 05:28 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I've been through Nanaimo before and it seemed pretty harmless. In any case, another option would be to stay on the mainland the night before, near the Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay ferry, or possibly in Vancouver. We will have driven from Portland earlier that day.
tpl is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 06:18 AM
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Personally I don't like the Ramada Inn on Long Lake. I found it rather depressing when I stayed there.
Horseshoe Bay would be a nice place to stay on the mainland. It has some very nice bed and breakfasts and you're only a minute from the ferry.
ginocat is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 10:09 AM
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Dear 'jimmoi' I am a British Columbia resident of more than 30 years and a long time poster on this Forum-I am no troll.
Passing through a place such as you have done is one thing-having long time friends and acquaintances there and visiting them regularly for decades is another.
I could go on and on about the deficiencies of Nanaimo but suffice it to say that it's reputation as the 'armpit' of Vancouver Island is well deserved.
Sam_Salmon is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2004, 12:18 PM
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I do not always agree with Sam_Salmon but in this case I must come to his defence.

Last September I spent several days in the Nanaimo area helping a local agency and saw first - hand that the city has a MAJOR heroin problem with the related petty theft, break-ins, prostitution etc.

gannetmusic is offline  
Jun 4th, 2004, 08:57 AM
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You can find that kind of thing in any city. I will admit that I am uncomfortable in the Casino area and Harbour (?) Mall where London Drugs is.
At least in Nanaimo you are not having to walk around and over street kids begging and harassing you at every step like you do in Victoria.
Nanaimo has some very lovely areas. I don't know where you all hang out but we go often to Nanaimo for shopping and never have we had a problem!!!
ginocat is offline  

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