The Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa.




Dull, dark and rainy days are inevitable during winter on Vancouver Island, but thanks to a local gem shining year-round by the ocean a few minutes south of Courtenay, you can always take an instant mini-vacation to make you feel bright again. Waiting to welcome you any day you need a break from the ubiquitous tones of grey, the Kingfisher Resort and Spa is just around the corner.

Casual, friendly and easily accessible, the Kingfisher offers locals and visitors alike a great variety of options for treating yourself to some pampering, innovative fresh West Coast dining, and generally getting the feeling that you have been away somewhere on a little holiday. But all it takes to get there, at least for residents of the Comox Valley, is driving a short distance down the road.

If you feel like lifting your spirits by moving your body in a favourite form of exercise, whether it is swimming laps in the heated outdoor pool or releasing tension in a yoga class at Starfish Studio, you are sure to find your own sweet spots at the resort.

Themed packages and seasonal specials allow you to choose affordable indulgences, especially during the off-season winter months. You can customize a few pleasurable hours at the Pacific Mist Spa, an invigorating day, or a weekend with time set aside for relaxing by a fire, watching storm systems move across the ocean.

“Daycation” is a playful way to suggest the potential of feeling so good and relaxed at the end of a day visit, that it is almost as if you have been away on vacation. The term, “Staycation,” introduces a similar idea, but includes overnight stays for a romantic interlude, or maybe a “Girls’ Weekend.” Kingfisher caters to all possibilities, with a variety of accommodations, fabulous meals and vast ocean views at the Breakwater Restaurant, and spa services to keep everyone happy.

CVC Vol5 5 Kingfisher Gallery

Not-to-be-missed is the unique Pacific Mist Hydropath, a meandering grotto that encompasses numerous therapeutic water experiences. This softly lit environment is designed to reflect the rugged natural features of the West Coast.

You will be quietly guided by spa attendants who offer cool cloths and refreshing drinks of water along the way, and then disappear to leave you in privacy. The hour-long Hydropath experience takes you through a series of special massaging shower enclaves before you gently descend into a gorgeously warm and powerfully jetted tub. When the time comes to move on, you glide into a spacious rock-walled steam room enhanced with (optional) eucalyptus aromatherapy to open up your sinuses and awaken your senses. Eventually you stroll along pebble-tiled underwater pathways in shallow pools with jets at varying heights to target specific leg muscles. If you feel brave, you may then briefly stand under a bracing shower that will perk you right up before you slip into one of the most popular Hydropath pleasures of all.

This is a tip, so be sure you don’t miss it: In the spacious pool that creates the refreshing sense of floating in warm mineral waters while being gently peppered by a light summer rain, there is a submerged stone bench on the far side, and a control button on the grotto wall above it. Feel for the bench in the water, turn the jets on, and take a seat to enjoy the uniquely pleasurable “bubble massage.”

By the time you leave your winter escape at the Kingfisher, you are bound to be asking yourselves: “Why did we wait so long to do this?” and, “How soon can we come back?”