There’s something magical about Sooke. Located south of Victoria on the west coast, this rocky outcrop feels like you’ve been transported to another world. Secluded coves reveal a different shade of the ocean’s hue, from inky blue to emerald green, while black oystercatchers, seagulls and seals bob aimlessly in the water. Wind-whipped arbutus trees perch precariously on dry bluffs which back onto a dense rainforest with moss-draped trees.
The hardest part about visiting Sooke is leaving—but luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. SookePoint Ocean Cottage Resort is a recent accommodation addition located on Sooke’s most eastern tip, offering visitors prime access to the area.
These newly built cottages were designed to provide guests with unprecedented ocean views. Perched along the edge of the cliff and stacked vertically, they offer floor-to-ceiling windows and angled balconies that allow the ocean breeze and light to filter through. Each cottage is wrapped in teal-coloured cedar shake and feature high-end finishes and cozy furnishings that speak to the area’s coastal setting.
The cottages are self-sufficient; you’ll find a kitchen stocked with glassware, utensils, a coffee maker, pots and pans, and more. There is no café or restaurant on site yet, so for now, be sure to bring enough groceries for your stay. (There are grocery stores located in Sooke, a 35-minute drive away.)
But even with options for restaurants located nearby, you may find yourself not wanting to leave. The cottages look straight down onto “Orca Alley,” a narrow channel 45-feet deep where Orcas—and humpbacks in the fall—are often spotted swimming through. It’s as close to whale watching as you can get without a boat.
Storm Watching and Whale Watching in Sooke, BC
Fall is a particularly special time to visit. Each cottage comes with a fireplace—perfect for curling up with a glass of wine and taking in the view. The units are equipped with a TV, but it’s the weather outside that provides the best entertainment. From November to March, the conditions can change dramatically; from a cool, crispy sunny day to moody skies that promise wind and rain. While it’s the west coast of BC—Ucluelet and Tofino, mainly—that is home to winter storm watching, Sooke, located further south on the same coastline, also gets its fair share of lashing rain and fierce winds that turns the calm waters of the Pacific into a frenzied and mesmerizing spectacle. The swells are captivating to watch from the comfort of your cottage, and like a meditation, will leave you feeling relaxed and at ease.
Dare to venture outside and it’s a different story; getting up close and personal with Mother Nature’s temperamental show is both humbling and exhilarating. From SookePoint, you can directly access the trails of East Sooke Regional Park. There are more than 50 kilometres of trails in the park; the 10-kilometre Coastal Trail is a local favourite but can take up to five hours to complete, depending on your experience, comfort level, and the conditions outside. Good hiking boots and proper attire and gear are a must.
The local wildlife also put on a show. From September to October, humpback whales can be spotted along the coast. These gentle giants of the sea are easily recognized by the white flukes and belly on the underside of their gray body. Despite their size, they’re known to be quite playful and graceful and are often spotted slapping the water with their tails or breaching effortlessly. Or look for black oystercatchers (they’re not hard to miss with their brightly-coloured orange beak) and curious seals who love to poke their slippery heads in and out of the water. (Click here to check out a list of their current whale watching packages available.)
(Another bonus: a number of units belong to local residents; if you’re lucky to meet a fellow neighbour, you may get an insider’s tip on where the best vantage point is to see whales or other wildlife.)
Getting to SookePoint Ocean Cottages
Getting to SookePoint is half the adventure. The cottages are only a 35-minute drive from the town of Sooke and an hour drive from Victoria. From the turn off at Gillespie Road, the road quickly winds and wraps its way around the geography of the land; expect some sharp twists and turns along this narrow tree-lined road.
Once you reach the fork in the road, turn right. A few kilometres later, you’ll crest a hill and arrive at SookePoint Ocean Cottages. The property is still undergoing development (and will be for some time), but the stunning locale and cozy cottage interior will ensure your visit is still peaceful and relaxing. The cottages have only been available to rent since spring of 2018, and while the current construction may deter some visitors, this just means you can earn bragging rights as one of the first to discover these oceanfront cottages.
Nearby Sooke Offers More
If staying indoors is not your thing, you’ll find plenty of options for restaurants, shops, and activities in nearby Sooke. Head to Stick in the Mud for coffee made from locally roasted beans; try a sample of mead at Tugwell Creek Farm and Meadery (BC’s first meadery); or dine at Wild Mountain Food and Drink, a much-talked about South Island restaurant, with a menu that features local ingredients from farm to sea.
To learn more about SookePoint Ocean Cottage Resort, including the types of accommodation available and current packages and deals, visit the SookePoint Resort website and find even more ideas on activities and shopping in Sooke.