Baillie Lodges has expanded its Australian portfolio of luxury tourism assets abroad with the addition of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada.
The remote retreat is located in pristine wilderness on the shores of Clayoquot Sound. A member of Relais & Chateaux, it’s accessible by seaplane, helicopter or boat.
It features 25 luxury tents with views of the sound and offers access to adventures such as horse riding, whale and bear spotting, canyoning and scenic helicopter flights.
US-based KSL Capital Partners purchased Clayoquot in April 2019. In late 2018, Baillie Lodges aligned with KSL, which invested heavily in the Australian company headed by tourism experts James and Hayley Baillie.
At the time, James Baillie told LATTE that expansion abroad was likely to be on the horizon.
Already, KSL and Baillie Lodges have acquired Silky Oaks Lodge in Tropical North Queensland’s Daintree and are currently upgrading the property’s 40 luxury treehouse styled pavilions. It’s slated to open in October 2021.
Baillie Lodges has developed a three-year strategy to elevate the guest experience at Clayoquot. As part of the plan the resort will be renamed Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge to align it with its Baillie Lodges sister properties in Australia; Capella Lodge on Lord Howe Island, Longitude 131° at Uluru- Kata Tjuta and Silky Oaks Lodge in Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest.
Baillie Lodges’ flagship property, Southern Ocean Lodge, was destroyed in the bushfires on Kangaroo Island in early 2020, an event that drew global media attention. Baillie Lodges is currently planning its rebuild.
From a brand perspective, the Canadian property has a new logo, suite of guest collateral and website which have all been unveiled at clayoquotwildernesslodge.com
Following a hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge will reopen for its 2021 season on 13 May and operate through until 30 September, 2021. Ahead of the season launch, the property will undergo an interior refurbishment of its 25 luxury tents, leading with a lighter, more refined and contemporary vibe inside with luxurious linens, new king beds and bespoke furnishings created by local artisans.
The tents will retain their individual styles with views opening directly to Clayoquot Sound and its pristine wilderness surrounds.
A second stage in the property’s enhancement will take place after the 2021 season, and include a significant refurbishment to the Cookhouse Restaurant, bar and central guest facilities.
Clayoquot General Manager Sarah Cruse will once again lead the Clayoquot team, returning with her many loyal Canadian staff members who know and love the property. Two of Baillie Lodges’ key staff members will also join the Clayoquot family next year, including Executive Chef Asher Blackford, formerly of sister property Southern Ocean Lodge, and Kate Hollick, formerly of Longitude 131°, who will take up her role as Assistant General Manager in a very different wilderness setting.
Baillie Lodges Founder James Baillie said he was delighted to see a world-renowned wilderness camp of Clayoquot’s calibre joining the collection.
“The addition of Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge to the Baillie Lodges collection is a significant step in our growth as a company as the first luxury lodge located outside of our home base in Australia, so in effect this marks our launch as an international collection of luxury lodges,” James said.
“One of the strengths of Baillie Lodges has always been the feeling of being an extended family, with each of its remotely located lodges remaining close in both team relationships and in a dedication to the Baillie ethos of delivering extraordinary experiences for our guests,” he said.
“When my wife Hayley and I started working with the team at KSL Capital Partners, we were subsequently invited to stay at Clayoquot for a few days during a trip to North America.
“We were struck by not only the possibilities for this remarkable lodge, but also by the ready synergies between Clayoquot and our existing luxury lodges. It’s a very natural fit for Clayoquot to be part of the Baillie Lodges family and will be the most remote and wild addition to the collection to date.
“There are also many natural synergies between Canadians and Australians, and we look forward to bringing a new energy and spirit to an already special product, and to introducing our guests to exciting new itineraries in some of the world’s most remarkable destinations.”
More on Baillie Lodges at baillielodges.com.au