Frequently Asked Questions

Discover Renfrew

  • Pets

    We are Pet Friendly and would love to welcome you and your canine best friend!

    Dogs are welcome at our beachfront two bedrooms, wharfside studios and the West Coast Trail Lodge for a flat fee per stay. The Viewpoint Studios and Viewpoint Penthouse are not pet friendly. We’re sorry but at this time we don’t allow cats or birds.

    In wilderness areas, you will want to keep your pets under control for their safety and to minimize damage to fragile ecosystems. Always respect posted signage.

    It is best to leave pets at home when heading into backcountry areas — especially bear and cougar habitat — to avoid wildlife interactions.

  • Restaurants & Cafes

    It’s true we only have a few options here but we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the fresh food in Port Renfrew. The Renfrew Pub is consistently opened every day, all year long, you can find their up-to-date (and holiday) hours on our “Know Before You Go” page. Here you can also check out Coastal Kitchen Cafe, Tomi’s, Bridgeman’s and Pie-Ro – their hours and opening days change often so double check on their pages to avoid disappointment.

  • Groceries, Beer, & Wine

    The Port Renfrew General Store (“The Everything Store”) is the place to pick up basic groceries, ice, beer, wine, and bait. If you are planning to stay a while, a grocery store visit in Sooke or Lake Cowichan on route is recommend for more variety.

  • Community Life

    Port Renfrew (“Renny”) is a small town — home to tall trees, deep roots, and families here for generations. This is a lived-in community with a lumberjack soul.

    Renfrew is also home to the Pacheedaht First Nation (“People of the Sea Foam”), part of what makes this place so special.

    A forestry and fishing village first, it is a burgeoning outdoor recreation and eco-tourism destination with new options to eat, drink, and stay in style. What has not changed is the small-town experience and ready access to a big, wild, natural world.

  • Internet & Cell Service

    Here, we are more landline than app, more 3-D nature than 3-D printer. Reliable cell service is not available at all in Port Renfrew yet, although Wi-Fi is offered by many local lodgings and businesses. Time out from tech means more time to relax and gear down.

  • Wildlife

    Port Renfrew is a wilderness wonder for whale-watchers, birders, and budding naturalists. The biggies are all here: orcas, grey whales, humpbacks, otters, seals, salmon, sea lions, wolves, cougars, bald eagles, black bears, elk, and deer. Glimpse them from the trail or kayak, or take advantage of a charter or eco-excursion. Nature on this scale demands respect. Be mindful not to disturb fragile habitat and take precautions to limit undesired human-wildlife interactions. Leave no trace applies.

  • Deposit Policy

    A deposit of the first night plus applicable tax is required to secure the reservation. If we are unable to process the credit card on file within 72 hours of the booking, we will cancel the reservation. If the reservation is less than 7 days away, we will honor the booking for 24 hours, after which we will cancel the reservation if attempts to process the deposit remain unsuccessful. 

  • Cancellation Policy

    Free cancellation if cancelled more than 7 days prior to arrival. Full refund of the one night deposit will be provided. If cancelled less than 7 days prior to arrival, the deposit is forfeited. Early checkouts are subject to a fee of 50% of all remaining nights. Third party bookings may be subject to different policies, and we are not able to waive cancellation fees for these bookings.

  • Hotel policies

    We do not offer daily housekeeping. Extra towels and amenities are provided on request. Our Standard rooms at the West Coast Trail Lodge do not have kitchenettes, and we are not able to provide extra dishes or small appliances for these rooms. Our property is non-smoking; a fee of $250 will be applied if evidence of smoking is found outside of the designated smoking areas. Power outages are common in our rural area, we do our best to make all of our guest comfortable during these moments. We do not provide refunds or waive early check out fees due to power outages.

  • Vehicles

    A car is sufficient for getting around in most areas near town. If you are venturing further afield (say, via logging roads) a more robust 4×4 vehicle is recommended. Check for the latest conditions and keep an emergency kit handy.

  • Banking

    There used to be one ATM in town and, at times, it ran out of cash. Now, you can find fully loaded versions at The Renfrew Pub and the Coastal Kitchen Café. Rest assured; major bank and credit cards are widely accepted — we’re not that far off the grid.

  • Gas

    Renfrew now has a gas station for the first time in over 30 years! The Pacheedaht First Nation opened a brand new facility in November of 2017. It offers our guests full service regular gas, diesel, and propane and has on-site public bathrooms and a small convenience store. During the high season, it is scheduled to be open from 6am to 10pm, otherwise it opens 8am to 6pm daily. Outside of town, you will not find another option until Sooke or Lake Cowichan, so keep an eye on your gauge.

  • Infrastructure

    The village is home to a post office, a pub, cafés and eateries, an elementary school, a library, a general store, and a new gas station. A range of lodgings, services, and outfitters help visitors get into the great outdoors.

  • Marinas & Moorage

    The new Pacific Gateway Marina is next door to the Wild Coast Cottages. The Port Renfrew Marina and RV Park is in an estuary of the San Juan River near active fishing grounds. Both seasonal marinas offer moorage and fuel. The Pacheedaht First Nation also operates a marina and boat launch.

    Additional moorage is now available at the public wharf next to the pier and The Renfrew Pub.

  • History In Motion

    We feel the tug of the past, but this is not a museum. We are proud of our origins, our resource legacy, and our deep connection with the natural world.

    Vancouver Island has been an ancestral homeland to indigenous peoples for thousands of years. With traditional territory spanning the southwest corner of the Island, the Pacheedaht First Nation has long called the Port Renfrew area home.

    The Spanish and English first explored these coastal waters in the late 18th century. Forestry and fishing have been the drivers for settlement and economic development for well over 100 years. These days, it is the incredible natural wonders — wild forests, primordial trails, and stormy coastline — that inspire visitors.
    With new ways to get here, Port Renfrew is gaining recognition as an authentically West Coast town on the doorstep of a unique and spectacular wilderness.