{review} Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort Ucluelet

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort offers an incredible backdrop for your wedding day

Black Rock Resort is simply a stunning example of architecture set off by nature.  The waves crash against the glass lobby reminding everyone who stands there of the forces that lie just beyond our control.  And it makes for some once in a lifetime wedding photography!  But Black Rock Resort doesn’t sit back on its laurels of spectacular views – they work tirelessly to provide a wedding couple and their guests with top notch service and nary a worry on your wedding day.

The Resort sits on oceanfront on the Pacific, nestled in the rain forest, near sandy beaches and beautiful hiking trails in Ucluelet, BC on Vancouver Island’s gorgeous West Coast. This is the perfect destination wedding or honeymoon spot!  We had a wonderful time looking around this resort, and seeing the unusual features, that gives it a feel of sophistication against a backdrop of natural beauty.

Here’s more on this fabulous resort……

Sophisticated Architecture

Black Rock Resort opened in 2009 after five years of planning and building.  The wait was worth it.  Black Rock Resort won Luxits Top Hotel Openings of 2009 as well as the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board – Commercial Building Award – For Excellence/Hospitality.  And anyone who visits it can see why this particular spot was chosen.  As Danielle Stothers, Sales Manager, put it, “Open the front doors to the resort and, through the massive ceiling to floor windows, you see the wild Pacific Ocean. During storm season it’s hard to look away from the turbulent, huge waves and get back to work. In the summer we can see orcas or gray whales off of the restaurant patio, hear eagles soaring by and also still have time for a surf in the late evening sun.”  Who could resist such a location?!

Craig and Kimberly Calnin, married September 17, 2011, couldn’t resist.  “When we walked into the resort, we were so amazed by how beautiful the hotel and the scenery were.  As soon as we saw it, we knew that all of our guests would be happy to spend a weekend in such a beautiful place.”

We love all the features for the bride and groom, as well as their guests, at Black Rock Resort!  Let’s start with the thrilling views which are available from the restaurant, lounge and each and every window on the property.  Add to that, the Driftwood Spa (listed in the Top 50 Spas of America 2010!), which features naturally derived treatments and products from the West Coast.  Then there are the hot tubs, plunge pool, fitness centre, as well as access to the Pacific Trail and Big Beach, right on site.

For the discerning couple looking to make Black Rock Resort their venue, they offer ceremony and reception locations for 2-120+.  You can have your ceremony on the patio overlooking the ocean, or in the rainforest nearby or perhaps in the wine cellar with views of the waves!  There are delicious cocktail receptions or full banquets with menus overseen by Executive Chefs.

And, for those brides and grooms planning to bring friends and family with them, the resort boasts 133 suites with gas fireplaces, furnished balconies, and floor to ceiling windows looking upon ocean or rainforest views.  Heated bathroom floors, free internet, pet friendly rooms, and suites that include a washer and dryer are more pluses.

The ballroom is the choice for couples who are looking to hold a larger reception at Black Rock Resort. Kimberly and Greg chose this option.  “Our reception was held in the Rainforest Ballroom.  The room held 100 guests, plus the bar and the DJ very comfortably.  The décor in the room fits with the location really well – the carpets and walls are in the blue-green shades, which is very natural and beautiful.”

For the smaller wedding or event though, the famous Wine Cellar is the way to go.  Guests mingle in a beautiful cellar filled with bottles and then move to the glass walled reception area looking over the ocean.

We loved our tour through the cellar and so did Christine Burgess, married April 9, 2011, who chose this beautiful area of the resort for her special day.  “The wine cellar in which we had both the ceremony and our dinner was gorgeous. The minute we saw it, we seriously started considering Black Rock as an option. It was perfect. The room has one glass wall which looks out onto a surf channel and is accessible via a stair case that separates it from the actual wine cellar. It has an elegant but cozy feel to it. The many candles and contrast with the wood tables and chairs actually made it very warm and welcoming. The team did a wonderful job with the décor – it was simply stunning. I actually looked out at one point during dinner and thought “wow – this is perfection.”

Danielle has noticed the demand for this area of the Black Rock Resort.  “Post ceremony cocktail receptions in our Wine Cellar room have been very popular this past season. While the wedding party goes out to take stunning photos along the beach or in the rainforest, your guests can enjoy the ocean view, sipping BC wines and Vancouver Island micro-brew beers, paired with canapés featuring West Coast ingredients. These cocktail receptions can also take place a day or two before wedding day and act as a ‘Welcome Reception’.”

As September bride Kimberly raved, “The entire weekend was perfect.  We were able to get married outside (in September!) on the patio, with the waves crashing in the background and the gorgeous views.  That was hard to beat!”

Not to be forgotten is the wonderful job that Black Rock Resort does with elopements.  The romantic idea of just the couple being together on such an important and personal day is done with elegance and panache.   And they have arranged elopements with very short notice!

Small weddings are something Black Rock Resort does not shy away from!  As bride Christine experienced, “The team at Blackrock went out of their way to make us feel welcome and to ensure us that our small wedding was as important as any other.”

Matthew and Melanie Gerding, married in July 2011, had a beautiful experience getting married at the resort.  “Everyone was amazing! We asked for something and it was done, that simple, no problems. Katherine was a pleasure to work with! I called her and emailed her numerous times with questions and concerns….there was always a solution! She made me feel at ease with everything. Everyone was friendly, interested in talking and getting to know us, they gave us suggestions for trips, walks, dining, the wedding etc. Much of the staff members advice made our trips, and wedding day that much more extra special. My husband teared up with happiness, and gratitude as we were leaving the resort and thanking Katherine. We were both so blown away with every special detail. We were initially impressed with the resort, but had no idea they would go so far above and beyond to make us feel special.”

Event Manager, Danielle, pointed out, “We definitely do not have one style of couple. Most couples have a connection to the West Coast either by falling in love with photos, knowing they want a Canadian beach destination wedding or maybe they got engaged here while on a summer vacation.”

Couples usually have some questions answered by phone or email, and then receive wedding information, which outlines menu options, room rates for the season and more about the hotel and location. Next, they may set up a site tour and perhaps spend a night at the resort, exploring the area, maybe meeting with a florist, photographer etc. Then usually a contract is created to secure dates and event rooms as requested, and a deposit is taken.

Bride, Melanie, describes her planning with Black Rock Resort as a wonderful experience. “We were emailed a package with most of the information that I needed to know. It was easy, I was able to pick and choose from the menus, table arrangements eg., add my own touches, ideas. We met with the event coordinator, and she gave us even more ideas, and options. She was flexible and went above and beyond our expectations setting up the rooms, and adding beautiful special touches we never even expected.”

Usually a tour is all it takes to convince a couple about Black Rock!  That’s what happened to Christine and her fiancé.  “I was convinced that Black Rock was the right choice after stopping in for lunch one afternoon. The location, the wine cellar, the amenities at the resort (such as the outdoor hot tub and the spa), combined with the warmth and friendliness of the staff make it the perfect choice.”

Making sure your day is worry-free…..

Black Rock’s event managers take care of all wedding details after contract signing, such as menu and bar planning, customized seating plans, rehearsal dinners, breakfast brunches, menu tastings, and final detail planning.  After the contract signing comes the wedding planning!  Brides can choose a menu from a planned list or design their own, decide on a wedding cake design, wine for the tables, plan the layout of the reception etc. Black Rock will also help brides with local vendor contacts, transportation ideas, seating plans, wedding day schedules and any questions their guests may have once invitations go out.

Christine, who married in April, appreciated the flexibility.  “They had a number of options available for us to consider which gave us a starting point but were very open to our ideas and suggestions. They were extremely accommodating with the menu and very helpful with our wine selections. They were also very flexible with the location for the ceremony and allowed us to wait until the day of to decide so we could factor in the weather.”

Danielle recommends that couples stay at the hotel just prior to the wedding so as to go over all the details with the events team one last time.

A couple has nothing to think about the day of their wedding as Black Rock’s expert team goes into action.  They have organized hundreds of successful events in the past few years so they have become very experienced!

Event staff ensure that the ballroom/wine cellar is set for ceremony and dinner as per seating charts. The rooms are spotless and ready for photos by start time. They ensure other vendors arrive on time and all guests are aware of event locations (i.e. if raining ceremony moves indoors etc). Event managers often help cue the bride down the aisle, cue the wedding party into the reception or cue the MC/DJ to get started. Then it is on to ensuring cocktails, appetizers and/or all dinner courses get out on time as per schedule and every plate and serving is above average delicious and presentable as planned with the couple. The Banquets Captain supervises the remainder of the evening until the last song is played. Left over wedding cake is stored, gifts are brought to appropriate room, and keepsake decorations are put aside until morning.

Craig and Kimberly were impressed with everything.  “They were very accommodating with all of the events that we had planned – a cocktail reception, rehearsal dinner, a BBQ on the beach next to the resort, the afternoon cocktail reception and the reception dinner.  If there was anything we wanted on one food menu vs. another, they were happy to make changes.  We didn’t struggle with anything.”

Christine agreed.  “A warm welcome to a small wedding – the wine cellar was the perfect venue and the staff went above and beyond to make it a wonderful celebration. They took care of all the little details and even had some wonderful surprises (like treats in our room) for us. They also featured Vancouver Island wines, beers and ciders which we appreciated. Their location on the Wild Pacific Trail, as well as the surf channel onto which the resort looks out, made for some absolutely amazing wedding photos.”

Many couples choose a breakfast buffet the following morning. Typically, this is a drop-in event and guests come when they are ready to eat or after they have checked out of their rooms. We love this idea as a group breakfast is a great way to say thanks to everyone and talk about the highlights of the night!

“Black Rock staff were very accommodating and very knowledgeable with handling weddings.  I didn’t have to worry about a thing the entire weekend.” Kimberly and Craig

“If you want an intimate wedding, with a beautiful West Coast backdrop this resort is for you.”  Matthew and Melanie

We Love……

Black Rock Resort is a just the kind of place The Wedding Ring loves – they support their community and great causes such as the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, the Edge to Edge Marathon, and the Ucluelet Aquarium Society, just to name a few.

Melanie, July 2011 bride, couldn’t say enough.  “The staff were always smiling, the food tasted great and looked amazing. Katherine felt more like a friend as we were leaving than a staff member at a resort.”

Not your everyday memories!  As bride, Christine, spoke of her wedding she included the highlights as “sipping wine on the patio with my mother while watching whales go by, dinner by candle light with the waves crashing outside, walking the Wild Pacific Trail with my sister the morning of the wedding, selecting our wines with the restaurant manager…”

THE LOBBY!  Seriously…it’s quite a thing to watch those waves crash into the rocks below your feet!

We love that we kept thinking of the words “sophistication” and “elegant” while being in one of the most untouched areas of Vancouver Island!

Value! From discounted group rates on amazing accommodations, to mouth watering menu options at affordable prices, Black Rock Resort can’t be beat.

The Events Team that goes over the top to help decorate, direct guests and help you connect with local vendors and activity providers. Black Rock’s Event Manager will contact vendors and have them meet you at the resort for your convenience.

Details, details, details

The average bride spends between $500 and $20,000. All weddings are very unique, not one is like the other.

Fees that apply include 12% HST, 18% gratuities, a SOCAN fee applies for music. No hidden fees or surprises. These are also listed in the contract, of course.

50% of estimated food & beverage costs is required to secure your wedding date- numbers of people, type of menu, type of bar and number of events all affect this rate.

There is no specific timeline to book your wedding at Black Rock. They’ve booked 2 years out and as little as two weeks prior.

Craig and Kimberly were very happy with the price points.  “Prices were very reasonable.  We easily found a menu for each of the events to fall within our budget. The food was delicious – many of our guests complimented the food choices.  The room rates are reasonable for the location and view. Because of the different room size options (1 / 2 bedroom or studio), our friends were able to share rooms and save money on hotel costs.  It worked out really well.”

Christine found the pricing a pleasant surprise!  “It was well worth it. They were very fair and actually suggested various options to assist us in reducing the cost. Overall, it was much less than we had anticipated and less than we would have paid for what we received.”
And, in case of inclement weather, Black Rock Resort is ready and set with options that won’t cost you extra!

So you want to know more!

A phone call or email is the best way to get the ball rolling to see if Black Rock Resort is the right fit for your special day. Although you can always drop in and look around the hotel, have a meal at the restaurant or relax in the spa, an appointment is best to make sure all your questions are  thoroughly answered and to have a personal tour of the hotel.  Or perhaps take a weekend package to really experience Black Rock Resort?

Contacting Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

To find out more, contact Danielle of Black Rock Oceanfront Resort by email at dstothers@blackrockresort.com or by phone at 250-726-4815 or 1-877-762-5011 . They are located at 596 Marine Drive in Ucluelet, Vancouver Island . You can also visit online at http://www.blackrockresort.com.

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