Photo © Courtesy of Kwa’lilas Hotel
Port Hardy’s premier First Nations destination hotel, offering a curated selection of authentic local Indigenous arts and culture
Kwa’lilas Hotel is the only Indigenous-owned and operated hotel in Port Hardy, British Columbia. Surrounded by natural beauty, the hotel is the perfect place to relax and unwind. With a variety of amenities and activities, all in sight of breathtaking landscapes, guests will feel right at home. From hiking and fishing to sightseeing and beach-going, there is something for everyone.
Kwa’lilas is a kwak’wala word used by Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw people meaning “a place to sleep.” A group of Elders chose this word in hopes that travellers and guests would find a peaceful rest after a day of exploration on the Northern Vancouver Island.
The history of Kwa’lilas goes back over 12,000 years, to when early generations of Gwa’sala- ‘Nakwaxda’xw people lived off the land and waters—travelling by sea between villages allowed families to practice their culture through ceremonies like feasts and potlatching.
You will find many expressions of culture and history throughout the Port Hardy hotel, including masks and designs by local artists. This is our way of sharing our history and legends and opening our hearts to welcome you to the North Island.
From the moment you enter the lobby, you’ll be amazed by the massive custom copper art installation and other Indigenous-inspired artwork throughout the hotel. Upstairs is a large, stylish conference room perfect for business meetings and conferences.
As you settle into your room, you’ll be able to take in the natural beauty of the surrounding area, with a view of the ocean and lush forests. The hotel also features two restaurants on-site, Naxid’ Pub and Ha’me’ Restaurant. Ha’me features an Indigenous-inspired menu with traditional and locally sourced ingredients, a great way to experience the local culture and flavours.
Another way to immerse yourself in the local culture is by taking a k’awat’si Tour, a guided tour led by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw company that provides aboriginal cultural experiences and local eco-tourism adventures on the North Island. If you prefer to get the lay of the land on your own, you’ll find countless hiking trails that take you through some of the most awe-inspiring locations in the region. Chase waterfalls at the nearby Port Alice or take on the Tex Lyon Trailhead, a favourite among locals.
Make a stop at the Port Hardy Heritage Museum, where you’ll find permanent exhibits of First Nations settlers’ effects, including 8,000-year-old artifacts and relics of natural and local history. On the way back to the hotel, stop by Cafe Guido for artisan coffee, mouthwatering baked goods and lunches, and browse their selection of gifts, books, and clothing items, all in one stop!
Immerse yourself in all the beauty Vancouver Island North has to offer, and experience an unforgettable getaway that is truly one of a kind at Kwa’lilas Hotel. Gila’kasla!
Book your stay today and explore all that Port Hardy has to offer at kwalilashotel.ca
The Kwa’lilas Hotel is located in the traditional territories of the Kwakiutl people and is a demonstration of the commitment of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations to share our history, culture and passion for our traditional territory in a meaningful and permanent way by showcasing and celebrating it in a beautiful, comfortable space that is representative of the community.