Photo Credit: WestIsle.News staff

James Bond Could Be Lurking

Hotel Zed pays tribute to the tacky cool of the 1970s and 80s

Pac Man – check. Psychic den – check. Disco – check
Hotel Zed Tofino

Don’t even bother taking your bags to your room. First things first. 

After checking in to Tofino’s Hotel Zed go straight to the library. 

Then look for that one book. The one that says … well, you’ll figure it out.

Pull it out and watch as the bookshelf slowly splits in half, then opens to reveal the secret arcade. In it, you’ll find Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and other blasts from a video game past that some will remember and others won’t.

Look around the hotel lobby at the brushed brass light fixtures, tacky wallpaper and carpet, and sleek minimalist, faux-teak wood furniture. Details matter, like the Rolodex on the coffee table (although the flashcards are blank). 

There’s even a chocolate-coloured rotary dial phone with a banana-shaped receiver. Pick it up – it works.

The decor reminds us of simpler times. 

In fact, if 007 strolled past you in the lobby with a martini in one hand and a Russian supermodel in the other, it would hardly be surprising. Despite what many people might believe, those forgotten decades – the 70s and 80s – were actually pretty cool.

Fancy hotels are fancy, but they can be boring and predictable. Turn down service, chocolate on the pillow, and a $350 per night room – Wifi not included.

Hotel chains rarely hit the mark when trying to be quirky and unique. But Hotel Zed, which belongs to Victoria-based Accent Inns, is an exception to the rule.

The retro disco

The model is simple. Take an old hotel or motel, gut it, and reimagine it as a tribute to everything retro.

Zed Tofino, once the location of Jamie’s Rainforest Inn, was the third to open in the chain so far. The other two are in Victoria and Kelowna.

Zed Tofino has a miniature disco, where you can digitally DJ The Bee Gees, Kool and the Gang and other disco classics.

There’s even a psychic’s den. 

Zed Tofino’s sauna and hot tub

Yup, the whole thing is tacky, but on purpose. And that gives this hotel a particular charm.

The hotel even has a vintage 70’s wood-panelled station wagon.

Throw in a barrel sauna and a modern jacuzzi in the rainforest, and you may not even set foot in Tofino on your trip to Tofino.