Clayoquot Wilderness Resort offers remote Canadian wilderness vacations, but behind the five-star cuisine, the spa and the great white tents with their fluffy duvets and antiques, there is a deep and meaningful commitment to restoring the land.
Offering holidays that live in memory banks, while enabling guests to be part of important salmon and wildlife restoration work through the Environmental Legacy Program, takes a special team.
From the moment that guests step off the floatplane, to that first glass of sparkling wine, to that hike through old growth forest, the resort staff (and their dogs) are there to offer a guest experience that is restoring the soul and this beautiful land.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is owned by the Genovese Family Trust. It all started with Richard Genovese who had a vision for a new concept five-star wilderness resort. His dream was to gently hew an intimate resort out of the untamed landscape of Clayoquot Sound, with thoughtfulness and honour for the land, people and wildlife, a vision that continues to this day. For more on Richard Genovese
Married over 40 years, the Catons left a busy life in Ontario for a simpler one in the wilds of Vancouver Island. After years in business and a high-flying stint as a talent scout and recording artist manager for A&M and Warner Brothers that ended with a major coronary attack, John returned to his family and their farm and started dreaming up his next act, this time in the hospitality business.
Following business school for Adele and an internship at a private game preserve in Ontario, they headed west with their boys. Twelve years later they continue to offer wilderness vacations of a lifetime, while conserving the land and helping British Columbia’s tourism industry become a world leader in sustainability. For more on John and Adele Caton
Gary Bedell, General Manager
Gary joins our team as the new General Manager. A long-time hotelier and guest service consultant to luxury properties around the world, he brings a wealth of experience to his new position. As a certified butler, chef, photographer, published author, journalist and sommelier he is the master of all trades. For more on Gary Bedell
Chef Orr, Executive Chef
Ryan Orr was born and raised in Victoria on the southern end of Vancouver Island. Growing up, Ryan spent his summers on the local beaches with his friends, wading into the lagoons picking up Dungeness Crabs with fishing nets. Ryan has fond memories of his grandfather coming by the house before the sun came up to take him out fishing, always coming home “a little green around the gills” and with stories of the “big one” that got away. Vancouver Island is, and always will be home for Ryan. For more on Chef Orr
Katherine MacRae, Director of Marketing
From Ontario, Kathy has been a camper from a young age and the resort industry is nothing new to her either. Starting at Deerhurst Resort in Haliburton Ontario at the age of 18, it is no wonder she loves the outdoors and life at CWR. Kathy joined the team in 2008 and can be found in the office as our Director of Marketing. On the operations side, she is a busy girl organizing the guiding staff and assisting in the resorts general operations with John. Kathy can be found around camp ensuring that everyone is having a great time as well as helping you organize your daily activities during your stay with us at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.
Donna Carlsen, Accounts Supervisor
Donna joined the CWR team in the spring of 2013 as our onsite Accounts Supervisor. While you can see Donna in the office, her nose buried deep in numbers, she is also found around camp talking to guests and often times on an evening horse back ride. An avid rider, hailing from the Okanagan Valley, Donna is a natural fit here at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.
It takes a remarkable team of people to provide the Clayoquot Wilderness experience, where nature adventure meets personalized service. From the office staff to those in the kitchen to the servers and the sommelier to the nature guides, this distinct collection of multi-talented individuals are more family than staff. Some spend the offseason travelling or working in other resorts or honing their craft, but the draw of this remote paradise, and the opportunity to share it with visitors from around the world, continues to bring them back year after year.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort has a strong and long-standing commitment to sustainability and John Caton calls on partners and experts to help with his conservation efforts. The resort has spent a decade and millions of dollars rehabilitating many miles of salmon spawning grounds. Wild Pacific salmon populations are drastically declining on the Pacific Coast as salmon fight environmental pressures such as overfishing, disease, ocean and river warming, loss of sustainable freshwater habitat and a reduction in food sources. John has been passionate about this cause and, with the resort’s investment and the help of guests and other private funding, has been able to work with such experts as Kurt Beardslee, the director of the Wild Fish Conservancy and scientist Audrey Thompson to discover more ways to help preserve our wild salmon stocks.
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The resort team recognizes and respects the local first nations and is proud of its partnerships with the Ahousaht people in Clayoquot Sound to restore the land and share their ancestral legacies with visitors from around the world. In addition to working with the Ahousaht people as invaluable guides, in 2008/09, the resort has been dedicated to establishing a protocol between the resort and the Ahousaht First Nations. This will outline the general principles to build partnerships in tourism businesses that will provide economic development in the community. Working closely with Ahousaht First Nations are Chief Councillor Keith Atleo, Deputy Chief John Frank and Alistair Haughton, President of ARG Services to fulfill this vision.