What a fantastic place - and this from someone who's not slow to criticise. This is an unusually long review, because there's just so much to write about, as Knight Inlet is not just a hotel.
We booked a 2 night stay through Scenic Tours at home in Australia - we probably could have done it much cheaper by going direct, but it was more convenient to take the package.
As other cautious reviewers have noted, it was going to be hard for the place to live up to its reputation, as so much depended on the wildlife turning up too. But it's where wildlife film makers go, and it's where researchers study. And the wildlife did turn up, and in abundance.
The Lodge itself is an excellent match between environment and creature comfort - our wood cabin was basic, but clean. The food was well prepared and plentiful.
But no one goes to Knight Inlet for the rooms and the food. You go for the wildlife. Which means you need guides. And Knight Inlet has plenty of them. Each day starts at 6.30 am with breakfast, and ends at around 9pm after an optional talk with one of the guides. What you do each day is arranged for you by the manager, who'll slot you in to a tour (mostly about 2 hours long and with a maximum of 4-6 people) according to your wishes and availability. In our case we most wanted to see grizzlies catching salmon, as per the Attenborough TV program. And each day we saw them. Up close, too, thanks to Knight Inlet's two stages, strategically placed along the spawning channel. For a couple of hours at a time, you stand on this stage, watching agog, as these beasts do what come naturally, and without being concerned at the presence of humans.
The guides were just terrific - clearly committed to the cause, and it was both educational and fun to be with them. When we weren't watching bears we took trips along the inlet, looking for black bears ( no luck), bald eagles (plenty), and other wildlife like Canada geese. On one trip four of us walked along bear tracks (and yes, bears do **** in the woods, and no, we didn't come too close). We also released salmon fingerlings into the river, truly a feelgood moment. Another trip took us further along the inlet, and Bob the guide (who's clearly not paid by the word) gave us some of the history of man's involvement with the area, such as it is. For those staying longer (one couple was staying 6 nights) there are other, longer trips, whale-watching, for example, which I know they loved.
The only downside for those flying in from Vancouver, and it's only a slight criticism, was the necessity to spend a day and a night in Campbell River before the seaplane journey to Knight Inlet the following morning. And while the transfers were efficient, and the motel ( a good 20 minute walk from the centre of town) was perfectly adequate, (as was the pub next door), I wouldn't say Campbell River on a Sunday had a great deal going for it, except for a small and interesting local market. But that's the only way to get to Knight Inlet, so we had to cop it sweet.
So thanks to Steve the manager and all the guides - we had a great trip. It's never likely to be repeated, and it'll live long in the memory.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC