Charles McDiarmid has been Managing Director of the Wickaninnish Inn since its opening in 1996. Opening a luxury inn on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast had been a family dream since Charles’ father first moved to the area in the 1950’s.
Charles is a born and raised Tofitian. Once in high school, Charles and his two brothers moved to their Vancouver Island Prep school, Brentwood College School. Later, he attended Mount Douglas Secondary School by Victoria, BC, and graduated Cornell University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science in Hotel Administration.
Immediately after graduation, Charles was recruited by Canadian-owned Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, beginning his hospitality career in Calgary, Alberta. He worked with the luxury hotel chain over 13 years in various operational and sales management roles in Washington, D.C., Dallas, Newport Beach, and Seattle.
Once back in the Pacific Northwest, McDiarmid started writing the business plan for a Tofino hotel which would become the Wickaninnish Inn. Financing and fine tuning of the Inn’s plan continued while Charles was working with Tourism Vancouver and Vancouver’s Delta Place Hotel (now the Metropolitan Hotel).
In 1995, McDiarmid began building Tofino’s only luxury resort, and the only hotel on exclusive Chesterman Beach. With Laser-like focus on his end goal, Charles designed the 45-guestroom Wickaninnish-on-the-Pointe. He coined the phrase, “rustic elegance on nature’s edge” which later became the focus of the entire design plan for the Inn.
Charles’ plan was also based on sustainability. He worked his eco-friendly philosophies into every aspect of the Wick. To that end, the Inn was built with local red cedar, utilizing reclaimed wood from Victoria in accents and some furniture. The Inn opened its doors in August 1996, receiving significant media attention for its spectacular ocean views, and gourmet cuisine and hand-adzing detail throughout the building.