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“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (and whoo boy can it get ugly)” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Sunbanks Lake Resort

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Sunbanks Lake Resort
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57662 HWY 155N, Electric City, WA 99123   |  
Hotel amenities
Sumner, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (and whoo boy can it get ugly)”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

First off, lets start with the oft abused term "Resort". Webster's simply defines a Resort as a place that is frequented often by (summer) vacationers - a place that provides recreation and entertainment. In the most basic terms, Sunbanks Resort fits this bill. In my mind though "resort" is something much much nicer...a place for relaxation, a sparkling clean oasis in which to soak up sunshine and perhaps even get a soothing massage at the fancy shmancy and over-priced spa. If your definition of Resort is similar to mine - Sunbanks Resort should be your last resort - forget about relaxing, there's nothing clean about this place and there sure as heck ain't no highfalutin spa. This is a review of our Fri-Sun stay here with friends in the tenting/RV area as well as a couple of the lakeside cabins.

Let's start with the good: 1) The people who work at Sunbanks are very friendly. In fact without their friendly attitude and helpful nature I would have dropped my rating from 2 stars to 1 star. They are constantly patrolling the resort in golf carts and do their best to help people, offer a friendly wave and reign in the chaos that this place generates. The main purpose of this place is for a base camp for Banks Lake. If you don't have a way to get out on the lake (and Banks lake is a beautiful and awesome lake to explore) there is absolutely no reason for you to stay here in my opinion.

The Bad: Prepare yourself for a sea of humanity. I have never "camped" at a place so packed full of people. The owners (actually leasers of DNR land) have made it so there is not a square inch of property that is not used in some form or fashion to squeeze more people in. Prepare yourself to make this comment: "This is really our campsite? Really? REALLY?". The tent and RV spots are just barely large enough to park your RV or vehicle on and/or set up a tent on. In an area that would comfortably fit a single RV or a couple of tents - Sunbanks will squeeze in 4 or 5. Figuring out where your designated spot perimeter begins or ends is up to interpretation and often is defined by people setting up defensive barriers of lawn chairs, pop-up canopies or any other camping paraphernalia people can use to establish territory. Even with these barriers set up, be prepared to have the enemy (other campers) milling through your campsite at all times of day and night (and due to the layout of the place and sheer volume of people, this often cannot be helped). The sites themselves are generally awful, providing very little in the way of level ground and are about as private as a Walmart parking lot. You are at the mercy of your neighbors here...if you happen to get stuck next to (or anywhere in the vicinity of) a sketchy crowd of 24/7 beer swillin' country music for breakfast F-bomb spewing yahoos (and trust me, you can't throw Styrofoam cooler full of Bub Light without hitting one) be sure you bring ear plugs or you won't get much sleep. Oh and everyone, it seems, has a dog. I love dogs. What I don't like are barking dogs and the debris dogs leave behind. Dogs will be dogs though and anytime they see one of their brethren they will say hello or attempt to defend their masters 10' x 20' camping spot. Can't blame them for barking...I wanted to bark at some of the people there too.

The Lakeside cabins (don't expect to actually have access to the lake by the way) we stayed in had one advantage over the tent/RV sites - hard sided walls. While that didn't really block out the noise of trucks or people heading to the boat launch at 6:00am, it did give a psychological sense of getting away from the masses (and probably a false sense of security from the rodents seen scurrying under the cabin at night). They are lined up within 10 feet of the adjacent cabin so be prepared to get friendly with the neighbors and once again vie for territory. The floors where filthy (a tip for Sunbanks - how about providing a frigg'n broom?) and the beds had thin vinyl covered foam mattresses. We had to bring in the nasty resin table from the porch to use inside the cabin as the only place to set anything down was on top of the dust and grease topped microwave (which was on top of the mini-fridge) or on the dirt covered floor. We quickly discovered that in order to use the supplied microwave and coffee pot that we had to either put them on the floor or on the nasty resin table in order to plug them in because the cords would not reach the socket (which also required unplugging the fridge).

The Ugly: Pit toilets. Okay so pit toilets are often the only option in a lot of campgrounds, it's just a reality of camping. Here's the problem though, when you have a place packed with literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people it's gonna get nasty. I give the workers at Sunbanks credit, they try to keep the place clean. You see them constantly dumping garbage cans and (I can only assume) cleaning the bathrooms. But they are nasty just the same. They do have a bathroom with actual plumbing at the "lodge" but there are only two stalls in the Men's room and three in the Women's and it gets ugly fast. These are not places you want to linger for long and they make you want to slather your whole body in the hand sanitizer they provide. I should also note that most (if not all) of the small cabins they rent have no bathrooms or running water. First thing I did when I returned home from our stay there was take a long hot shower in an attempt to wash off any lasting memories of (and anything else from) Sunbanks resort. Oh and when walking around the property you'll get a variety of nose filling nastiness. My "favorite" was the RV dump that was right next to those pretty looking Villa's you see on their website (they ain't so pretty in person). I'd just like to say to the person who decided that would be a great spot for a RV dump..."Brilliant!!".

Overcrowding: There will be disputes among campers. It's simple fact of life. Cage too many animals in a small pen and eventually they will start turning on each other, especially if the animals have been drinking all day and night. Could be a minor dispute about too loud of music or loud partying in the wee hours of the night, or the before mentioned issues over territory. Again, most people are nice but this place attracts a large cross section of society and a big chunk of the people at Sunbanks look like the People of Walmart...just say'n.

Bugs: Bugs are another reality of camping...but they are particularly bad here. Bug spray is a MUST. I'm sure the sanitation issues don't help any.

I'm sure some people will read this review and say "He's just a camping snob" or "What a whiny anti-social wimp!"...and they possibly might be correct. I will say that while I hated the over-crowdedness of the place most people (campers and employees) where very friendly and hanging out with a group of friends drinking beer and enjoying a lake is always fun...but I can think of MUCH better places to do that. Also, for the same cost that we paid for a cabin (roughly the size of tool shed) I have stayed at much (much much!) better places...with actual beds, indoor plumbing, with no dirt on the floor and way better amenities. Sunbanks resort is a place to come if you have a large group that can literally take over a section of the campground and make it your own and as was the case with most people there, spending the entire day on the lake and simply using Sunbanks as a place to crash at night (assuming you can sleep). They have a band playing classic rock / country music on a stage in the middle of the campground and that is kinda fun (though I'm glad our spots were not near the stage or it would be hard to hold a conversation). They have a store with basic the necessities and a cafe, but we never ate there so I can't say what it was like.

Judging by the other reviews it's clear that some people love this place and others, like me, hated it. "Hate" is probably too strong of a word though, we did have some fun (because we were with friends), it simply is not what I look for in a summer time resort. In fact it's not what I look for anytime or anywhere or for any reason.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

I would recommend choosing the waterfront sites!
Take water toys, anything inflatable, or jet skis or whatever! and your fishing gear... the weather is absolutely gorgeous, water is pleasantly warm!
If hiking be aware that there might be snakes!
There was karaoke on one night (really fun, small kids sang too), concert another night, people dancing singing, fun all the way!
There's mini golf, a very limited selection store (but 5 minutes drive will take you to a real grocery store) and a so-so restaurant with pizza and the average stuff. Restaurant advice: if it's a busy night, like holyday, or Saturday, you could potentially wait for an hour... we saw lots of people sitting down and than leaving after a 15 minute wait and no sight of any servers.
We will definitely go back, and I would recommend this place.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bellevue, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

We had a great three days at the resort at Banks Lake. The staff was so accommodating, and the guys at the check-in gate were especially welcoming and friendly. Sunbanks Resort has a multitude of of services and activities, from spacious villas, to tent sites, to a fabulous dock and swimming areas, not to mention the latte stand! This would be a great place for families with kids of all ages, as well as just a group of friends!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Woodinville, Washington
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

I do not know where to start with this place... My first concern was Wifi- which they had! They also have showers and a lovely little supply store with ice cream for when it got hot. My second favorite thing is the opportunities for exploring. I went hiking onto the surrounding hills and I recommend this for anyone who goes because at the top of the hills you can look down at the resort and the view is breath-taking. You'll also find a lot of golf balls there from the mini golf course... We went water skiing and the water was perfect. We also explored this cave on the side of the lake that wasn't really a cave haha and we went fishing. There is a grocery store right outside the resort where you can get all your munchies and the villa's seem either very new or very well cared for because there were no gross surprises under the sink or anything. The only bad side I'd say is that you have to get up early to use the showers if your camping because a line will form.

Room Tip: The villas are totally worth it if your into luxury and comfort. (by pools I'm referring to the...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Woodinville
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2013

Thank you Sunbanks staff for making our weekend so wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed the villa's, the views are fantastic! A lot of things to do around the area - or just hang at the resort enjoying family time. We lost our keys, and the staff was so helpful looking with us and getting us in touch with a local locksmith. Weather is always nice and the water makes for a wonderful boating experience. We will have our little reunions here every year!

Room Tip: The 5 Bedroom villas are so spacious, never feel overcrowded!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marysville, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

Recently returned home from a 5 day stay in one of the Villas. We booked this vacation about a year in advance and my husband had camped here several years ago and was excited to return back. We stayed here with our 2 friends, their child, my husband and our 6 month old baby. The pictures looked quite inviting. Since we planned this vacation ahead of time with our friends we were splitting the cost in half. When it came time to pay the final amount, I called to make my payment and mentioned that the reservations were not under my name but I was paying for half. She took my payment information and immediately after, my friend who did reserve the villa received a somewhat rude phone call from them saying "So how many people exactly are staying in this villa???!" We found it rude that she would need to make a call to ask us this considering we are two couples w/ two small children and there was only two of us making the payments on the villa and what does it matter as long as you get your money anyway?
Upon arrival I was immediately disappointed in the condition of the villa. They look great from the outside but once we stepped inside the house was just very dirty! I don't expect it to be immaculate but to me, dirty floors (which blackened our feet, although the sign said to remove your shoes), dirty/stained carpet (along the floorboards there was at least a 1/2 inch of lint/dust/bugs is just not acceptable. Like I said we had our 2 year old and 6 month old and we didn't even feel comfortable with them playing on the floor. The deck was wonderful for lounging out in the sun but the BBQ grill was absolutely disgusting. It looked like it had never been cleaned, was greasy/oily to the point you didnt want to touch it or set anything on the tray connected to it. I used the broom myself to sweep off as much grease from the deck under the BBQ as I could and used baby wipes to wipe down the BBQ and it was still disgusting.
The description and checklist states that this house is stocked w/ everything you need in the kitchen. There are definitely a few kitchen items but nothing to use as far as storing food (there was 1 tiny tupperware with a lid) and the quality of the pots/pans/utensils was not great, plus our villa was missing things that are supposed to be on this checklist. We figured "oh well we can just go to the store" The store there was a mistake as well...they had barely anything and was highly overpriced. I only had one other experience renting a vacation home which was in Chelan and it was the complete opposite of this villa (was VERY clean, stocked kitchen, etc) so maybe this is just the norm, we were just not expecting it this way.
All of the staff we encountered while there were very friendly and nice. Despite these things our trip was still fun, the lake was beautiful. We just will not be returning to this resort.

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Mill Creek, WA
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We rented a 2 bedroom villa about a year ago for our stay on July 7-12th, 2013. The pictures looked amazing and made us quite excited for our trip. However, upon our arrival we were very disappointed. The villa was not clean. There was a plaque when we came in the front door asking us to remove our shoes. After unpacking all of our stuff and getting settled, we noticed that the bottoms of our feet were black from the unclean floor. The carpet looked like it has not been vacuumed, especially along the edges. We had two small children and we had to make sure they weren't sitting on the carpet or flooring. There were lots of bugs & spiders in the bedrooms and bathrooms. When checking out the kitchen we noticed a checklist that the cleaning staff had left.... it had checked off items on it that were no where to be found: such as extra paper towels, sugar, salt & pepper, spaghetti spoon. We were also quite disappointed in the cleanliness of the BBQ...Needless to say we left feeling like we needed to wash everything we brought and take a shower:(
That being said we still had fun, but we won't be returning.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sunbanks Lake Resort

Address: 57662 HWY 155N, Electric City, WA 99123
Location: United States > Washington > Electric City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Electric City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 52
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sunbanks Lake Resort is the most unique lake resort destination in Eastern Washington. Located on beautiful Banks Lake near Grand Coulee, Sunbanks has 27 miles of natural scenic beauty ideal for camping, watersports, fishing, or any type of outdoor activity. Need a place to stay? Experience the new lake view villas, the waterfront cabins, or camp in the beautiful tent sites or RV hookups. Whether it’s weekend entertainment on our waterfront stage, a day on the boat, or a quiet night in luxury, Sunbanks Lake Resort has everything you and your family needs to enjoy a perfect vacation getaway. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sunbanks Lake Hotel Electric City

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