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“A comfortable and all action resort in a great location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sonora Resort

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Sonora Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   Sonora Island, British Columbia V7B 1W4, Canada   |  
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Outdoor Archery
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Sonora Island
Crowborough, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“A comfortable and all action resort in a great location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

We stayed at the Sonora resort for 2 days in September. We arrived by water taxi from Campbell River which was 75 minutes of stunning scenery. We were met by a ‘welcoming committee ‘ on the quay and taken to the lounge for light refreshments. At this point, before access to our rooms, we were given a ½ hour run down on the various activities available. (you need to be prepared for this as it is easy to spend a lot of money in this ½ hr). Float plane and helicopter transfers are also available.
We stayed in Arbutus Lodge, which had a great view over the quay and surrounding water and islands. The room was adequate, but maybe a little functional when compared with other 5 star rooms. Adjacent to our room there was a hot tub and smoking space with fire place.
The venue is all inclusive which worked well, as nothing was overlooked, a very well stocked room fridge and even international telephone calls and a packed lunch on our departure (without asking). Some wines and spirits if selected outside of the lists were chargeable. The activities can be expensive. We paid 600 dollars for a mornings Salmon fishing. But we did catch, and during our visit a 37lb Salmon was landed. But timing is everything if Salmon fishing is on your list as much of what is caught in September are Coho which cannot be taken. If your stay is short, pre booking fishing trips seems advisable.
The ‘blind channel’ trip on a zodiac was amazing. Our guide knew the area extremely well. He managed to find us Orca’s, many performing Dolphins plus some wonderful bird life. Seals and sea lions lounge about around the quay.
All in all we had a wonderful time at Sonora. The food and service were excellent, and the location was breath taking. The gardens were beautifully laid out and there were many indoor activities for wet weather.
We would certainly go back and based upon our experience 3 days is the minimum stay to take full advantage of what is on offer.

Room Tip: 3 days stay to get the best out of the resort
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, September 30, 2013
Thank-you very much for taking the time to write about your stay with us. We are so pleased you enjoyed your trip, and we hope to have you back as our guests again soon!
Sincerely,
The Sonora Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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123 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013 via mobile

I just got back from a three day adventure to Sonora Resort. This was my sixth trip to this very unique part of the world, and I can't wait until I can go again.

A couple of tips if you go,

a) engage the staff, they are very well trained and very fun.
b) choose your fishing guide wisely, get one of the most experienced guides, the old timers work together to find the fish, have really fun stories, and will get the fish in the boat. Ask for Cam McDonald you can't go wrong and he has XM radio.
c) go Grizzly watching, there is no thing like it. Ask the Lodge for thier loaner camera and zoom right in on the bears.
d) on the helicopter back sit on the Left side for the more interesting views.

Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank-you so much for taking the time to share your Sonora experience and for giving future guests some Sonora travel tips. We look forward to having you back as our guest!

Safe and happy travels!
The Sonora Resort Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crawley, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

We visited Sonora in October 2012 for my 60th birthday primarily for the grizzly bear viewing. Whilst the scenery, service, food & accommodation are exceptional, unfortunately the bear viewing programme was poor. The "guide" was as far as I could ascertain the young man who drove the boat and spent the whole 2 hours in the stands chatting with other staff about their plans for the winter. He would occassionally look up and say something along the lines of "there is a bear coming out of those bushes". I learnt nothing about grizzly bears. Disappointing doesn't begin to describe it. On the other hand the guide for the eco-tour was enthusiastic, knowledgeable and led an excellent excursion. I would summarize by saying that if you would like to widen your knowledge about grizzlies this is not the place for you

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, General Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thanks very much for your comments regarding your experience on a bear tour with us in October 2012. We were very disappointed to learn of the problems you encountered on the bear tour and we have addressed the matter with our boat operators that transport guests to and from the Orford River where the bear viewing takes place. We partner with the First Nations people on whose traditional lands the bear viewing takes place and ordinarily it is their guides that accompany our guests and provide the information about the bears. We’re puzzled as to why this was not the case on the occasion of your tour and unfortunately, given the time that has passed since the tour, we have had a difficult time getting to the bottom of the problem. Notwithstanding, along with our apologies, we trust you will accept our assurances that this regrettable situation was most certainly not in keeping with the high standards of service we endeavour to provide to all of our guests across all aspects of our operation. We also hope we have the opportunity of welcoming you back to Sonora on a future occasion, although under entirely favourable circumstances.

Best regards

Sean Ross
General Manager
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Sydney, Australia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

My family and I are still currently at Sonora waiting to leave after five wonderful days but we couldn't wait any longer to post a review. It is what you imagine it to be and more. A pristine wilderness setting with the added bonus of a 5 star luxury resort. From the fishing to hiking, bear watching, to kayaking it is very hard to want for more. Seeing the orcas was incredible. The helicopter from Vancouver is a wonderful way to start the holiday and the service from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave is world class. It really has been a superb stay. Can't wait to return.

Room Tip: Rooms near the pool have a wonderful view and are close to all facilities
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank-you so much for taking the time to share your Sonora experience! We are so pleased you have enjoyed your recent stay with us, and we look forward to having you back as our guests.
Safe and happy travels!
The Sonora Resort Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dix Hills, NY
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

This place is the wilderness at its finest! We are still here right now, but I could not wait to review it. We came here with multiple families to celebrate a friends 50 th birthday. I really didn't know how much I would enjoy a wilderness adventure. After arriving in Vancouver, you can only get to Sonora by helicopter or seaplane. That alone was great. The complex is gorgeous! The staff can not not do enough for you from the moment you arrive. We had a group of 15 of us in our party. The rooms were beautiful and the kids had there own rooms. It's hard to begin. We started the first morning with salmon fishing. We caught 3, and they resort works with a service that will have the fish smoked, filleted and shipped home for you. Some of the fish we had prepared by the chef for sashimi that evening! In the afternoon we went out by boat to see the Orcas that were spotted nearby. Words can not expressed what we experienced. We drifted in our large zodiac boat with out amazing guide Aaron and a large male Orca surfaced about 10 feet from our boat, yes 10 feet! Ok, maybe 5 feet. The photos and video are incredible. We went on another tour and stood and photographed a female grizzly bear and her 2 cubs from about 30 feet across a stream! It was incredible. The hiking was also amazing. Eagles, sea lions, seals, deer you name it!

The food was very good and our server Michael Hood was awesome. He was such a great young man all wanted to adopt him! I could go on for hours about this place. Gift shop items were pricey but high end. Tomorrow morning we are going rafting and snorkeling with salmon.

This is one special place.

Room Tip: I can only comment of Gillard lodge which is gorgeous
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, September 16, 2013
Thank-you so much for sharing your Sonora experience. We are so pleased you have enjoyed your stay with us, and we hope to have you back as our guests again soon.
Safe and happy travels!
The Sonora Resort Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

After a great stay three years ago, we made a second trip with some degree of apprehension that the experience would not live up to the fond memories of our prior stay. We're happy to report that the resort, in terms of the accommodations, services, dining, available activities is still awesome. In both this trip and three years ago, we subsequent stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, a nice hotel in its own right, but was made to feel anticlimatic after the incredible experience at Sonora. When we arrange our next visit, it might be best to reverse the order of the stays.

The best part of this visit was when our daughter, now strong enough to reel in a fish, caught a pink salmon (a big thank you to Mike Sear for guiding us!) We ate a little piece on the dock; freshest and best tasting sashimi we've ever had. Terry Pichor, the extremely talented Executive Chef, cooked the rest of it for us for lunch. Amazing.

Sonora Resort is, by far, the best lodging experience we've ever had...anywhere. If it were possible, it deserves a six circle rating.

Room Tip: We've enjoyed rooms in the Arbutus and Gillard Lodges.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Thank-you for taking the time to share your Sonora experience! We are so glad you enjoyed your second stay with us, and that your youngest angler caught a delicious salmon. We look forward to having you back again soon. Safe travels!
Sincerely,
The Sonora Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile

We spent four days at Sonora on a quasi business retreat with two other couples and every second was beyond outstanding. The food was mouth watering, the accomodations first rate and the attention to detail by the enthusiastic staff was tireless. Seeing sea lions, eagles and dolphins in their natural habitat was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm already trying to figure a way to come back

Stayed August 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, August 26, 2013
Thank-you for taking the time to share your Sonora experience! We are so glad you enjoyed your retreat with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back soon!
Sincerely,
The Sonora Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Sonora Resort

Address: Sonora Island, British Columbia V7B 1W4, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Sonora Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Sonora Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Sonora Resort 5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sonora Hotel Sonora Island
Sonora Island Hotel
Sonora Island Resort

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