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“Sonora” 5 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sonora Island
Vancouver
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Sonora”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

Excellent overall experience. Great staff, food and fishing. Helicopter flight in took in amazing vistas. Staff were very accommodating with regards special food requests and went the extra mile. Ensure you are on a Sonora boat for the guiding - they use charters as well.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rebecca R, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, May 29, 2014
Thank-you for taking the time to share your Sonora experience. We appreciate your kind words and look forward to welcoming you back.
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.
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159 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (35)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2013

My husband and I travelled to the Sonora Island Resort from 9/19 to 9/22 and I am going to have a very difficult time putting into words, how wonderful our trip was! We flew in from Toronto to Vancouver, and then up by Helicopter to Sonora Island. The weather was perfect and the views were spectacular, and the ride was less than an hour. Our arrival set the standard for how the weekend would be, and I have to say that it was breathtaking!! Being greeted by Sean (GM), and being led into the main lobby and given an introduction to the resort and having wine and cheese accompany the information session, was the first glimpse of how truly magical this place would be. After learning about what our weekend possibilities would be, we wandered out to the deck to watch and listen to the sea lions playing in the ocean and feel the warmth of the sun in the most picturesque of places. It's indescribable. While being fortunate enough to experience the resort, we were exceptionally pleased with the layout of the Presidential Suite and the details in every corner of our room. It truly set things up to be magical and almost slowed down life for 4 days. While at the resort, we took part in a fishing tour, which could have had better weather, but even though it was foggy, our guide was amazing and the experience is one that I would do over and over again. The Saturday found us back in a helicopter to do a glacial tour, and I cannot express how ABSOLUTELY COOL this was!!!! The scenery was literally like you were on your way to heaven and indescribable (again) with how the scenery was like no other. We travelled to an altitude of 55,000 feet and saw an incredible infinity pool, and flew in and around caves that I will probably never experience again in this lifetime. My pictures and videos are amazing but simply not justice to the reality of experiencing it first hand. If you go, it is an absolute MUST DO! We were going to land on the glacier and have a champagne lunch but it was too uncertain with the fog, so we travelled down and had a lunch in an equally pristine location, so nothing was lost during the tour. My next detail would be the food - there is not enough time or space to even begin to describe the calibre and finesse of the meals presented to us and the servers who waited on us. Every single item on the menu was to die for, and each day was a struggle to try something new as the last meal you had was like no meal you ever had before! My absolute favourite was the 64 degree egg. I fell in love with Terry Pichor's exquisite talents in the kitchen and craved his menus for weeks after our departure!!!! Every detail was handled like it was the most important and you felt like you were royalty with the presentation of every item whether it was breakfast, lunch or dinner!!!
The Island Currents Spa was so peaceful and the staff were amazing - AGAIN!!! I loved the mineral pools, the tranquility of being able to relax poolside after you complete the cycle and soak in the beauty of the ocean, the trees and the birds flying overhead. Magical, peaceful and literally felt like you were one with this place.
I honestly feel like my review does not give justice to the spell this resort puts you under and I would encourage anyone to try and visit this place once in their lifetime. If you are lucky enough to plan a wedding or honeymoon here, then even better!!!!

Room Tip: I cannot imagine a bad location at this resort, but a room further away from the main building would...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, November 19, 2013
Thank-you for taking the time to share your experience at Sonora Resort! We always appreciate the feedback and look forward to having you back as our guests in the future.
Until then, happy travels!
The Sonora Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

This place is a real find – whether you want to be very active with outdoor activities or just want to get away from it all. We did the latter and just enjoyed the food, the natural water show (with eagles, sea lions and seals “performing” and water running like a river) that occurred on a daily basis in front of the main restaurant, and lots of hiking. We stayed in the Arbutus Lodge and it was quite comfortable. The room had a very large picture window that looked out onto the water and a decent sized bathroom that was modern and well equipped. We learned that this was one of the newest lodges and not all the lodges are similarly designed (especially regarding the size of the bathroom so definitely ask questions about the room you are booking). None of the rooms in the lodge had a patio or balcony, but there were a number of public patio spaces with hot tubs on each floor and there was also a large common area in the building. The room fridge was equipped with a variety of drinks (including wine and alcohol) and that’s all included in the room price which is a nice touch. It was a few minutes to walk from the room to the main restaurant, but it was a quick and easy walk. (Some lodges are closer to the restaurant if walking is a concern). Also, the lodge was next to the conservatory which was a great place to find a spot to sit and read.

The main lodge included the restaurant (note there isn’t room service) and it had a lot of outdoor seating – which was a great location to not only dine but also to read or watch the water show. The food was very tasty (above average for a restaurant generally and a lot above average given the remoteness of this spot) and the chef’s menu at dinner is definitely a special treat that's worth the try. One flag though is that lunch is a set menu that doesn’t change all that much – except they occasionally add specials. (One minor suggestion I would have is that they offer specials regularly). It was also easy to sit outside for dinner as the heaters and the provided blankets easily addressed any chill in the air that surfaced in the evening. Note, try to make your reservations for dinner as soon as possible as there’s a natural flow to the day (out in early the a.m. for activities, come back and hit the spa, so certain seating times are definitely in high demand).

The spa/workout room is small but well designed. There were a few of each machine but it was never crowded; and it’s equipped with drinks, towels, TVs, etc. The resort is also well wired and Internet access is readily available if you can’t get yourself to unplug.

The real highlight of the resort is the staff. They definitely hire for personality – everyone is quite friendly and accommodating; service is definitely a top priority here. There are also several dogs on the property and they are more than happy to join you on a hike if you’re interested in taking them, so just ask.

One last note, getting trip insurance is recommended. If there is stormy weather, sea plane access to the resort can be impeded. (Although the staff noted that flying in by helicopter was less likely to be disrupted by the weather).

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SonoraResortCanada, Manager at Sonora Resort, responded to this review, November 19, 2013
Thank-you for taking the time to share your experience at Sonora. We always appreciate the feedback and look forward to having you back as our guests in the future.
Until then, happy travels!
The Sonora Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewiston
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

My husband and I were at the wonderful sonora resort from 9/16 to 9/20. We arrived from seattle on a Kenmore air seaplane with pilot Dan. Wonderful people wonderful experience.

Upon arrival at beautiful Sonora resort we landed smoothly and were met by truly wonderful people. We went indoors for some cheese and wine and a fireplace and got an introduction from Donna and then had a wonderful lunch before being taken to our room with a balcony, fireplace and large tub.

I was astonished that all I could hear were the sea lion communicating and exhaling. No cars no horns no one bumping into you! Just peace, quiet and the cleanest air and most beautiful scenery I have ever seen, and I have done quite a bit of traveling. It is like a unspoiled Adirondacks or thousands islands on steroids. Everywhere you look it is unspoiled nature.

The FOOD! Well, it would take me days to tell you how truly delicious it was. I am still craving a great cup of coffee and ricotta pancakes with carmelized mbananas and bourbon butter served to us by Michael! Every meal was beautiful, delicious creative without being too adventurous to give it a try. I enjoy cooking and eating really good food and I found EVERY meal to be five stars. Congrats to chef Terry and his team.

The staff is well trained, delivering perfect service while knowing your name and remembering your preferences. We did not have one person at any point in our stay who was not happy, friendly,impeccably dressed, and made you feel truly at home.

I don't like to single people out but a few people went out of their way to get acquainted with us and make us feel even more special, Lia, Michael, Ben, Steve, Donna And a huge hats off to Sean the general manager for his kindness, attention to detail and keeping a staff as attentive and professional and friendly as he does.

We did the Eco tour twice and saw lots of beautiful white sided dolphins, lots of seals and sea lions, bald eagles, local history and a logging expedition, the real deal. The grizzly bear trip was GREAT. We saw seven, they are huge and I understand can run very fast. This is not a zoo it is the real deal. Ben was great, I never felt in danger because of how careful he was with our safety. On our way back we spent a wonderful time surrounded by dolphins and then stopped and watched a black bear on a mountain, right there in front of the boat!

We also met a couple who will always be in our heart and hope to see them again, hopefully at sonora. Mitch & Jill.


Upon leaving the entire dining room staff came and gave us hugs and handshakes! At this point both Jill and I were crying since everyone was just so great.

I miss you all thank you for a most extraordinary holiday!

Mary Alice & Ross Eckert
Lewiston, NY

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 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 for taking the time to share your Sonora experience. We are so glad you enjoyed your time with us, and we hope to see you back at the resort again soon! Happy travels!

Sincerely,
The Sonora Resort Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crowborough, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
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.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 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
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 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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Additional Information about Sonora Resort

Address: Sonora Island, British Columbia V7B 1W4, Canada
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*
Number of rooms: 88
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sonora Hotel Sonora Island
Sonora Island Hotel
Sonora Island Resort

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