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“Out of this world- best resort ever!” 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
Cardiff, UK
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Out of this world- best resort ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2009

My husband and I stayed at Sonora for 3 nights of our honeymoon. Our only regret was we didn't stay for longer, this place is absolutely suberb. When we booked we were concerned about the price, but it turned out to be worth every penny. From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave you are treated like part of the family, the staff here are exceptional and nothing is too much trouble for them, at the same time they are all so friendly and you could happily chat away to any of them. The resort itself is in the best setting, I could have happily sat in our room overlooking the water watching the seals and eagles for hours. I don't think I have ever seen anywhere so stunning in all of my life. The food was amazing, it was fine dining in the evenings we had the tasting menu every night which was consistently excellent (although you could have a la carte if that was your prference). My husband and I are real foodies (we got married at Le Manoir) and this was the real deal and boy do they feed you! Breakfast was a choice of cooked or /and cold buffet, at lunch you could go for three courses (generally we didn't as we saved ourselves for dinner although I can recommend the Sonora burger!). We were also lucky enough to be there when local legend, chef Umberto Menghi was staying and he cooked one night, which was a fabulous added bonus (and we can heartily recommend his restaurant in Vancouver). That being said the resident chef, Matthew is also premier league, his arctic char was a particular favourite of mine.
During our stay, (when we could tear ourselves away from the restaurant!) we went on a two hour ecotour. It was just us and our tour guide Aaron who was excellent and so knowledgable about the area, we got to see eagles, seals and dol porpoise up close but also see lots of areas of interests. The water itself and the rapids were something by themselves!
A lot of people go to sonora for the fishing, we didn't try this but had some very good reports from other guests.
The weather for us was mixed, one day was very rainy but there was so much to do in the games room and on the tennis court we didn't find this a problem, in fact it made for some wonderful photo opportunities. I was also going to try the spa, as it looked fantastic but didn't have time in the end which was a shame.
Our room was the highest quality with the most comfy bed and the turn down service every night was a nice touch. It had a complimentary bar which was fully stocked with proper sized bottle of wine and spirits- we didn't really use it a lot as the drinks in the bar were mostly complimentary (try the cocktails!) but were told that it would be restocked each day. There was also a phone in the room on which you could make complimentary calls (including international!).
For us, Sonora was the perfect honeymoon destination. There is absolutely no negatives, this place is the lap of luxury in the most beautiful setting. We will be back!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2009

There are many wonderful places in this world that have their own unique appeal. You will find it hard to beat this resort. At Sonora they have found a fantastic location and made it perfect by employing only the best staff. They are truly happy to meet you, personable and extremely knowledgeable. Even the boat ride to the resort was memorable, great scenery and a few killer whales to great us. At the resort we watched dolphins swimming by, seals hanging out and 100's of bald eagles. Too much to see in such a short time, we will be back.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Marlborough, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
189 reviews 189 reviews
56 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
126 helpful votes 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2009

My wife and I did not know what to expect from our first ever reservation at a wilderness resort. Sheer luxury, levels of service and personal attention we have never known in any hotel, cuisine worthy of international recognition, and a location beyond compare - this is what we found. The hotel is transforming from a conference/business hotel into an upmarket personal holiday resort and is making a fine job of doing it. Adding Relais & Chateaux to the credentials helps manage expectations which are truly exceeded. Nothing is too much trouble, the optional activities are extraordinary,the food is exceptional (try the tasting menus!!) and the bedrooms luxurious. The location helps and the widlife on the doorstep (bears, dolphins, eagles and more) make this an experience to savour.. If a few days of pampering is what you are looking for, you will struggle to beat this !

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2009

Imagine a grizzly bear tour in the morning and an indulgent spa in the afternoon! Nothing short of magnificent - service, food, rooms and an array of nature outings that will amaze you. This should get 6 starts, not merely 5!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Edmonton, Canada
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
164 helpful votes 164 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2008

Back for the 3rd time, and it's still the best. As they say, it's hard to improve upon perfection.

The food, the staff, the accommodations, the fishing guides, etc. still the best you'll find anywhere on the planet.

I didn't get any treatments at the spa, but members of our group who did all said it was top-notch.

Part of our group went for a tour of the 11,000 sq foot home that you can rent for $8,000 per night. Unbelievable!

I can't wait to go back...

  • Liked — Totally luxurious. First class attention to detail.
  • Disliked — Having to leave there....
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2008

I am amazed that there are so few reviews of this incredible place, but I shouldn't complain. Perhaps that is why it appears that this is one of the NorthWest's best kept lodging secrets? Or maybe it's because the previous postings have so eloquently stated all that is wonderful about this property. But, at the risk of repeating what others have said, or inducing flocks of tourists to suddenly take a dip into what may be left of their retirement funds on a long weekend at Sonora, I couldn't resist telling everyone how great our weekend there was.

We chose Sonora to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary, and when we made our reservations with the resort, they inquired if we were celebrating a special occasion. I was glad I told them. More on that later.

We took the Kenmore Air seaplane from Seattle, which in and of itself is a great experience for folks who don't mind small planes. Seaplanes are noisy, so they provide foam earplugs, which helps. Our flight altitude never exceeded 4,000 ft, so the scenery was spectacular--mostly. Highlights were not one but two submarines that had surfaced and were heading into their base, some great close ups of waterfalls, and various stops in remote bays to pick up/drop off other passengers. Lowlight: all the MASSIVE clear cutting that is painfully visible practically everywhere you look. Sad. Travel time was around 3 hrs, including stops in Nanaimo to clear customs, and 1 or 2 other stops. But plenty of leg room, so given a choice between 3 hrs on a seaplane and 3 hrs on a crowded Alaska Airlines flight, no contest. Flights were around $500 per person, round trip, left Seattle out of Kenmore Air's base on Lake Washington at 9am, and we were at the resort by lunch time.

The seaplane lands right at the boat dock of the resort, and we were greeted by Donna, the concierge, who already knew our names, wished us happy anniversary, and led us into the main lodge to show us around, do a quick check in at a table (no impersonal hotel check in counter), while we were served drinks of our choosing. Oh yes, we had paid in advance, and when they say "all inclusive", they're not kidding. Drinks of any type, any time. Our bags had been taken directly to our room from the seaplane/boat dock, so after our drinks and check in briefing, Donna showed us to our room.

Great rooms. Not huge, but the view was spectacular. Seals, eagles, snow-capped mountains, all easily viewed with the binoculars left for our use in our room. We were on the top floor of Arbutus, and down the hall, there was a hot tub on the deck with lounge chairs, outdoor post-tub shower area, and fridge for drinks. The room bedding was deluxe, and the bed itself was very comfy. Among the best we've stayed in, and that's saying alot. Plus bathrobes, complimentary Sonora baseball hats, great shampoo and other products, and oh yeah, let's not forget the bathroom. While it may be missing the view, that's about all it's missing. Huge tub, great shower, nice sink design, super plush towels, just a perfect hotel bathroom. And let's not forget the mini-bar. Fully loaded with ANYTHING you migh want to drink, alcoholic or otherwise, plus something for anyone with the munchies. Again, all included. i could have a diet coke and not fear a $5 charge on the bill. And a freshly cut flower arrangement was delivered to our room (from the beautiful landscaping on the property) in honor of our anniversary. Very thoughtful.

While this place is obviously a haven for fishermen types, it is actually even more desirable for those of us who want to relax but also want a few choices for activities. I think we sampled just about everything Sonora had to offer. We did the Eco-Tour with Aaron, which was fantastic and first class. They provide flotation devices in the form of insulated coats, which were definitely needed even on a 70deg sunny day. Each passenger had their own set of binoculars and headphones to enable us to see and hear all that Aaron had to point out. We hoped to see bears, though we knew it was a long shot. Maybe next time. We saw lots of eagles, seals and sea lions, other birds, great tidal features in the waters, etc...., a great thing to do.

The tennis court is well maintained, inside a bubble, and Sonora provides decent tennis racquets and balls. While we played, Donna even popped her head in and asked if we needed water or towels or anything. Just another example of how great the staff is here.

We played on the putting green (putters provided for lefties and righties), golf simulator, DVD/movie theater, pool table, etc.... Great movie theater, with an extensive DVD selection. We also went for a long hike (longer than expected, but that's a story for another day), and the gift shop gave us bear bells to wear (and keep) at no extra charge. They also requested that we check back with them upon our return, which is a nice personal touch. We sampled the spa, including the mineral pool, freezing plunge pool, and hot tub, all outdoors in a beautiful setting. The spa building is first class, the massage was great, the exercise room looked great (even after all we ate that weekend, the exercise room is the one thing we stayed away from!), and once again the staff went out of their way to be helpful, offering beverages, towels or anything that might have been needed. The resort had only been open for the season for a few weeks, so the steam room and sauna didn't seem to be working yet, but otherwise, everything in the spa, including the locker facilities and relaxation room upstairs, were perfect.

The staff at Sonora were, without exception, part of what made our weekend so special. That, plus the food and scenery, made us feel like everyone cared about whether or not we enjoyed our stay. Considering we were in a pretty remote place, the food was fantastic. But the food would have been fantastic even if judged by Seattle standards. The servers and resort staff all became familiar to us after 3 days, and they all went out of their way to look after us, especially Lance. The 6 course tasting menu for dinner was great, and the chef was able to adapt it to our dietary requirements as needed. For our anniversary dinner, they even made us a nice little special dessert . By the end of our stay, we knew most of the staff by name, and they knew us. Yet it was not "intrusive" in any way. Our weekend had probably 25 guests, and the resort can handle 80-100 comfortably, but the high season no doubt gets busier and the staff probably gets spread a little thinner.

We can't wait to return in September for Grizzly Bear sighting season, and another wonderful weekend at Sonora before they close for the season. It's a great place to do nothing or everything.

  • Liked — views, food, staff, isolated location
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hermosa Beach
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2006

I found an advertisement for this property while sitting in a hotel room in Phoenix. The pictures that were provided in the book could not replicate the beauty of this place. We drove from Victoria up to Campbell River where we were met by the resort boat. It was great, the fridge was stocked with water, soda and beer. We just sat back and took in the amazing scenary for about an hour. We arrived at the dock and were greeted by the very friendly staff just in time for evening appetizers out on the patio. If you like food, which I do, then you have come to the food mecca of the world. The appetizers are served nightly with your choice of beverages. The staff is there to assist you at all times. It is nice since food and drink are included in the price. As the days went by, I could not wait for the next meal. Each day the food just got better and better. When were at the resort all of the courses sample menus, but it was more than enough food because of all of the appetizers.

Our room was the most amazing. My girlfriend, was in heaven as soon as we walked in the door. I think it was room 16 it was right on the corner of the pool looking upstream. One word magical. We did not do anything at the resort, but the time flew by I think that we spend most of our time just looking out the window at the scenary, and could not wait to hear about the fishing tales from the ones who got away. If you have ever wanted to fly -fish the resort has a fulled stocked pond where you can practice your casting skills and there is a guide to help you with perfecting the perfect cast. At night after dinner you can hang out at the bar, shoot pool, play virtual golf and or watch a DVD in their home theater.

If you need to get away from it all and want to relax, Sonora Island is the place for you. Did I mention the food, sorry I just had a flashback.

Stayed July 2005
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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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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