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A Taste of the Pacific Northwest at Sonora Resort

Par Sarah Israel/

Great Taste of Canada

Sonora Island is a place like no other. First, there’s getting there: this forest sanctuary is tucked away in the Discovery Island archipelago along the rugged west coast of British Columbia and can only be accessed by sea or air. Upon arrival, you might expect to find basic accommodations and dining options – it is a remote lodge in the middle of the forest, after all!

But you’d be surprised. As a member of the Relais & Châteaux family, Sonora Resort is part of an exclusive collection of luxury hotels and gourmet restaurants in 66 countries worldwide. Open annually from May to October, Sonora Resort offers unparalleled hospitality that changes with the seasons to continually surprise and delight guests.

Today, we’re diving into Sonora Resort’s dining options to discover how their culinary team offers a taste of the Pacific Northwest in this unique location.

Sonora Resort Exec Chef Justine Smith
Sonora Resort's Executive Chef, Justine Smith, has been in the role since 2020.

The Executive Chef: Justine Smith

After a long career in the culinary world, Justine Smith took the helm as Executive Chef at Sonora Resort in 2020. Her cooking style and philosophy reflects the bounty of British Columbia – using whole products, showcasing natural flavours, and taking advantage of diverse West Coast ingredients. 


We have so much to explore in our own backyard, and I’m excited to showcase local ingredients through preserving, fermenting, and creating, while paying tribute to true flavours of each ingredient. In addition, shining a light on the diversity of the culinary world through different techniques, recipes, and ideas.

— Executive Chef Justine Smith

When Justine is not in the kitchen, she can be found in one of the gardens at Sonora or foraging for wildflowers and herbs.

Sonora Resort Dining Crab Legs
Sonora Resort's menu showcases the local beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

The Philosophy: Showcasing the Local Bounty

Sonora’s sustainable menus change with the seasons to reflect summer, spring, and fall harvests. The culinary team works closely with local fishers and farmers to source fresh, high-quality ingredients, and no meal is ever the same.

On the plate, the goal is to take guests on a journey and create memories that are as exciting and wild as the surroundings. The food presentation is modern and refined while keeping the overall fine dining experience relaxed and approachable. 

Past menus have included local seafood, including steelhead trout from nearby Lois Lake, albacore tuna caught just off the BC coast, and whole Dungeness crab served with all the trimmings. Every menu brims with seasonal and heirloom vegetables and greens of all kinds, and even the humble dandelion makes its way into dishes from time to time. 

Sonora Resort Patio Meal with Couple
Sonora Resort offers immersive dining in the spring, summer, and fall.

The Experience: Immersive Dining in the Pacific Northwest

The Sonora dining room is perched over the swirling Yuculta Rapids, where diners might spot bald eagles, harbour seals, Steller sea lions and other large marine mammals frolicking in the icy, nutrient-rich waters.

For lunch, guests are invited to choose from a refined twist on the local fare or a chef’s picnic lunch if they are adventuring away from the resort. The four-course dinner menu rotates daily and is accompanied by wine selected from Sonora’s award-winning collection of over 1,500 bottles.

Sonora Resort Patio Meal with Wine
The Sonora Resort wine cellar houses over 1,500 bottles!

Getting There by Sea or Air

The most convenient and scenic way to travel to Sonora Resort is an approximately 50-minute helicopter or seaplane flight from Vancouver that delivers guests directly to the resort landing pad. Water taxi options from Campbell River are also available.

Sonora Resort is open seasonally from May to October. To learn more or to book your stay, visit the Sonora Resort website or follow Sonora Resort on Instagram.