Previous month:
May 2009
Next month:
July 2009

British Columbia's Sonora Resort

The Sonora Resort, located on the named island in British Columbia, Canada is a unique property because the luxury traveler will experience the great outdoors; coupled with the comforts of a lavish hotel. The property offers a deluxe experience including first class accommodations, wilderness activities like fishing and a spa / wellness center. A 50 minutes seaplane or helicopter ride from Vancouver International Airport or a boat ride from Campbell River lands you in the paradox of luxury and wilderness. Resort Website.

The all inclusive resort includes fist class helicopter or aqua transportation to and from activities such as golf courses, ski adventures, glacier tours and hiking within a 100 mile radius. Expert fishing guides host salmon and fly fishing adventures and eco-tours include whale watching and grizzly bear tours. On the Sonora's property, guests may enjoy the peaceful surroundings, play tennis or use the golf simulator to pay virtual golf games at 33 top rated courses. This is the perfect Canada venue for outdoor activities surrounded by lush accommodations.

Island Currents, the spa which exudes serenity and out door beauty, has a menu of world class services. Indoor and outdoor mineral pools, yoga classes and the fitness center are state of the art with views of the forest or ocean. The massage rooms are light and airy, with doors opening to the woods. And the swimming pool and outdoor mineral bath over looks the sapphire ocean.

The remote British Columbia draws those guest seeking privacy and a retreat from city life. VIPs can book the four bedroom retreat with its own office space, executive kitchen and theater. Many luxury travelers make use of this space for a temporary residence while loving the views, grand piano and stone fireplace. Larger groups will find satisfaction with the meeting space and selection of team building activities. Photos provided by the resort, copyright Darren Bernaerdt.

A Vancouver resident commented that the visit to the Sonora Resort was the trip of a lifetime. "In all my travels I've never encountered a better service anywhere. Your staff made me feel like an old friend. They catered to my every whim even before I realized that I had any whims at all! Sonora's glorious setting, perfect room, exceptional food and outstanding mix of activities made this a vacation of a lifetime. I never imagined an awe inspiring Grizzly tour and a luxuriously relaxing massage all in one day, let alone at one resort. Now that's amazing; but that's Sonora!"

Terranea Resort - Los Angeles and Southern California's Newest Resort

Is the newly opened Terranea Resort poised on the Palos Verdes Peninsula the only luxury resort destination to grace the Los Angeles coast? YES! The dramatic setting with 270-degree panoramic ocean views; coupled with the impressive selection of resort activities makes the Terranea Resort one of a kind.


Terranea Resort Entrance

A pineapple crowned fountain welcomes visitors to the luxury resort destination that cares deeply for its environment, embraces its natural shoreline setting and promises to deliver a distinctive, classic California lifestyle experience. Terranea Resort (derived from the word Mediterranean pronounced Terr-a-NAY-a) opened its doors just a short two weeks ago and with the exception of some newly planted landscaping; the resort review looks and operates like it's been nestled on the Palos Verdes Peninsula for years.
Terranea Resort of Bluff Overlooking Pacific Ocean

The destination resort captures exquisite Mediterranean decor with the ocean as the background in every picture and the abundant list of services will keep guests entertained and involved or opt for a host of California laid back activities. A walk through the resort reveals a spectacular, well appointed property that services exclusive get-a-ways, special events and family fun.


Location: 100 Terranea Way Drive - or - 6610 Palos Verdes S. Dr / Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 Contact: phone (310) 265-2800 - fax (310) 265-2700 - web


View of Terranea Main Pool from Window

The grandeur of the 120 acre property is not obvious as one drives up to the entrance and looks through the main lobby directly to the sapphire ocean. At first glance, guests will feel like they have arrived at a secluded villa; but after a few short steps through the lavish lobby, views are exposed of the tiered buildings accommodating 400 spacious hotel rooms, suites and bungalows, 50 private casitas and 32 private villas, 135,000 square feet of meeting space, a world class spa and seven dining options.


Guest Room Balcony

Architects and designers worked hard to incorporate the natural beauty of the land and magic of the ocean in all elements of the resort. Restaurants and public spaces embrace ocean views, walkways and paths include indigenous plants and mature trees and the two mile Discovery Trail at the perimeter of the property is open to the public, pet friendly and has benches and a snack bar for non-guests.


Terranea Guest Room

Terranea Resort offers up the California lifestyle that includes relaxing on the terrace next to a warm fire place or sitting in the well appointed living room having organic cocktails. Each evening at sunset, the sound of ringing crystal bowls signifies the end of day; an ancient ritual known for healing and relaxation.


Terranea Spa Area

A sanctuary and retreat, The Spa at Terranea is a 50,000-square-foot, state-of-the art oasis; offering customized wellness treatments. The Spa offers treatments responding to nature's bio-rhythms. In mornings, treatments and activities are brisk and invigorating while in the afternoon, guests indulge in calming and relaxing options.


Terranea Spa Pool

The Resorts Spa pool has comfortable lounge chairs and is decorated with tall terracotta pots, capturing the sense of a private Mediterranean ocean villa.


Terranea Adult Pool

Adults will enjoy the sanctuary of the over 18 pool, adjacent to the ocean and surrounded by a glass wall to protect sun bathers from the wind. Funky tangerine chairs surround the rectangular pool and the cushioned lounge chairs are set on a bed of soft sand, overlooking the ocean. The snack bar serves the guests at the pool so one never has the leave the luxury of this contemporary landing.


For family fun, the property has a large swimming pool with a water slide and an interactive fountain. To the south of the property and down the discovery trial, is a secluded cove offering up lounge chairs and umbrellas on an imported sandy area with kayaking, snorkel and scuba available.


The resort staff is proud of the Children's Center, a kid program and offering innovative activities such as a chance to create their own Rock Band, re-create their favorite movie scene or participate in a snap and shoot photo scavenger hunt. The Tide Pool Adventure Camps take kids on a journey though Terranea's history using creative activities, microscopes and science experiments.


It should be noted that the resort does not have a "sandy" beach. Access to the ocean is from the rocky shoreline of the cove. Entering the water could be very risky during high surf. No life guard is on duty.


Seven restaurants populate the Terranea property and the fine dining Mar'sel restaurant is a destination in and of itself. It serves fine modern California cuisine using fresh herbs and product grown on the property with plush seating indoors and dining al fresco available.


The Catalina Kitchen offers up good food at any time, located in the center of the property near the family pool. The Terrace Sea Bean coffee boutique has a selection of snacks.


Nelson's Sea Hunt / Lloyd Bridges Themed Restaurant at Terranea Nelson's Restaurant at Terranea

For a causal beach vibe dining experience, Nelson's sits overlooking the water and is themed after the Lloyd Bridges character from the late 1950's TV series Sea Hunt. In an earlier day episodes of Sea Hunt were shot here when the property was a marine park. Terranea Resort guests and LA locals enjoy a simple bar menu that includes shrimp tacos and fish & chips, while peering through the patio glass partition at the large fire pit surrounded by plush chairs.


On the other side of the patio is the Discovery Trail where visitors are welcome with their canine companions and can take a break, enjoy the view and order up a sunset cocktail.


Terranea Resort Entrance

Catalina Point is the place to have a perfect wedding. The outdoor ceremony setting overlooks the ocean and the resorts spacious ballrooms offer a combination of rustic and modern with rows of lamp shades decorating the ceiling.


Terranea catalina point wedding location

Adjacent outdoor patio areas are ideal for a cocktails. The staff specializes in accommodating bridal parties at the spa and the gentlemen can enjoy a fun 9 hole, par 3 round of golf at the resort, or visit the Trump National Golf Club, just minutes away.


Ocean front rooms have views of the Pacific and include a sitting lanai with chair and table. The rooms are spacious and include flat screen TV, wireless internet, and IPOD holder. The decor combines rustic beauty with beach color schemes.


A love seat with leather ottoman faces a solid wood desk with an impressive guest directory. And walking into the bathroom, one feels a sense of calm with the sea foam green color scheme with glass tiles, sea shell decorated lamps, separate tub and shower, toilet closet and storage drawers.


All meeting rooms have state of the art flat screens, most with ocean views. The board rooms on the 6th floor have amazing ocean views, plush leather chairs around large wood tables, decorative lamps with ample terrace space for outdoor lunches or breaks. For a larger event, the resort has the areas largest ocean resort ball room, 18,000 square feet, named after the founding father of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Frank A. Vanderlip. NOTE: All Photos Copyright Bruce Murray.


When one measures the wording carefully Terranea Resort may or may not be LA's only luxury ocean front resort. The resort is not central to Los Angeles but actually located closer to the city of Long Beach and lacks a true "beach". But unlike other LA ocean front accommodations Terranea offers multiple pools, a large spa, golf, and a compound like property offering families a secure feeling. But I don't think the fine print is of any importance. Terranea is definitely one of Southern California's top destinations and sure to become a favorite get-a-way for locals and area visitors.