Hosting Relais & Châteaux
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Excitement grew as delegates from more than 40 Relais & Châteaux properties across North America departed by helicopter from the South Terminal of the YVR international Airport. The delegates were destined for Sonora Resort, a once small, rustic fishing lodge, now world class, luxury resort.
The flight took the guests over thick coniferous forests and deep, blue-green ocean whirlpools. Fifty minutes later as the helicopter approached Sonora Island, it swooped to the right in a wide turn, giving the guests an uninhibited view of the sparkling, expansive property which seemed to appear out of nowhere.
The Relais & Châteaux guests’ adventure had begun.
Over the following three days property owners and hoteliers from across North America shared the art of how they create unique and unforgettable experiences for their guests. The theme of the discussion reflected the founding motto of the Relais & Châteaux brand, “All around the world, unique in the world.”
In between meetings delegates feasted on local cuisine crafted by Sonora’s team of talented chefs, led by Sonora's executive Chef, Terry Pichor.
In the afternoon a picnic was served on a neighboring shoreline, reached by travelling a short distance across the ocean channel in a sleek, powerful Grady White. This picnic was no ordinary affair. The extensive feast, which was inspired by locally sourced ingredients, included spot prawns, oysters, dungeness crab and local berries over pavlova.
On the final day of the event the delegates ventured out onto the ocean to experience the surrounding wilderness up close. The winding ocean channels that they had first viewed from the helicopter came to life. Bald Eagles swooped through the air, black bears meandered on the shoreline and steller sea lions swam in the 14 knot currents with mere flicks of their powerful fins. One sea lion even battled an octopus.
That night some of the most talented chefs from across Western Canada pooled their skills in Sonora’s kitchens in an effort to thrill and delight the refined senses of the Relais & Châteaux guests. These chefs included Sonora’s Executive Chef Terry Pichor, Wickaninnish Inn’s Chef David Sider, Hasting House’s Marcel Kauer, and Chef Duncan Ly of Kensington Riverside Inn.
To all who attended the event, we thank you for giving us the opportunity to showcase our treasured property. To those who have not yet experienced Sonora Resort we invite you to explore the possibility.
Our President and CEO, Wynne Powell and General Manager, Sean Ross thank Relais& Châteaux for the opportunity to host the conference this year and look forward to attending the 2015 North American meeting.