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“Relaxing Weekend Getaway close to home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sparkling Hill Resort

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Sparkling Hill Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   888 Sparkling Place | Predator Ridge, Vernon, British Columbia V1H 2K7, Canada   |  
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Ranked #1 of 20 Hotels in Vernon
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Relaxing Weekend Getaway close to home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

My husband and I have been to Sparkling Hills twice this year. In February, the snow was still falling and it was absolutely gorgeous. Our room was the Predator Ridge view on the third floor. It was beautiful to see the snow and trees. We spent the evening in the steam rooms and in the outdoor pool and hot tub. My husband is not a "spa" kind of guy and he was so relaxed we stayed till 3:00 the next day. Even though check out is 11:00, they offered to keep our bags and we were allowed to stay till 5:00pm. The staff was excellent. They gave us a courtesy call, to make sure everything was okay with the room. We went all out on dinner at the Peakfine Restaurant for our anniversary and it was worth every penny. We loved the resort so much, my husband asked to stay again in May. It was just as relaxing the second time as the first. Our room was on the first floor and had a lake view. It was just as nice on the first floor as the third. This time I had a massage and it was excellent. The breakfast was awesome both times and the cafe' has the best Bernard Callibeaut Triple Chocolate Cookies for a late evening craving for sweets. If you want a relaxing getaway close to home without the kids, go to Sparkling Hill. We will go again preferably during the winter for our weekend getaway.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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
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950 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Gatineau
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2012

My husband and I spent two nights in this lovely getaway in August. We thoroughly enjoyed a variety of spa treatments (massages are amazing), two lovely dinners and views from the pool area of the property. This is an incredible resort that offers individuals a chance to relax, enjoy some magnificent views as well as some culinary delights.

The morning buffet is elaborate - providing more than enough selection to guests. The dinners at the PeakFine restaurant were also excellent - the Austrian influence was apparent and well appreciated. I could have not asked for better service and the quality of the meals was outstanding.

The saunas were fully functional and I loved the "rose sauna" in particular. I would however like to see them open for longer periods of time during the day (they currently open from 9-11 am and then from 4-10 pm).

The staff was generally curtious and pleasant. I do find the check-in and check-out times somewhat inconvenient. We had travelled across Canada and arrived at the Resort at 11 am to be told that check-in is only at 4 pm. I find this to be quite exagerated and recommend they allow guests to have access to the pool area until their rooms are ready. The Resort is quite isolated and there is not a lot to do while you wait (granted you can take a hike around the Resort or lunch at the Cafe).

Other than those two improvements, this is a lovely Resort!

Room Tip: Opt for a "lake view" - it is so worth it!
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
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United States
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
80 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
81 helpful votes 81 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

See my other 50+ hotel reviews as validation that I'm very picky. The Sparkling Hill Resort (quasi-cheesy name notwithstanding) is an amazing find in a country so sorely lacking in destination high-end hotel properties. As a Canadian, I am bewildered how and why a country of this beauty doesn't have more places like this- setting, aesthetic, experience.

The setting is nothing short of fantastic- situated at the edge of an elevation with spectacular views from every vantage point. The building itself has a very modernist (thank goodness!) architectural design, which both complements the stunning landscape, and stands in contrast to the suburban sub-division aesthetic of the adjacent planned community that Canadians seem to be so drawn to (that said, in the hierarchy of planned communities, this adjacent one is among the least offensive and is well landscaped). The drives around the area of the hotel are beautiful- in particular the backroads to Vernon. The walking/hiking trails around the property are all terrific.

The interior is very tastefully done- judicious blending of wood, stone and glass, with a (thankfully) restrained lobby which contains some nice design elements (the wood bench coffee table in particular). The carpeting in the hallways is very tasteful. The rooms themselves are decent sized- are designed to have nice vantage points of the outside scenery from the bathrooms- the beds are amazingly comfortable, and benefit from a proper duvet and duvet linens. Nice use of wood textures in the guestrooms, and the bathrooms and shower were quite nice.

I've read that this resort is either owned or managed by Austrians (there is also an Austrian flag among those by the hotel driveway). The influences are evident everywhere- all wonderful- the duvets, the pastries in the cafe downstairs, some of the elements at breakfast, partially the design of the building etc. All great.

Breakfast was decent- servers were all very friendly and came around frequently with coffee refills (for that alone, 5 stars!). The coffee was properly strong, and not the colored brown water that passes for coffee in most parts of north america outside the coasts. Did not eat at PeakFines for dinner (the one night we enquired, they were fully committed). Had coffee at Barrique and Java a few times- loved it. The servers were all great, helpful, friendly, attentive and (most importantly) polished- some of them came from different countries (eg Australia) that helped to give this place a global-standard feel (something so sadly lacking in Canada). I read one review that complained of the visible "refrigerator" on entry to the cafe...well, it wasn't a "refrigerator"- it was a display case with an appropriate aesthetic of the likes that can be found in cafes throughout central europe and high-end hotels everywhere (clearly this person's high-end travel experiences must be limited to Denver or Toronto)- the only thing that was different is that the display case also had, visible, the soft-drink/juice collection. Big deal.

Did not use the KurSpa facilities- too much else to do during the day. The infinity pool seemed to be only accessible thru the changeroom, which was a bit strange- I understand the engineering of where the pool is located given the landscape, but would have been better to have direct access to the pool directly from the spa rather than having to go thru a changeroom.

The crowd seemed to be a mix of the types you'd expect to find at a place like this, mixed with some scary looking tattoo types. Well, I guess this is the Pacific Northwest.

Reading some of the negative reviews on here, two themes: (a) people who "don't get it"...who would be much happier staying at the golf club down the road with its large flat screen TV's showing football games surrounded by the Sears Canada suburban furniture look all for $100 per night (with only lace curtains being the last missing link to a perfect vaca), and (b) those commenting on the service levels at the resort....which is probably a fair point. Checked-in early and was assured we'd received a call when our rooms were ready- no call received. Some of the front desk staff weren't very polished. The Guest Relations person was mostly missing, and when there, I asked her where we could pick fruit- she looked at me with some disdain, and then responded "well, I don't do that, maybe ask Mike at the front desk". Well, firstly, sweety, I live in one of the most sought after neighborhoods in the world, and dine at the best places in the world between New York and London, and have access to the best shopping anywhere on earth....the one thing I can't do in Central Park is - yes - pick fruit! - so of course that's what I want to do!! So a little knowledge on that matter would have been helpful, and even without it, how about walking over to Mike yourself instead of sending me over....very unpolished and poorly handled (Mike called the local tourism board and gave us an address where we picked great cherries from a beautiful orchard- was amazing). Hotel management would do well by picking up some staff from Four Seasons or Shangri La.

If the Okanagan was purely comprised of this resort and its surrounding landscape, the lake and vines running down to the lake, the cherry orchards and the better restaurants at some of the wineries (our lunch at Mission Hill was particularly good, as was the service), this whole area of B.C. would be nirvana. Sadly, in between it all lies enough trailers and pickup trucks to make you grab a gun for self-defense and run for cover, until you remember you're in Canada so all is safe...bit then this being Canada, there also is also too much strip-mall/box-mall blight in parts. The local tourism boards have work to do.

Personally, I can't wait to go back to this property, so exciting (and so rare) is the prospect of a modernist high-end global-standard property in a beautiful setting in Canada. So, to encourage management to keep me coming back, I offer up the following friendly suggestions to "up their game":

1./ Training training training of staff. Pay-up for some staff from Four Seasons or Shangri-la. Teach polish, the language of soothing high-end service, anticipatory posture.

2./ Detail, detail, detail, makes all the difference: for example, in the guestrooms, the screws on the light plates are exposed...a minimal investment in a higher end solution (available even at Home Depot) would upgrade the look; the floor lamp was placed touching the wall....the cleaning staff should learn how to place furniture to "breath"; the temperature gauge in the toilet room had the wrong time on it; the notices placed in the bathroom should be placed in some kind of frame (eg lucite) or other holder to avoid the Holiday Inn look (though the leather paper holder in which pamphlets were placed on the guestroom desks was a nice touch). Soap dish needed by the sink. Cleaning staff failed to place a towel matt in the bathroom on the third morning. Again- detail makes or breaks.

3./ The room walls are too bare...above the desk, something is needed on the wall....grab a camera, shoot the local landscape in B&W in early or late light and have it mounted on aluminum...and then place it above the desk...cheap soln (but not cheap look) that will round-out the aesthetic. The room where the toilet is located looks too unfinished...perhaps paint it in a darker color.

4./ Staff parking lot on the way up...cover up the entrance with trees.

5./ Breakfast- stuff is too sparsely laid out, making the offering look skimpy....get rid of the second table and display stuff closer together.

6./ Have lighter-fare dinner available at the cafe...not everyone wants a production dinner at PeakFine or wants to drive down to the suburban experience of the golf club.

7./ On entry to the hotels in the evening, the first thing one sees are a bunch of luggage carts by the door...they should be hidden away. If one is needed, have a bell-captain at all times.

8./ Places like this can look great in the first couple of years, and then can deteriorate very fast....pay very close attention and proactively keep up maintenance and keep this place in top shape...while we were there, one of two elevators broke and was not fixed by the time I left...not acceptable.

Very much look forward to coming back next year.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kamloops, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

My husband and I booked a two night package for the day after we got married in June. Arriving to the resort was nice, valet to park your car, the front desk man was very informative and pleasant.

Our bedroom was beautiful, a king sized bed, a jacuzzi overlooking the Okanagan Lake ( no the windows aren't tinted from the outside even though they look it ;) Nice walk in shower, all the amenities you'd need.

The restaurant was wonderful, the food was amazing. I'm glad the three course meal was included in our package, it was quite expensive and portions quite small. Nice local wine list.

The spa area was very nice, the tea room had 3 hot teas and 3 flavored waters with lots of comfortable chairs and a wonderful view. Serenity room was just that. My husband liked the gym. We each had a massage which was very nice.

The pool area was also nice. The indoor pool is connected to the outdoor pool which was convenient as it was a little chilly so you didn't have you get in and out. The hot tubs are large. Not a lot of sitting area outside, but when we were there it was quiet so not a problem for us. We liked the saunas and steam rooms, they were doing a photoshoot when we were there so a few were closed down for a while but that was OK. They each have a different 'theme' and atmosphere which was neat.

THe only complain I have is the check in time and check out time are ridiculous. It makes it impossible to stay for just one night. You cannot check in until 4 and check out is 11 or 1130 I think. You can't use the facilities ( pool/sauna etc ) if you're not checked into the hotel so you basically have to waste an entire day doing whatever before you check in. That's the only reason why I knocked the rating down.

We'd return, but only for special occasions as it is very expensive but worth it.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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North Vancouver
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

I travel a lot for business so vacation hotels are a tough sell to me. SHR is superb. The room was incredible, great beds and linen and a view tub. The spa is the best I seen in Western Canada, pricey but it proved its value. The staff throughout the resort were extremely friendly and well trained. My only issue was I didn't have a coffee maker in the room and in the evening there is no casual dining ( however the dining room food was excellent). I will be booking again in October.

Linda. North Vancouver, Canada

Room Tip: Ask for a view room away from the pool so you can bath with a view.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Well the views from the infinity pool are spectacular, but the lounging area around the pool is crowded with light posts in the way and walkways difficult. It was messy and staff were unable to tidy it since customers left things on their lounge chairs "forever". The indoor pool and hot tub are huge and inviting. Other steam rooms are quite disappointing since they were not working according to the descriptions (wrong temperatures) and the shower feature in that area just seemed broken to all of the customers who tried it when we were there.
Nice features - the tea room, the serenity room (which is huge). Too many rules though - can't take cups out of the tea room (people do though), no towels except the one you are given as a day guest, and if you need to exchange it its' a long walk to the Front spa reception, to exchange it for another. Crazy system.
Only one hairdryer in the Ladies change room, not much vanity space, and no hooks in the showers or change facilities for a robe, clothes or towels - good luck keeping them dry when you shower.
The worst thing was that a repair man was in the Ladies Locker room ALL DAY. On a Saturday no less - busy time with a wedding or two booked.... this was August 27th - same date as StellaStyle's experience... have to agree it was "a mess".
The design of this building is odd - an elevator to hotel rooms empties directly into the halls of the Kur Spa and it just doesn't "fit" with a Spa feeling. What were they thinking? Owners weren't planning on having "day guests" originally, just hotel guest use of the spa - now that is a brilliant strategy for a business plan. Oh well. No wonder the system isn't quite glamorous for day guests. Hopefully they retrofit their processes properly - now that they've made the decision to "welcome" day guests (at least from Predator Ridge anyways).
Food experience at the Dining room and the lounge was very good, however not worth the trip up the long hill from Predator Ridge just for that experience.
Massage service and facial service were fine - not extraordinary by any means, but fine.
Overall - we are glad to have gone to check things out, but were not fussed about what we found. Quite a discombobulated place and definitely, not relaxing.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2012

Let me start of by saying, I'm not one to complain or write reviews but this was my second time at this resort. The first time was roughly a month apart. After a lengthy drive we arrived at Sparkling Hill Resort hot, tired and ready for some wonderful R&R. Checkin is at 4:00pm and we arrived two hours early.

We were greeted by a young lady in her early twenties who was quick to advise us that we were early for our 4:00pm checkin. "Yes I know, we arrived sooner than expected, no problem, I realize our room is probably not ready but if you could check our luggage we are happy to laze by the pool until the room is ready" Her response was "I'm sorry but you are not allowed to use any of the facilities until you have checked in" "Excuse me" I replied "what would you like me to do, go and wait in my car for two hours? (It was 38 degrees out) after a ridiculous conversation with this young lady she finally allowed us to relax by the pool until our room was ready but reiterated that she was breaking company policy by allowing this.......Are you kidding me!! This was my first impression on arrival after a tiring journey. I felt as though it was a privilege to stay here ( and certainly not welcome) at $400.00 a night!... I was only there this visit for one night so I decided to put it behind me and enjoy the time.

My second arrival a month later was for two nights, a birthday gift from my partner. We talked about it and decided to give them another chance. This time we arrived about half an hour before the official checkin time. My partner handled the checkin while I unloaded the car and hunted down a trolley as there was no bellman in site...No big deal. Checked in and hit the pool. My daughter and her boyfriend were due to arrive the next day to spend some time with us. They arrived an hour and a half before the allowed checkin and although they informed front desk that we were already there, were told they would have to wait until 4:00pm before they could join us at the pool. They were given a trail map of the area and suggested they take a hike until checkin......My daughter called me on the phone to let me know they had arrived safely but were not allowed to join us.

As you can imagine my blood boiled and I was about to confront the front desk when my partner suggested it might be better if I stayed pool-side while she dealt with this unbelievable ridiculous situation. Again it was resolved, but WHY does this happen in the first place. A pre dinner celebration in my room. I call down to room service and ask if we could have 4 champagne glasses to toast my birthday. "Yes indeed but please note there will be a $6:00 charge to your room for the glasses"..... "Are you serious" I said. After a discussion they decided to wave the charge.

We decided to have dinner in the main restaurant but neglected to make a reservation as it was a quiet Monday night and the hotel had only 50% occupancy. We arrived at the restaurant and saw maybe 5 tables in total seated. The hostess asked us if we had a reservation to which we replied "No we dont" she dissapears to go and chat with the chef in the kitchen and returns to inform us they are way too busy to accomodate us.. &%$#@# Its a Monday night at 8:30pm with no one in the restaurant! We head down to the front desk to take advantage of the complimentary shuttle to Predator Ridge Golf Club as they are open for dinner and are more than happy to take care of us. On arrival they let us know that many disgruntled guests from Sparkling Hill end up eating at their property. Our bill for 4 people was just shy of $600.00, revenue lost by Sparkling Hill but PR's gain....

The pool area and spa facilities look great at Sparkling Hill but alas the steam rooms were either out of order or really cool. The showers in the steam/sauna area were not working properly, dispensing hot or just cold water.

The breakfast buffet in the main dining room each morning was great and the staff there were wonderful. Good customer service starts at the top and tricles down to all departments. In my opinion this is where the change is needed. I dont get that the top managment are passionate enough about this business otherwise everyone would feel really welcome...Its a very expensive property with very little genuine caring customer service.... Its not hard guys..

The View and location of Sparkling Hill is amazing. The rooms are also wonderful.

Would I stay again......No!

Room Tip: Lake view rooms are the best...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sparkling Hill Resort

Address: 888 Sparkling Place | Predator Ridge, Vernon, British Columbia V1H 2K7, Canada
Phone Number:
Location: Canada > British Columbia > Okanagan Valley > Vernon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Vernon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sparkling Hill Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 152
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sparkling Hill Hotel Vernon

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