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“Great place, only two issues.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sparkling Hill Resort

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Sparkling Hill Resort
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Vernon
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
29 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great place, only two issues.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

This place is beautiful.
Views - Fantastic!
Spa - Incredible! I can't describe how great this is.

Three notes here for improvement:

Better food options / times - The breakfast I had was horrible. I can't sugar coat it.. It was a horrible selection and sub par quality. I have to defend the breakfast, because this was just my observation. Another friend of mine who had been there had a difference food selection and a better experience. If you are hungry between Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner, you are out of luck or not ready to eat at that point, there is nothing around to go out to get either or order in. You can buy at the coffee/beer cafe a cookie, or trail mix and that's it.

Spa times... Here's the kicker.. This is the draw to this place, however they close the spas VERY early and pretty close to their dinner schedule, so it limits your time greatly. You are told you can go use the Spa the next day after check out as well, but they shut down the spa until 1pm if memory serves me correctly so all you have is the pool.

One final note. I was not pleased with. We requested a late check out at 1pm vs. 11am so we could relax in our room and then goto the spa at 1pm. We were told no as the room needed to be prepared for the next guests who check in at 3pm. The resort was essentially empty when we stayed, so there were not many rooms to clean that day. I'm sure there would have been plenty of resources/staff to come in and clean the room between 1-3pm. There were small other service notes I could go on about, this is a 6 star resort with some 3 star service points in some aspects. (Not everyone of course).

Room Tip: Stayed on the 2nd story as I was told that the way the 1st floor windows are angled, you can slightl...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joe215ca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (711)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2012

My wife and I stayed over here in April 2012. We are now returning with our one daughter for a week of being pampered with a Body Wellness package this coming week.

We have travelled extensively over the world, and believe that this property represents a jewel of European elegance less than a day trip away from Vancouver. Its architectural footprint is brilliantly placed on top of the hill, giving it an incomparable view of the Okanagan lake. Extensive (and tasteful) use of the Swarovski crystals throughout the hotel makes it a non-cliched wonderland. There are nooks and crannies to be explored throughout the hotel.

The spa area is well laid out, and it is a bonus that the outdoor pool is saltwater, making it possible to swim underwater with one's eyes open. Although we did not do dinner at the PeakFine restaurant -- we are looking forward to doing so with the package -- breakfast was painless in terms of being seated, and the food was both tasteful and tasty. We sat at the window overlooking the grounds on the second day and were hugely entertained by the antics of the territorial yellowbellied marmots on the hotel grounds just below us.

We had a deluxe room with a lakeview. The crystal glass fireplace, view from the two-person tub, and comfortable queen beds in a well designed room contributed to our enjoyment.

The staff was pleasant and approachable.

This is probably one of the top hotels in British Columbia. We already have told a number of our friends that this is a must-do and will probably tell many more after our next week. We cannot wait!

Room Tip: Deluxe room, Lakeside.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank poepolHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2012

The hotel property is great so was the service at the spa but there was a huge disconnect with the service from the staff. It bordered on rude. It was like our being there was an inconvenience. Too bad. The rooms were great.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank TerryBradshaw20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lumby
Level Contributor
48 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2012

Have been to Sparkling Hills Resort 3 times now, one for our wedding night, and twice for a girlfriends/ mother and daughter getaway.

I will start with the good:
Unique architecture, beautiful views, gorgeous (yet simple) guest rooms. Robes and slippers are provided which is a nice touch for the spa. The spa is amazing, not just a bunch of saunas and steam rooms because each is uniquely themed in the layout, aromatherapy smells and colours. The beds are extremely comfortable as well :)

We only ate the breakfast that was included because we arrived quite late each time and did not have an opportunity for dinner. Breakfast was good: a simple, but decent selection (if you go earlier before it is picked over) - we tend to sleep late on holiday and go an hour before the buffet closes.

The bad:
The shape of the resort is declining quickly for its age... For such a multi-million dollar creation, it is questionable why the owners/ management haven't been able to keep up with repairs. The first time we went, one of the aromatherapy "cannisters" located in the steam/sauna area was broken. The second time I was there (4 months later), another one was broken and the previous was not fixed. The third visit, (another 2.5 months later), all cannisters were out of commission. The Kneipp water therapy, which is supposed to consist of hot and cold walking pools to improve blood circulation, were all the same temperature.

All in all, the resort is gorgeous and a must see/ stay at least once. Great for a romantic getaway! I will definetly return during the off season when there is a special because $300 + per night is a bit out of my price range.

Hopefully management is able to iron out a few of the flaws mentioned in these reviews because this hotel has a lot of potential!

Room Tip: The lakeview rooms are absolutely gorgeous for views, but cost more. In the winter, fog can be a big...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jennybuns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 12, 2012

We just returned from one-night up at Sparkling Hills Resort.
We went with another couple to celebrate my birthday (both couples aged 40-50+ for reference). We live in kelowna (about 40 minutes away) and wanted to enjoy a special weekend away.

This is definitely An Overpriced "Luxury Wanna-Be" Hotel with 2-Star Service! What a complete disappointment.

From the minute you drive up to the hotel, there is no service. The front reads "Valet/Guest Check-in". Well there is no visible valet, no doorman, nobody.
Okay, leave the car and go into the lobby. A sterile, ghost town environment. No music and really not that awe-inspiring compared to a lot of wonderful places we've been to.
The two front desk staff are at "pods" and are busy answering all the phone calls for reservation and what not. There is no "back of the house" taking these calls?

So we sit and wait. Finally we get checked in, but cannot get into our rooms. We arrived early (12:30pm) because we had spa treatments booked starting at 1pm.

Check-in was totally disorganized and unwelcoming. None of the usual "is this your first time staying with us? Oh, well let me tell you all about our hotel and where to find your amenities etc.... etc...".. Nothing.
They basically took our credit card and information, but as said, could not get into our rooms. Also, we asked if we could have a later check-out and finally the desk agent agreed that 1pm was the latest they could do for us.

Then we proceeded to the Spa and filled in their information card, and waited. And waited. No one looked after us. Then we asked if we could please get robes and slippers. Remember there was 4 of us who had all booked very pricey spa treatments and could not get into our rooms to get these items.

We were simply told NO. No robes, slippers etc... They are only for hotel guests. We said, what are we supposed to wear? We are having massages? After complete chaos and more discussion we finally were all given a robe, slippers and a towel and now told to hurry up because it was actually our treatment time (1pm). Were we not all standing there waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to help us and tell us where to go?

We couldn't believe this policy either! Completely inexcusable for Hotel "trying" to be a luxury hotel. I go just for a pedicure-only to a spa in Kelowna and they always give me a robe and slippers. What a complete joke. In fact there was one poor lady uncomfortably sitting there naked, with a small towel wrapped around her waiting for her treatment. Nope. No robe for her. Brutal !

After our pricey treatments we went to the outdoor/indoor pool. Again, we were never told about the other facilities in the spa. No tour. No explanation. Fortunately, we were finally able to relax and sit outside in the hot Okanagan sun.

The outdoor pool is an infinity pool with amazing views over the lake. It has minimal loungers though and only gets the late afternoon sun. There is also a much larger indoor pool, but given the weather we stayed outside.

After being out there for an hour relaxing (finally) we wanted to get something to drink. The only thing around is small little paper cups with water. Also, we never once saw any staff or anyone out there.

So I thought, we must be able to order something to drink out here, being a luxury full-service hotel and all. Why can't we order some ice cold beers and cocktails? Hmmm.... sounded like a good idea. So, seeing there is no staff. I called the front desk on my cell phone and asked if we could get some drinks through room service. Well, I was then transferred from the front desk to room service, to the spa and then back to room service and then finally the hotel manager had to answer this question that no one knew the answer to. And that's right. Nope. No drinks by the pool. Suck it up and enjoy your lukewarm water out of your paper cup.

Finally the steam rooms opened up. (not until 4pm!) So we enjoyed all those for about an hour. The steam rooms and saunas are actually fabulous and well worth the time. The spa did redeem itself even though once again, no staff working or cleaning up around.

That evening we wanted to relax and enjoy a nice birthday dinner. We were a bit rushed (again) because they wanted last seating at 8pm. We had a nice table for 4 by the fireplace with a view.

The menu is extremely limited and lacks much imagination in my opinion. Lots of red meat dishes, no chicken and limited fish. The wine list on the other hand was expansive and offered lots of great selections.
The other couple said they enjoyed their meals (steak & elk dish). I found that my meal was only mediocre at best and my husband's halibut was so over cooked it was dried up. So they ended up having to bring him another.

On the POSITIVE notes about this hotel; the rooms are incredible. I don't think there is a bad view from anywhere. They are very minimalistic in decor (Ikea almost), lacked coffee makers/ipod docks and many other things, but had crystals everywhere, an amazing walkthrough shower and a stand alone tub.

The setting perched high above the hill at Predator Ridge Golf Course is really spectacular too. There are great walking trails all around and it really is beautiful.

On the NEGATIVE side:
- Rooms - the black out blinds let in so much light at the sides that I was up at the crack of dawn anyways. Why have them? Also, the pillows on our king bed, were tiny little pillows, not king sized pillows.

- Service - The Hotel honestly feels so poorly run and disorganized in every single department that it feels like its only been open for a few weeks. I couldn't believe it's been open for two years and still running like a brand new disorganized chaos.
Oh and remember that 1pm check-out we had arranged? Nope. The clerk actually tried to argue with me and said that she never agreed to that. Wow.

Again, it was an interesting experience to go there, but for the huge amount we paid for one couple, one night, we could have gone to an all-inclusive somewhere hot for a week and had a way better experience!

After being back home for only a few days I have already heard this same response and feedback from dozens of "locals" who have also stayed at Sparkling Hills. Apparently the owners have deep pockets and this is just a "pet project" for them, so aren't concerned about the service or anything there.
I think this hotel would be much better served to "flag" with a luxury franchise brand and be able to offer the service & experience that they are trying to achieve.
It is disappointing to know that we have something so spectacular here in the valley that is far from reaching what it should be know for.

Room Tip: All the rooms are spectacular and offer good views.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank Jaimekelowna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SparklingHillResort, Manager at Sparkling Hill Resort, responded to this review, June 18, 2012
Hi Jaime,

On behalf of Sparkling Hill, I am very sorry to hear that your experience was less than satisfactory. Providing exceptional service at a world class resort is a very important part of the Sparkling Hill experience and we would like to apologize for what seems have been a lapse in our practices. I have passed your feedback along to our Spa Manager.

Seeing that your ratings for Rooms, Locations, Cleanliness and Sleep Quality are favourable, I hope this experience will not sour your impression of Sparkling Hill indefinitely. If you would like to connect with us further, please find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news from Sparkling Hill.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
34 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Sparkling Hills for four nights recently with my husband's work conference. I had the pleasure of having nothing to do but enjoy the hotel and spa! The weather wasn't super, however, other than a daily morning hike (after reading trail maps) I stayed inside soaking up the ambience and services. I did yoga and core flexibility class, sipped tea in the Tea room, meditated in the Serenity Room, did mindful water walking in the Kneip water labyrinth, enjoyed all the saunas and steams (faves were the crystal steam & classic sauna), power striding on the elliptical, swam in the salt water pool while listening to music underwater, swam in the outside infinity pool, soaked in the hot tub AND did the - 110 C cold sauna with 4 buds while signing to Bob Marley! It was all quite the experience which I would do again in a heart beat. I loved the food, there are very healthy options for the complimentary breakfast, including gluten free items, lots of local and homemade items (peach yogurt), and nuts and chia seeds for the muesli. Dinners were good too, maybe could have used some more color variation on the plate with garnishes? The staff were wonderful, special mention to Paul and the guy from the Cafe, who served us local organic chocolate milk with his stories. I want to go back for a wellness week and found that the hotel's marketing as a wellness resort was spot on! Only suggestion would be to include a 'spa' menu at dinner with interesting fruit infususion non alcoholic beverages available. This is a hotel where I would feel comfortable going to by myself, with my husband or with a group of adults. It is serene, romantic, elegant and not set up for teens or kids.

Room Tip: Ask for a lake front room close to the elevator for easy access to the spa!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank zoeyryan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
123 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2012

If you want to be treated properly do not arrive her with your two kids!!! i made the mistake of bring my 3 year old and 4 month old here for a trip away with the wife!!! Whoopppppppssssss

The front desk person whi checked me in delighted in telling me that kids were NOT allowed it the pool area at all! When i asked why could they not have mentioned that upon reserving the room by phone the previous week? She said "Didnt you read your confirmation?!!!!!!! DOES ANYONE!!!!

The rest of the hotel was great and the staff lovely especially the restaurant staff (Kid friendly) and the client services girl, she was sooooo nice.

I probably would not go back her with the wife as it left a sour tase in my mouth....a bit pretentious.

Room Tip: any lake view room will blow you away
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank bellfc1
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

Property: Sparkling Hill Resort
Address: 888 Sparkling Pl | 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 Family Hotel in Vernon
#2 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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