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“Waste of time and money at KurSpa”

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Sparkling Hill Resort
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Vernon
Certificate of Excellence
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Waste of time and money at KurSpa”
Reviewed July 4, 2012

I have just recently returned home from a stagette weekend in Kelowna (we stayed at The Cove Resort...amazing!), and decided to stop at Sparkling Hills for some much-needed spa treatments on the way home. We were so excited to see the hotel, and even more excited to experience KurSpa as the pictures on the website (especially of the saunas and steam rooms) looked amazing. Everything about this hotel and our entire experience there was a total disappointment. While the area surrounding the hotel is stunning, the hotel itself is a total eye-sore and appears to be built with little respect for the natural landscape. The inside was even more surprising - it was a ghost town, with no people, no staff to greet us, no furniture, and hardly any of the "sparkle" that we were expecting from a Swarovski hotel.

Our spa appointments were booked for 1pm, and we arrived early at 11am. As frequent spa clients, we always like to arrive early to experience the ameneties before our treatments. We had to pay $50 for a day pass to the spa on top of our treatments as we were not hotel guests...which we thought was okay because the spa DID look like it would be worth it for the day. After they took all of our information and we were given a tour of the spa were we told that the steam rooms and saunas would be closed that day from 11am-4pm. WHAT?? So we had just arrived as they had closed...wish someone had told us that on the phone when we booked our treatments for 1pm and before we paid $50 to use the spa for the day. So basically all we did was sit by the indoor pool for 2 hours until our treatments (massages that were VERY average), and then for another 2 hours after our treatments while we waited for the steam rooms and saunas to open. The most baffling part of all of this: this place serves NO FOOD WHATSOEVER at the spa. Not only that, you are not even allowed TO BRING YOUR OWN FOOD into the spa. So I just spent money sitting around a very minimilalistic, cold, un-inviting pool room starving to death for 5 hours waiting for the rest of the spa to open. Awesome. One of the ladies I was with commented that it seems like this is a place where they do not want you to "stay and enjoy"...it seems that they basically want you in and out as fast as possible, so they make it as uncomfortable for you as possible.

Finally, 4pm rolls around and we finally get access to the steam rooms. And they are beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable even though the water fountain in the aqua meditation room was not working and they igloo room was closed for maintenance (we were not told this on our arrival). For one solid hour, we really enjoyed ourselves and were finally able to say some nice things to eachother about the place. After an hour, we had to leave because we were absolutely starving and could not wait anymore time for food, as we had been there all day (6+ hours) with nothing to drink but water and some luke-warm tea in paper cups.

This place needs to do its research and figure out how to run a 5-star spa. Visit the Fairmont hotels and take some notes, because this place did not even come close in terms of service, comfort, warmth or amenities. KurSpa and Sparkling Hills was a huge disappointment and we would not recommend it to anyone. Save your time and money, go elsewhere.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank calgarygirl_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Sparkling Hill Representative at Sparkling Hill Resort, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Hello CalgaryGirl_12,

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. Seeing that your ratings for Locations and Cleanliness are quite favourable, hopefully 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.

Sincerely,

Kayley

Sparkling Hill Representative
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Lethbridge
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed July 1, 2012

My husband and I attended the resort for our honeymoon. We initially heard about the resort from television (it was featured on Millionaire Matchmaker and Real Housewives). It was in our price range given it was a special occasion. The resort is absolutely beautiful and is truly a wellness resort. As others have indicated, do not come to this resort if you plan on being busy or filled with activities. This is a resort meant for true relaxation and wellness. They do offer daily activity classes such as yoga, aquafit, nature walks, etc. The KurSpa is likely were you will spend most of your time. We did not have any treatments done and spent most of the time in the pools and sauna's. The indoor/outdoor pools are salt water. The indoor pool also has underwater music playing so I spent most of my time floating and listening to calming music - so relaxing.

We then went on to spend the remainder of the day checking out the 7 sauna's available. Each sauna is a treat to check out as they range in different aromatherapy scents, humidity and heat degrees. The last sauna is -10 degrees and is meant as a cool down with mint infused in the air. Such a relaxation!!

They also have a -110 degree sauna that you can check out by appointment as well. I never did try this, but regret not doing so.

Also in the spa is a meditation room and a tea room (you can get lemon water and tea) where you can sit peacefully and enjoy the scenery around you. The spa also provides beauty treatments (hair, facials, etc.) as well we massages and body treatments.

The rooms are amazing! We had a deluxe lakeview room with a king bed. The bed is a lovely duvet cover. A panel of the glass windows open to allow fresh air through. The rooms come with a large soaker tub and wide open shower. Over top of the tub are crystal lights which light up the roof and create a romantic ambiance. The room comes with a mini bar, but as suspected the items were quite pricey.

We attended supper two nights at PeakFine restaurant (on sight). It was a bit pricey for our liking (+$120 for two people) and the menu did not provide much selection, however it did change each day. The hotel recommends you make a reservation, however the restaurant is never full. You do get a free complimentary breakfast each morning.

There is also Barrique and Java which is a smaller pub type area which serves desserts and small, easy to make foods (sandwiches, etc.). This place is good to check out if you just want a drink or a light snack, however the food is no longer served after 9 or 10pm (the are open until midnight).

Our only major downfall to staying here was that there was not enough food. If you missed breakfast, dinner and supper are served at specific times. You are left to eat at the Barrique and Java if you miss and if you are on a budget or want something more you are not left with a lot of choice. The following day we went to Vernon to check out the sights and made a stop at Wal-Mart to get snack foods (muffins, apples, strawberries, etc) to have throughout the day.

They do offer complimentary internet service as well. They do have a gift shop as well as valet.

We would definitely go back again. It is such a beautiful place to be to relaxed, rest and gain some peace. A total wellness resort at heart. Such beautiful views as well.

Room Tip: Deluxe Lakeview Rooms have an amazing view. Get a room on the 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BarelyThere1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2012

I had an amazing holiday at Sparkling Hill.  I took your motto to heart; i.e.,  "I did nothing and then rested afterward."  Needless say, I felt very pampered and privileged, and well cared for by your marvelous staff.  I enjoyed a hot stone massage expertly administered by Kayla, and a vitamin-infused facial, under Alyssa's velvet hands.  I enjoyed the meals and service in the dining room, and the staff there was always so accommodating. I am a user of superlatives, but I think that Sparkling Hill is a superlative in itself and requires little enhancement.  The joy of experiencing all the delights it offers to ones sense of health and well being lasts well beyond the visit.  I felt as if I were wrapped in a cocoon of peace.  It was truly a singular experience for me.

Room Tip: The best rooms are this with lake views
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ann S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Level Contributor
56 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2012

sparkling hill resort is tucked away in the hills of vernon, the heart of wine country bc!
if you are planning a weekend getaway that involves wine, golf or spa, then this is the place for you.
although a bit pricier vs. other resorts, the golf amenities, wine tour operations and spa facilities on site will make up for the extra money you put out.

the food is average to above average but the stay and the experience is what you will get out of this resort.
the resort was built by the swarovski family, they invested over millions of dollars in the entire hotel with crystals.
everything from the welcome sign to the chandaliers to the bathroom stalls, have a crystal embedded inside.
PREDAtor ridge is just minutes by walking or hire a wine tour guide for the taste of the okanagan.

the spa is european style with both hot and cold experiences. if you are brave enough, try the frozen chamber.
it is a smaller resort so you can have a group or company meetings of 50 to 100 people here as well.

Room Tip: choose a room that faces the mountains for a nice view
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Indotraveller_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
63 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 26, 2012

This is not just a 5 star experience. It is a comprehensive visual and sensual buffet. Imagine 3.2 million crystals reflecting light in a million places, or feel the heat from a deliciously sensual spa room. I could write almost a book after staying only one night. And, yes, I am a seasoned and extremely well traveled person....this exceeded my expectations beyond my imagination. The staff was accommodating, and the attention to detail, stellar.

Room Tip: All fabulous rooms
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ann g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2012

Nothing special, poor service, terrible food, abuse of pricing, try the grand or predator ridge hotel , les taki and better service

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank TravellBoddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Representative at Sparkling Hill Resort, responded to this review, June 26, 2012
Hello TravellBoddy,

On behalf of Sparkling Hill, I am sorry to hear that your experience was less than satisfactory. We pride ourselves on providing our guests with exceptional service and would like to apologize for what seems have been a lapse in our practices.

Best,

Kayley
Sparkling Hill Representative
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penticton, Canada
Level Contributor
60 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2012

My husband and myself spent two nights at this resort in April. We found the ambiance of the resort very nice - the Swarkski Crystals throughout are impressive particularly at night. Rooms are very modern with super views but somewhat lacking in seating area. Overall, we enjoyed our time with the exception of the restaurant. The dining room prepares a new menu every night (not necessary) that wasn't available for viewing until 5:30pm. The choices are very expensive and very limited. The only other choice for food is the bar/coffee shop that only offers desserts in the evening. It would make more sense to have a standard menu in the restaurant & offer nightly features. I talking to other guests alot of them ate elsewhere in the evening - what a shame. We did want to support the restaurant & wanted to try it out so we did eat there - found the presentation of the food was nice, quality was acceptable but not exceptional, small portions - expensive for what you got. Our server (believe her name was Kim) was experienced but a bit pushy to us and other tables in trying to upsell the food and wine selections. By contrast the buffet breakfast was fabulous with lots of great selections. We found the front desk staff very pleasant and accommodating - particularly Crystal, who was a pleasure to deal with. Overall, we did enjoy our visit & hope for our next visit the dining room offers a more extensive menu offering selections at various price points. If they do this, they likely will fill alot more of the emptry tables.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kate192
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 Place, 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 Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
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
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Over 3.5 million crystals infused within this modern oasis – a most remarkable hotel and wellness centre with European-inspired design elegance. Nestled in the mountains near Vernon, BC, and overlooking Lake Okanagan, your personal journey to whole body health and wellness begins at our standout among British Columbia resorts. Wellness Packages at KurSpa Sparkling Hill’s reputation as an internationally-renowned wellness center and health retreat is unparalleled. What better way to spark your journey towards a new you than our Wellness Packages, providing savings on spa and wellness treatments at KurSpa. Learn more about our Weeklong Wellness Packages. Also be sure to explore our fitness classes and meditation workshops to promote well-being in mind, body and spirit. KurSpa: A Holistic Health Spa The heart of our Lake Okanagan resort is KurSpa, our 40,000 square foot European-inspired spa, clinic, and wellness center. It is the largest spa in Canada and shines brightly as a worldwide wellness destination. Relax, renew, and revitalize at KurSpa's seven unique aromatherapy, steam, and sauna rooms. Swim in Kurspa's serenity pool featuring underwater music and a Swarovski crystal night sky. Choose from over 100 transformative spa treatments and therapies to detoxify the body and promote optimum health. Consult with our professional team including our naturopathic physician, psychiatrist, massage providers and kinesiologists and view their renowned clinic services. Enhance your relationships with the help of our SHaRP program, which can range from romantic to work relationships. Schedule yourself a mini silent retreat in our Serenity Room. Or, experience the first European Cryo Cold Chamber (-110°C) in North America, our signature KurSpa treatment. Our Luxurious British Columbia Resort Take in the stunning beauty of the Okanagan Valley from our BC resort’s luxury guest rooms and penthouses, which feature sweeping lake and mountain views and operable floor to ceiling glass window walls that can be opened to instantly transform your room into an outdoor oasis. Swarovski crystals illuminate fireplaces, fixtures and ceilings, lending a luminous and luxurious ambience to every space. Fresh Fine Dining Sparkling Hill Resort is also home to the best fine dining destinations in Vernon, BC. PeakFine, our signature restaurant, serves a menu emphasizing the freshest and finest ingredients the Okanagan Valley has to offer. Known as the "Napa of the North" the region's spectacular wines are on offer at PeakFine and Barrique & Java, our more casual wine, tapas, and coffee bar. Stunning Swarovski crystal chandeliers and accents imbue our dining spaces with glamour and elegance, and those seeking an elegantly rustic setting for private dining or special events will find it in Gernots. Discover Sparkling Hill Recognized as a trendsetter in healthy living and wellness hospitality, our Okanagan Lake resort is a distinctive destination for the modern sophisticated traveler. Whether planning a couple's escape, corporate wellness retreat, or incentive travel, our British Columbia resort delivers an unforgettable blend of relaxation, restoration, and wellness. Please explore our website; we look forward to welcoming you to Sparkling Hill Resort on your personal journey to whole body health and wellness. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sparkling Hill Hotel Vernon

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