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“European Sophistication Meets West Coast Natural”

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Sparkling Hill Resort
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Vernon
Certificate of Excellence
Vernon, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“European Sophistication Meets West Coast Natural”
Reviewed January 21, 2013

I have just returned from a two-night stay at Sparkling Hill Resort. I think one could arrive feeling very stressed and leave feeling calm and relaxed and at peace with the world. The setting is outstanding with all the natural elements of nature and beautiful vistas evident from every room. There are hiking trails by the resort and a high-end golf course nearby. It is obvious that the hotel has been planned with great care for there are so many details of high end finishing and plumbing fixtures and decor to give the visitor a sense of serenity and relaxation. The staff are professional, helpful and not at all snobbish as one might expect at a hotel of this caliber. The rooms are comfortable with floor to ceiling windows looking upon a beautiful vista so that one feels like they have a private site to themselves. It is almost as if there is a feeling of the natural environment that has been incorporated to the interior of the hotel. The beds are extemely comfortable and the shower and bathtub are built for a king and queen. Breakfast is plentifully delicious and would suit both an organic vegetarian gluten-free palate as well as a meat eating carnivore desiring bacon and eggs and potators and all that goes with it. The dinners in the dining room are beautifully presented and so very delicious that one is tempted to lick the plate clean would there be no witnesses!

The icing on the cake is the huge area of dry and steam saunas. I must also mention the cold sauna that is -110 C and it is the only one in North America whereas over 80 of them are in Europe. This sauna is especially good for arthritis complaints and many other disabilities. It is fun to go from one to the other and they are all different in size, temperature and moisture. There are all two pools and a large hot tub. One of them is an outdoor infinity pool with a tremendous view of the large lake in the distance.

I can hardly wait to return to Sparkling Hill Resort for another visit. There are special prices and packages on from time to time and we are lucky to have this beautiful resort in the Okanagan Valley.

Room Tip: A corner room is probably ideal although they are all above average.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elean0r52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
British Columbia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 20, 2013

What a fantastic, upscale European resort! From the moment you arrive you are overcome by the beauty of the location and the wonderful service from the staff - starting with the valet parking. Inside is very opulent with crystals everywhere. I came to this resort for a girls weekend getaway to celebrate a 75 birthday. The rooms were amazing and had very comfortable beds. The bathroom was beautiful, but would work best for a couples getaway as the tub was in front of the window overlooking the breathtaking lake views and the walk through shower was all glass. The amenities included heated indoor and outdoor infinity pool, hot tub, Kneipp water therapy (water stepping), saunas and steam rooms with varying heats and scents. I enjoyed them all although the rose scented one was a little overpowering. There are a variety of spa treatments and activities available for an extra charge including yoga and a health backs class.
Try to book a package that includes the buffet breakfast as it was fabulous with a large variety of both hot and cold foods. This is definitely one of the best, most luxurious and relaxing spas and I would highly recommend it!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Chuckles65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sun Peaks, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2013

My third visit to Sparkling Hill, and it only gets better each time. Spent 4 wonderful nights and 5 great days in mid-January and the visit was top notch. Attentive staff, wonderful facilities and breathtaking rooms with view of Okanagan Lake. Dinner one night was a fantastic meal of wild boar, root vegetables, and finished off with a nice selection of cheeses and apple strudel. The boar melted in your mouth and the presentation was outstanding. One slight glitch - technical failure of the door lock set, and staff immediately moved me to the best room in the house - all gratis. Thoughtful people from management to staff. Will return again, next time in summer, and got my sister and her husband a week stay for their 25th anniversary. One of the best places I've stayed in over 35 countries I've visited for work and leisure.

Room Tip: Ask for a lakeview room although the mountain side rooms have spectacular sunrises.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank George M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Okanagan, BC, Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2013

My spouse and I went up to stay 1 night at Sparkling Hills for a quick getaway. First time visiting. There are different packages and specials routinely offered, and we booked a package that gave us a dinner the evening we arrived, access to the Spa saunas and pools that evening, and then breakfast for each of us the next morning. I thought it was a great value before we got to the resort, and then felt it was fantastic value upon leaving.

The view is...spectacular! The resort has a VERY-European, ultra-modern feel, more to the minimalist side of 'clinical' luxury than sprawling-in-your-face opulence. The nicely-appointed rooms are an open concept, and from the rooms to the Spa, the atmosphere is 'high end'. (They even have a clothing-optional hour in the evening...!) Without question, the design of the rooms is unique, and the bathtub right against the window might catch some of us north americans off guard a little, but...i think we might be a little too self-conscious as a culture anyhow....the Europeans seem to have a laissez-faire attitude that makes life less stressful. Just enjoy it!

The resort is also tucked right into the rock bluffs right at the top of the mountain, and melds well with the nature all around it. Overall, it has a very tranquil 'feel'.

The steam and sauna rooms are fantastic, ranging from a very cold, dry sauna to a very humid hot room and everything in between. Very enjoyable! They have a VAST range of Spa services, and if we had more time, I would have liked to go in the -110 Sauna (separate from the 7 sauna's).

We had our supper meal delivered to our room, and I thought the steak was incredibly well prepared and very tasty. Great appetizers, entree's, very nice menu, and thoroughly enjoyed. Visual presentation was amazing, although I know that, in the end, things have to taste good, and they certainly did! Never thought I'd say this, but....the meals 'looked' superb, and tasted even better! The buffet-style breakfast in the PeakFine restaurant the next morning was great, with a large, healthy selection, and a wonderful ambiance in which to enjoy it. There are selections for those on restricted diets, and a good selection of visibly-healthy options that would satisfy any taste. The staff were constantly replenishing things, and very accommodating to requests. Perhaps one could say the meals are on the expensive side, but....this is a luxury accommodation - a low-budget menu just would take away from the experience. Just keep in mind that the resort is not cheap....and in my opinion, that's a good thing.

Free valet parking, free internet, thoughtful touches at check-in and all around the resort....it's just a very nice experience! Unless a person who reviewed this is a total prude, I just can't see how a person could give this wonderful resort less than 3 stars, even if they were in a terrible mood while writing the review. Sparkling Hills is a higher-end, tranquil, revitalizing experience, and I'd recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank matrix_of_J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kamloops, BC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 15, 2013

Wow! This is a must do for everyone that lives in BC, and if you are not from the area, and will be anywhere near this area....you must go! I have been to Central America, Europe, the US, The Bahamas, and across Canada, and this was my favorite place I have stayed. Top notch service, relaxing beautiful steam rooms, pools and whirlpools. We ate Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner....all meals were exceptional with a beautiful view.....the best breakfast I have ever had. Our room was luxurious. We will definitely go here again!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank skiharper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
2 reviews
Reviewed January 15, 2013

This wasn't the first time my wife and I treated ourselves to a weekend of pure luxury and enjoyment at the beautifully located Sparkling Hills Resort. But this lovely romantic get-away doesn't stop to amaze us. Their service is so friendly and pleasant, their rooms are beautifully designed with breathtaking views, their spa offers everything you could wish for and their restaurant has now reached the highest quality of food presentation, taste and service. Congratulations! We will be back soon. Albert and Karin

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karin295
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2013

As promised in my earlier review of this property, here is my review of the one week in June of this year during which we had the opportunity to participate in the Whole Body Wellness package at Sparkling Hill. The package consists of the usual special features available on other Sparkling Hill specials, such as the breakfast buffet breakfast, access to the steam and sauna rooms, free underground valet parking and free Internet access, but in addition also offers seven nights’ accommodation in a Superior Room, a daily three course dinner in the Peakfine Restaurant, and 13 Kurspa treatments.
We had such an amazing time that we will be going back time and time again. This thorough review is done to sufficiently convey what a fantastic experience this have been for us.
1. The Kurspa treatments:
These were magnificent. There was not a single one of the wellness massages, body treatments and beauty treatments that let us down. The therapists were all professional, clearly enjoyed their jobs and made us feel comfortable. One never felt rushed, and they often went a few minutes beyond the assigned duration of the treatments. I had my first facial and pedicure of my life, and it made me wonder why I have not discovered earlier that this is essential practice for modern men!
2. The food:
Buffet style food can be a problem, but not so at the breakfasts of Sparkling Hill. There was constant attention by staff to the freshness and presentation of the different foods throughout breakfast. Every morning there were subtle differences to the previous day’s offering, making it never boring. The waiting staff invariably was attentive, welcoming and accommodating, both at breakfast and at dinner. Dinner’s food is Austrian-inspired and haute cuisine. Every single dish’s presentation is photo worthy. I have eaten at many upscale restaurants in my life -- the Buddha Bar in Gezira, Cairo; the Bellevue in Prague; Lumiere in Vancouver, to name a few -- and this one holds its own in the company of the lofty ones. From the amuse-bouche, to the appetiser, the entree, the desert and the petit fours, each evening’s meal was something we looked forward to the whole day. The style is very much focused on the smaller, visually beautiful and intensely flavoured aesthetic. The menu did not repeat itself once during that week. Although we had dinner as part of the package, I believe the a la carte menu prices are low considering the quality one gets.
3. The hotel:
Fodor’s recently voted Sparkling Hill as one of the top 100 hotels in the world, out of thousands they have visited. Apparently there is no way a hotel can sway this decision. It is impressive, but not surprising, that Sparkling Hill takes its place on this list within less than three years of opening among only four other Canadian hotels in the world, and 30 in North America (Canada, the US and Mexico). Because the list is not presented numerically, it may well be very close to the top.
The Swarovski crystal theme is imbued throughout the hotel into the smallest details and never becomes over the top. The architecture incorporates the ultramodern and the allure of nature seamlessly with its massive windows, and its many nooks and crannies. I feel at peace when I am there.
4. The rooms:
The unique design of the rooms has been much discussed on this forum, and mostly favourably. Photos cannot really do it justice. I love the open plan and the bathtub right in front of the window with its peerless view. Since my previous review, I have spoken to a number of friends who went there on our recommendation. They have been accommodated in almost every part of the hotel. There was not a complaint about a single room that does not have a great view, whether of the beautiful hillside or the lake.
5. Overall:
I am puzzled about the “poor” or “terrible” reviews on the resort, and so, because I like statistics, bear with me.
At the time of the writing of this review, 11% of the reviews on this site are in these two categories. In comparison over 61% of reviewers rate it as “excellent”, and almost 82% rate it as either that or “very good”. A little research of the characteristics of the reviewers shows that 50% of the negative reviewers have only done this one review and almost 40% of the negative reviewers are local, from the Okanagan area. This is quite different from the comparative profile of 50 of the positive reviewers. Only twenty percent of these are local, and 22% are first-time reviewers.
This makes me think that the negative reviewers may tend to be neophytes of the traveling and hotel experience, not recognizing stellar quality and value-for-what-you-get when they see it. I would like them to experience other places and then come back and realize what a gem they have had here all along.
We have no hesitation whatsoever to recommend this hotel for anybody wanting a wonderful, peaceful, classy and rejuvenating experience.

Room Tip: Any room is great!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank poepolHouse
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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