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Reviewed September 7, 2016

I stayed here with my partner for a night in August. It is pricey and even with a CAA discount i paid $358 a night with taxes in. Was told that even the Canadian national hockey team stays there for retreats.

Location: Amazing. It is located on a elevated point that oversees the okanagan river and endless rolling valleys and hills. It is a bit off the main highway and located near the Predator Ridge residential community.

Room: top notch. Was clean, had a tub that overlooked the valley and wall to floor windows. Bed was huge and they even leave chocolates on the bed for you. There is an iPad that lets you learn about the services in an hotel.

Amenities: Out of this world. salt water Infinity pool that oversees the river, indoor pool, hot tub. Basically if you want to relax all day by the pool you can; it was very quiet and everyone was courteous. However, no staff located in the pool area which is very strange if you had questions or need assistance. The steam rooms (there are like 8) were the best. Each had varying temperatures and were very relaxing. They are all included in your hotel stay, no extra cost.

Staff: Very quick with check in BUT it seems like they did not want to work there. It is hard to explain but all the hotel acted as if they were given sedatives.

Food: the restaurant in the hotel did not have a great selection and that is why we ate before checking in. The breakfast was great though, loved the oatmeal

If you are in the area and want a luxury place to stay, this is the place to go.

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Phillip M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SparklingHill, Manager at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2016

Dear Phillip,

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by such natural beauty and I am glad you enjoyed our beautiful location! It is also wonderful that you found the rooms to be top notch and the amenities to be exceptional. It is concerning to hear of the staff you encountered and we will certainly look into this!

Thank you again and we hope to see you again!

Kind Regards,

Jana G
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2016

We stayed for one night to experience this resort. The rooms were excellent with floor to ceiling windows and a walkthrough shower! We would have been content to stay in the room for the entire time. The spas and pool were great with several heated rooms with varying levels of heat and humidity to cook you to perfection! Our room included an excellent breakfast as well! We had dinner in the resort's restaurant and it was not that great for the money. It was an expensive outing overall but we would like to stay two nights on our return.

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank Z06Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SparklingHill, Manager at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2016

Thank you for your review. I am delighted that you had an enjoyable 1 night stay with us! It is wonderful that you also took advantage of the amenities available in our KurSpa!

We look forward to welcoming you back for a 2 night stay in the near future!

Kind Regards,

Jana G
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2016

We were very excited to stay at this hotel for our spa getaway in the Okanagan. Hotel website looked awesome, location seemed perfect and property was advertised like the first of its kind in Western Canada. While all of the above is true - the hotel, the spa and the rooms are very modern, impressive and indeed one-of-a-kind for Western Canada, the location is excellent and the views are tremendous - the hotel nevertheless disappoints on many levels, the biggest of which is lack of outdoor space and service.

The hotel has no patios or outdoor spaces to enjoy an al-fresco meal or beverages (the coffee shop has three small outdoor tables, which for this size of hotel is laughable) and no effort is being made to make use of the outdoor patio adjacent to the heavily air-conditioned main restaurant where a lot of guests were making comments about "freezing to death". The patio just stands empty in the beautiful, sunny 32C weather, presumably waiting for the occasional wedding ceremony to take place under the forlorn-looking plastic arch. It's a shame. Guest rooms, while great, have no balconies and no screens, making it impossible to sleep with open windows at night due to mosquitoes.

The food at the restaurant and the cafe was hit and miss, with breakfast at the main restaurant being the biggest letdown. The eggs and ham/sausages at the buffet were worse than those would expect to find at Denny's for a fraction of the price. No a-la-carte breakfast menu available. Lunch menu very limited. Both lunch and dinner meals were decent, but not as as spectacular as you expect based on the level of this property. Charcuterie platter served at the cafe was stale.

The above issues certainly can be easily addressed, if anyone cared at all about the hotel and its guests. The incompetence and indifference the staff displayed at every step is simply unforgivable at this supposedly European-managed, high-end property.

A few examples:

- We arrived at noon, and the check-in wasn't until 4PM. We were told we could not go to the pool, since technically we were not yet checked in. This in itself is ridiculous, as I have never stayed at a hotel that would disallow paying guests to use hotel amenities while they wait for their room to become available. To make matters worse, when we asked what we could do in the meantime while we wait for the check-in, the staff at the front desk just shrugged and said, whatever you want. No suggestions, no attempt to accommodate or make our arrival more welcoming.

- When we finally checked in and called the spa from our room with a question, the phone kept going to the messaging service. We gave up and walked down to the spa to ask the question in person, only to find three girls at the front spa desk area chatting and laughing among themselves while the phone rang off the hook.

- Generally, spa attendants had to be literally hunted down. No service of any kind was offered by the pool. Used towels are not being removed. Glass raining around the pool was dirty as heck, clearly not cleaned in weeks. No drinks are allowed by the pool, except water. We saw some people smuggle in some beer and a flask of something, which incidentally was only possible because staff doesn't care and doesn't check on how the guests are doing when they are lounging by the pool. The property itself provides no refreshments in the pool area. If you are thirsty, you need to go inside looking for a water station, which isn't always refilled. A guy occupying a sun bed next to ours was so happy to have found water, we thought he just arrived fresh from the track across the Sahara desert.

- No towels or basic toiletries provided in the changing rooms at the spa. You have to hunt down a spa attendant and ask for a towel if you need one. This request was often met with a remark: "There are spa towels in your room". That's true, however, it's not the attendant's place to question why guests didn't remember to bring their own towel from the room. Moreover, I don't see why guests need to be lugging their own towels back and forth just to go for a swim. It's standard practice to have towels available in the changing rooms.

- No sun umbrellas were made available by the pool, instead the base stand units for about 15 umbrellas were piled up on one corner collecting dust. When we asked if it was possible to install an umbrella, the attendant said she didn't think they ever had any umbrellas by the pool before. She had to be pointed out that on the website the pool is pictures surrounded by umbrellas AND that they have 15 idle stands laying about right by the pool itself. She shrugged, said she would call maintenance and that was at 2PM. No one followed up with us about this request for the rest of the day, and the umbrella did not materialize that day at all. Only the following morning we saw that they had randomly put out two umbrellas in the pool area.

- The spa has a sauna circuit area, consisting of 8 or 9 different saunas and steam rooms. Throughout our 4-day stay, rooms kept going out of service, so that by the end of our visit 4 of them were not accessible to the public. No visible attempt was made to restore the service even at a busy time such the August long weekend. The sauna circuit is also closed during most of the day (11-5), which means that you cannot get a steam between your treatments. This inexplicable policy really puts a damper on spa experience. Again, I have never been to a spa where you could not get into a sauna or a steam room before/after your massage, a practice that makes massage therapy that much more beneficial.

- We had a couple of treatments at the spa: a full-body scrub and a full-body massage. The scrub was definitely below average. Normally, you would get a steam before your scrub treatment (couldn't since the steam facility is always closed during the day) and after the scrub is applied they are SUPPOSED TO wrap your body in a cocoon of sorts to let the oils ans salts absorb (didn't happen). Instead I got scrubbed for maybe 7 minutes, told to wash off in the shower, got some cream slapped on me and escorted out. It felt like they try to get the guests in-and-out as quickly as possible. The massage was downright terrible. The therapists didn't once inquire about any concerns or problem areas, didn't offer a selection of massage oils, didn't ask about how much pressure was appropriate. In fact she applied NO pressure at all, so much that it felt that she was there to gently caress me rather than massage. Several times she went on to pinch me, which I don't think is an acceptable massage technique. I asked to increase pressure 3 times, to no avail. Instead she kept dousing me in oil, to the point where I was literally dripping with oil when it was over.

- When we tried to ask for massage treatment receipts, we were told that their massage therapists are not registered (not RMTs). This is quite shocking since the property advertises and bills itself as a full-service medical spa and plainly states on their website that ALL of their therapists are licensed. Since I couldn't even get a decent massage here, I certainly would not trust this property with any other medical treatments.

- At breakfast, since a lot of the buffet items and especially eggs were very poorly prepared, I asked the server for two eggs on the side. The response was: "We don't have a breakfast menu". Well, I knew that, but do you have eggs?? Eventually, after more of this awkward exchange, she said she would ask the chef it it is possible to get two eggs on the side! A few minutes later she came back, looking unreasonably happy, and informed me: "Good news, we can make a couple of eggs on the side!" Not what I would call good news, considering this was a basic request that would be accommodated without any issues at any restaurant around the world.

Our stay cost us CAD$770 per night, including breakfast, dinner and the two aforementioned spa treatments each (2 people). If this rate was lower, I would overlook some of the service and quality, but at this price point it's not acceptable. The property itself has a lot of potential and is indeed impressive, but unless management takes control and starts caring about guest convenience, overall atmosphere and staff training, this will be a terrible fail, especially once the hotel starts showing age and the amenities cease to impress.

Date of stay: August 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank lmitravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SparklingHill, Manager at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2016

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your detailed review. I am truly disappointed to hear of your experience with us as it is not what we strive for. Your feedback will most certainly be shared with each appropriate manager. If possible, I would love to have the opportunity to follow up directly with you, it would be much appreciated if you would send me a private message with your contact information or an email to jana.gohl@sparklinghill.com.

I hope to hear from you!

Kind Regards,

Jana G
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2016

Really enjoyed this hotel. The property is absolutely stunning. The staff were exceptional. The spa was lovely and quite well thought out and managed. The food was really quite exceptional, which is great because you don't have options outside the hotel.

Date of stay: July 2016
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TravelGuy_CA_NP
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SparklingHill, Manager at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2016

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your review. I am delighted to hear that you really enjoyed your visit and were able to explore the KurSpa as well as have a delicious dinner!

We look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!

Kind Regards,

Jana G
Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 5, 2016

This is a beautiful resort with many amazing features. The resort is perched at the top of the hill in the Predator Ridge area, just outside of Vernon. Views of Lake Okanagan, downtown Vernon, the mountains and the golf course are breathtaking. The large floor to ceiling windows in the rooms capture it beautifully. And the rooms themselves are wonderfully designed with walk through showers and stand alone bathtubs. We went with our 4 year old and didn't feel out of place, however it is important to note that kiddos aren't allowed in the pool area which was fine with us. We went hiking instead. The restaurant on site serves some of the best complimentary breakfast (free or not, it was amazing). They had gluten free muffins available and labelled the food gf as well. We dined there at night and it is a very pricey restaurant ($200 including tip for 2 adults and 1 child), but we had a great server and enjoyed the meal very much. The hotel would do better to have a visible valet and doorman. There is valet service but you just leave your vehicle in the lot in front of the hotel and walk in. The hotel could also use better cleaning staff for the caliber of resort it is. The sink wasn't wiped down and there was someone's contact left behind. The top of the shelves were very dusty and the drawers in the rooms hadn't been wiped down. Light switches too were dirty. The elevators and stairs in the hotel weren't kept very clean either. Probably the staff have been rushing to clean because they are busy there and it's noticeable. As for reviews on Trip Advisor that have commented about Mice....in the Sparkling Hill newsletter it states clearly that if you leave the floor to ceiling window wide open (no screen) that mice or squirrels could visit. Makes sense. We didn't see any at all and weren't concerned. Overall we loved our stay and we would go back. Hopefully they can make some improvements with doing some deeper cleans/more cleaning upkeep of the resort.

Date of stay: August 2016
1  Thank 03HappyTravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SparklingHill, Manager at Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded September 7, 2016

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent stay with us! It is great that you were able to enjoy your stay as a family, and that you had a positive experience in our PeakFine Restaurant! I appreciate your feedback regarding the concerns in your room, this will be shared and addressed with our Housekeeping Manager directly as it is not the high standard we strive for.

Thank you as well for noting the comment regarding unwanted visitors if the sliding glass wall is left open - We do try to make this advisement as clear as possible, so it is wonderful this was communicated to you.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Kind regards,

Conagher J
Assistant Operations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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