Sparkling Hill Wellness Resort and Spa
What We Love
- Daily breakfast is included in the Jetsetter rate
- KurSpa’s Ice Lab cold sauna is the only one of its kind in North America
- Seven different sauna and steam rooms plus indoor and outdoor swimming pools are free for hotel guests
What To Know
- The closest airport is in Kelowna, a 25-minutes drive north
- The resort is geared toward adults
- If you want to get around to see the Vernon area while visiting resort, consider renting a car. But staying put is absolutely do-able
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Chiseled into a mountaintop above British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake, this 152-room, wellness-focused retreat radiates light through the 3.5 million Swarovski crystals ($10 million worth) integrated into everything from light fixtures to the swimming pool. The sparkling scene is spectacularly set in the three-story glass atrium, which is festooned with more than 90 uniquely shaped pieces of glass to replicate a huge crystal. Inside, the space drips with the real deal, in the form of shimmering chandeliers hung from ascending tiers and crystal-embedded handrails.
Bed & Bath
This isn’t one of those themey resorts where the expensive design elements peter out once you leave the public spaces and enter your guestroom. You can feel the energy pulsating from the wall embedded with triangular crystals and the built-in crystal “fireplace,” a flame-mimicking sculpture that glows a fiery red. But the bling isn’t even the highlight of these spacious digs; the views are, especially from the window-wall fronting the freestanding tub (which stands beneath a crystal-studded ceiling, natch).
While most spas are all about the beige (zzzz…) the resort’s 40,000-square-foot KurSpa has left that dated concept in the dust; it may well be the most visually stunning spa in Canada. The space is refreshingly vibrant, with jewel tones popping off of sunlit spaces, like the seemingly liquid, bright turquoise glass doors behind which a veritable army of therapists offer more than 100 treatments. Among the unique treatments offered is cryotherapy, in North America’s first cold sauna, dubbed Ice Lab; the temp dips to -166˚ F, which activates biochemical, hormonal and immune modulatory processes that boost the nervous and circulatory systems.
How to Get There
Just left my second visit to Sparkling Hill, and here’s the scoop. Coming from Alberta we chose to fly into Kelowna instead of making the drive. After booking our flight I was appalled to find out that Sparkling Hill doesn’t offer a shuttle service. Instead, the have partnered with companies who offer the service for $70-80 dollars each way! It’s a 34km drive. Local taxi companies charge the same rate. We opted to rent a car from Budget at the airport for our 2 day stay, which worked out to be cheaper. The resort really should be providing transport to & from the airport, if not for free than a reasonable rate. Every other hotel I’ve stayed at provide airport transportation.
We stayed over the Family Day weekend, it was very busy. Saunas and steams were full. The crowds were especially noticeable at breakfast, the line ups were long and the food trays were often empty. This really takes away from the luxury of the experience, making it feel more like a crowded all-inclusive. To help with how crowded the Kit Spa was, I would suggest opening an hour earlier in the mornings, 8:00am instead of 9:00am, and reconsidering the European Hour (nude hour) at the end of the day. Only be open from 9:00am-11:00am in the mornings means everyone is trying to cram breakfast and a spa into 2 hours, if they value a sleep in.
I’m worried about the longevity and upkeep of the hotel. Our fridge made a high pitcher ringing all night, and the communications box across the hall from our room “ping”ed all night. Chairs and features are starting to look worn, and overhaul will be needed soon.
The pros, it still a mostly quiet, calm, place to be. The views are incredible. The staff are all very friendly. Sparkling Hill seems to be offering more and more deals/offers, so you can work within a budget, but it also means more people. The spas and steams are enjoyable and the outdoor pool Is stunning, but I think they turned the pool temperature down between 11:00am-4:00pm, which is disappointing because the pools are the only thing open during that time.
All things to consider. I’d only go back during the summer as part of a tour through interior BC, it’s too expensive to arrange in the winter.
The resort is above the rest and a unique experiences. The amenities are beautifully designed and it is truly a relaxing experience. Very romantic for couples. The complimentary breakfast has many options and food that is dairy free and gluten free for those with allergies. They are very accommodating.
With cold temperatures and snow on the ground it added to the beauty of this stunning resort
Staff food and accommodations were better than our expectations. We would definitely like to return and would recommend it
Our stay at Sparkling Hills was spectacular. This is our second time. The room is beautifully appointed with crystals and romantic lighting. The spas were relaxing and not too busy. The outdoor pool was magical with the snow falling on our heads and then we easily transitioned into the hot tub. Now for the restaurant...the most delicious food ever (and we dine out a lot)! We had the lobster and scallop appetizers, pork tenderloin and beef tenderloin for mains. The flavours and plating were so fantastic. Our waiter Chris, was very professional describing the plate when asked. For dessert we had the Autumn Cheesecake and Peanutbutter and Jam bar. Amazing!! We went with all Chris’s recommendations and were so impressed. This was a special February deal so our voucher covered the three course dinner. We are so happy with this special place and highly recommend the experience to others.
We had a relaxing time at this spa/hotel. The location is divine, the breakfast buffet over the top and the spa was fantastic. The rooms are beautiful with wonderful views of the mountains and lake. If I had only one complaint it would be people are able to be loud and unaccounted for in the spa area. There are signs to be quiet and respectful of others but when people weren’t no staff came to request that they mind themselves. The staff at the front desks were polite and helpful too.