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“Simply beautiful!”

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Sparkling Hill Resort
Ranked #2 of 20 Hotels in Vernon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 October 2010

After reading some mediocre reviews I did not have a very high expectation of the hotel. HOWEVER, everything that we had experienced had surpassed my expectations!!!

The service is exceptional! We were greeted by all the hotel staffs everywhere we go. The peakfine restaurant has excellent food and a 5 star service. Our room was very clean and modern, with a breath taking view of the mountains. The spa here is TO DIE FOR!! It truly feels like heaven!!!! Oh, and the pools were also amazing with a beautiful infinity pool that was heated!!

This hotel is perfect for couples getaway. The experience is no where to be found anywhere else in north America!!

  • Stayed: October 2010
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Thank Jezzika
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 12 October 2010

I was a bit skeptical to stay here after reading some of the reviews but I can definitely say that they have come a long way from the beginning of these reviews. I would recommend any people that stayed near the beginning to give this hotel another shot because they really exceeded my expectations! When travelling my usual preference is Four Season's so I have higher standards than some other travellers but since there is not one in the Okanagan area we decided to give Sparkling Hill a try.

Driving up to the resort is absolutely breathtaking, they really did manage to make the resort look how they vision it as on their website. Check in was nice and quick but not rushed, I didn't get the girls name but she was very polite and professional. A valet that was waiting inside escorted us up to the room and when he opened the door wow! The rooms are amazing, truly something different. The young man showed us how to open the sliding door since it was a European style and it slid back half of the whole floor to ceiling window!!! We settled in the room and shortly after received a call from the front desk girl that checked us in ensuring everything was up to standards in the room, we also found out there is a different elevator we can take to the spa where we don't have to walk by the lobby in our robes and slippers which was great. The beds are memory foam but different from other memory foams that I have slept on, they were great beds and we both got a fantastic sleep both nights we were there!

When we went into the spa we checked in our treatments which was also efficient, the only disappointment was we found out that they do not have any RMT employed yet. The massage was done well, I think the guys name was Dan that did mine and he was very kind and could really do a thorough massage. The saunas are amazing, in all of our years of travelling we have never seen so many different and beautiful saunas and steam rooms! One must really see them. The pool area was also nice and relaxing. They have an outdoor pool which was amazing at night time since it is heated! It was chilly at night time so it was nice that they have a pathway from the indoor pool to the outdoor pool without having to walk outside! The spa was truly relaxing, we found ourselves completely relaxed in the serenity room which has the most amazing view in the whole hotel I would say.

There was a wedding occurring at the hotel when we checked in and were a bit concerned regarding noise but once we got to the room we never heard or thought of the wedding again.

The package we were on included a dinner each night so we went to dinner, my food was really good, my husband has fish and said his was a bit overcooked, the service was friendly, I overheard another server having a more casual conversation than I would except in this type of restaurant with another table but the food was really exquisite and our server was professional and always there when we needed him. Breakfast was good, we had a variety, I think they have really improved their breakfast compared to before based on the reviews I have read.

Our car was already out-front when we came to check out which was very helpful. The same girl that checked us in also checked out us, it was a very pleasant process and she made the check out more personal by knowing where home was, our address on the reservation we are assuming gave that away, and having checked on road conditions before we asked her to. They seem to be lacking the valet service, they called them whenever needed rather than producing them in front of the hotel like we expected from a hotel of this style.

I have to say that the hotel was extremely clean, I am very persistent with cleanliness and this hotel was top notch in the cleaning department. Regardless of which bathroom I entered it was always very clean.

Overall Sparkling Hill was a true getaway and really did make us forget about all of our troubles elsewhere, my husband even forgot his blackberry in the car when we first drove up to check in! It was a relaxing, revitalizing getaway that we cannot wait to do again next year.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank KelownaReview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2010

Great location. The crystal light fixtures - fabulous! Service! Non existent! Over-priced and undervalued. Hardly a real "Austrian" Spa experience. The only thing Austrian are the crystals.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled on business
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1  Thank A_regular_traveler57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2010

This is a wonderful hotel in a fabulous setting. The wellness spa concept is European and should prove to be popular with European visitors. The rooms are remarkable, with topline European design and finishes. The same is true of the public area. The staff is unfortunately in need of better guidelines, direction and training.

Here is our experience :
1) On entering the crystal and marble lobby, we encountered a LARGE wedding party having pictures taken. they were not booked in the hotel, but had just shown up and started snapping photos. the lobby is not large. Staff was distressed as they had a "real" wedding coming in at 2:00, but were not able to take control of the situation and boot out the interlopers.

2) Check in was otherwise fine, and a very nice older gentlemen valeted our car (no cost for parking), and showed us our rooms.

3) The room was lovely and the view incredible. The bathroom was one of the few hotel bathrooms I have been in with enough room for all toiletries, and my daughter and I have a lot of toiletries.

4) Down to the spa, using the bathrobes and slippers from the room. We were puzzled by the many steam and sauna rooms, and asked the spa receptionist, who said that it was all self explanatory, just read the signs. We did not get the impression of someone eager to engage. There are many rooms, all at different temperatures, though only a few were working on this particular day and we sort of figured it out.

5) There was an artificial stream that you walk through with alternating hot and cold water that is suposed to help with arthritis and the lympahtic system (we found this out from another guest, the signs were NOT self explanatory.) The indoor pool was a wonderful saltwater experience, and the outdoor infinity pool was teriffic as was the large heated hot tub. Throughout, everything was beautifually clean and wonderfully quiet.

6) We worked out in a rather small work out room with state of the art hydraulic equipment.

7) We ended up in the tea room. The 3 hot tea carafes were empty and there were no cups left, but the view was amazing, and the tea was replenished after the staff was notified.

8) Retrning to the room, my daughter attempted a shower, but the spray head was not working. Maintenance quickly replaced it.

9) I phoned to the dining room to move our reservation up half an hour. I got an answering machine, and there was no call back, though when we went down later, the dining area reception said she had received our message. The same thing happened when I phoned the spa for an appt. Although it was the middle of the day, I got an answering machine, and no call back.

10) We both ordered dinner from the set menu. I received the wrong appetizer, and my daughter received the wrong dessert. The computer was blamed in both cases. Otherwise, the meal was good but not outstanding for $200.00 (with bottle of wine) for two. The view was to die for.

11) Up to the room, where my bath tub had a leak; ah well, bathed anyway.

12) Bed time. Wonderful beds. However, I got very little sleep. Even though there are 2 sets of blinds, both have large chinks around three sides and I woke as soon as it started to get light.

13) We were next to the elevator, and there are LARGE gaps around the edge of the door. Not only did light spill in form the corridor, but so did sound. This really should be fixed.

14) Buffet breakfast included with the room was fine, though the coffee was undrinkable.

15) Facial appointments. The products used were excellent, the facials themselves were lacklustre.

16) Checkout was fine.

Conclusion:
We paid a low introductory price for a reason and I am not complaining. If it were a smoothly oiled machine, I couldn't afford it. They really need to train the staff, who currently are operating at a level one might expect in a small town in the middle of the Okanagan Valley, but not at a world class facility. They need to market the hell out of this hotel if it is going to succeed, concentrating on Europe, where they understand the concept. They need to get some registered massage therapists. They have at least 10 treatment rooms, and no qualified massage therapists. This is something that should have been aranged before opening.

By next year this time, there should be planeloads of Germans, Belgian, Dutch charters coming to Sparkling Hills; otherwise, I predict a long struggle to flourish. I'll keep my fingers crossed, as this is a concept that deserves to succeed.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank neamster1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2010

Stayed at the hotel for 3 nights in mid August for an anniversary getaway. Read about it in the Calgary Herald, and was looking forward to trying out the -110C cryo sauna. The hotel just opened in May of this year, so I guess its still working out the bugs, however when you charge full rate ($500/n) you better get it right. The rooms are absolutely fantastic! Probably one of the nicest rooms I've been in, with great floor to ceiling windows overlooking Lake OK. The issue is when the sun sets, you can't really sit in the sitting chairs, because for some bizarre reason, they put a mirror on the side wall, so you get the sun shining in your eyes, therefore you need to put down the sun shades (& lose the view). However, great bed, tub, shower, robes and slippers. The breakfast was very good (included in price), and their muffins were fantastic. However there were only 2-3 other tables there, and I had to wait 10 minutes to get coffee, I guess chatting to friends in the back is more important to the staff (and then they want a tip! It's buffet style so the only thing they need to do is bring you coffee!!). We had dinner there twice. For the first night, there was us and 4-5 others, for that experience we found the food and service was very good (except they haven't figured out you don't mix group tables with tables of couples, keep the noisy groups separate!!!). However, the last nights dinner was just terrible, and that is one of the reasons they only get 3 stars. Their set menu seems to favor cheap meats, so they had quail (aka chicken) on the menu twice, I didn't want the chicken again, so I chose the fish. Of course everyone had the same idea, so they were out of fish. They came to me and said I could chose veggie or quail, I explained that is not what I wanted. Any quality restaurant would have a better fish for an alternative, but not them, I had to escalate it to the manager to get tuna. The kicker was they were sooooo slow, our 3 course meal took 3hrs!!! By the time we were done, the pools were closed and my bum really hurt, since their dining room chairs weren't the most comfortable.

The spa is certainly lacking. This is the first spa I've ever been too that didn't have the basic amenities (i.e. razors, shaving cream, mouth wash, moisturizer, etc..), or bottled water (you had to drink from plastic cups placed next to the tap... really the tap!!). The pools were very nice (partially under construction), but there was no bar service. We did the cryo sauna, good time, not going to do that again! Had a massage, nothing special, but the price was cheap (because they don't employ more experienced registered massage therapists). The spa was very poorly designed, you are in the waiting room, and you'll see them bring a tour of 10 tourists with cameras while you are sitting in your robe waiting for a massage.... not a good idea. They need to separate the spa from the pools. Also, went to use the sauna's/steam rooms one day, but they don't open until 2pm, so I wasn't able to use them on our last day (I planned to use them the night before, but because the diner took so long it closed before we could make it!).

I needed to work, and I found the wifi worked without any problem in the room and restaurant (ok, I caught up on email during breakfast). However, every time your computer goes to sleep, you need to login again, I've never had to do that anywhere else, they should upgrade their provider, very inconvenient for guests.

I give the hotel 3 stars because there was no valet (very bad first impression, even though the view of the building is amazing!!). Unbelievably poor dining experience (both breakfast and diner). Poor spa design and amenities. I also didn't care much for the location, its 20 minutes from Vernon, and 30 minutes from Kelowna, so its really in the middle of no-where. You'll want to plan to hit the wineries near Kelowna for lunch and diner, and its a bit of a drive a night (with the curvy roads) from Kelowna. If its in a remote location, I would expect the pools, spa, and restaurants to be top notch, they weren't. The saving grace was the rooms were amazing, and the property was absolutely beautiful.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank TheCriticalTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2010

My wife and I stayed at Sparkling Hill August 13th and 14th for our anniversary. Overall it was a very relaxing, enjoyable experience. The hotel is beautiful and the views it offers are specatcular. We were on the third (top) floor, but I can't imagine any room there not having a view since the structure is perched on the top of a hill with one side looking out over Predator Ridge golf course and the other overlooking Okanagan Lake.

The staff were all very friendly, but we found service to be a bit inconsistent. When we drove up to the entrance there was no valet to be seen. When we checked in, a bellman was paged. He took my wife's suitcase, but didn't even offer to take my suitcase or laptop. Our room had amazing views...floor to ceiling window walls on two sides with a bathtub for two against one of them (warning: unlike most city hotels, the windows are NOT one way!).

Everything about the spa area of the resort was top-notch...the people, the treatment rooms, the euqipment, the many themed saunas and steam rooms and the pools.

Food and beverage is - for me - the most difficult thing to critique about our stay. The dinner menu changes daily and is very creative. It's split into 4 sections of 3 course options. There's land (i.e. meat), earth (vegetarian) and sea that change everyday plus a static choice of beef tenderloin. My wife enjoyed both her dinners, one being the earth selection. She felt that, unlike some restaurants that just throw a vegetarian item on the menu because they have to, this restaurant - PeakFine - actually tried to come up with interesting ideas. I had the beef tenderloin one night. It was cooked using the "sous vide" method and was outstanding! I can't recommend it enough. Our server both nights was Kip and he really needs to be acknowledged as an exceptional waiter. The lunch menu was also interesting, but it would have been nice to see a couple items of more standard fare. Breakfast was a disappointment. There's no a la carte service, just a buffet. The eggs were the worst part. The first morning there was a chafing dish containing scrambled eggs, one with sausages and one with fried potatoes(mixed with red pepper and purple onion). I would swear the eggs were scooped out of one of those 5 gallon pails of prescrambled stuff...tasteless. The second morning there were again three chafing dishes. This time the eggs were in the form of a frittata and contained pieces of fried potato that looked suspiciously like the potatoes from the previous morning. Again, totally bland. There was also a chafing dish with the same type of sausage and one with very overcooked waffles that were so hard you could chip a tooth on them. Aside from the hot items there was fruit, granola, cheeses and some very good pastries.

In case Sparkling Hill management reads this review, here are a few recommendations:
Pool beverage service
Better stocked in-room fridge
Power blinds to operate from the bed (like Fairmont Pacific Rim has)
More variety on all the menus - but keep the inventive daily specials coming
Bump guards in the hallways - there are already some obvious dings and scuffs

Along with Kip, Malaina in the restaurant was also a huge standout for exceptional service. As I said at the start of this review, we really enjoyed ourselves and feel that the 2 night couples getaway was a good deal. We'll go back and we'll recommend Sparkling Hill to friends. A word of advice to other travellers: this is a couples-oriented or adult getaway hotel and really isn't suitable for children of any age.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kennferr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2010

My wife and i stayed here in june and found the place amazing. We wandered around for quite some time checking out the views (some of the best i have ever seen) and architecture. Food was good and staff were polite. Loved the big windows in the guest rooms which make it feel like a balcony. Will be coming back with freinds in September.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Luv2travelworlds
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

Address: 888 Sparkling Place, Vernon, British Columbia V1H 2K7, Canada
Region: Canada > British Columbia > Okanagan Valley > Vernon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £190 - £267 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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