Chilling out at Sparkling Hill

Where Swarovski crystals are a girl's best friend

sparkling hill tea room / courtesy of sparkling hill resort

There are millions of reasons why we think B.C.’s Sparkling Hill Resort – located 25 minutes from the Kelowna International Airport – is the ultimate girls’ getaway destination.

Three and a half million reasons, actually. This would be how many Swarovski crystals are featured within the building’s unique design.

When we first heard that the one-of-a-kind, European-style resort and spa featured “crystal architecture” – we wondered how designers could pull something like this off.

But as Amy Rosen wrote in her Globe and Mail story (published after the resort’s 2010 grand opening) – Sparkling Hill proves the Austrian crystal empire is about “so much more than jewellery and figurines.”

During a recent girls’ trip with mothers and daughters in tow – we went, we saw, and we were impressed.

With the crystal waterfalls that greeted us from above as we walked through the resort’s front doors. With our rooms that featured tiny crystals embedded in the ceiling, creating a playful “starry night” effect. With the breath-taking beauty of The Tea Room sculpture featured in the photograph above.

“Of course, you have to be careful how you use crystals,” Sparkling Hill Resort President and CEO Hans-Peter Mayr told us recently – referencing the art of crystal architecture.

“The crystals have to be employed selectively – like jewellery on a woman. Too much and you lose the elegance.”

Austrian-born Mayr – who says the idea for Sparkling Hill came to him about ten years ago – approached Gernot Langes-Swarovski himself with a proposal for a Canadian-based European spa that would emphasize health and wellness.

Langes-Swarovski was so enthusiastic about the concept that he personally financed the $122 million resort and, according to Mayr, he dreams of creating an international chain of similar hotels.

More than a year since its opening and about 75 per cent of the resort’s patrons, we’re told, are women. But golf enthusiasts – male and female alike – are thrilled to find that the resort’s neighbour happens to be Predator Ridge, one of Canada’s premier golf courses.

Other memories that stand out from our stay?

Gorging on incredible vistas of Okanagan Lake from the giant windows in our rooms. Inhaling the soothing smells of the Rose Steam Room, one of the spa’s seven aromatherapy saunas and steam facilities. Hearing moms and daughters “oooh” and “ahhh” at every sparkly turn as they toured the property.

Sparkling Hill Resort is an original – one we plan to return to soon.

How about you? Any spas in your corner of Canada that you would recommend to our readers? If so, why?


*Our writer was a guest of Sparkling Hill Resort. This post was not reviewed or edited by the resort before publication.

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  1. Lynn commented:

    Absolutely bar none the most wonderful spa experience ever! I will go again and again – every chance I get. They have dialed the resort features in all respects and you won’t be disappointed. I think it would be beautiful any time of year.



  2. Leigh commented:

    Would love to go. I’d read the Globe and Mail article when it came out and this place has been on my wish list ever since.
    And a visit to the spa right now sounds divine.


  3. Ashley commented:

    Brentwood Bay’s Spa – Essence of Life provides the total package of what people should be looking for in a spa experience. I love that this spa constantly changes up their seasonal treatments (right now they have a pumpkin spice pedicure & a blackberry massage where they use real crushed blackberries!)


  4. Hugo Germain commented:

    I don’t visit spas very often but a few addresses are in order:

    sky spa next to ALT Quartier DIX30 in Brossard
    bota bota in Old Montreal.
    Blü in Charlevoix (St-Tite-Des-Caps)…very nice

    Have fun!


  5. George Brookman commented:

    Sparkling Hill, what a spot!! I went for the whole spa package (first time) and felt like a movie star. All I can say is, Ladies, you will love it; Gentlemen, just take a great lady with you and Sparkling Hill will do the rest!! ‘Nough said”


  6. Tim Tamashiro commented:

    My jaw was on my chest during every moment I spent at Sparkling Hill Resort during a recent fundraiser I was attending. The architecture, the crystals, the rooms and the staff are all worth the trip. I’m taking my wife… and then she’ll probably take some girls and then the cycle will repeat.


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